For a couple of years now, I have been thinking about how history and memory can be narrated in sound. The new album Ghosts and Echoes collects different approaches to this, ranging from a mixed-media narrative about industrial work with Christian Z. Müller (a companion piece to our Gasworks) to a drone/noise piece involving the voice of my late grandmother, working at the intersection of the very personal and the very political in that she talks about fighting fascism, and an instrumental meditation about decolonisation. In addition to Christian Z. Müller, my thanks go out to Georg Weckwerth at TONSPUR Vienna, Elisabeth Zimmermann at ORF Kunstradio, Stefan Tiefengraber at Tresor Linz, and Julia Zemanek aka The Bassenger, who in various ways contributed to making this album possible.
„Gasworks“ versammelt die Klanginstallationen, Radiostücke und Live-Performances, die Gerald Fiebig zum ehemaligen Gaswerk in Augsburg-Oberhausen realisiert hat. Sie entstanden zwischen 2010 und 2016, teilweise zusammen mit EMERGE und Christian Z. Müller. In den Kompositionen finden bearbeitete Aufnahmen von Gas und Industriemaschinen Verwendung, aber auch die Erzählungen eines ehemaligen Gaswerksmitarbeiters sowie Live-Improvisationen in der Echokammer des großen Scheibengasbehälters. Gestaltung: Martina Vodermayer.
In Augsburg ist die CD erhältlich bei Tonträger, Kätchens, der Buchhandlung am Obstmarkt, Bücher Pustet, der Schlosserschen Buchhandlung, den Museumsshops im Schaezlerpalais und im H2 sowie in der Bücherinsel Pfersee.
„Gasworks“ by sonic artist Gerald Fiebig collects his sound installations, radiophonic compositions, and live performances relating to the former gasworks in Augsburg-Oberhausen. They were created between 2010 and 2016, some in collaboration with colleagues EMERGE and Christian Z. Müller. Among the compositional materials of the album are processed recordings of the sounds of gas and industrial machinery, stories told by a former gasworks employee, and live improvisations in the echo chamber of the large gas tank. Artwork: Martina Vodermayer
by ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE / GERALD FIEBIG / EMERGE / PBK
Artificial Memory Trace aka Slavek Kwi and PBK aka Phillip B. Klingler have been pillars of the global DIY experimental music culture for decades. Both of them have released work on attenuation circuit before. Here, they team up with label owner EMERGE aka Sascha Stadlmeier and his colleague Gerald Fiebig. Each one of the four artists contributes one track of about 10 minutes to the album. But while the four-way split LP is a common format in the global sound culture scene, “fiction circuit” is more than just a compilation.
All of the artists on this album share a love of creating electroacoustic music from field recordings or found sounds. Therefore, label manager Stadlmeier invited Artificial Memory Trace (AMT) and PBK to supply source sounds from their archives. These were then used as the basis for the compositions. Leaving the source material identifiable was not the task – it was to be used as raw material to be sculpted, very much in the spirit of acousmatic musique concrète. On the AMT side, we find the tracks by PBK and Gerald Fiebig. They both used AMT’s source material to create their tracks. PBK delivers a dense, rather rhythmic track with a decidedly “industrial” feel. Fiebig’s track, on the contrary, uses the front cover artwork – a digital collage by EMERGE of visual works by Kwi and Klingler, with other works by them reproduced on the lavishly printed LP insert – as a graphic score for realising a rather harmonic ambient piece. On the PBK side, Artificial Memory Trace and EMERGE “play” the source sounds supplied by PBK. The piece by Artificial Memory Trace qualifies as exuberant rhythm noise, while EMERGE goes all the way into rather meditative laminar lower-case drone minimalism. Therefore, regardless of which side of the record one plays first (“AMT” and “PBK” are engraved on the vinyl itself to guide the listener), one will experience, thoroughout the whole album, a change between very different sonic textures and temperaments that showcase the wide range of expressive possibilities of electroacoustic music. This is not the product of good luck, but of planned collective composition: AMT and PBK, as the “guests” on the label, were invited to create whatever they liked without any formal restrictions. As it turned out, both of their works were rather intense and direct in character. Therefore, EMERGE and Fiebig both made an effort to complement each side with a more subdued, quiet piece.
File under: Electroacoustic music, musique concrète
The album could be considered an exercise in musical upcycling (or a punk version of the Oval approach). Different glitches from various defective CDs were recorded onto the tracks of a four-track cassette recorder. All pieces on this album were created by mixing down the tracks in different ways. The only sound effects used (in real-time during the mix) were the pan, treble, mid, and bass controls of the tape recorder.
Cover art: Tine Klink
Recorded and edited in August 2018 during a residency at ELEVEN artspace, Starzach-Börstingen, Germany