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NEW LP re-edition of Kulu Hatha Mamnua soon!
early 2020

  info as of september 2019

with new sonic creations exclusively on Vinyl

and
insider documentation / "making ofs"

 

It is very rewarding to see the warm response and utter dedication, these young people from “Décale” come forth with research and empathy towards this release. And most of all, how it triggered immense pleasure and motivation to breathe  fresh wind into some tracks, harbour out new sonic creations with Zeitgeist, without losing the initial spirit in which these pieces originally took form.

In  the early 80ies, I worked briefly in Jeddha (Saudia Arabia) and the experience boiled down to “Kulu shey farachni mamnua” (all that’s fun is forbidden) or – in short - “Kulu Hatha Mamnua”. There was not much else to do there but music…

It’s always been the connectivity (with people) that all creations took birth from. Music, i.e. the making of music, was essentially ‘only’ a tool to create joy, the sole meaning of being. And joy then resonating until more connectivity inspires for more creative results and so forth… a tantric cycle of sorts…
“Cuisine” e.g. started off in a kitchen, I helped out as an aid, when I noticed that the chef kept on banging, tickling, wiping on his pots and pans while constantly focussing on the quality of his work. His ‘percussive stirring’ had this eerie, impeccable, irresistible GROOVE to it, although he insisted, he wasn’t “a musician”, he never actively made music. However, I developed a form of “lead sheet”, anyone can read provided one can count…
This genuine form of "notation" was born out of the necessyty to communicate with "non"-musicians, who have no formal training of sheetmusic (not even lead-sheet notation)...
So here you'll find the "logistic form" how e.g. the chef de cuisine worked "on demand" and became "chef on "Cuisine"
Hence we played some patterns with pots and pans (sometimes filled with water), shook pepper mills, rattled a whisk, klicked ladles on concrete, snapped the butcher knife on the kitchen table’s edge etc., just making “rounds” of measures with each pattern and off came the track “Cuisine”. While the re-release of this LP became a topic, I hosted an Iranian santur-player who bided his time here practicing his instrument. The eerie quarter-scale tunings plus his subtle hammering summed up the initial “Cuisine”_experiment from almost 40 years earlier into “Nouvelle Cuisine”… nothing lost and plenty gained with another joyful noise.
This form of “connectivity” often times merged into solid friendship: Pascal (the kitchen chef, R.I.P.) became an eternal friend, his kitchen pots and pans an ongoing tribute/asset in many current projects…

Another “episode of connectivity” comes very plain with “Kayanika”… (in Swiss German it means “I had no idea”…) :
I often host and record ethnological musicians who come to record more for the sake of documenting a culture or some rites and rituals within a culture. On one of such occasions I had the pleasure to meet a quartet from Ouganda in which I “spotted” Sylvia as an inquisitive musician and fantastic voice. She recorded an epos (for children) and I asked if I may use excerpts for my musical_experimental_joyful noises. This – I explained – as an obolus to our own culture (i.e. being waylayers and/or mercenaries -, with all these castles uphills show so well: when a caravan would head from north to south, the ‘lords of that parish’ vultured down to squeeze some duty/obolus.) Sylvia laughed and agreed, hence every now and then, excerpts of that epos pop up in  mensch music pieces. Another “ukulele”player asked, if he can contribute, too, so – without immediate concept at hand – I had him play an ostinato on his little instrument for 4 minutes (he done 8 minutes enjoying the trance-like vibe it gave off)… now fortuitously meeting the people from “Décale”, it stirred up the idea of why not doing new “Kulu Hatha Mamnua” pieces… It made me reconnect with long-time “co-pilot” Gilles (Rieder) and he’d ask: so what you got for me to play ‘pon?
I remembered an oil-drum waltz that didn’t make it on the choice for this LP (Animist) and picked it up again. Miraculously it marvellously meshed with a.m. ostinato and off the experience started. Since “Animist” wasn’t chosen to be, I reused the balafon, kalimba and other percussion bits/elements of it, added new ones, amongst which Sylvia’s voice and some more ethnological bits and joyful noises and here’s “Kayanika”. I still don’t know what Sylvia’s children lullaby means, but I can very well feel that it eventually is a very pleasant tale of connectivity!

Homo Sapionce, became not only another „remaster“, but benefits from the same modus vivendi of connectivity:
originally, „Homo Sapionce“ started with an experiment: from a stay in HongKong (early 1981), I brought home the first ever 4-Track cassette recorder (Tascam’s 'Syncasset 234'). It had this wicked green button on the right, labelled 'pitch', i.e. a vari-speed, making the machine go faster and/or slower (even while recording!). Why not just hum very softly for a little while and turn that pitch from slowest to fastest and back and then hum a second track from fastest to slowest and back. 4 tracks of such ‚wave_humming‘ made an eerie bordun, indeed... When Gilles came in the next morning, he couldn't make anything of it, but showed me some native (plains) indian chants he wanted to 'recreate'. Said and done. To achieve that extra humpf (on 'hey-a-hey-a...'), hefty dancing/jumping is required. So, two mad geezers with headphones hopping around, shouting and banging some kitchen pans were seen from the outside by people in the street staring through the window with open mouths… The result – as much as the fun we had – is history…! The next experiment was to overdubbed that (Revox ¼ inch) recording with the mix of my 4-tracks drone and that was 'Homo, ça pionce' (pioncer is french for 'kipping')! I suggested we'd record coupla friends, remaking that hum-drone with real voices, but we didn't find willing victims to do so… until 35 years later: I had 6 people from Tuva (for ethnic recordings I do every once so often), so I asked them if they'd give me an obolus in the form of such hum... adding wife and sons to it, the drone became all the more fantastic... graced it with more sonic assets and finished it off with this great Tuvan ode to the mountains, see translation at http://www.mensch3000.ch/pi/pi_peeniwaalimeetsschiltpattE.htm

 

 

 

 

in the meantime, the album's still available on the 2 LP in one CD release from 1996

see Track Info
see other CD's

'Kulu Hatha Mamnua' - some review

means 'all that is fun is forbidden'

'Manoeuvres d'Automne'

is a pun and means either 'man at work in autumn' or 'fall manoeuvres'

Where fox and rabbit say good night to each other, appears after the primal cry a majestic Taj Mahal...

With such contrasts one isn't astonished anymore to hear frogs accompany a singing drill to a rythm of rowing strokes ("Marécage"), to hear a bathtub running empty while singing its sad song to a columbian flute ("Palöngawoya"), to discover selfmade instruments ("Odessa") or a heteroclite battery of citchen utensils being used as powerful rythm tools ("Cuisine"). The playing of brilliant academics blends with the brachial and peaceful tones and shades of universal dilletants ("Colorace"). Compact collages ("00 Nul") are nestled convincingly in a 25-minutes long opus, spheric paintings with poignant atmospheres ("Mutation", "Le Soufflé d'Odo") linger under/over/beneath/through sophisticated organic rythms ("Animist"), the föhn does its phönomenom ("Homo Sapionce"), the harmonium mutes into a hormonium; archaic bala- and lithofones ("C'est Loin") flirt with avantgardistic and classical elements ("Un peu d'air", "Futur Intérieur"), goosepimple provocating Bretterknarren ("Mer Morte") versus a smoky magic tenorsaxophon ("Mustafa PumPum"), hunting calls versus a dreamy accordion ("Dérive"), windshieldwipers versus magestic trombone sounds ("Vision of Hope"), progressives ("La Mort Guette") versus minimalistic ("Assimosis") and a little more is there to discover. Omnipresent remains humor, withouth which there is no serious music (try: "Bonus Scratch"!)...

24 pieces, 74 minutes total playing time, 'Art Brut' handmade under the wings of 'work-in-progress', harboured out over 8 years, skillfully mastered with many subtle crossfades between the individual pieces, yet always keeping integrity with the original works.

The actual trend/acceptance of 'different' music triggered the re-release and these 24 titles were 'polished up' with supplementary instrumentation, new mixes, special edits, unreleased versions etc. One hundert purcent analog instrumental handcraft (200 % techno-free), a limited, numbered and handsigned edition in a genuine sleeve-design, packaged in hemp cardboard

- a european novelty and, even if this CD comes along quite 'technocratically' (no strings attached with the awkward trend of techno), "Kulu/Manoeuvres" with all its tape-loops (created long before the aera of the 'easy way out'-sampling), break-beats etc. is unclassifiable, timeless, filmmusic of some sort for every single ear (not mono-compatible!)...

The question of what kind of music comes out from such venture rises less than how the listener comes out of such hearing-experience. In comparison: the faces of people coming out of a mirror-garden may speak as much... Provocation for fantasy and curiosity...

The Label of Love (Mensch Records) can be understood as a kind of 'platform for exchange', making no commercial concessions and enjoys the respect of many musicians from most varied musical horizons, who let themselves be drawn in that mirror-garden. It was fun and a nice challenge to lead these musicians astray, make them jump over their own shadow for a while.

Some make music, some are committed to ecology. Mensch Music combines both with this new CD. The contemporary package stands as a European novelty in that it is manufactured out of hemp.
The package dismisses PVC, e.g. no tree had to be cut for it. Hemp is ideal for paper, cardboard, textile, medicine and much more. Hemp may stand as mankinds most prolific and genuine plant. It grows much quicker than trees and is tremendously less endeavoring as far as care is concerned.
Ergo: no pesticide-overkill (like for cotton).
Hemppaper and -cardboard is won without ecology-straining chemistry.
Ergo: no water pollution.
One acre of hemp provides on the long run approximately five times more paper than a forest of equal size.

We hope, that this ecological pioneer-work may inspire others to do so (and that "Kulu/Manoeuvres" may bring to blossom many other flowers in your head...!).

 

produced & engineered by Fizzè between 1980 - 1987 at the Mensch House

Kulu Hatha Mamnua was recorded between 1980 and 1986 and
first released in 1986 as LP AGR (Les Disques de l'Art Gué) 001
Manoeuvres d'automne was recorded and released first  in 1987 as LP AGR 002

 

see also Track Info