RIP: Hans Reichel, avant-garde guitarist and inventor

RIP: Hans Reichel, avant-garde guitarist and inventor

From East Village Radio:

Hans Reichel—the criminally under-appreciated German experimental guitarist—passed away in his hometown of Wuppertal yesterday at the age of 62, according to a West German newspaper. Virtually unknown on this side of the Atlantic, Reichel was a self-taught guitarist who may be best remembered for his radical homemade guitars and his invented instrument, the Daxophone.

Picking up music at an early age by teaching himself violin, Reichel (like just about everybody else) became enamored with rock music in the ‘60s, picked up a guitar and played in various blues-based groups before all but abandoning music to study graphic design (Reichel would go on to be a fairly well known typesetter). Reichel returned to music in the early ‘70s with his folky and unpretentious improvisational approach to the guitar differentiating him from the field of European improvisers at the time. His idiosyncratic take on the guitar drew the attention of legendary German avant-garde label, FMP, who would go on to release the majority of his work—much of which has never seen proper North American distribution. Reichel collaborated with a wide range of like-minded players, including cellist Tom Cora and guitarist Fred Frith.

Though he will never be a household name, Reichel’s contributions to the avant-garde are considerable and will be sorely missed by fans of forward-thinking music. Fare thee well, Hans.

• Hans Reichel:

The Duke Spirit’s new LP is out now for The Lawnmower Man, but not out until January for us regular schmoes

“The Lawnmower Man” is a 1975 short story by writer Stephen King. It was first published in Cavalier magazine and was later collected in King’s 1978 collection Night Shift. The original story involves an individual who hires a serviceman to mow his lawn and is murdered after the serviceman, a satyr of Pan, summons an evil lawnmower and eats all the grass. That does not concern us. What concerns us is the 1992 film adaptation starring Pierce Brosnan, which deviated heavily from the original story. The film’s story instead concerns a scientist (Brosnan) who conducts virtual reality experiments on his mentally retarded gardener (Jeff Fahey). Long story short, the gardener becomes a magical internet being but also kind of evil. It was this theme, along with the film’s stunning visuals, that inspired British rock group The Duke Spirit to put out their new record Bruiser for internet downloading.

For the world’s lawnmower men, Bruiser is digitally available through the Shangri-La Music label. But all of us normal, non-lawnmower men and women, we must wait until January 12 to be able to hear the music encased within our Bruiser discs. Oh, to be a lawnmower man. Not only would I have access to the world’s digital music, I would also be able to hang out with Pierce Brosnan. Instead, I sit here, listening to my music discs on primitive electronics. Forever, I shall dream of The Lawnmower Man.

Bruiser tracklist:

01. Cherry Tree
02. Procession
03. Villain
04. Don’t Wait
05. Surrender
06. Bodies
07. De Lux
08. Sweet Bitter Sweet
09. Running Fire
10. Everybody’s Under Your Spell
11. Northbound
12. Homecoming

• The Duke Spirit:
• Shangri-La Music:

RIP: Andrea True, disco star

From Spinner:

Andrea True, the disco star who had such hits as ‘More More More’ and ‘What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number,’ died Nov. 7 in a Kingston, N.Y. hospital, the Daily Freeman reports. The Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, which handled the arrangements, announced her passing with an obituary notice. The 68-year-old’s cause of death was not released.

• Andrea True:

Zammuto preps debut single, finally feels unencumbered by The Books’ rigid, stadium-sized, pop-by-numbers bullshit

Hey, remember summer, Mister? I just have such a huge nostalgic boner for it, don’t you, Miss??? Like, remember when we told you about how Nick Zammuto (one half of the slow-but-steady duo The Books) was stepping out to form a new four-piece band called ZAMMUTO? Ahhh, good f’ing times! Everything was so fucking awesome and hazy and sepia back then, it didn’t even seem real. God, I loved it.

But here in the harshly crystal clear, disgustingly visible spectrum-lit winter time, I’m here to tell you that ZAMMUTO is real. Terrifyingly real. In fact, the band is all set to release a “limited-edition single” in December (the cruelest month, according to most poets) via the UK-based Make Mine label. The single will feature the songs “Idiom Wind,” “F U C-3P0,” and “Weird Ceiling.” “Three tracks? Isn’t that kinda more of an EP,” you ask? Ah, good question. The answer is “no.” Any more questions about the single? Alright, moving on.

Since part of the idea behind ZAMMUTO’s inception was to play live, the band have (fucking predictably!) also scheduled some live shows for early next year. But even though this band may be terrible at defying expectations, they will still, according to a totally un-cited source in their press release, put on “a truly forward looking rock show, searingly bright and original.” Man, again with the seering brightness! When is summer coming back? Arg. Anyway, the shows will also feature a screening of ACHANTE, a short film about Haitian Voodoo which features a score and sound design by ZAMMUTO (the band, I guess, not the dude). Finally, you can also listen to the track “Idiom Wind” over here. OR CAN YOU??? (Cliffhanger!)

ZAMMUTO single tracklist:

01. Idiom Wind (7-inch & digital)
02. F U C-3PO (7-inch & digital)
03. Weird Ceiling (digital only)

ZAMMUTO dates:

02.03.11 - North Adams, MA - Mass MOCA
02.04.11 - New York, NY - 92YTribeca
02.06.11 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall

• Make Mine:

Air gets Moon Fever on new album inspired by 1902 silent French film

French electronic duo Air have done many amazing things throughout their 16-year existence: soundtracked a Sofia Coppola film, collaborated with actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, wrote musical accompaniments to the textual stylings of Italian author Alessandro Baricco, and, of course, released fantastic albums of their own along the way. But the latest project from Air? Well, let’s just say that fans better stock up on les band-aids, because Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel are doing something so freakin’ cool it hurts.

See, earlier this year, Air wrote songs for an updated version of early French filmmaker Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent short Le Voyage Dans La Lune. The reworked Voyage premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. And now, when February 7 rolls around, you can experience that Cannes glamour in your very own home! For on that date, our friends at Astralwerks will release an album named after said film, with lyrics by Au Revoir Simone on the track “Who Am I Know?” and vocal melodies by Beach House’s Victoria Legrand on “Seven Stars.” The release will also feature a limited-edition version of the film. If this is what “Moon Fever” (another track on the album) feels like, I don’t ever want to recover.

Le Voyage Dans La Lune tracklisting:

01. Astronomic Club
02. Seven Stars
03. Retour sur terre
04. Parade
05. Moon Fever
06. Sonic Armada
07. Who Am I Know?
08. Décollage
09. Cosmic Trip
10. Homme lune
11. Lava

• Air:
• Astralwerks:

John Coltrane graphic novel to teach nerds and losers about the jazz legend in January

The catalog of legendary John Coltrane is so massive and rich, what with its deep discography, historical significance, and direct influence on all subsequent jazz, that it can seem overwhelming for a casual nerd who just wants to prove that his or her musical tastes are diverse and refined. Well, fear not, suburbanite sponge! A new, easy-to-read biography of the illustrious saxman is coming — and with pictures! According to The Wire, publisher Jonathan Cape is releasing a biographical graphic novel on Coltrane that will be illustrated by Bologna artist Paolo Parisi. Parisi has previously supplied illustrations for Soul Jazz Records, such as the cover of Invasion of the Mysteron Killer Sounds.

Oddly enough, the book on this American Jazz pioneer is not currently set for publication outside of Europe. I’m tired of the Europeans stealing our music for their own comic books! The Wire is probably laughing this up, too, sipping their tea and nibbling their biscuits and watching their Downton Abbey. Well, I’ve decided to write a graphic novel about a terrorist who intends to blow up Parliament. What do you think about that?? Huh? It’s been done? Shit.

The graphic novel is due January 2012, and I suppose you aforementioned American nerds will have to ask your mom for the international mail order.

• Paolo Parisi:



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