andreas spechtl Thinking About Tomorrow, and How to Build It (CD, £12.50)label: Bureau B
Andreas Spechtl's unbelievable album is a multi-faceted work. It is personal - the auteur Andreas Spechtl invites us to look deep into the soul of his "I", which, as Arthur "Je est un autre" Rimbaud noted, is the I of another. It is rooted in history - the musician Andreas Spechtl constructs an emotional bridge to the cosmic music of Can and the aural sculptures of Conrad Schnitzler. It is, finally, a modern and hybrid work - the observer Andreas Spechtl mines deep strata of sound and samples in his sonic quarry, layering them over a constant bass drum, capable of launching every DJ set into a new space and time continuum. We hear: traditional Persian percussion and string instruments, sampled by Andreas Spechtl, rearranged and treated with contemporary beats, filters and effects. Aural structures rise up in space, as complex as they are fascinating and disorientating. Nevertheless, even-tempered rhythms mark out a more familiar path approaching narratives in recent electronic music. "THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW, AND HOW TO BUILD IT" was composed in Tehran, a metropolis of 12 million people and the capital of Iran, often portrayed in the western world as the "Heart of Darkness" or "The Land of Fear", notoriously located on the "Axis of Evil". In the winter of 2016/17, Andreas Spechtl spent two months here, during which time he played ten shows in his Tehran studio. Meanwhile, in his adopted home of Berlin, a terrorist attack took place at the Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz. Temperatures in a Tehran winter can drop to minus 10° Celsius. It snows too. Taxis thread their way through dense traffic, ferrying passengers from one private apartment to another. In Tehran, private space becomes public space, whilst public space is traversed as quickly as possible: "Hidden Homes". Walter Benjamin wrote in his Moscow Diary that you learn to see your home more clearly from a distance. This simple observation can be laid like a matrix over Andreas Spechtl'srecord. In reflecting on the other, he reflects on himself; ruminating on Tehran turns his thoughts to Berlin, from his own to the unknown. The record he has made holds a mirror to the certitude that we need not live in fear of the future — a central motif in these ten new songs, articulated through track titles such as “TMRRW” and “Future Memories”. The citizens of Tehran are not afraid of the future. They understand that things can only get better. Until then, they will continue to party and celebrate creativity behind closed doors. “THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW, AND HOW TO BUILD IT” is both document and witness, a grand, opulent field recording collated in ten diary entries.
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