Fragment 36

Drone Records DR79 | 7" green vinyl | 2006 | 6,50 €

(For the time being) the last release as Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf. This 7" on Drone Records deals - as Genmaicha did before - with the murky waters into which you can do philosophical canonballs.

Side A
  1. Part A (8'35)

Side B
  2. Part O (7'23)

About the record

"You never cross the same river twice! PANTA RHEI!" Behind this project with the strange name ("eel-catch with horse-head" would be the English translation) is Mirko Uhlig from Germany, who has a few CDR releases, most of them standing out by their weird-surrealistic-sound-colorations. In the meantime, he also created his own label Ex Ovo. "Fragment 36" relates to a quote from 'Heraclites' showing that 'everything deliquesces' at any moment and can never be the same as the moment before. According to that, Aalfang's first and last ever 7" creates two drone-minimal pieces with very high dynamics, using water-sounds and 'Glockenspiel' (use of bells), drenched into this overtune-feedback-resonances & dark reverberating drones."

Filed under: fleeting-melting drones.

Green-yellow sprinkled vinyl.

Handpainted covers using watercolours in green, red & violet.

Reviews

Gothtronic:
"This project's name translated means "catching eel with a horses head". Maybe a reference to that one tasteless scene from "Die Blechtrommel" but definitly a name with a lot of duality in it. The beauty that is the equine animal versus cut off heads and rotting flesh as well as using that flesh to catch the intriguing animal that is the eel versus thinking of those slimey creatures.

This duality definitly is audible in the music of Aalfang mit Pferdekopf. Minimal constructions with droney behaviour, yet still open enough to be considered ambience (and therefore more accessible towards a larger audience).

Side a - simple called 'Part A' - is built from seemingly erratic pad-like sounds with heavily reverbed - on the virge of feedback - noises, ending in with the sound with which all life began: water. The B side - Part O - seems to have much more structure with the use of bells and even some vocals. Both tracks are finished off with deep analog sounding drones and noises.

My personal favorite is the B-side, but all in all this is definitly a release to be very proud of."
Bauke

Chaind DLK:
"First and allegedly last ever vinyl for Mirko Uhlig's surreal drone project after the nice cdr on Mystery Sea, to which this sounds like a sort of follow up and darker counterpart at the same time. Still very "massive" and blurred like the MS disc (and quite unlike Uhlig's first solo cdr which I'll review straight after), I venture this is based on guitar-generated drones too, though a glockenspiel can be spotted on the flipside. "Part A" is quite ominous and oppressive, and reminded me of Troum's darker incursions into the subconscious side of human mind. "Part O" is more expanded and serene, with warmer tones in the standard Aalfang psychedelic way. Green/yellow marbleized vinyl and hand-painted watercolour covers."
Eugenio Maggi

Funprox:
"Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf is the best known act for me amongst the latest series of releases. In the last two years I encountered various interesting releases of this German project around Mirko Uhlig. His excellent latest (and last?) work ‘Fragment 36′ (on marbled green vinyl) consists of ‘Part A’ and ‘Part O’. Side A sounds quite cool and spacious. Gradually the tension rises, making me think of a spaceship slowly taking off. ‘Part O’ starts rather minimal and meditative with ‘glockenspiel’ sounds. Later heavier drones swell and diminish, with typical spacy sounds enhancing the mystery."
Hans D.

Terrorverlag:
"Es ist eine Weile her, dass wir auf den Seiten des Terrorverlags auf das Schaffen von AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF hingewiesen haben. Dabei brachten gerade die letzten paar Veröffentlichungen den Durchbruch bei der Kritik und einer kleinen, doch rasch wachsenden Schar von aufgeschlossenen Hörern. Dass wir jetzt, mit dieser auf herrliches, gesprenkelt-grünes Vinyl gepressten EP den Faden wieder aufnehmen, ist also im Grunde genommen in doppelter Hinsicht ein Versäumnis. Denn bei “Fragment 36” handelt es sich erklärtermaßen um das letzte AALFANG-Werk.

Was nicht heißen soll, der Künstler habe beschlossen, sich von nun an als Angestellter der Deutschen Bank oder Versicherungskaufmann durchs Leben zu schlagen. Vielmehr reifte in den vorangegangenen Monaten der Wunsch, die eigene Musik auch unter eigenem Namen zu veröffentlichen. Weswegen das erste Album von MIRKO UHLIG nun auf dem selbst gegründeten “Ex Ovo”-Label erscheint und man Aale zumindest für den Augenblick mit der Angel fangen muss. “Fragment” markiert dabei sehr schön die Zäsur, die sich mit der “Kosmischen Zygote” auf Taalem bereits andeutete und auf dem vorläufigen Schaffenshöhepunkt “Genmaicha – at the Opal Seashore” vollends offenbart hatte: Die Zukunft wird reduzierter, konzentrierter, leiser und noch offener als ohnehin schon ausfallen. Weniger verträumt und in Watte gepackt als “Genmaicha”, weniger auf den nackten Klang reduziert wie die “Zygote”, aber dafür abstrakter, dunkler und noisiger als die aktuelle CD “VIVMMI” sind dies zwei Stücke am Rande des Bewusstseins, von dem Punkt, an dem das Gedachte Wahrheit werden könnte. “Part A” setzt faszinierend undefiniert an, ehe ein bedrohlich anschwellender Heuschreckenschwarm sich über einen blutroten Himmel ergießt. Die sanften Töne eines Glockenspiels wiederum leiten “Part O” ein, welches von metallisch blitzenden Klangsplittern durchzogen wird. Winde ziehen auf, das Glockenspiel zerschmilzt zu tief oszillierenden Glockentönen, eine apokalyptische weiße Wüstenlandschaft nimmt Gestalt an und zerfällt zu Staub. Ein subtanzloses Surren erfüllt die Luft, ehe das Glockenspiel ein letztes Mal eine betrügerisch süße Melodie anhebt und schließlich im Nichts verebbt.

Eine Musik ist das, die sich für Melodien nicht zu schade ist, aber ihre Erfüllung in der Formung des Formlosen sieht, in der Gestaltung der Welt durch Töne. Natürlich kann der Kenner wieder nach Referenzen suchen und Vergleiche ziehen. Doch ist “Fragment 36” dabei bemerkenswert einzigartig. Der Schritt zum eigenen Namen ist jedenfalls nach diesem Werk vollkommen nachvollziehbar. Und wenn es tatsächlich nie wieder eine Scheibe von AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF geben sollte, ist dies ein mehr als würdiger Schlussstrich."
Tobias Fischer

Phosphor:
"Ex Ovo label manager Mirko Uhlig named his project Eelcatch with horse-head (if translated in English). The first and at the same time last single by this German composer offers two tracks, completely different from each other. Side A is a dynamic, but calm metallic feedback exercise, developing into drone-like material, before transforming and ending into a rippling water world.

Whereas side B is built upon Glockenspiel, with singing birds added to it. A filigrant calmness occurs, reminding of hot summer days during which nobody dares to go on the street."

Tokafi:
"Dreams can be frightening to some. To others, they are a source of inspiration. Mirko Uhlig, head of Aalfang mit Pferdekopf, has used plenty of the intense and surreal images of his minds’ nightly excursions as a starting point for compositions. On ”Ich habe nur noch 12 Seepferdchen in meinem Tempel”, he travelled to a place called Ungariyin, where dead bodies float in the water, a lit match reveals mountains of ice and a penis spews flowers, before revelling in the ”musings of a dead sparrow”. What easily could have ended up a mess, turned into fascinating exavations at the brink of the halucinating subconscious’ construction site. For ”Fragment 36”, he has dug even deeper.

It has always been clear that not everyone could follow. While the general media response to this record has been mainly positive, a few reviewers found it hard to comment on two short pieces ”with no focus”. It is definitely true that everything about ”Fragment” defies commonplace expectations: It doesn’t scream, it doesn’t yell and it doesn’t holler. It has no tunes to whistle to and no obvious punch lines. Its cover is a water colour collage. And it even in the drone genre (which Uhlig, after a string of lush modern classics, has already left again in search of new horizons), this is an unusual release: ”Part A”, inspired by a dream of red fields and a majestic mantis flight, builds steadily from a fibrillating layer of light to a short outburst of white noise, then cools off at the shores of a joyously dabbling river. ”Part O” meanders through a more varied landscape, opening with a birds chirping and a short glockenspiel motive, which wakes the listener from the his daydreams, like a doorbell in an empty sanatorium. Then the mist rises from the banks, tiny bells chime deeply in the distance, unidentifiable sounds hover the air and the single, repeating note of a technoid bass jumps in and out of the picture. The return of the glockenspiel heralds the end and closes the cirlce. Heraclit leands the philosphical background, but the less one approaches this music on an intellectual level, the more enjoyment one is likely to draw from it. Dreams, after all, are simply the result of a brain in free assembly mode – trying to analyze them would be the same as analyzing the configuration of ojects inside your wastebin. Which doesn’t mean the result can not be enticing: Once you have freed yourself from expectations and allowed the music to lead you (instead of the other way round), ”Fragment” will guide you to a place of bizarre beauty and tantilizing tangabilty: If you reach out your hand, you can almost touch it.

From the early beginnings to the current acme, with accolades on many of the biggest webzines, Aalfang mit Pferdekopf have followed their own path and this is a perfect summary for the uninitiated: Full of connotations, hazy passages, spaced-out sounds, driven on by a mysterious underlying current. Merely the radical breaks in a piece’s flow have given way to a seemlessly drifting whole. According to Uhlig’s latest comments, the Aalfang moniker will now take a short break and disappear from his busy schedule for a while. To some, this may come as a relief. To most, it will be missed."
Tobias Fischer

Vital Weekly #529:
"According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus you can never step into the same river twice and it's the guide line for the 7" by Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf, the only name we recognized. Mirko Uhlig has already released some beautiful CDRs, most recently under his own name. Here he uses processed feedback-like sounds in combination with water sounds and a glockenspiel. Like the Heraclitus saying this music moves around and never seems to be reaching the same point again, but alike water, it may look superficially look the same. The b-side is much louder than we have expected from him, but there he manages to keep things together quite well."
Frans de Waard

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