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An interview with Laetitia Sadier

Alan Holmes speaks to Laetitia Sadier about her second solo album.

One of the most played records at our house so far this year has been Silencio, the second solo release by former Stereolab front woman [post=laetitia-sadier-silencio text=”Laetitia Sadier”]. It’s a record that releases its charms slowly, each listening revealing new and wondrous depths. This subtlety is counterbalanced by the direct political nature of the lyrics, harking back to the approach she took in Stereolab’s early days. After repeated plays of the record and a [post=laetitia-sadier-silencio text=”review”] for Freq, I asked Laetitia about Silencio:

Freq: The two solo records seem to be more direct than anything you’d released for years. Did a pressure in Stereolab to avoid repetition lead to ever more intricate records? After twenty years,

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King Midas Sound/JK Flesh/Glatze (live at Corsica Studios)

Corsica Studios, London 9 August 2012

As I walk in, a crazy man is on stage, pumping out some lovely squelchy bass sounds from a laptop which are instantly recognisable, thanks in part to his wonderfully overwrought vocals, as Black Sabbath‘s “Black Sabbath” (from the album Black Sabbath). And then it gets stranger and sillier from there, for this crazy man, it transpires, is Glatze, self-styled “musician and live music nutjob” (note- usually “self-styled” is an underhanded way of saying “bloke who actually ISN’T a…” but in this case he’s styled himself pretty well), and he’s loads of fun. More sonic silliness ensues, until he ends by accompanying himself on the melodica to an epic yet lightweight tale of musical instruments set to a jaunty dub/accordion backing, which ends, not unreasonably, in the deaths of all the characters. This makes no sense, I know. But it will when you see

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Muslimgauze – Satyajit Eye

The Muslimgauze Preservation Society

Given a vinyl release nearly two decades after it first appeared – somewhat unusually – as a DAT, Satyajit Eye comprises outtakes from the Vote Hezbollah and Hamas Arc albums. Recorded with engineer John Delf at the Abraham Mosque Centre in Manchester, this album marks a key period in the development of the Muslimgauze sound, as the extensive liner notes on the LP recount, it was the first time Bryn Jones had used a state of the (then) art studio to mix his music.

The turning of looped 8- and 24-track tape masters into the six fully-dubbed up widescreen tracks on this LP (and on the two albums mentioned previously) is detailed with loving precision in the sleevenotes, and the tweaking, echoing and fading of

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Stephan Mathieu – Coda (For WK)

12K/Bitstream

Sometimes, smaller and quieter is better, is perfect. This slender little piece is 20 minutes exactly, a precise slab of (ahem) Lovely Drones that shows Stephan Mathieu at his serious, studied best. Beauty slowed down. The WK is legendary “quiet” pianist Wilhelm Kempff, whose 1927 recordings of Beethoven‘s Piano Sonata No. 26 Les Adieux are used as some of the generative material here.

Mathieu’s process sort of sucks the DNA from the recordings, steals their soul and emphasises their tones, letting you hear history unfold. It really feels like he’s investigating the sound here, attempting some kind of forensic unpicking of where these sounds have been. His signature gramophone + laptop set-up works a little like Janek Schaefer or Phillip Jeck of course

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Golden Diskó Ship – Prehistoric Ghost Party

Klangbad

It was a total surprise to find out that Golden Diskó Ship is really one person, Theresa Stroetges, a Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist – because I was struck by how much this sounds like several different bands, all vying or attention and all too polite to really push their ideas to the foreground. The production seems to place these bands in different sound chambers, so that they’re marginally aware of the intensity of the others playing but not the sounds themselves… This seems more visual than aural in its construction which again made me think that someone somewhere was wrestling with the others to retain a visual identity above and beyond the music… “That ugly guy at the back; get the hell outta my frame!” As it turns

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Kluster – Klopfzeichen/Zwei Osterei

Bureau B

Those good people over at Bureau B have been delving into the archives to bring us two classic slices of pre-Cluster goodness. Well before ‘71 and Zuckerzeit, these two albums, originally released in micro editions of 300 copies, demonstrate an avant-garde spirit that was and still is, a pleasure to absorb. Very much a ‘kicking k’ before the soothing ‘c’, these recordings still rival many of today’s newcomers with their pantheon of noise toys and effects pedals. A unique vision that’s not dissipated at all in over forty years.

The beautifully bleak innards of a piano start the first Kluster offering Klopfzeichen. That black cover fitting well with the repeating bony timbres… glassy obsidian and soft powdery concussions flung round them.

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Conrad Schnitzler – Rot/Blau

Bureau B

It can’t be a mistake that Red = Rot since this is electronic music rotted one note at a time. As a debut solo album – its actually more complicated than that – it’s a singular attempt to define a new genre of bubbling, messy, electronic music… Rot is propulsive/compulsive; as dark and shiny as a Scribing Mirror. You can hear the tangles that Conrad Schnitzler gets in and he leaves them there, testing the boundaries, daring the listener to accept these notches and whirls as actual music…

Today, I’m sure it makes way more sense than it did when it was originally released. I’d imagine this came of a sudden shock to the floppy haired 70s and it’s clearly

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Laibach – An Introduction To…/Reproduction Prohibited

Mute

With London’s Olympic opening ceremony still reverberating freshly, it’s time to consider the next logical step in the bombast and nationalistic celebration: Laibach and their art host entity NSK conducting the premier global televisual propaganda occasion should Slovenia ever host the Games. Handily, it seems that if budgets are tight in straitened financial times to come, then An Introduction To Laibach/Reproduction Prohibited (not actually their greatest hits album as such, and one which contains some stunning new covers) could provide a pre-packaged soundtrack and perhaps a few ideas on how to proceed with the most bombastic show on earth.

Just imagine the possibilities for irony on as grand a scale as only Laibach could envision, the repurposing of anthems aplenty as the British and

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