This Friday, May 23rd, it's finally time for our next official NFOP Showcase, happening at Kreuzberg's wonderful Madame Claude, and we couldn't be happier about the line-up which brings together two long-standing favourites of the site: Brooklyn-based Jerry Paper is coming to town to present us his marvellously obscure take on proto-futuristic sounds, playing music made for (and by?) melancholic androids in search for the human inside them, even if it's not liberation that awaits those who are successful: "I feel emotions / I'm not sure if I like them".
Jerry Paper will be joined by recent Berlin transplant Johanne Swanson aka Yohuna for the first show in her new hometown, finally blessing Europe with her reduced, enchanting synth pop music that's built around breathtaking vocal melodies and minimalist instrumentation, a timeless arrangement that's turned heads in her home country for a good while now. We're pleased to present Swanson's debut appearance on this continent.
Check out some of the artists' music below, and be sure to spend Friday evening with us. The night will start at 9pm. Find more details about the event over on Facebook.
For years and years, EMINOR Records and its subdivision Der Hut have been mainstays not only of Hamburg's minimal scene, but played an indispensable part in the city's pressured club landscape as a whole. Although usually focused on vinyl-only editions, for the first time in their history the two recently switched format to release the double CD Wahrlich & The Minor Hats, featuring two hour-long mixes by founder Jonas Wahrlich that serve as a perfect primer on the labels' varied musical universes. While the first CD, EMINOR Kadenzen, showcases classic minimal dancefloor material, DER HUT Krempen adopts a slightly gloomier and more unrelenting tone, delving into the heliophobic realms of contemporary techno. A highly recommended bundle that delivers both an introduction to two labels known for supreme style and quality, and a welcome snapshot of today's scene in Germany's second city.
Order Wahrlich & The Minor Hats now over at Juno, and stream snippets below. In order to celebrate the release, the EMINOR crew honour the capital this Saturday, May 17, with a night at Wedding's Humboldthain. Find out more details about the event here. Additionally, we're giving away one copy of Wahrlich & The Minor Hats. Just write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "EMINOR" before 3pm on Friday, May 16, and tell us something nice.
After last year's wonderful day and great success with our own stage at CCCP, we're happy to be involved in Berlin Mitte's Torstraßenfestival in 2014 again. Though we won't curate a stage this time, NFOP will present the event together with some other friendly local partners, and perhaps there'll be a different but equally engaging role for us eventually – we'll keep you in the loop.
Dublin-based men's clothes shop/arts website This Greedy Pig met up with recent Stratosfear alumni Ships aka Dublin duo Simon Cullen and Sorca McGrath to film a beautiful live rendition of their superb track "None Of It Real", the b-side of their 7" on our precious little label. Apart from performing, the two also talked briefly about having to leave their beloved home, where the duo's musical identity was formed over the past year, and where fittingly and wistfully the video was shot as well. Considering the circumstances, it's hardly surprising that the shot live version is more distant and sad than the interpretation found on the record, as observed by Cullen. It's mysterious and pretty, so go and watch it below.
The 7" is both physically and digitally available over here.
On the click of the track the film begins to flicker, and with two guitars and some warped 16mm Vancouver’s Weed and video artist Chris Ando give us a break from the rest of the noise. The only discernable words on "Actual Air", an exclusive from the tour-only tape Sing Nervous II, are the closing low voice of a friend: "That sounded really good." It’s an appropriate affirmation for such a meditative track with the repetitive imagery mirroring the melody. The instrumental song wallows in this melody, bending on the solo’s hook. It’s a glimpse into the earliest stages of Weed's songs, which are usually noted for their sludgy complexity – see their first full-length Deserve, out last fall on Couple Skate Records. Ando’s undersaturated lens zooms in and out on a grainy figure jump-roping in slow motion and cuts to some forgotten waving caution tape hanging off a phone pole. It all feels like a gift made for your your eyes and ears only, furthered by the fact that the song is the only one we’ll be hearing off Sing Nervous II.
The physical tape along with the rest of the old demos and rarities on it is solely available in basements and art spaces across North America on Weed’s “as always all ages” spring tour. The remaining dates are below.
4/22 Boston MA - Warehouse Show
4/23 Providence RI - Psychic Readings w/ Cool World + Mother Tongue + Fat Creeps
4/24 Syracuse NY - Enron Jr
4/25 Pittsburgh PA - The Shop
4/26 Detroit MI - Black Lodge
4/27 Ann Arbor MI - Totally Awesome Fest
4/28 Chicago IL - Animal Kingdom w/ The Funs + The Hecks + Earring
4/29 Milwaukee WI - Ground Zero w/ Technicolor Teeth
4/30 Eau Claire WI - Basement Show
5/01 Minneapolis MN - House Show w/ We/Ours
5/02 Fargo ND - New Direction
Proud to present the forthcoming Berlin appearance of NYC experimental legends Excepter together with our friends at CTM. The group, currently consisting of founder and No Neck Blues Band member John Fell Ryan together with Lala Ryan, Jon Nicholson, and Jon Williams, will conquer the stage of Kantine am Berghain on April 15 to showcase another set of the project's distinctive take on electronics-infused, transcendent rock. Self-described as "a synthetic protest band engineered to erase cultural distinctions through polarized confusion," 12 years after its foundation the veteran band still manages to push the boundaries of our common perception of latter day avant-garde. Excepter will be supported by another very noteworthy project, Black To Comm aka Dekorder mastermind Marc Richter, whose work we last covered two years ago when seminal imprint De Stijl released his immersive soundtrack for Ho Tzu Nyen silent movie EARTH.
Highly recommended. Check out the event details over on Facebook.
Fusing however conceived “classical” music with any variation of pop is a delicate affair, all too often settling for a middle ground that is nothing more than a sad cliché of either world (violins! grandeur! guitars! roughness!), unnecessary at best and the epitome of proto-romanticist kitsch at worst (examples abound and therefore omitted, thank me). Now don't get me wrong. There are, of course, ways to do it right, and if successful, the result may not simply provide for an entertaining night but indeed open up new perspectives on the subject matter, and alter our stagnant perceptions of both pop and "serious" music. The latest attempt to legitimise the notion while avoiding its inherent traps and pitfalls comes from two classically trained Hamburg musicians, pianist Anne von Twardowski and cellist Sonja Lena Schmid. Their upcoming concert series Rauschen aspires to convince all sceptics by taking up a more progressive and uncommon stance: Instead of an obvious amalgamation of the two worlds, the night will instead start with the duo's unaltered interpretation of a piece of chamber music – this time, Sergej Rachmaninov's 1901 Cello Sonata in G minor – before their guests, Berlin electronic luminaries Gebrüder Teichmann, join in, sampling and then re-contextualising elements of von Twardowski's and Schmid's performance by way of improvisation. The subsequent live interaction with the acoustic rendition will gradually be transformed into the Teichmanns' own set, ultimately opening up the dancefloor. This intended seamless integration of the sonically rather polar opposites surely sounds like quite an ambitious venture, yet without doubt promising to be so much more compelling than, say, Metallica ruining the San Francisco Symphony (and vice versa), and is thus warmly recommended by us.
The debut edition of Rauschen will take place at Nachtasyl in Hamburg this Friday, April 4, starting at 10.30pm. Watch the official trailer below, find more details on Facebook and get tickets over here.