German producer Jonas Imbery drew our attention earlier this year under his moniker Telonius with his video for “Kiss Your Face“, a sweet slice of house music packed with a palpable disco-funk influence that keeps it fresher than your average club offering. Now the musician and Gomma label co-owner brings us our own exclusive: no less than the premiere stream of his debut album Inter Face. Not only that, but as he’s given us his own track-by-track guide through the album, so you can have a peek into what inspired each individual song. It’s all waiting for you below.
This was on the Now I Do maxi. From a production standpoint, that was the first maxi where I came relatively close to my idea for the club sound of the next maxis. Looking back, it’s almost a pity that the B side is not on the album, as it’s slightly more “edgy”.
2. “Kiss Your Face”
One of the strongest tracks on the album, in my opinion. Slightly unusual vocals, but extremely catchy. There’s a great video for it by Bureau Borsche.
3. “Old Toy”
It’s the first single release, which was really well received. You’ll also find an amazing Stefano Ritteri remix on the 12″. Vocals from Kokutekeleza (also see “I Make You Man”)
4. “I Make You Man”
The text is by the director Klaus Lemke. He made the video for the song with material from a film he made with Thomas Kretschmann just before he became a star in Hollywood. It is the title track from Lemke’s new film, which will be one of the opening films at the Venice Biennale.
With this one and the track on the other side of the Maxi OUT, I was inspired by my collaboration with the drummer from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Both tracks are very rhythm-oriented, with driving ostinato bass figures.
6. “Swimsuit” feat. Faberyayo
One of my favorite numbers on the album, with the singer of Lele. Great lyrics – not too serious and loaded with meaning, yet without being bland. The backing track came from a studio session with a few buddies.
7. “All I Need”
The vocal snippets are from Isis Salam. The track has a rather unusual buildup, but it works really well in the club.
8. “Your Dog Will Love It”
This is definitely a track where the opinions are divided. It had to be simple. I love the slogan and the strange melody. The layout was hanging around for quite a long time, but I definitely wanted to have this track on the album. It’s meant to show that sometimes it’s good to not take yourself too seriously.
9. “Last Night” (Faced Version)
Unreleased version of “Last Night”. Here again, some things were recorded live, like the bass. I like the vocals and the text very much – that’s how how I see things.
See “Control”. ~
Inter face will be available August 30th on Gomma.
Mathias Modica is a Marseille-based DJ, musician and label founder. Together with Jonas Imbery, he runs the much-loved disco imprint Gomma, home to acts of repute like Who Made Who, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, Daniel Aviary and Box Codax, the solo project of Franz Ferdinand’s Nick McCarthy. He also has a live band called Munk which turned out music of note in the first half of the oughts, including a collaboration with James Murphy.
1 memorable line in a film or song…
“Jazz is not dead—it just smells funny…” (Zappa. Bebop Tango)
2 people that should collaborate…
Kruder & Dorfmeister and Nicolas Jaar. Both make music that works well in lounges and doctor’s waiting rooms.
3 things I haven’t done yet…
Lounge music, Deep House, New Disco.
4 decisions I regret…
1. Not having made lounge music (I would be famous now like Nicolas Jaar and K&D)
2. Not having made deep house (I would be rich like Beatport)
3. Not having produced Lykke Li nu disco remixes (I would be in the charts now)
4. I’ve always tried to avoid fashion music and to search for new ways to make people dance…
5 things I used to believe:
Deep house doesn’t have anything in common with lounge music.
Lounge music was a 90s phenomena.
Techno labels don’t like disco samples.
Techno cannot become a cliché for mainstream tourists as it had indeed happened in Berlin.
The disco revival is over. (But, as we saw at Resident Advisor’s ADE party in October, it seems that just now the big techno world is starting to get into the old school disco funk vibe).
6 hours ago…
I was dancing to Charlie Parker.
7 days I barely remember…
When techno was big in Munich ca. 1994, I was 14 years old and got lost on a DJ Hell super rave.
After 8 p.m…
I start to wake up.
My 9 lives…
..will start after I leave my first one hopefully.
I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole:
When I was studying, the term “curator” didn’t exist in German. It’s only over the past twenty years that it’s started making its appearance from Anglo-Saxon art circles, and it’s definitely had an affect on the way German curators have begun to grasp their own identities and functions. I would say at the Lenbachhaus, we’re much more interested in serving the artist than curators who ascribe themselves a form of authorship of what they present. To that extent, there was lots of trust in Kraftwerk putting together large parts of the exhibit on their own. They knew exactly what they were doing, and I wouldn’t have thought to interfere with such a huge, technical multimedia installation based on my competency in hanging pictures. In that sense, the exhibit wasn’t a lot of work for me. Of course, convincing people that a Kraftwerk exhibition should take place—that I had to do. At the Lenbachhaus, we’re particularly fascinated by the idea that there is no difference between so-called “high” art and art as entertainment.
That’s probably one of the most discussed issues within art history in the twentieth century and certainly part of the great utopian vision of the avant- garde. However many people want to claim that there is less and less of a distinction to be drawn, it’s not something that you see reflected in reality. In museums, you still only find “high” art. Over and over again, contemporary fine art has found itself in crises and hoped to find its way out through some other discipline: fine art and film, fine art and fashion, fine art and pop music, fine art and pop culture . . . But usually it ends up with classically trained artists who only kind of have one foot in some other discipline.
We as a museum are forced to ask ourselves how we can best reflect contemporary, twenty-first century culture. And when we really take that question seriously, we realize we can’t be comfortable with doing, say, an exhibition on pop music exclusively with works by Martin Kippenberger. That’s also a very interesting project, and I guess somehow a connection between the two can be drawn, but Kippenberger isn’t an example of something in popular culture that’s had the kind of massive, significant stylistic influence that I’m referring to—like it changed people’s conception of pop music or had a lasting aesthetic effect outside the art world. In my opinion, the only real example of something so far reaching would be Kraftwerk. They’ve always been devoted to offering a complete artistic package in terms of performance and visual accompaniment—it’s practically synaesthetic in a good Wagnerian sense. But beyond that is the band’s self-reflective nature that we know so well from fine art, one that’s so unambiguously connected to the cultural history of the Rhineland.
Kraftwerk makes pop music about pop music. They incorporate “everyday” sounds—trains, bicycles, cars—as a form of self-reflectiveness, like how Gerhard Richter “exhibited” the brushstroke. But Kraftwerk’s art is also intimately connected to a certain “generosity”, if you can call it that. What they do is entertaining, humorous, danceable and thought provoking. That’s an incredibly rare combination. Kraftwerk refuse to accept the notion that doing something serious or profound has to be obscure or difficult to consume. That combination of entertainment and artistic clarity is nothing short of remarkable. At the MoMA performances, the visuals for “Morning Walk” were an excellent example of that. On the one hand it evoked classic German romanticism—small moonlit hamlets—but on the other the very specific historical provincial, bourgeois narrow-mindedness of the Federal Republic of Germany, which I personally can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s because it’s such a strong reflection of something I grew up with.
Kraftwerk’s performance at the Lenbachhaus in 2011 was the first time the band played an entire concert in 3-D, but I should men- tion that we were also very, very proud to have had the 3-D video and sound installation without the band as well. For us, that aspect of the exhibition was a logical consequence of the disappearance of the performers, with music existing and being played on its own by machines. When we were thinking about how to exhibit Kraftwerk, it was obvious that we did not have to have something “behind glass”, so to speak. We didn’t want to be a local museum that covered the local and generic history and devel- opment of the band. We wanted a contemporary exhibition that had little or nothing to do with relics of Kraftwerk’s past—their old synths or vocoders or whatever. That would have really been the wrong approach to something so timeless.~
Earlier this year we where reporting from the Kraftwerk Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 at New York’s MoMa, where we collected a lot of interesting takes on the legendary techno innovators from the likes of Juan Atkins, Afrika Bambaataa, Klaus Biesenbach and more — read them here. ~
This text appeared first in Electronic Beats Magazine N° 30 (2012). Read the full issue on issuu.com:
The other day we replied to a Facebook post by Munich based production team Cat People (Trrbo and Kleimheist), who then had just finished their unofficial edit of Jamie xx’s ‘Far Nearer’. We suggested that the brilliant The29Nov Films, a German music video bootleg production duo should create a video for the track. Cat People then asked us to post the track on EBnet to giving them more visibility on ‘the interwebz’, to bookings etc etc and then they’d “‘get (themselves) a The29Nov vid with the gig moneyz”.
We didn’t do that, until now. You might remember Cat People from their ridiculously brilliant liveset for Electronic Beats Radio. Cat People entered this mix to the Amsterdam Dance Event’s (ADE) ‘Let’s Mix’ competition with the chance to win a showcase during this year’s ADE. So, maybe you can take the time to vote for the Cat People X Electronic Beats Radio liveset by clicking here, adding some starzz for Cat People and make them *purr*. Kthxbai.