012/017 is a selection of instrumental mixes since 2012. It is a resume of the tracks I enjoyed the most making in that 5 years of 100% DIY bedroom recording when making the albums Lo-Files I, II, III and Amor Fati. Here are some words about the music.
Starting off with the second track, the title Friedrich refers to Nietzsche and his troubled friendship with Wagner. I was triggered by the idea of a philosopher wanting to be a composer and vice versa and by the thought of having what you don't want and wanting what you don't have. Snappy, nasal sound versus wide & distorted.
38 Anderson Street (murderers) is about approaching 40, watching Roy Andersson films on a hot and lazy summer afternoon, followed by a very shocking film called Katyn, directed by Andrzej Wajda. It is the story of the cold-blooded slaughtering of thousands of Polish officers by the Red Army in the Katyn woods in 1940. When the Nazis later on in 1943 found the mass graves, they started announcing the names of the identified corpses through loudspeakers in the streets of Krakow. The Katyn lists...
I tried to make the notes on guitar drip at moments like blood or life dripping out of the men facing death, and went for an echo of the harshness of fate and the damp coldness of the woods in the repetitious banjo-like guitar in the background.
The samples in the far background in Hush (#6), the oldest track in this compilation, are from a 2011 BBC-interview with a trader about the financial crisis and the Eurozone rescue plan. "Governments don't rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world", the trader boldly states. Further on: "I want to help people", not yet realizing he needs help himself. Hush is about a rat race personified in a rambling money-dealer, about capital as an absolute end, not a relative means, about money as a silent paper God of that one worldwide religion with banks and multinationals as its cathedrals and governments as its submissive, reclusive monasteries.
The 7th track, Damascus, I recorded in a time images of Syrian children as victims of chemical attacks started to appear on the TV news. To me this was not just a red line as Obama stated, but the edge of civilization, a peek through the gateway to hell. How can so much evil and chaos like a random fire hurricane so rapidly hit one place? And why? In Damascus the drums are snappy and gritty. The guitars & bass I played with a heavy feel, like the air or your breathing feels like I imagine when under siege in a war situation, covered in dust and debris. Playing the keys in the background I had sirens and ambulances in mind.
The Butcher's Wife (#8) is all about drums sounding like a meat cutter, about that one classic film sample I stumbled upon and some mellotrone-ish background vocal sample library. It's followed by one of the earliest WiltMan-recordings called Cats of Rome, which is the title of an essay by W.F. Hermans, a piece of writing that I'll always remember. Cats of Rome has a meow-like sound in the rhythm part and was recorded in a small ruinous flat in the centre of Ghent where I used to live together with my two cats.
Memory Factory (#10) is about the thought of life as an ongoing collecting of memories and unexpected moments. Memories as vitamins - or drugs - and how they settle in your mind and often deform or reshape there. With the sound of the keys I tried to express the fluidity of our memories. There are some sudden shifts in the track too. They stand for the unexpected events we all experience. I'm convinced that the more we try to define or categorize these moments, the more we fail to really experience the old ones as well as the future ones ahead of us.
Amor Fati (#11) -a relative recent recording- is not about defining or experiencing, but about acceptance in the first place, about dealing with a sometimes frustrating zone or dead spot between dreams and reality. Literally translated from Latin, it means "love of fate". It is a short and raw one-take-recording on a detuned guitar which reminded me of a swamp blues.
Zumurrud (#12) is the name of a slave girl in Arabian Nights. She gets abducted but manages to escape, dresses up as a man and arrives as "the first arriving stranger" at a city where the king has just died. As tradition in that particular city wants it, she is crowned to be the new king and then finally (and playfully) reunites with her old boyfriend, who was desperately searching her since her abduction. The film version of the tale by Pasolini left quite an impression on me, as many of his films.
The Barbed Wire (#13) is about the Berlin Wall, The Iron Curtain, and has a sample in it from a speech of Ronald Reagan. The wall, the city as it once was, is a strong but sad metaphor. It is all about imposed separation, dividing people in an artificial way. "The concrete, the machine gun-towers, the dog runs, and the barbed wire". Obstinacy, offence, vigilance, hurt. It reminded me of a legendary album I grew up with: Lou Reed's Berlin. Men of good fortune, poor beginnings and Dubonnet on ice.
SixMiles (#14) was recorded in the same period as Hush, with the same thoughts or preoccupations in the back of my head back then. I remem-ber I saw a documentary in that time about planned obsolescence or intentional failure of products, which is a strategy to keep the economy rolling. Imagine pantyhoses without runs, printers that keep printing. "It's the economy stupid", to quote another American president.
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