Gerhard Zander, who I played with as a duo from 2006 to 2012, first introduced me to the principle of the no-input mixer in 2009. Our way of working with no-input mixers is documented on our releases „Modul 2“ (www.brainhall.net/popups/zehn.htm) and „Modul 3“ (emerge.bandcamp.com/album/modul-3). The tracks from 2009 are examples of my solo improvisations in preparation of our duo rehearsals.
My experiments with the no-input mixer were substantially supported by my brother, Daniel Fiebig aka DJ Daniel Fibrile, who generously donated several generations of worn-out DJ mixers. In 2013, I came back to the no-input mixer in a temporary project in support of the lab30 festival with DJ Fibrile, EMERGE, elektrojudas, and Christian Z. Müller. Due to schedule problems, I never eventually got to play with them, but the tracks Deconstruction Disco and Disco Deconstruction are, again, documents of my approach at the time.
In the following years, the no-input mixer became part of my set-up for improvising with other musicians because I more and more came to appreciate its peculiar form of responsiveness. It was used in live sets with Udo Schindler and Harald Lillmeyer as well as Udo Schindler and Adrian Pereyra. Most recently, it can be heard on Das Tote Kapital & Gerald Fiebig (emerge.bandcamp.com/album/das-tote-kapital-gerald-fiebig).
During the 2020/2021 Covid pandemic, I made two radio works for which I came back to the no-input mixer as a solo instrument: Passagen. Werk für Walter Benjamin (www.mixcloud.com/gerald-fiebig/passagen-werk-f%C3%BCr-walter-benjamin/) and, in collaboration with Elisabeth Haselberger as Recorder Recorder, In 2 Rooms – A Tribute to Alvin Lucier (kunstradio.at/2021A/16_05_21.html). The recordings from 2021 collected here are further documents from this phase.
Throughout this album, the changes in my approach to the no-input mixer in certain ways reflect my approach to sound and performance as a whole: from the Cage-inspired near-silence of 2009 to the 2013 „meta-techno“ of a misused DJ tool to the noise of 2021. The latter has been inspired quite heavily by Bruce Russell’s sound practice and theory (I highly recommend his book Left-handed Blows, available at brucerussell.bandcamp.com/album/left-handed-blows-access-to-evil). The little would-be manifesto that’s part of this album is a modest tip of the hat to him (without even beginning to make any claims to a comparable level of theoretical rigour and lucidity).
As someone who was never actually trained to play a particular instrument, I was quite surprised when, looking back, I found that the no-input mixer, over the years, had sort of become „my“ instrument.
But I would not have found this loyal companion if it hadn’t been for Gerhard and Daniel. I dedicate this album to them with gratitude for all the things I learned from them about music.
released November 5, 2021
Performed, recorded & designed by Gerald Fiebig.
Cover photo (design of disco mirror ball) by Gerald Fiebig.
Mirror ball generously supplied by Tine Klink.
Thanks to Daniel „Fibrile“ Fiebig and Gerhard Zander.