Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Space To Think........

Ekkehard Ehlers, has cut a polymathic path across the German electronic music scene since his early forays into music with friend and collaborator Sebastian Meissner as one half of the band Autopoieses. 1998 saw them release a well received debut in which they explored the philosophies of Aesthetic Theory, on the Ritornell imprint. Further collaborative efforts have seen Ehlers working in the IDM/Post Rock group März with Albrecht Kunz. It is however in his solo output that he has seen the most success though; in 2000 he released two EPs under the umbrella of Auch before releasing the full length album "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" stylistically this was the most easily accessible work to date, a techno album at heart but imbued with his own sense of minimalism and rhythm.

Whilst recording as Auch, Ehlers also tended towards releasing material under his own name, 2000's Betrieb released on the Frankfurt based Mille Plateaux label. This was followed by a series of single releases where again the Aethetic Theory that drove his early work was again explored. Each record was based around an abstract informed by one of five selected personalities. Those selected for this project included free jazz impressario Albert Ayler, film maker John Cassavettes, and delta blues legend Robert Johnson. Though not based directly on the works of these auteurs, they were informed by their singular output. The Albert Ayler record was based around a funeral march paced cello drone, which owes alot to the drone based post rock of early Cul De Sac releases. In 2002 these recordings were drawn together in a single cd release on Staubgold, the compilation brought him a new found notoriety outside of the electronic circles he already travelled in.
He followed it with the far more abstract Politik Braucht Keinen Feind in 2003.

2006 sees the release of his forth solo album "A Life Without Fear" never one to go over ground already covered in his career, this album sees a delta blues inflected cycle of nine songs for viola, trumpet, mouth harp and guitar; replete with nihlistic lyrics and washed over with a sea of fuzzed up computer crackles and glitches. A cover of the traditional blues standard "Ain't No Grave" and haunting rendition of "O'Death" could well soundtrack a journey through the destroyed landscape of hurricane ravaged New Orleans. The album serves as a reminder of how fragile the human condition can really be in the face of adversity.

[Buy Ekkehard Ehlers releases from Staubgold]

Ain't No Grave


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