TTW#38 - Achim Mohné - And It Could Have Been Dead…
Cassette only - limited edition of 150 copies
SOLD OUT AT SOURCE
A1: How to Use This Cassette
A3: All I Have Ever Listened To
A4: Immer Wieder
B1: Once Upon A Time They All Lived Happily Ever After
B2: Syntactical Swap
B3: Tapeworm Infection
Illustration – Ewoud van Rijn
Cover star – Pooman
Achim Mohné experiments with the space and time intervals of media, photography, video, digital image production, as well as with sound. His experiments bring to light the surprising uses that lie dormant in todays technology.
For The Tapeworm, Achim focussed on audiotape itself: as material, as body, as signifier and as sculpture. Some notes on the sources and methods used to create “And It Could Have Been Dead…” follow:
A1, “How To Use This Cassette”, is mixed from a 1982 Blaupunkt instruction tape for a cassette player.
A2, “Widerverwendung”, uses material from “MediaRecycling”, a live performance at Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst (GAK) Bremen, 1999. This was a performance for opened-up VCRs, monitors, scissors, glue, medical gloves, cleansing alcohol. Sections of tapes were randomly chosen, cut with a scissors, then taped back live together in a different order. The version on this cassette was mixed in 2011.
A3, “All I Have Ever Listened To” was mixed from “Sozialisationsmusik” – a live performance at Academy of Media Arts, Cologne (1997) for three to eight turntables, cassette recorders and a mixer. With their help, vinyl records and cassettes from a great variety of genres (classic, electro, punk, rock, jazz, children’s audio dramas) are layered-up and mixed live. The version on The Tapeworm’s tape was edited in 2011.
A4 and B1 were created using hand operated cassette recorders. The tapes used for “Once Upon A Time They All Lived Happily Ever After” were all of fairy-tales. B2 (“Syntactical Swap”) is a work for cassette recorder and turntable. Finally, B3 is a short blast, using beginnings and endings of The Tapeworm cassettes, #01-#34 as its sound source.
Awkward Moments (UK):
Something I took a punt on and was massively pleased about, also out by The Tapeworm label, a release from Achim Mohné titled ‘And It Could Have Been Dead…’. Only 150 made of this one – which is all sorts of madness. The whole creation of a tape-from-tapes style concept just looked bizarre, and although not what I called an easy listen one of the most interesting things I’ve heard in time. Borderline Steinski styled chop ups and ambient hiss loops, topped off with random instructional pieces on tape care the end product is a bit of a mind mash. It’s also got a character named Pooman on the cover. Again, no audio previews, but you’ve only got to look at the photos of the ‘recording process’ (right at the bottom) and the press release to get a pretty faithful idea of what you're in for.
Aquarius Records (US):
One of two new cassettes on this week’s list from UK cassette label The Tapeworm, the other a weird bit of haunting minimal living room ambient electronica slowcore from Old Apparatus, and this collection of tape experiments from multimedia artist/musician Achim Mohné, whose sounds sources are almost as interesting and baffling as what he does with those sources, a 1982 instructional tape for a Blaupunkt tape player, that overlaps various instructions in different languages, as well as adding blasts of white noise, overlapping the various different styles of music offered as samples, and messing with the tape speed. A serious blast of Plunderphonia for sure.
Then there’s a track that uses as its source a 1999 performance for disassembled VCRs, video monitors, glue, medical gloves and rubbing alcohol, with Mohné cutting up the tapes, taping them back together, and manipulating them over the VCRs playback heads, the result is a dark, woozy assemblage of hiss and warble, whirs and disembodied voices, snippets of music and dialogue, deep rumbling tones and plenty of glitch and thrum and buzz, it sounds a bit like something you’d hear on Raster-Noton, albeit a bit more collaged, homebrewed and lo-fi. Another track is a live performance for multiple turntables and cassette recorders, and finds Mohné mixing a dizzying onslaught of different musics and sounds, from pop to noise, from metal to classical, all chopped up and looped and layered, almost like a skipping Negativland cd, or some sort of John Oswald / Philip Jeck DJ set.
There are a couple tracks that employ handheld recorders, one that uses recordings of fairy tales, another that’s a sort of twisted Jeck style tape player / turntable mash up, those all murky and muted and droned out and atmospheric, and then prepare yourself for the final jam, a super short ultra dense blast of tape noise, that’s actually the beginnings and ends of the first 34 releases on The Tapeworm label! Cool twisted stuff, that ends up being surprisingly haunting and beautiful much of the time. And features an awesome (and awesomely creepy) cover drawing of some character called Pooman, in a drawing called “The Tapewyrm Will Drive Out Any Stuck Up Turd With Fragrant Sound!” Indeed!