Archive for the ‘super collider’ Category

between bleep and a hard place

June 20, 2008

this post could be as well called further explorations in sound. in a way there are some parallels to the young gods – and of course they did influence each other. since cristian vogel is something like 10 years younger, he just started out in a different scene, the underground scene of the early nineties: techno. somewhere in the mid-nineties techno, more precise: european techno seemed to gain a self-confidence, to find its own sound seperate from the founders of techno. it seemed like it had made one of the next logical steps of hard electronic dance music (of course there were also other directions like gabber and happy hardcore and so on): no more hooklines, fuck melody. all we need are hard, wicked beats and a mean bass. so where part of the european techno scene started to develop the nemesis of this kind of techno, trance, others worked on a raw, muscular, dirty sound. in my recollection there were something like “two schools”: on the one hand there was very straight, banging and decidedly unfunky techno, and on the other hand there was banging, in a good way irritating, funky techno. whereas the funk of detroit techno was for me always a flowing, forward moving funk, the funk of this kind of techno was square. the difference seemed to be in the relationship to time: detroit techno seemed to go forward, towards the future. this other techno seemed to stay here – maybe postulating that this is the future, now (rereading this i just realize that “no future” takes on a very different meaning in this context).

and on the edge of this musical style was cristian vogel, putting music out on all the important labels of the time, music that always had the special cristian vogel quality. in need of a better word i always called it annoying – annoying in its unashamed, aggressive way of demanding to be heard. this was not music you just tapped your foot to – this music demanded to dive into it and to understand it with your body – and no, it was never made that easy for you to do that… seduction through denial of being seductive. something to work against – and yes, i like resistance when i dance.

from 1998, towards the end of the bloom of this kind of rude techno comes a dj-set by cristian vogel live on kiss fm, a berlin radio station. i still like this set very much – it is for listening purposes more accessible then other sets recorded on the dancefloor, but still manages to give you an idea of all the energy that could be unleashed with this kind of music. taped in a near-empty apartment in berlin (a big futon, a couple of books, many candles and a cheap boombox) you can get cristian vogel, dj-set on kiss fm, berlin, 23th of april 1998 here (ripped from tape in mono – see “cheap boombox”).

UPDATE: fun in the murky actually treated the recording a bit – so you might want to get that version. and trevor wilkes gives some more info on what you hear…

at about the same time he started working with jamie lidell under the name super collider. i remember hearing in the same period some first cuts from the record head on, which then got published nearly a year later. and i remember how we all listened to this music and how we finally got what the term “future funk” really means. yes, we were rather blown away. it had the same brashness like his techno productions, but using different structures and transporting the weirdness of sly and the family stone to a new generation, to the future. and i still think that this record is way ahead in its treatment of the voice which stands in music clearly as a signifier for authenticity and gets on this record acoustically so totally deconstructed that the machines sound more authentic… yeah, head on! so – time to listen to some super collider. since i did not find the original 12″ of darn’, you get super collider, darn’ (cold way o lovin)’ in the remix version of derrick carter here. and don’t be surprised: it is only one track – the other side has just the etched logo on it… and yes, its’ quite smooth – after all mister carter remixed.

after two longplayers super collider disbanded. jamie lidell started to work on becoming the modern-day sinatra (tough luck, robbie), and cristian vogel, although continuing to put out (mostly in the form of 12″) techno tracks was obviously dissatisfied with the direction electronic club music took. this became also apparent in the dj-sets which became sometimes the aural equivalent of a stiff middlefinger. but then he found a couple of ways to keep himself busy: he started producing and mastering, and took his music into different terrains. his release station 55 showed him being more, hm, song oriented then before – this might be due to his dissatisfaction with techno, his experiences with super collider, his experiences of starting to play in bands. what is interesting to note is that for one song someone the avid reader of this blog should know lends his voice. this someone is franz treichler from the young gods. yes, it’s all connected. they also collaborated on a score for the swiss choreographer gilles jobin. and gilles jobin comissioned a couple more scores for his dance-company from cristian vogel. which was the other direction cristian vogel’s music took: ambient textures, overlaying, strange rhythms, complex, and rather trippy. this gave him also the opportunity to present his music in a context different to clubs. one of these live sets, more precise, cristian vogel live at the springsix festival, graz on the 27th of may 2006, you can get here.

in a way it seems to work very nicely for cristian vogel these days: especially lately he also gained a lot of recognition for his remix work. the experience of writing and performing music in new contexts – or the decline of mainstream minimal (my favourite explanation – and anyway, as mb pointed out, we are all at the moment also looking back) seemed to have brought back the appetite for techno for cristian vogel. already nearly two years back in collaboration with ben mallot he published under the name black e some banging tracks. for me it is interesting that indeed there seems to waken a new interest in music that just kicks more on the dancefloor, and also in a taking up of the different threads of the 1990s (yep, laurent garnier comes here to mind, too). his most recent record the never engine, published late last year sees him back in techno mode. with new self-confidence and the old squareness (well, he never lost that, did he?) he shows once more that this kind of music can still be developed further. and i’ve seen him live not that long ago – and yes, it was reminiscent of a time i actually enjoyed going dancing, but luckily it was not nostalgic. and yes, in my eyes it was long overdue to do this next step…

by the way: the never engine as a music producing machine seems to exist – something with generating music through different algorhytms and with a nod to: orgon. yes, mister reich. no, not steve, wilhelm. argh – marcuse would just have been more elegant… more on that in this interview (in german). it has something to do with sexual energies and unconscious influences through sounds. how that sounds? you can have a listen of one of his new sets, apparantly generated with this never engine over at fun in the murky. in any case it is fun to see how cristian vogel uses different theories as stepping stones to explore further sonic territory – a while back the theme was space, as it can be heard in the above set from austria by way of some spoken words of mister william burroughs at the nova convention towards the end…

so – if you would like to have some more information on mister vogel, please visit his site. if you would like to have a quick listen to his music, some older, some new – and yes, there is also a young gods remix, you can visit his myspace site. and then i would also like to point out the myspace page of the band cristian vogel is a member of: night of the brain. dare i say it? yes – it is nearly pop – or let’s say it is a fresh take on indie-pop. well, just have a listen yourself!