TTW#59 – Hanno Leichtmann – Unfinished Portrait of Youth Today
Cassette only – limited edition of 200 copies
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Cover collage – Stephan Mathieu and Caro Mikalef
All music by Hanno Leichtmann – tapes, Sony WM-D6C, modular system, Telefunken equalizers, LXP-5. Recorded at Static Music Berlin. Thanks: Götz Rogge for that tape back in the day…
Hanno Leichtmann writes… “When The Tapeworm asked me to do a tape which referred to tape music or cassette culture, I immediately thought of my thirty-or-so remaining tapes from my (back in the days) huge tape collection.
I bought a Sony WM-D6C to play them back in good quality, took little snippets of favourite songs and ran them through a modular system. I made about forty short static pieces, all about 1m30s long.
They are highly influenced by and, at the same time, a hommage to: John Oswald’s “Plunderphonics”, Curd Duca’s “Easy Listening 1-5”, Stock, Hausen and Walkman’s ”Me” 7”, and above all Yasuaki Shimizu’s “Music for Commercials”.” Hanno Leichtmann, Berlin, 16th May 2013.
The Wire (UK):
Hanno Leichtmann is a Berlin based drummer, one of whose many projects was the excellent 2010 Chunk by Denseland, featuring vocalist David Moss. His Unfinished Portrait Of Youth Today is beautifully simple: a series of short pieces, each one a flickering snippet from his old collection of pop cassettes. An instability in his system keeps the music jerky and shapeshifting. It’s clean but still ghostly, like a brightly lit Philip Jeck record. Leichtmann is paying homage to John Oswald’s Plunderphonics, and also the micro-looping of his friend Jan Jelinek, but these little pieces stand on their own feet: no rhetorical grand gestures, just curious sonic enjoyment.
German drummer and electronic producer Hanno Leichtmann responds to The Tapeworm's ferric aesthetic with a plunderphonic journey thru his aging and shrunken tape collection. Influenced by and homage to John Oswald's ‘Plunderphonics', Curd Duca's ‘Easy Listening', Stock Hausen and Walkman's ‘Me' 7", and “above all" Yasuaki Shimizu's ‘Music for Commercials', the results is a gauzy moire of stuttering samples smudged to hypnotically repetitive grooves at times reminding of early SND, at others of his work with loopfinder general Jan Jelinek, or like Nicholas Collins recording for Ghost Box. Check!
Aquarius Records (US):
One of several new tapes this week, from UK tape label The Tapeworm, this one a dizzying chunk of plunderphonia from the previously unknown to us Hanno Leichtmann, who took the last 30 or so tapes remaining from his once huge tape collection, and extracted super short snippets, reorganizing them into a dreamy bit of collaged psychedelia. Like an analog Oval, Leichtmann weaves softly undulating landscapes of softly stuttering rhythms and prismatic smears of fragmented melody, the recontextualized sounds transformed into wholly new ‘songs', similar to the way repeating a single word turns that word into nonsense sound, but here that nonsense sound is deftly assembled into perfect little sonic gems. Unfinished Portrait Of Youth Today hypnotically unfurls warbly textures and woozy layers, the whole tape fantastically dreamy and playful, sun dappled and softly psychedelic.
Vital Weekly (NL):
Hanno Leichtmann (also known as Static) also composed something for The Tapeworm, keeping in mind the nature of cassettes and returned to the remainder of his earlier cassette collection of pop music. He transferred them all, and fed them through his modular synthesizer set-up, just snippets really, as a tribute to John Oswald, Curd Duca, Stock, Hausen & Walkman and (above all, he says) Yasuaki Shimizu’s “Music For Commercials”. He created about forty pieces, all around ninety seconds and on this tape we find twenty-three of them. Quite conceptual but it also sounds quite nice. Very Ovalesque in a way, also early SND came to mind, but all of this more rudimentary, with a few sounds playing per piece. Never too long of course before moving onto the next few minimal phrases. Maybe a bit long, I thought. Thirty-six minutes which could have also been twenty minutes to get the same idea across. Such is life at the conceptual end of things, I guess.