Philipp Hager: Synth, Sampler, Percussion, Room
Franz Joseph Kaputt: Synth, Tape, Percussion, Room
On a hot and damp summer day in July 2018, Philipp Hager and Franz Joseph Kaputt set up their stuff – some synths, guitars, pedals and a whole lot of percussive instruments, found objects and mics – in Nuremberg’s Zentralcafé, a place which, for over four decades, functioned as a nucleus for the counterculture of the city. It was a motor and focal point for anything non-mainstream. Also, Hager and Kaputt met there. It was a place with a distinguished life of its own, as ecstatic as giving room for reflection. And this day, July 1st, was one of the last days before the place closed down due to the city’s neoliberal culture policy. Some day soon it will be an eco-friendly burger restaurant. All hail to the happy cow gods.
With everything set up and the whole room mic’ed, the pair started to work, using the whole room as a resonance space – art nouveau pillars, empty vodka bottles, the stage, watertaps, the wooden floor, empty oil barrels. Overdubs were kept to a minimum.
On July 18th, the Zentralcafé closed down.
With two hours of recorded raw material, Philipp Hager‘s mixing turned everything into a weird crossbreed of dub-infused synth rhythms and endless echoing, psychoacoustic percussion parts where you can hear the two running across the whole room throwing around cymbals, and dadaistic glossolalia – think of a lobotomized version of Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuovo Consanza, the remains of Lee „Scratch“ Perry’s burned-out first studio, or Ghédalia without Tazartès.
This is not the product of highly-trained craftmanship, it is more a celebration of the ever-unsettling possibilities given by places like the Zentralcafé – making ideas audible, sounding out of the fringes, the microstimulation of the pulse of a city. It might also be a swan song to these special places, as culture’s state-of-the-art mode of thinking revolves mostly around event spaces, absolute accessibilty, totalitarian inclusion and favouring artforms which are widely compatible (and the money they bring) instead of being a means to accentuate differences.
The cover art comes from flamboyant painter and musician Cris Koch, drafted while doing a late night shift on the bar. Thank you Cris. And go check out his brilliance.