Marc Richter
Coh Bâle
Cellule 75
Includes Instant Download
Edition of 300 copies
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1Coh Bâle 2:47
2Gesänge I 1:00
3Geburt der Pferde 3:48
4Der Schlaf dieser Zeit 2:13
5Gesänge II 2:17
6Gesänge III 0:44
7Geisterfahrer 1:38
8Umweltmusik 1:49
9Stop 2:32
10Donnerstag ohne Meer 2:04
11Zweitausendzweiundzwanzig 2:12
12Iechyd o Gylch 3:04
13Hinten das Pferd 4:20
14Europamusik 1:38
15Scheinwerfen 2:58
16Phantombildstörung 1:45
17Gesänge IIII 0:37
18Selbstportrait 2:33

This new album compiles several songs made in the years following Black To Comm's classic "Alphabet 1968" album. Originally released on the seminal Type label in 2009 (and to be reissued on Cellule 75 this year) "Alphabet 1968" combined the sound of vintage shellac and vinyl loops with broken electronics and field recordings, the press release mentioning disparate influences "ranging from Moondog to Basic Channel by way of Bernard Herrmann". In a beautiful one-page review in The Wire magazine (later reprinted in his book Ghosts Of My Life) Mark Fisher compared Richter's music to JF Sebastian’s miniature automata in Blade Runner ("with their bizarre mixture of the clockwork and the computerised, the antique and the ultramodern, the playful and the sinister"), ETA Hoffmann's inventor-magicians and Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's 1886 tale of Thomas Edison's (fictitious) construction of an artificial human.

Now titled "Coh Bâle" (inspired by a strange dream) these recordings were supposed to become a follow-up to said album but for reasons unknown it never materialized and the album seemed forever lost. At the time Richter started to dive deeper into several strains of (so-called) world music aka the folk music of Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe as well as liturgical and medieval music, the Kraut-Electronica of Harmonia and several certain Mediterranean experimentalists from the 1980's who started to merge their mostly electronic and field recording based compositions with traditional musics from all over the world by way of new sampling technology.

Many of the songs for the album were recorded while travelling and at various residencies around Europe: a detuned piano in a Thessaloniki basement (Richter played at a children's birthday party there), vintage synthesizers in the GRM studios in Paris, decaying acoustic instruments found in an old Black Forest mansion, childrens' voices at a workshop in Karlsruhe's ZKM Institute; then mixed on headphones in the ICE trains running between these places and his hometown Hamburg.

"Coh Bâle" is taking inspirations from old Nonesuch Explorer and Ocora LP's, Crammed Records, 80s Mediterranean Ambient (Nuno Canavarro, Roberto Musci) combined with the DIY spirit of Deux Filles and Flaming Tunes and the playfulness of Asa Chang & Junray. The songs are both mysterious and transparent, intricate and frugal, vibrant and patient. One of the album's unexpected climaxes is a gorgeous (artificial) berimbau version of the Welsh traditional "Iechyd o Gylch".

No two songs feature the same instrumentation and many acoustic sources (pianos, flutes, wood percussion, viola, tablas, autoharp) were disassembled and later coalesced into new configurations or used as virtual instruments; later combined with samples, field recordings, electronics and (on a few tracks) autotuned vocals reminding of recent works by the likes of Claire Rousay or More Eaze.

We had to wait for a worldwide pandemic for Richter to dig deep into the vaults and finally bring these recordings to light. This is the 2nd release from his archives after the "Diode, Triode" LP which presented Musique Concrète/Acousmatic recordings made at INA/GRM and ZKM. Another massive Double-CD (MM∞XX Vol. 1 & 2) was released last year featuring collaborations with 33 artists such as Andrew Pekler, Richard Youngs, Eric Chenaux, Maja Ratkje, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In my Heart, GRM boss François Bonnet (Kassel Jaeger), Felix Kubin, Timo van Luijk (In Camera, Af Ursin), Luke Fowler and many others, showing Richter's versatility and his willingness to reinvent himself for every new release.

Marc Richter is widely known under his Black To Comm moniker, having released (at least) 12 albums under this alias in the last 20 years. He is currently signed to the Thrill Jockey label. Richter composes soundtracks for film and has worked with visual artists such as Mike Kelley and Ho Tzu Nyen. He also records as Jemh Circs and Mouchoir Étanche for his own Cellule 75 label (named in tribute to the late Luc Ferrari).