After the release of the notorious JANUS album after a five-year hiatus and its followup, the Sauflieder-Album A Blessing of Beers, the Moinlabs policy regarding releases had always been a little bit...inconsistent. The autointerview from fall '98 states several possibilities for following releases - in addition to The Cosmo Sessions CD, which got realized in 1999 and the No Members - A Memorial, which still awaits completion, several obscure projects - the "Klangmärchen", "Pop Up", "1974", a "Millenium Suite" and "Die Platte".
"Die Platte" was actually the project that I followed some time after the release of "The Cosmo Sessions", starting early 2000. As an experimental basis for this album, several breakbeat-oriented tracks were recorded based on a few musical concepts (most notably "Advanced Taoism", "Subwars", "Edges of Cabernet Syrah" and "Another Stereohead"), and although these basic tracks (all of them were recorded quasi-live to disk resp. to DAT) all vanished in the MoinSound Archives, they did form the basis for the musical material performed as documented on the groxis tafelbilder album.
Once again - we're already past mid-2000 - the web ticker starts to list a completely new information: another volume of Sauflieder - named "Extreme Ambient Terror" is planned for release early 2001, a plan that will also be documented in the New Year 2001 newsletter sent to Moinlabs fans. This planned album should be based on another set of quasi-live recordings accomplished since, by early 2001 already consisting of 'round six hours of music and sound.
In April, the impending end of my EE studies do not give me the possibility to invest the time to compile an album master from these six hours of great music, and also planned cover artist Anna Bejenke has work coming out of her nostrils...it doesn't however stop me from recording an entirely new set of material - a total of five pieces under the working title "Mental Graduation" with a total playing time of over two hours. At that point, where I see enough material to fill two to three albums, the increasing success of the Formula 1 Racing Team of Peter Sauber with his two young drivers Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Räikkönen makes it necessary to deal with this topic as well: Early in the year, with interest already fuelled by Michael Schumacher's prophecy that Sauber will be the new rising star in this year's Formula One, securing the fourth place in the constructor's championship and finishing on the podium sometimes - with luck even winning a race, Wolle Müller-Gülich (known from the "stupid humming" contribution on JANUS and also for the talk backdrop on "A Blessing of Beers") and me used to crack jokes and sing stupid songs about Kimi, whose spelling was changed for these dumb jokes to "Raikönnen".
These stupid songs do - right in the middle of work on the "Mental Graduation" titles, inspire an instrumental, big-beat-apt tune "Kimis Urlaub in der Schweiz", with two more titles following in July in this field: the ambient bass guitar improvisation "Peter ist eingenickt" and the hour-long breakbeatish "Ferraris Vorvertrag", the only song in this set of recordings containing lyrics - of course based on the stupid songs from the beginning of the year.
Again, a third, completely independent album on the harddisk - at least its basics! As we're in mid-July by the time, and my working contract starts September, decisions had to be made: There will be an "Extreme Ambient Terror" album and there will be a "Mental Graduation" album - sometime in the future. The next Moinlabs release, with a release date of 2001-12-31, is SAUBER! - Das Geheimnis der Geschwindigkeit.
The music on "SAUBER!" consists mainly of three independent musical concepts. The largest one, the title track, borrows a harmonic progression from Mental Graduation, 1st impression "It just so happened". Apart from that, the sixty-odd minute opus is a composition in all its own right: Breakbeat-style passages (fuelled by the sonic power of the Quasimidi Sirius) with electric guitars and wild synth solos on top take turns with a-la-singer-songwriter passages, also reciting the important messages of the album. Another spinoff of these ideas is Peter in Zürich - Unplugged where an electric bass guitarist, aided only by an Akai E1 Headrush loop sampler, takes his "unplugged" interpretation of the "Kimi hat ned raikönnen" topic from the "SAUBER!" piece. For the release, both pieces have been edited - in the case of "SAUBER!" reducing the running time to close to 40 minutes.
"Kimis Urlaub in der Schweiz" was initially also a lenghty free improvisation. Then, I got the idea to do some heavy dance-remixing with this number: a forty-minute bass-plus-loops improv had here been fed into the sequencer, quantized, edited and combined with additional drums, textures and basslines. After everything, including additional drum sample loops and TR303 action had been assembled, I decided to stick with the (edited) version of the original piece. The piece consists of three distinctive parts: a very groovy beginning tails into a piano/synth loop in odd meters, this part again makes way for a lengthy coda, also including a-la-finnish lyrics.
The only piece on the album fitting entirely into a potential "Sauflieder" context is "Peter ist eingenickt (auf dem Heidfeld)". Textural and melodic loops from the holy bass guitar stand as a basis for an unstructured free solo, extending for some fifteen minutes.
This track also opens the CD with Peter ist eingenickt (auf dem Heidfeld). The title fades into the first part of the SAUBER! - Das Geheimnis der Geschwindigkeit suite, entitled The Next Generation. First statements of the abovementioned groove can be found here, before the title segues into SAUBER!: Kimi hat ned Raikkönen. The lyrical center of the album is thus staded following some heavy guitar groove, and the breakbeat-meets-heavy-meets-weirdness sound continues, up until we hear the "original" guitar-style intonation of the original groove in SAUBER!: Mit Peter Sauber in der Bar. After this concept progresses some more in singer-songwriter style, stating the obvious messages of a visit to Milchbar (a trendy Munich hangout) with the top personell of the Sauber team, more of breakbeats and heavy guitar is encountered in SAUBER!: Willi schlägt zurück (although the message is not stated per se, one could imagine Sauber's technical director Willi Rampf giving Milchbar's Florian Faltenbacher a "konkreten Lowkick in die Fresse"), plus (finally) some weird synth solos (courtesy of Korg Prophecy). The "dance climax" of the album is definitely reached in SAUBER!: Peters Buchhalter, where reminiscences of the famed DJ Buchhalter appear as a minimalistic and abstract version of the heavily effected groove (thanks Lexicon Vortex!) meets a deranged guitar solo - all finished before the first part of this album ends in Peter in Zürich (Unplugged), an "acoustic" version of the "Kimi" theme, performed on the Moin Tuning bass with the aid of a Headrush.
After a meaningful pause, part two of the album kicks in straight with the first part of Kimis Urlaub in der Schweiz: Testfahrten. Different sonic variants of an easy-grooving "guitar" solo continue as a steady bass-guitar loop kicks around in the background - a loop which morphs slowly into another odd-metered loop in Kimis Urlaub in der Schweiz: Hinwiler Hochland revisited. Odd vocal effects take turn here with solos on bass guitar and synths, and this lengthy title finally fades into the last two sections of SAUBER!: the first one, Kimi war selber schuld reflects again on Kimi's continuing problems in Munich's nightlife, this time attributed to his shoes, reflecting on questions of personal guilt, indirectly hinting at David Coulthard's explanation of his use (or rather non-use) of shoes after a spinoff maneuver during the free sessions of 2000s Great Brittain GP. The poet's ramifications develop into a dux/comes interplay with the electric bass guitar as we approach the last part of SAUBER!, entitled Der beste neue Fahrer. Of course, the title here says it all (translated "the best new driver", obviously referring to Kimi Räikkönen's debut in the Formula One racing series), and as the poet reflects on the disturbing events of the last days, we fade into the last track of the album - Kimis Urlaub in der Schweiz, Coda: Daheim in Espoo. After his adventures and experiences of the last weeks, including the contract negotiations with Jean Todt and Ron Dennis (which incidentially resulted in a pre-contract between Ferrari and the promising new driver, whose contract with Peter Sauber runs out just at the same time as Ferrari's second man's (Rubens Barricello) contract, but which was later replaced by a contract in effect with McLaren for 2002's season!), the testing sessions for his current employer, a few relaxing days in Hinwil's countryside, and of course the disturbing confrontation with Munich's most feared bouncers, the young pilot is glad to return to his home in the Finnish countryside - as he states in his pseudo-native lyrics, before the final (bass) guitar sounds fade into reverb....
Of course, with the increasing deviation from the traditional paths of the MoinSound, decisions had to be made regarding cover design as well: for the first time in the Moinlabs history, the complete CD artwork and package design was outsourced. The responsible artist is none other than Scotty's little sister Anna, who did incidentally also guest on the notorious JANUS album. If not for the great music alone, the SAUBER! album is a necessity in any decent CD collection for its stunning cover artwork, documented here (...ähhh...in the future).
Tune Gap 6 Electric Bass Guitar (Moin Tuning), Korg Prophecy Synthesizer, Yamaha SY 85 Synthesizer Workstation, Quasimidi Sirius Synthesizer Workstation, Digitech StudioQuad Effector, Sony GR-MP5 Effector, Lexicon Vortex Morphing Effector, Akai E1 Headrush Delay/Loop Sampler, Line6 DL4 Delay Modeler/Loop Sampler, MAM RS3 Resonator Analogue Filter, Digitech RDS2001 Delay/Chorus/Flanger, Line6 Bass POD Amp/Cabinet/Effects Simulator and DI, Korg ToneWorks AX1000G Modeling Signal Processor, Beyerdynamic TX 35.15 Headset Microphone, Behringer MX2642A Console, Behringer DSP1400 Pro Ultramizer Mastering Processor, AKG K400 Headphones, Terratech EWS64XL Sound Card, Aiwa HD-S1000 DAT
The Artist on the Work of Art
The Sauber! album was made practically during the "construction" phase of another album (or rather after the construction phase of another album was disturbed by yet another album), as the huge work of art, now entitled SAUBER!, just begged for release, and was thus complemented by two other pieces which incidentally shared a common basis with regards to the (arbitrary) title. So, although not filed under the "Sauflieder" moniker, the album is practically and mainly constructed based on the concepts of this series: spontaneous live improvisations, recorded directly to a two-track master. There are many beautiful moments to be found in these works, and I'd like to mention some of these to you - if only to see it as an inspiration to seek out your personal highlights: the wonderful drum-only passage during the "Peters Buchhalter" part, highlighting the possibilities of Lexicon's Vortex - an effect processor initially marketed as a device for guitarists! The campfire atmosphere of "Peter in Zürich" where the dark bass guitars sound just like a bunch of steel string acoustic guitars. The diabolic vocal haze in the last minutes of "Testfahrten". The nice call-and-response vs. unisono passages of lead vocals and bass guitar melody during the last two parts of "SAUBER!". The "finnish" lyrics in the final part of "Kimis Urlaub"...
Thanks et al.
Peter Sauber and his Formula 1 Racing Team, especially his drivers Kimi and Nick for inspiration, Anna for cover art, Bernd and DJ Buchhalter for inspiring discussions at the seicht&leicht Sommerfest which led to the remix of "Kimis Urlaub in der Schweiz", which didn't find its way onto the release of Sauber!, Ralf and Erik for jam sessions, Antjemaus, also for inspiration (re "Mental Graduation 1st impression", which consequently led to "SAUBER!" and "Peter in Zürich"), USC Abt. Taekwondo, a really funny bunch of guys, the oldskool physicists, who graduated shortly after me, and of course some of the fencing guys from USC - you don't want to experience the day I will seek you out and beat you into a bloody pulp!