Supper

Afe Records AFE112LCD | pro-CDR | 2009 | 13,00 € | OUT OF STOCK!

"Horizon's old clouds! This is what I call a conceptual reference album. Not that it puts up any standards in some sort or being a reference for whatever or whoever, no - it simply deals with references of my listening past/present."

  1. The River That Divides My Factory (3'26)
  2. My Child Goes To The Surf (1st) (6'05)
  3. My Child Goes To The Surf (2nd) (22'50)
  4. Back Egg Tangram (Beginning) (4'13)
  5. Back Egg Tangram (Ending) (0'56)
  6. Old Clouds (6'26)
  7. Hidden track (8'03)

About the record

""Supper" can be seen (and maybe heard) as a tribute to a wonderful album that inspired me when I was ten/eleven and still does - especially the last track. When you have a closer look at the booklet, I think the traces are obvious enough - you'll know what record I'm talking about. So it fits perfectly that Andrea releases my music on Afe Records. Without his fellow countrymen the young Mirko wouldn't have had a glimpse of a chance of doing the lover's leap at all. So a very big "Thank You!" to him and his enthusiasm.

1,2,3 and a step into the bright light of a schizophrenic night. Although this was meant to be a record-tribute, the climax/dynamics on "Supper" are a little bit different and even strange to me. But somehow it's circulating in a fine way. Closing the regular album with "Old Clouds" makes sense to me, because the used field recordings and guitar dilettantisms date back eight years ago when I started recording my very diffuse musical ideas and song catastrophies on cheap cassettes with a much cheaper equipment. The hidden track is so shy that it even hides a number and a title. Some small sheep-folk-ambient for putting down the lights and licking dew from the meadows.

P.S.: Thanks to Marcus Obst for sharing organ improvisations. Some of that original music found its way on the forthcoming Ex Ovo issue "Cosmic Tapes". A tiny miniature of these recordings is the backbone of "My Child Goes To The Surf". And yes, you're right: The vinyl crackling really was sampled from the ending grooves of my vinyl copy of CAS 1058. As sure as black eggs is black eggs. Everything's fine and weathered through when it ends with a baa!"
Mirko Uhlig, 2009.

Reviews

Tokafi:
"Perhaps the most rewarding part about growing up is discovering life's irrational angles as an aspect of beauty: "When you reach the point of throwing all socialising bullshit sticking like leeches at music's pretty face overboard, you're merely following the entirely logical way of listening to whatever you like", Mirko Uhlig says about the seemingly incongruent influences of his latest full-length "Supper", "Listening to Abba and Cannibal Corpse in the same hour. Why not. At a certain point in your life it's okay and important to have a narrow-minded taste in music, because it offers you a sense of identity and allegiance. But emancipation has to come eventually." Almost apologetically (but not really), he adds: "Ok, "Supper" is my musical emancipation."

It is much more than that, of course. For anyone who has followed Uhlig's career from its earliest ruminations with his self-released Aalfang mit Pferdekopf debut "Im Schlachthaus Blühen Die Blumen" into the present, discovering that the man behind much applauded goodies like "Fragment 36" on Bremen-based Drone Records or his penultimate little masterpiece in minimalism and silence "The Nightmiller" on Mystery Sea fosters a serious crush for Prog Rock in general and Genesis epochal "Supper's Ready" in particular may initially come as a suprise. But the signs were always clear, as much as they were sometimes shrouded by the hazy light of dadaism and punk, and they were there for insiders and newbies to be read, contemplated and interpreted alike.

While older work like "Ich habe nur noch 12 Seepferdchen in meinem Tempel" processed Uhlig's influences more or less directly as part of a collage-like approach, "Supper" deals with the subject matter of collegial inspiration more discreetly – or "metaphorically" so to speak: "This is what I call a conceptual reference album", Uhlig delineates his philosophy in the press release to the album, "Not that it puts up any standards in some sort or being a reference for whatever or whoever, no - it simply deals with references of my listening past and present."

Having said that, the record is still anything but monochromatic and certainly a great deal more eclectic than its immediate predecessor: "The new album sounds much more heterogeneous, because sources from different chronological periods were used. "The Nightmiller" was based on three acoustic guitar sketches whereas every track on "Supper" has different foster parents - of course set in an incestious environment. The most interesting input came from Marcus Obst (Dronaement) playing his wrenched Weltraumorgel. Just two simple chords that I looped over and over again, hypnotising me while I was listening to them and cooking at the same time. I only added the lead-out groove noise of my "Foxtrot" LP later."

On another occasion, musical memories are more openly spelled out in full: "Another odd ingredient can be heard on the last offcial title "Old Clouds", a set of electric guitar recordings from 2001. Recorded with the most ridiculous equipment you can imagine. And for those who can stand the whole album, I put some folk-sheep-ambient as a hidden track. At least this one breaks up some musical homogeneity."

As with almost all of his albums, "Supper", too, underwent some major changes during its creational process. The first draft was called "The Glacial Angle" and offered an aptly frosty and bleak perspective, replete with music which Uhlig now describes as "aloof". A second version turned this concept around by 180 degrees, with "My Child Goes To the Surf" functioning as a sort of inverse image. In the meantime, Uhlig had been drawing blood from the first three Steve Hackett albums while simultaneously working on a new Aalfang mit Pferedekopf album by the name of "Flight of the Verdant Birds". The parallelity of past and present suddenly presented him with the outlines of a conceptual direction – and ultimately resulted in "Supper" being published and "Flight of the Verdant Birds" being discarded for the foresable future.

The fact that "Supper" is now being released on Italian label Afe, run by Sound Artist Andrea Marutti, is by no means a coincidence. "Charisma would probably have dropped Genesis at the time, if their fans in Italy, where "Foxtrot" shot straight to number one, hadn't supported them", Uhlig explains, "At least I liked the idea of involving the label's provenance into the whole concept. Without Andrea Marutti's fellow countrymen, the young Mirko wouldn't have had a glimpse of a chance of doing the lover's leap at all. So a very big "Thank You!" to him and his enthusiasm." Taking a bow to his childhood, Uhlig seems to have accepted that this phase is definitely over. The warmth and charm radiated by "Supper", meanwhile, show that coming of age need not always end in disillusionment and dread."
Tobias Fischer

Unruhr:
"Cover: im besten fall warnen die ja schon mal vor, was da drin ist. Manchmal wirklich aus sich heraus, manchmal nur, weil mann / frau die band kennt und einordnen kann, was das jetzt soll.

Dieses hier, grafisch schon was obskur, schickt meine assoziationen mittels der typo erst mal über den atlantik zu keith fullerton whitman, dessen "schöner flussengel" das letzte cover ist, an das ich mich in sachen gothik-look durch gebrochene schrift erinnern kann (und sich im fall keith fullerton whitman, auch noch schick bestückt mit einer irgendwie verwackelten gotischen kirche und, natürlich, durch die kombi: us-musiker / titel / schrifttype reichlich far out gegeben hat und noch gibt).

Nächster bezugspunkt, wenn der player noch fern: die namen der titel. und spätestens hier hilft es ungemein, wenn mann / frau weis, dass Mirko Uhlig "zwar" in der (sich gern immer etwas ernsthaft gebenden) experimental-drone-geräuschmusik unterwegs ist, auf humor und augenzwinkern deswegen nicht verzichten will / muss: was, ohne dieses wissen, würden titel wie "My Child Goes To the Surf" oder "Black Egg Tangram" sonst erwarten lassen? Eben.

Aber: ganz ungefährlich ist dieses "abendessen" ohnehin nicht, genauso wenig wie "VIVMMI" oder "Storm: Outside Calm Tamed" und erst recht noch viel weniger ungefährlich als die ruhige drone-exkursion "The Nightmiller" es ist. Und dabei fängt doch alles so ruhig an: die knapp 31/2 minuten drone-exkursion "The River That Divides My Factory" lässt nämlich ein ebensolches, dunkles album erwarten; dann aber schon "My Child Goes To the Surf (1st)", ein wenig knarzend im auftakt und weiterem, dabei jedoch spooky ruhig und geheimnisvoll bis zum timecode 6.03, wenn eine sekunde vor schluss, ein richtig lautes "plock" die wohlige lethargie zerreist (kein pressfehler, ich habe nachgefragt), nur um den teppich noch einmal für die #3, "My Child Goes To the Surf (2nd)" auszurollen, diesmal aber als spielplatz für winzig kleine störungen, die plötzlich im stereofeld herumlungern und dem statischen drone eine neue weite verleihen. Die dieser nutzt, um sich, an lautstärke gewinnend, nach ca. 11 minuten langsam in eine andere harmonie zu wälzen. und diese, nach weiteren 7 minuten, zugunsten einer coda zu verlassen. Schon von der länge her der schwerpunkt der "Supper" und auch musikalisch top.

Ab "Black Egg Tangram (Beginning)", der #4, wird es dann wahrhaftig gefährlich: hereinbrechende rückwärtsloops, akustikgitarren im hallkeller (#5, "Black Egg Tangram (Ending)"), aber auch ein versöhnlich gleitender abschluss mit dem dronigen "Old Clouds". Obwohl: nicht ganz abschluss, denn auf dem ungelisteten bonustrack #7 greift hirte Uhlig dann noch einmal beherzt in die saiten, gönnt uns ein wenig verhaltenen gesang (ok, nur kurz), ein verschrobenes, vorgezogenes ende (ganz, ganz kurz) und tut dann so, als ließe er seine fieldrecording-schäfchen allein auf der wiese, nur um diese dann mittels eines zeitraffer-kurzabrisses der gesamten "supper" doch noch einmal zu umgarnen...

Verrückt? na in jedem fall: unerwartet. Und: trotzdem ein zusammenhängendes ganzes; ein abendessen in mehreren gängen halt, mitder einen oder anderen überraschung aus der küche."
Hellmut Neidhardt

White_Line:
"Lastly, but by no means least amongst this crop of very fine releases, is the work of Mirko Uhlig, whose works I have previously encountered on the exceptional Mystery Sea, and France's Taalem Records. Uhlig's works are informed by some of the pioneers of drone music, citing such diverse and deviant sources as David Lynch, La Monte Young, and The Hafler Trio as major influencers. "Supper" is no clear cut drone work, however, as Uhlig adds texture to the drone with layered miniaturised soundscapes weaving in and out of the central drones, or overlays of pure sine-tone, adding further substance to a highly resonant textural field. Uhlig doesn't actively re-invent the wheel here, though his work is infused with streaks and smears of originality, taking drone into hitherto unexplored territories, with minute diversions into microsonics and glitch. Uhlig's work is up close and personal, as never does he resort to the overblown, amped-up reverb excursions exhibited by so many of today's drone practitioners. A great collection."
Baz Nichols

Gothtronic:
"“Another Friendly Edition delivers Another Mighty Release, this time from Mirko Uhlig a.k.a Aalfang Mit Pferdkopf who of course has quite an impressive discography already on Drone Records, Taalem, Einzeleinheit, Nextera, Field Muzick and many more.

The CD (sadly only a CD-R) counts seven tracks whereas the cover only mentions six. The seventh untitled piece is something different. An acoustic guitar as main instrument and it seems to be hardly manipulated as soundsource. Is Mirko planning a folkish sounding release in the future? The guitar has never been this straightforward in a track. Not that it's not good, because it fits the album perfectly.

The six other tracks are more drone-like pieces and there are actually two longer pieces which are both divided in two parts. The absolute highlight of this album is "My Child Goes To the Surf" and it's indeed one of the divided tracks.

The title triggers the emotional perspective from which this track could have been written. In the first part you feel the waves being a new territory and the constant struggle to stay on the board. Whereas in the second part the child got the hang of it and catches wave after wave, not falling down anymore.

Yes, "Supper" is a good addition to Mirko's discography and proves that he is someone to keep track of these coming years."
Bauke

Vital Weekly #675:
"This new release by Mirko Uhlig is a sort of "conceptual reference album", dealing with music Uhlig heard in the past. But which record it is? Hard to tell. "Old Clouds" anyone?

Uhlig has become one of the more interesting sound artists from Germany. His first main work, the self-released "VIVMM" CD-R (this year to be re-issued on LP I believe) was an exercise in drone based music, but he also dabbled with noise, and with this new album he expands his horizon a bit further.

The main backbone is ambience and drones, but there is also bits of guitar music popping up from the world of folk. It seems to me that the main thing here is generated from processed guitars anyway.

Uhlig creates highly atmospheric music, but avoids the pitfalls of regular drone music. He knows how to add surprise elements, interesting changes and sudden moves, and lifts his music out of ordinary and do something that is at large not a new thing, but surely is new exciting enough.

Uhlig doesn't produce that many works but when he does, it's a great one."
Frans de Waard

Wonderful Wooden Reasons:
"In case it hadn't been noticed before I really do love a good drone. One note stretched to infinity is pretty much my aural nirvana (although I am also very partial to a good acid-fried freak-out) and so the drone stuff I get sent does tend to be listened to with fairly eager ears, the other stuff too but, if I'm being totally truthful, my day definitely perks up if a parcel lands on my mat by someone I know is also partial to making minimal use of the notes available to him or her.

This is particularly true when it's by someone I know is going to produce something wonderful. Mirko Uhlig's subtle, shadowy, rolling drones first crossed my path via his "The Nightmiller" release on Belgium label Mystery Sea.

"Supper" continues where it's predecessor left off. It's a stunning album of tightly controlled tonalities slowly winding a meandering path to it's chosen destination. Nothing you can do will hurry this album along. If you give it too much focus it seems to slow down almost to a complete halt. It's best to just relax into it and allow it to carry you along.

Uhlig introduces new sounds, colours and textures with such calm dexterity that often it is impossible to notice their arrival until you are utterly caught up in them. As before, this is a stunning album that you should seek out post haste."
Ian Holloway

Sound And Silence:
"Dichiaro subito senza alcuna vergogna che il brano che più ho apprezzato di questo strano disco (che una volta inserito nel lettore CD del computer iTunes, nella sua follia, mi identifica come "New Age"), è la ghost track.

Laddove i brani ‘regolari' passano da territori ambient e microsuoni vicini alla tradizione Stephan Mathieu (o se vogliamo ormai al nostrano Punck), con sommessi scricchiolii concreti lontani immersi in una coltre di droni melodici, talvolta spezzati da suoni di stampo chiaramente analogico, il meraviglioso pezzo finale sorprende, senza titolo e senza riferimenti nella track list, per la sua chitarra acustica a fare da sfondo a dei belati di pecore, registrati chissà dove. Non è professionale, ma lo posso dire: mi ha fatto impazzire.

Già di suo il disco è splendido, ed è il degno seguito al live su Nextera in compagnia di Dronaement: rilassante ed al tempo stesso vario, articolato, ricco, stratificato, a tratti molto melodico e dunque vicino ad opere Kraut-Rock (forse i Tangerine Dream il gruppo che più si avvicina). Per amanti del genere e non.

Unica nota negativa la grafica, per una volta al di sotto degli standard Afe, lasciata alle mani dell'artista, senza dubbio più bravo con i suoni che con le forme."
Matteo Uggeri

Medienkonverter:
"Was bewegte Mirko Uhlig, eigentlich als Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf unterwegs und als Ex Ovo Labelchef tätig, sein neues Album mal wieder ohne Pseudonym zu veröffentlichen und es "Supper" zu nennen? Die Spur führt uns nach Italien. Nicht nur, dass sich das dort ansässige Label Afe Records der Veröffentlichung von "Supper" angenommen hat, nein, dieses Land und seine Einwohner sind auch dafür verantwortlich, dass eine ganz bestimme Platte Mirko Uhlig in seiner Jugend beeinflussen konnte. Darauf nimmt er auf "Supper" Bezug und erinnert sich daran auf seine ganz spezielle Weise (es handelt sich augenscheinlich um das "Foxtrot" - Album von Genesis, das u.a. durch Eindrücke der Band von Konzerten in Italien beeinflusst wurde).

Uhligs Arbeiten sind ja nicht gerade geprägt von einem ausschweifenden Expressionismus. Es ist vielmehr ein kleiner, gedämpfter Expressionismus mit Hintergedanken, ein in sich ruhender Gegensatz aus ernstem Drone-Ambient und Schenkelklopfern. So beginnt "Supper" äußerst finster mit "The River That Divides My Factory". Zwar geht es mit "My Child Goes To The Surf" ähnlich weiter, aber nicht ganz so dunkel und es finden sich zusätzlich kleine Unruhen in Form von leichtem Rauschen, wie bei einem nicht astrein empfangenen Radiosender. Und dann wird Teil 1 mit einem Plop! wie von einem Sektkorken beendet. Kommt unerwartet, macht die Ohren frei und schärft die Aufmerksamkeit für den zweiten Teil. Die benötigt dieser auch, denn ab der Hälfte kippt der Sound ganz langsam und schwimmt auf dem Rücken weiter. Die Veränderungen gehen noch weiter und die hohen Töne am Ende, die an Grillenzirpen erinnern, gemahnen an den Abend und das Abendessen.

Bei "Black Egg Tangram" gibt es auf einmal rückwärts laufende Akkorde zu vernehmen, Teil 2 wartet sogar mit Gitarrensound aus einer Tropfsteinhöhle auf. Die "Old Clouds" lassen den Wind rauschen und die Gitarre im Hintergrund zu den Drones klimpern. Als wäre das noch nicht genug, gibt es zum Abschluss im Hidden Track Schafs-Folklore. Sehr bizarr das Ganze. Mirko Uhligs musikalische Erinnerungsreise besticht als durch Dröhnen und Blöken. Na wenn das nichts ist!"
Veit

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