by Roland Torres
Dominik Grenzler aka An Moku s’est écarté de sa zone de confort pour plonger dans un espace où son instrument, la basse, allait prendre un tournant inattendu, l’entrainant du coté l’hantologie musicale. Armé de sa quatre cordes et de pédales d’effets, de field recordings et de craquements de vinyles, An Moku nous immerge dans un ambient aux ondes frappées d’effluves industrielles lointaines et de mélancolie évanescente. Less, bien que minimal, est chargé de modulations et de sentiers escarpés, escalade dans des chemins montagneux aux dangers menaçants.
An Moku varie habilement les atmosphères tout en restant concentré sur le mode drone à la gravité profonde, lentes décharges d’ondulations tournoyant sur elles mêmes, se détournant de leur axe avec une douceur glaciale enveloppante. Hypnotique.
Premier volet d’une trilogie, Raum est l’oeuvre commune d’An Moku alias Dominik Grenzler et Stefan Schmidt, enfouissement dans des souterrains minéraux à la noirceur incandescente. Conçu à travers des fichiers partagés durant la période de confinement, l’association des deux semblent une évidence, les atmosphères créées sont chargées de triturations et de field recordings, naviguant dans des zones tendues où les énergies circulent dans une lenteur enivrante.
L’utilisation d’une large palette d’instruments et d’éléments électroniques s’imbriquent les uns dans les autres, sculptant des ambiances abstraites traversées d’ombres inquiétantes et de textures fibreuses à l’électricité statique. Raum s’évanouit dans des horizons cernés de clair-obscur, laissant entrevoir des dimensions secrètes à la densité évanescente, collision de matières et de sons enchevêtrées dans les mailles d’un monde en auto-combustion. Intense.
«Raum» the first part of a trilogy created with the German musician Stefan Schmidt, mastered by Weldroid is out now and available on cassette and digital via Karlrecords. Dark and beautiful.
the album ::
as for many musicians, if there was anything positive about the lockdown in the spring of 2020, it was having more time to create music, to experiment and to maybe even start a completely new project with someone you may never have worked with before. when dominik grenzler aka an moku, a sound artist and bass player based in zurich, approached stefan schmidt (guitarist, composer and improviser from baden-baden) with the idea of collaborating, it turned out the initial spark for a fruitful process and artistic exchange: within just a couple of weeks they managed to craft an album which turned out edgy and harmonic at the same time. despite its abstractionism, „raum“ has a very organic feeling to it, provides a richness of details and finely processed sounds of different origins like bass, cello, field recordings and a vast array of electronic equipment. according to the 2 musicians, the process of creating the ten tracks was a smooth and intuitive one with hardly any need to discuss the concept or details, the communication took place within the music and the exchanged files.
stefan schmidt (born 1974) is a guitarist, composer, improviser and teacher. he gathered his first musical experiences as a member of various punk bands and later studied classical guitar at the
hochschule für musik trossingen with professor andreas higi and at the conservatorio juan josé castro in buenos aires with victor villadangos. while early projects (e.g. farang) and several collaborations put focus on distorted sounds and rhythms, recent works center on slowly evolving structures, sound design and free improvisation, giving more emphasis on his main instrument, the classical guitar, and the exploration of other stringed instruments such as tenor ukulele, fretless bass ukulele, fretless classical guitar, electric guitar, [d]ronin & ronin, stringed psalter, cello and baroque lute.
all tracks composed and produced by an moku and stefan schmidt
mastered by weldroid
cover artwork by stefan schmidt
electronics, field recordings, bass guitar by an moku
electronics, field recordings, cello, vocals by stefan schmidt
press / promo contact ::
dense promotion / ed benndorf firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Fragment?
Fragment is a dual looper device (developed in collaboration with Puremagnetik) with pitch shifting, phrase modulation and more. It is a simple and fun dual looping device designed to generate new, modulating fragments of your input audio. It’s a quick way to sketch out some new ideas and help formulate unique sound phrases.
The plug-in comes free with An Moku’s Less – out now on Puremagnetik Tapes. Less is name-your-price on Bandcamp through April 23rd. Download instructions are included with the Bandcamp album download.
This is a walkthrough on Fragment and a quick presentation on how I am using this wonderful little plug-in device. Enjoy the lo-fi
Fragment was inspired by my customized looper pedal that I used throughout the production of Less. The device can record two loops, pitch shift them up and down 24 semitones, set modulating start/end times and fluctuate all of these parameters with volume. The “Fragment” parameter modulates everything randomly, yet slowly, to create swells and generative automation. Enjoy Fragment…
Der kanadische Musiker und Maler, Colin Muir Dorward meldet sich zurück mit einem Doppelalbum auf meinem Label EndTitles. Ich führte mit ihm ein kurzes Interview. Auf nach Yukon.
Meeting the artist. An Interview.
ET: What is your new double album «fostexDubs Part 1 & 2» about? What was your instrumental approach for the album?
CMD: I don’t think there is a particular message in my music. Of course there are emotions, and making music is a way to express myself, but I don’t usually have an agenda when I record. If I had to name one driving force it would be curiosity. For this material, it was a fun challenge to make the mc909 not sound like a preset dance machine. With modern gear, it’s easy to become very critical of the engineers for making silly decisions because they should know better by now, but with older stuff, you kind of forgive them and move on. That mental shift of accepting what the tool is, warts and all, and finding out what it can do is a big part of my workflow.
ET: Tell us about your work as modular module designer? A new line to buy soon?
CMD: I got into synth DIY six or seven years ago and it stuck. I’m not an engineer but being a producer has definitely helped. This winter I finished designing a eurorack series I’m calling the Jade system. It’s a bread and butter thing with big, clear fonts, and easy to understand layouts. I wanted something suitable for live performance and also for beginners to learn subtractive synthesis. Despite the generic surface, everything has been designed to have a unique sound. There are lots of cool features and design choices under the hood to make it something of its own. I would love to say this will be available for purchase soon, but in reality what I need is for someone to help me with the entrepreneurial side of things. It’s very easy for me to drift away and lose interest when it comes to promotions, distribution, etc. For now I’m just plodding through and building up a small stock to sell locally.
ET: Tell us about your idea of building a residency for musicians? How is it going in the meantime?
CMD: Last summer we hosted a recording residency for local musicians. Seven artists/groups each got access to a recording studio for one week, and a small honorarium to basically do whatever they wanted. We drew names from a hat to choose who got the residency. This was volunteer run and organised, but we received a small grant from the Yukon government to pay the honorariums and a few other expenses. That project got iced once winter arrived because that space is not really insulated. This summer we plan to offer some new residencies and recording opportunities, but it’s too early to say what yet. There will definitely be a visual arts component added this year. I want to introduce an international residency, but for now that’s obviously on hold.
ET: Online concert series? What is the idea behind that?
CMD: fostexDubs evolved from some material I had prepared for a couple shows I did here in Yukon. I’d like to repeat that workflow and use some more live shows as an excuse to dive into a new setup and get some ideas working. Since online streaming events have become somewhat normalized, I figured it was a good opportunity to stage a tour, of sorts. I like that it’s kind of the opposite of what I imagined I’d be able to do since settling here a few years ago. The nearest metropolitan center is 2000kms away, so touring has not really been on my horizons.
ET: So see you online in May, the 7th. More details to come. Thank you for the interview, Colin. Cheers!
Das letzte Jahr war für mich sehr produktiv. Ich freue mich sehr über die Kollaborationen samt den vollendeten Werken. Für mich zählt der intensive Austausch, der stets zu vorerst steht. Somit kam auch einiges zusammen an interessanten Begegnungen, die so belassen wurden. Wenn ich jetzt zurückblicke, denke ich mir, wow, wo habe ich die Energie und Zeit hergenommen und vergesse, wie aussergewöhnlich 2020 gewesen ist. Ich nutzte die Zeit für Musik und Weiterbildung, wenn ich nicht gerade in meinem Café für den Take Away an zu treffen war und weiterhin bin. So nun auch in 2021. Das Jahr beginnt spannend mit weiteren interessanten Begegnungen aus dem letzten Jahr. Mal sehen, was hier entstehen wird. Zu erwähnen ist eine wichtige Kollaboration für mich, die ich gleich im ersten Lockdown 2020 nach dem Album «Where We Meet» mit dem spannenden Musiker Stefan Schmidt angegangen bin. «RAUM» erscheint im Mai auf Karlrecords als Special Edition CD. Stefan und ich arbeiten bereits am Nachfolger. So auch geplant der Nachfolger für «Where We Meet» mit Stijn Hüwels auf Slowcraft Records :-)
2020 war generell weltweit sehr produktiv. Um so mehr freue ich mich, dass meine Arbeiten Beachtung gefunden haben. Neben Airplays und Reviews freue ich mich besonders über die Best of Listen, die Redakteure in nächtlicher Kleinstarbeit mühsam zusammenstellen. Diese sind mir besonders sympathisch. Danke für die Erwähnungen allerseits und auf ein neues spannendes Jahr. Hier eine kleine Zusammenstellung…
«Where We Meet» Auswahl auf Headphone Commute: https://headphonecommute.com/best-of-lists/headphone-commutes-best-of-2020/music-for-being-together-alone/
«Where We Meet» #17 auf pimpod, Quiet Space Top 100: https://www.pimpod.com/2021/01/10/quiet-space-top-100-countdown-best-of-2020-part-5-162/
«Of Mirrors» #53 auf Shumamb Hatena Blog: https://shumamb.hatenablog.jp/entry/2020/12/19/175120
«Of Mirrors» wird im April unter anderem von Mary Anne Hobbs auf BBC6 gespielt
«An Moku – Klangkünstler und Soundtüftler» Beitrag von Gabrielle Weber: https://neoblog.mx3.ch/index.php/2020/12/30/deutsch-dominik-grenzler-aka-an-moku-klangkuenstler-und-soundtueftler/?fbclid=IwAR1MWr7Y-2ZVHH5Wkkmp98GyDfF9IWCut73EZDWS5184-v-fMhhntOUWHaw&lang=de
Good evening Everyone! Hope you are doing great?!
Right now I have released my 4th Safe in Solitude track: Ask the Snow. This piece of music has been made exactly one year ago. I do not own the original project files anymore (!!!) so I left it unchanged. If you ask me, I love it :-)
For this session I was working with the «gastronomic luminary» and authoress from Berlin, Nicole Klauss. The photography has been taken a few days ago during her long walks. She says, whenever she needs to think, she listens to my music. Thank you, Nicole.
Enjoy Ask the Snow!
Photography: Nicole Klauss
Backstage Subscription: anmoku.bandcamp.com/backstage
«Safety in Solitude» is kind of a diary for my Backstage Subscribers which I started last year. The pieces of music I am publishing will be calm sketches, experimental draws or misty landscapes that did not make it to appear officially yet. Maybe some of them will, some don’t. Maybe. I think they are beautiful as they are. Some of you might know that I am not interested in harmonic melodies that much. What I love are moods and repetitions with their micro alterations which you might not even notice. I am hoping to let you float and give room for own interpretation and imagination.
Un vapore crepuscolare che si espande gradualmente saturando l’ambiente di inquieto mistero. Evidenti e perfettamente introiettate sono le premesse da cui nasce la collaborazione tra Dominik Grenzler aka An Moku e Joel Gilardini, primo incrocio tra due musicisti che utilizzando mezzi diversi perseguono una visione artistica affine.
Concretizzatosi in seguito all’invito a partecipare ad un festival dedicato alla sonorizzazione di film muti ricevuto da Grenzler, il connubio tra i due si sviluppa come rapido percorso improvvisativo rivolto alla ricerca di un comune denominatore espressivo. Senza essere al corrente della materia visiva assegnata, i due iniziano un fertile dialogo sonoro che li porterà a stretto giro a realizzare le musiche di accompagnamento di tre cortometraggi girati negli anni quaranta dello scorso secolo da Maya Deren, commento di cui le tracce di questo album rappresentano soltanto una premessa.
Cogliendo lo spiccato simbolismo di matrice surrealista e l’attitudine introspettiva profonda e convulsa che distingue la produzione della regista americana, il suono plasmato dal duo si irradia oscuro e penetrante, strutturato in percorsi enigmatici che fondono in modo inscindibile le nebbiose frequenze sintetiche di An Moku e le trame taglienti della chitarra baritona di Gilardini. Una commistione densa e viscerale che assume la forma di dilatate elucubrazioni droniche intarsiate da risonanze spigolose (“5”), a tratti percorse da delicate linee melodiche (“2”), o di algide derive nutrite da modulazioni ruvide e correnti elettriche disturbanti (“13”).
Una prima prova convincente che sancisce un legame artistico certamente destinato a produrre ulteriori condivisi capitoli.
This is the 3rd picture of the talented photographer from Spain, Juan TRakO and my 3rd «Safety in Solitude» track which is a lovely sketch from last summer. I am working on it now with my dear collaboteur Pablo Ortega from Germany. Folks, be aware, you will never hear it like this ever again. 13mins full of beautiful iterations (Backstage exclusively).
As you already know, Safety in Solitude is kind of a diary. For a few weeks I am posting a piece of my music. Weekly.
Safety in Solitude is kind of a diary. For a few weeks I am going to post a piece of my music. Weekly. For you, my dear Backstage-Subscriber. The pieces of music will be calm sketches, experimental draws or misty landscapes that did not make it to appear officially yet. Maybe some of them will, some don’t. Maybe. I think they are beautiful as they are. Some of you might know that I am not interested in harmonic melodies that much. What I love are moods and repetitions with their micro alterations which you might not even notice. I am hoping to let you float and give you room for your own interpretation and imagination. This is the 2nd piece of music…
For the fist «Safety in Solitude» tracks I am working with the talented photographer from Spain, Juan TRakO. I asked him for three pictures of his choice. This is the 2nd picture.
Enjoy Reflections and Happy New Year!