A few months ago I wondered what ever happened to my net releases. A few of them are stored on the Archive.org by Jeff Surak who runs the major label Zeromoon. I clicked through to the Zeromoon page on archive after I had seen that the release ‘Diensteingang’ had been downloaded more then 10.000 times.
I noticed that Diensteingang was number 1 in the top 5 of most downloaded zeromoon releases in the ‘last month’ (back then it still existed) as well as in the ‘last week’ category. I was amused and puzzled. Why would so many people download these songs? And how had they found them? The creation of the space page by Jeff a few years ago could be the reason. The track ‘when I first saw you’ was by far the most popular one. It starts with a recording I had made in Coccorino, a faction of the small town of Joppolo, on the Calabrian coast in Italy. Barbara and I were visiting a hog. She was feeding it, and I held my microphone close to the grunts and chants of the poor animal. At some point I started singing. ” Parlez moi d’amour” and also “La Vie en Rose.” The pig was delighted, made more happy squeeks and at one point got on his back legs and actually danced. The arrangement by Tibor is pure beauty.
I met Tibor Macek by chance. I was a kind of artist in residence who had to water the plants. Meeting Tibor resulted in a series of site specific recordings, a range of beautiful pictures shot by Tibor and an insight into the fauna of the place I lived. My new friend had botanical knowledge. (Later this knowledge resulted in a study of the trees of Innsbruck, where he lived.) He had also a perfect sense for sound, and a computer. Our first collaborative work resulted in the release ‘now you know the truth about bamboo.’ I wanted to find out if field recordings could be arranged as pop songs, and Tibor who back in Innsbruck worked on Goa and other party tunes was very much interested in following me into this experiment.
I went on to live in Italy. Another artist in residence possibility brought me to Castiglione del Terziere, a hamlet in the very north of Tuscany. Tibor came to visit, and again we brought site specific objects and recordings together in short compositions.
Just as our first work (originally released in a handmade package as’Ein Bildung’) also this second Cdr was a multi data release. It contained pictures by Tibor, but also several cover designs by friends. This one shows the cover by Andrea Gabriele. The original cover was a product of pictures from newspapers, glue and one hour work pro Cdr. I made more then seventy different packages. All of them ended with friends or those who were willing to pay some money for it. Then it got to Jeff, who released it on his label. Some songs fly around in the internet, like ‘Liebe and Kleine Haustiere’ a poem read by Barbara over the phone, recorded by one of Tibor’s high class ultra expensive microphones. We willfully combined hi and lo-fi to create a sound as varied as possible. Playing my recordings over the earphones that were plugged in a cheap walkman was one of my great pleasures. As it was to come up with titles for each track.
I moved to Berlin. But I kept travelling. Innsbruck was always a stopover. We discussed our next collaboration, but never got to recording. But we did get to Burg Güssing on the Hungarian border, close to Slovania. Austria still smells of the old Habsburgian Empire. We got to Burg Güssing because we were invited to play there. I liked the idea. I liked the idea of playing on a Goa trance party. The flyers showed gnomes and fairies. It didn’t tell explicitly what drugs to take. We played at sunrise, when the first ravers withdrew in their tents. And when the 160 bpm wandered over the lands, we were in one of the castle’s chambers to prepare our next work.
When Tibor came to Berlin he carried the Burg Güssing recordings with him. Again he went for long walks. He explored places I had never been to. The pictures ended on the Cdr. From fifteen tracks we chose ten. The five remaining tracks were b-sides. Among those b-sides was the pig who went to heaven.
At the moment of writing, ‘Diensteingang’ – the collection of b-sides, has entered the Zeromoon Top 5 of most downloaded items. It is number one in the most downloaded items of last week. Who are these people? Why do they pick these songs? How did they find them? Some weeks ago I decided to download the songs, because I never stored them. I can imagine why we decided to leave them out of the origianl collection. A smile comes to my face when I think of words other people use to describe my actions. Sometimes the result is a mini – portrait of somebody who is slightly familiar to me. Me is of course another voice then the voice I hear myself. Maybe the impersonality of the tracks is the secret to its succes here in the margins of big industry.
Meanwhile it is about time that Tibor and I sit together to produce a new work. Even if the last one – The End of Hip – never got released. His mailbox is full. I lost his phone number. Maybe he is counting trees in Solferino.