TTW#18 - Pita - Mesmer
Cassette only - limited edition of 250 copies
A: Mesmer - 21m05s
B: Mesmer - 19m17s
Written by Peter Rehberg. Recorded summer 1995 Mego Studio, Vienna.
Illustration – SavX.
“Mesmer” was Peter Rehberg's first ever solo composition, originally released in 1995 as part of "mesmervariations", a (long-deleted) double CD by Ash International presented in an oversized plastic wallet with eight card inserts. That release contained various original compositions influenced by the work of Friedrich Mesmer, and included pieces by Ryoji Ikeda, Gescom, Edvard Graham Lewis, Robert Hampson, Bruce Gilbert, C M von Hausswolff and Drome (Bernd Friedmann). The artists featured on this release were given a copy of the vinyl recording “Mesmer” (Ash 1.8) and asked to compose a piece influenced by the work of Friedrich Mesmer the 19th Century “animal magnetist and hypnotist”. The brief was - there is no brief; method and style were left entirely to the discretion of the composer. Rehberg's contribution is reproduced in its entirety here, the B-side of the cassette containing a copy of the weathered dubplate of the track he cut in 1996 for personal DJ use.
Peter Rehberg (a.k.a. Pita) (b. 1968, London) is an Author and Performer of electronic audio works. Rehberg has given live performances throughout Europe, North & South America, Japan and Australasia.
Selected festival appearances: Sonar, Barcelona; Ars Electronica, Linz; All Tommorows Parties, UK & USA; Avanto, Helsinki; ICMC, Berlin; What Is Music, Sydney & Melbourne; Taktlos, Bern; FIB, Benicassim; FIMAV, Victoriaville; Route du Rock, St. Malo; MUTEK, Montreal; Articulating Space, Melbourne; NowNow, Sydney; Skanu Mezs'06, Riga.
He has collaborated with: General Magic, Jim O'Rourke, Christian Fennesz, Tina Frank, Tujiko Noriko, Kevin Drumm, Stephen O'Malley, Matmos, Marcus Schmickler, Michaela Schwentner (aka Jade), Russell Haswell, Florian Hecker, Carlos Giffoni, Gert-Jan Prins, Mika Vainio, Zbigniew Karkowski, Z’EV, Rosy Parlane, Keith Rowe, Dennis Cooper, Gisele Vienne, SUNNO))) as well as being a member of MIMEO. Collaborated with choreographers Gisele Vienne (DACM), Meg Stuart, Gyula Berger, Chris Haring
Took part in the 2nd Göteborg Art Biennale (Against All Evens) curated by CM von Hausswolff. Has contributed commissioned works for Austrian Broadcasting Corporation and Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation. Received 1999 Prix Ars Electronica Distinction Award for Digital Musics, alongside Christian Fennesz
Audio works by Rehberg have been published on the following labels: Mego, Häpna, Mosz, Asphodel, Tochnit Aleph, Alku, Digital Narcis, Ritornell, Moikai, Ash International, Source, Touch, Raft, Absurd, as well as compilation appearances.
He also runs the Editions Mego label.
Aquarius Records (US):
While the music of Pita, aka Peter Rehberg, can tend toward the harsh and caustic, this archival release, a reissue of Rehberg's first ever solo composition, is anything but, a gorgeously hypnotic, dreamlike rhythmic dronescape that sounds more like Philip Jeck or Tim Hecker than Pita.
The latest in The Tapeworm label's ever expanding catalog of super limited cassette tape oddities and artifacts, Mesmer was originally released in 1995 as part of a compilation, for which the various contributors (including Ryoji Ikeda, CM Von Hausswolff, Robert Hampson, among others) were given a copy of an early vinyl recording, called Mesmer, released on Ash International, and tasked with composing a piece dedicated to Friedrich Mesmer, an “animal magnetist and hypnotist” from the 19th century
Rehberg's piece is definitely hypnotic, a slow, softly churning, gradually evolving sprawl of muted hiss, smeared pulses, mechanical and industrial, but also warm and organic, a woozy, shimmery landscape of blurred textures and barely there propulsion, and as mentioned above, not at all what you might expect from Pita, plenty of static and buzz, a glowing sepia toned sonic patina wreathing the whole thing, if forced to guess the creator, we definitely would have been thinking Philip Jeck.
The flipside is the same piece, but in a drastically different form, an original dubplate of “Mesmer” that Rehberg used to DJ, presented here with nearly 15 years of accumulated clicks and pops, clouds of hiss and whir, the original even more blurred and washed out and hazy. So so lovely.
LIMITED TO 250 COPIES. With cool Savage Pencil cover art.
The Wire (UK):
Don't really know dick about Pita, but this is a great cassette, as full of hissing head-gobblers as anything I've ever heard. Really has a nice dead wax quality. What I can say is - cotton. Huge balls of cotton. Contact miked.
Another indispensable limited edition (250 copies) from the wonderful Tapeworm cassette label, this time reissuing a long out-of-print composition by Editions Mego boss Peter Rehberg. “Mesmer” was in fact Rehberg's very first solo work, commissioned by Ash International as part of their Mesmervariations double CD, released in 1995. This themed compilation included pieces by fellow sonic experimenters such as Gescom, Ryoji Ikeda, Robert Hampson and CM Von Hausswolff, all inspired by the work of 19th century “animal magnetist and hypnotist” Friedrich Mesmer. The first side of the cassette features the original nineteen-minute composition, while the B-side is a slightly longer, alternate rendering, culled from Rehberg's own dubplate, which he had cut for DJ use back in 1996. Far from the auricle-scouring extremes that were to come from Rehberg and his Pita project, “Mesmer” is a comparatively meditative digital drone piece. The narrative still bristles with noisy ruptures and flecks of glitchy distortion, but at its essence the track is a stream of undulating tones guided by a pervading sense of uncharacteristic sobriety and steadiness. Pita fans will no doubt be glad to hear that as drone-based records go, this is a million miles away from the sort of pastoral exercises you tend to encounter nowadays, and instead offers a kind of intelligent, hovering ambiguity that's neither especially menacing nor welcoming. Just as was found to be the case with the recent Kevin Drumm reissues on Perdition Plastics, “Mesmer” still harbours plenty of intrigue despite its age, and there's something timelessly powerful about its technology-defying aesthetic as a wiry, disrupted mass of signals. The B-side manifests itself as a grubbier version in a more advanced state of erosion, which resonates nicely with the lo-fi analogue formatting and the archival nature of the release.