Saturday, 26 July 2008

Mid-sentence, I used to start mid-sentence. Back then of course things were different, I would work all night and sleep all day. Now I sleep all night and sleep all day too.

Today I’m receiving something of a kickback from not only the previous weekends festivities – Bjork, Battles, Notwist et al – but my live shows this week. Two down, one more to go. Last night was one of the best performances I’ve played, certainly the best in Berlin. This occurs as a result of self satisfaction, at not making mistakes or boring myself, and from the ensuing sociality in which the music somehow connects you to other people who were listening.

Deep in Neukolln, a part of the city I am slowly coming to know and locate, there is a small bar on the corner, an abandoned pizzeria turned into a light, relaxed long bar with plants everywhere, low seating, candles. Following Rinus, who amongst other things played thirty minutes of beautifully recommissioned recordings from the Barack Obama rally held earlier that day in Tiergarten, we also heard James Edmonds, an Englisher who holds a parallel status bound by studies in England and a scene in this capital. James played electroacoustic numbers, pre-records amplified through tins and jars with delightful moments of piano and reverberating bass from – by his own admission – sources unknown.

I then played a set of developing drones, first beginning with my circuit board machine, placing it high on the DJ booth and altering its insistent patterns, playing only through its internal speaker. I then drew the sounds through a microphone and into my mixer outputting them with a collage of other drones, some taped from the machine itself, others were ancient murmurs of decaying magnetic tape, some were fresher and more clinical, some were muted recordings of voices and weather.

Tonight we rode in the hanging heat, left after a day of thirty plus brilliance, over the railway tracks, across Oberbaum Brucke and left into a large former office block. Out back, as always, was a small unmarked door and a set of stairs, graffitied and flyposted. Inside, a clean lit bar with a view of the setting sun’s fires and the elevated line of the U-bahn from Warschauer Stra├če. Klass and Michael played for over an hour, a circuit bending extraordinaire with tables full of modified Buddha machines, PC amplifiers, oscillators, electronic spell-and-says and reams and bundles of interconnected circuits, hand-made and adapted for the purpose of broadcasting waves of intermittent, affected sound – yelps, static, grounding, subterranean bass and warped electronic voices.

Then a slow ride back up the hill, past the doner shops and communist boulevards, through red traffic lights and up the stairs to home, to home and to writing. Time here runs out, but everything is becoming clear.