schlammpeitziger Damenbartblick auf Pregnant Hill (CD, £12.50)label: Bureau B
Schlammpeitziger (aka Jo Zimmermann) releases his first album on Bureau B, celebrating the 25th year of his career. With nine albums and a compilation of his works by Domino Recordings under his belt, Schlammpeitziger certainly is an important figure in the German electronic music scene. but quite special as well: rarely have I heard electronic music with such a nice subtle humour. Swallowing air and farting it out, that's the main life skill of the weatherfish. But what's best about him is his evocative German name: Schlammpeitziger. When German electronic artist Jo Zimmermann launched his solo career in the early 1990s he chose to be identified with this creature. Unlike the fish, Schlammpeitziger's early reputation was built on his inventive use of cheap Casio synthesisers. This here is his eleventh, and while Schlammpeitziger's art has moved on, true to his nature it does contain some colourful references to farting. In his search for inspiration Schlammpeitziger is the eternal pedant, following up the most inconspicuous leads to find different ways of making sense of reality. A magnetist's curiosity drives this folklorist of the self deep into the thickets of the world. Where others get caught up in well-worn symbolisms or cling to new age rituals with their drones and flickering lights, Schlammpeitziger is taking it easy. He turns his toes inwards, rotates his hips and beams light signals up into the dark. Jo Zimmermann has the primal funk, a beat that can thread anything together. That certain clap, the short gaps between accents, not to mention the physicality of the bass taking care of the lower levels. In all of this, Schlampeitziger's own movements are an invitation to join his parade of mysteries. When the train comes to a stop the doors open so wide that anyone who is present will come on board as if they were mesmerised. And once the train leaves the station, trees, earthworms, wild women and mirror balls alike will go into a mad spin as if they'd only just unleashed. The fact that, following releases on Entenpfuhl, A-Musik, Sonig and Pingipung, Schlammpeitziger's next album is coming out on another great German idiosyncratic label such as Bureau B should not be overlooked by historians. Asmus Tietchens, Monoton, Conrad Schnitzler, Harmonia, Neu!, Richard Wahnfried, Der Plan, Schlammpeitziger, it all goes together perfectly. For those looking for a future that doesn't reach back into the past but is searching for access to engrossment, Schlammpeitziger's radiation therapy of sound should be just the ticket.
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