October already, again. Year’s moving on fast. Looking through my history, there are few years that have seen as little activity on this blog as this one. Maybe it’s a a mix of being active in some prominent social networks as well (which ends up being a dump for a load of day-to-day snippets, links random thoughts) all along with lacking really a load of things to write about.
Der Spätsommer ist heiß in diesem Jahr. Wir haben lang Federball gespielt, bis wir die letzten Bälle ins Dickicht entlang des Platzes geschlagen haben und in der Dämmerung nicht mehr wiederfinden konnten. Nur an den kürzer werdenden Tagen spürt man den frühen Herbst. Die Hinterhöfe sind immer noch voll Musik, die Autos holpern immer noch krachend laut über die Straße vor den offenen Fenstern, die Häuserfront gegenüber ist immer noch dunkel, weil die Menschen irgendwo sind – unterwegs, in den Ferien, draußen am Fluß. Ich versuche zu schreiben, lösche, schreibe, lösche wieder. Es ist zu warm für alles, zu warm, sich zu bewegen, zu warm zum Denken. Zu warm zum Arbeiten. (Sollte man jenseits der Dämmerung überhaupt noch arbeiten wollen?) Stattdessen blättere ich in Büchern, mehr oder weniger kreuz und quer. Danielewski. Houellebecq. Jaccottet, Pessoa. Kaum mehr als Fragmente, unkonzentriert, aber immer noch besser als andere Medien, denen man sich aussetzen kann dieser Tage. Ein paar der Fragmente bleiben hängen, bringen mich auf andere Gedanken in dieser warmen, voranschreitenden Nacht. Bringen vielleicht auch wieder Inspirationen für Dinge, in die es sich lohnt, Zeit, Kraft und Energie zu investieren. Bringen vielleicht Inspirationen und Anstöße, ohne nurmehr abzulenken…
I’m into listening to podcasts for quite a while now, with a modestly fixed set of just enough sources to not make listening to all the interesting episodes an impossible task. Usually, the time for me to listen to that kind of things is on my way to work in the morning which takes between 15 minutes by bicycle or roughly an hour if I decide to walk – enough time for following through one or two episodes, depending upon the podcast of course.
However, a new addition to my playlist that I have excessively been listening to the last two weeks is 99 percent invisible. I stumbled across this while browsing the web for podcasts, and indeed just the very description did read rather promising:
99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.
In the end, not all episodes completely deal with exactly this particular topic. But they all are pretty insightful, no matter whether dealing with the meaning of the term “average” in relation to people, the history of the most important of the Bauhaus photographies, unpleasant design and architecture preventing antisocial behaviour in public space or even the story of a lone phone booth right in the Mojave Desert. The podcast seems an independent production on a very high quality level, all the stories really are enjoyable listening to, but they also feature an awful load of information that will make you think and wonder more than just once. Highly recommended if you got some time to spare for such things. ;)
Soundtrack: The Grey Tapes – ‘noirworx I excerpt’
Shooting out late at night close to Dresdens Alberthafen.
Strange to see the quietness in such places after dawn.
Ever since Wave Gotik Treffen 2015 and some of the shows I used to see there, I’m a bit lost to music living somewhere in between post punk, minimal synth and cold wave. Starting out with some particular, incredible bands and browsing similar artists on bandcamp.com, these days my favorite and by far most important way of discovering new music, at some point I stumbled across a band massively remaining on my playlist ever since: Replicant, a threepiece from Chicago, IL. Both band name and bandcamp tag line (“more human than human”) are quite obvious references to Blade Runner, which generally is a good thing. From a (maybe very personal) point of view, the music they do indeed feels close to the story lines and moods in movies such as Blade Runner or New Rose Hotel as well as in early William Gibson novels: Dark, dense, bass driven, electrically charged, cold, “futuristic” in an old-fashioned science fiction novel. Songs that feel and sound very minimal and like a strange yet well-crafted crossover between early gothic rock, 1980s new romantics / synth pop and cyberpunk all turned music. Same goes for the visual appearance of the band and, as far as I can tell from some of the live footage found online, for the on-stage performance as well.
But in the end, maybe the best and most prominent reason for Replicant is rather simple: They surely do know how to write strong songs that just stay in your ears and head once you’ve heard them…. The whole of their discography is available for streaming and even free download at their bandcamp page. Feel encouraged to check these out, I greatly recommend Replicant to anyone even remotely into any of the genres mentioned earlier. Get your black leather jackets, your boots, maybe your sunglasses and get going…