blank 037: SICKER MAN - dialog
Dialog is Tobias Vethake‘s aka Sicker Man’s second consecutive, purely instrumental release. The Berlin-based composer and musician left the familiar, yet beaten paths of experimental pop music for the previous album Off The Trail, reflecting his earliest musical influences and relying solely on his cello’s expressive voice - an attempt to remeasure the musical field in between off-contemporary, noise and instant composition. Now Sicker Man is expanding this inner dialogue, and opens it up to include the voices of several protagonists of Berlin’s experimental music scene. Designed as a series of short recording sessions he met old friends and companions, as well as new colleagues in the summer of 2019:
Kiki Bohemia (Slutty Clowns)
Lip Smh (Ex-Krikl-Krakl)
Manuel Klotz (Loft Party)
With the release of Dialog the outcome of these special musical encounters is now accessible to the inclined and advanced listener. In the liner notes for the album the German philosopher Thomas Khurana wrote:
“Taken literally, a dialogue is therefore what arises through the words, in the midst of and between them. The dialogue does not consist in the words of either side, but what occurs between this word and that word, this reason and that one. [...] What we hear in these dialogues is one word sounding through the other. [...] Like in a doubly exposed photograph, the individual elements become both more ethereal and more defined. They touch and blend, align and dissociate at the same time and take on the remarkable capacity of ghosts: the ability to inhabit one another, one voice speaking through the other.“
In times of increasing polarization and division, the space between two opposites gains significance in this dialogical form. Focusing on the perception and endurance of various positions, instead of trying to overcome and synthesize difference, is Sicker Man’s artistic response to the swelling noise of time.
blank 033: SICKER MAN - off the trail
SICKER MAN has never aimed for the cynicism of a retro-cult work, rather there is always the honest attempt of creating new combinations and attitudes. It is about experiment, but not about codes and schemes. It is also about melodies and harmonies, about communication and truth. It is a lobby-free music. On „off the trail“ all of his thoughts and attitudes filter to perfection - the bottom line of 15 years of the experimental side of SICKER MAN. And also, a journey back to the very beginnings of his musical socialization. Being born in a family and region, that is rich with different church music traditions, SICKER MAN grew up with chorals and the sound of churches. Though he is a convinced atheist, he internalized the sincerity of musical meditation, and thus the reason the album is roughly structured like the musical form of a requiem.
blank 032: BECHAMEL - Mucho
blank 030: SICKER MAN - Theatre Works Two
blank 023: MINI POPS JUNIOR - Koma
"Rather than trying to keep up with the platitudes, we prefer to go into retreat and don‘t prohibit ourselves any musical excursion or style. It is all about immersion, minimalism and getting closer to the core of things. and we do this with the help of improvisation. A spiritual music for atheists."
To record these hypnotic soundtracks and soundsculptures MINI POPS JUNIOR choose the seclusion of an abandoned, Catalan lighthouse at the eastern edge of the Iberian Peninsula.
Two tracks on „KOMA“ (“A 03 ravine“, „B03 shifted mind“) were recorded completely
live in a 60 meter tunnel under a go-kart track in the Berlin Hipster district „Neukölln“.
Comparisons with David Lynch and John Carpenter are as reasonable as with Bohren and the Club of Gore and Peter Brötzmann.
MINI POPS JUNIOR take the uncontrollable beauty of improvisation to go sleepwalking with the ghost of pop music. Both protagonists come from very different backgrounds, but they still form one organic sound body. An exciting blend of Jazz, Drone, Postrock and Dubstep.
VICCA TANTRUM, is the next statement of a remarkably hardworking producer.
a narrative in form of an album. The story of the Victor Tantrum who on his search for love and recognition is dragged deeper and deeper into the depth of self-doubt. The songs on this album are like effigies of Victors struggle with his mind and soul.
Victor is a city fox in search of his identity which he finds neither in the city nor in the nature. The songs are often embedded in a stream of soundscapes and fieldrecordings. Town noises, traffic noise, voices – everything is melted into an epic picture. if especially in the second part songs, melodies and harmonies emerge out of the dark ambience, we can feel a short relieve, thinking Victor's quest will turn out good.
Sicker Man uses a huge number of instruments, but uses them efficiently enough, so that a few well-placed sounds create the atmosphere that is needed. suddenly there it is, the song.
The warm baritone of Sicker man, is often in duet with Kiki Bohemia, with whom he already collaborated on his previous records.
On his new piece of work „Wingbeats“ the japanese musician relies again on his Mokke- moniker and does all the work by himself (with only one little exception: on „Tears In My Mind“, Blank Records label boss Sicker Man can be heard singing). Mokkeʼs music is still influenced by hip hop beats but is not Hip Hop. Itʼs funky but not funk. It has soul but no one would come up with the idea to call it soul music. His rolling beats and reeling melodies, his dense atmospherical tracks and his heavily proccessed singing can be compared to the works of Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing and DJ Shadow. But Mokke quickly moves on to totally different soundscapes. Maybe his music can best be described like this: „Wingbeat“ is 21st-century-music, created by a producer who has seen and heard it all and who is able to convert these impressions to wicked electronic sounds.
Parallel to the release of "Flower my Decay" SICKER MAN puts out the instrumental ambient album "zu gegen".
blank 017: Sicker Man - Flower My Decay
With "FLOWER MY DECAY" SICKER MAN takes a big step towards pop, if there wouldn't be the roughness and noisiness of the production. His soft, wispered voice crashes along with distorted drums and broken synthesizers. Classical song-structures are reflected in complex cello-arrangements - SICKER MAN emphasizes the contrasts of his former work. As if NICK DRAKE would have recorded an album with the equipment of TOM WAITS and the KRONOS QUARTET would have come over to have a jam.
On 'the lost weekend' MINI POPS JUNIOR are floating in a wasteland in between Jazz, Krautrock, Ambient und Punk, sounding as if CAPTAIN BEEFHEART would join the CLUB of GORE. Saxophone sighs are embedded with dark tremolo guitars, interrupted by stumbling beat fragments and distorted noise clouds. Tense slow motion.
JAN HUPE: saxophone, flute, percussion, melodika TOBIAS VETHAKE: guitar, drummachine, analog effects, live looping, drums, cello
File under: POST ROCK JAZZ / KRAUT DUBSTEP / AMBIENT PUNK
On his new album "NOWHERE ENTERPRISE" TOBIAS VETHAKE presents advanced songwriting & a soft, wispered voice embedded in a sound-kosmos mingling between acoustic warmth and electronic chaos. It's a complex melancholy.
Special guests are Chicago based HipHop-Legend SERENGETI, KIKI BOHEMIA and the israeli singer OFRI BRIN.
SHTAAD is SERENGETI and SICKER MAN.
After years of transatlantic-internet-transfer SERENGETI and SICKER MAN met for the first time face to face in april 2010 to start a new project melting a straight hiphop-attitude with a new version of experimental electro pop
After his last offical release "the subtle life", "theatre works" is proof, that SICKER MAN aka. Tobias Vethake still knows how to combine catchy songs and melodies with strange sounds and instruments. With the help of acoustic guitars, cello, lapsteel, glockenspiel and lots of analog effectpedals he lets his songs float somewhere between SPARKLEHORSE, CLIFF MARTINEZ and ADEM. All pieces are part of theatre plays, e.g. at Staatsschauspiel Dresden and Schauspielhaus Hamburg, where he is also live on stage in the play "Hamlet".
There are 20 tracks on this album and each one manages to challenge the listener, stealing sounds and ideas from almost every major genre electronic music has to offer -- just eavesdrop on the DJ Shadow inspired “Breakdown” and the glitchy yet heartwarming ballad “Silence of the Door Bell”. You could put me in a bumper car and I would feel complete sloshing, jiving and popping in and out to these superlative tunes.
"This fantastic debut album is a colorful patchwork of sounds and melodies glued together by Ikeda’s exceptional production skills. (...) title track “Happy Chameleon”, an exotic and infectious track which should really be drowning out the world’s airwaves."
After 4 years in studio BLAINBIETER come back with a furious, disturbing album, that lingers between post- and punk-rock. Noisy guitar feedbacks meet banjo-melodies, distorted vocal shouts are contrasted by atmospheric cello-sounds. This is not easy listening, but finest psychodelica, that reaches your heart andyour brain.
This is the long anticipated debut of the duo VINCENT, consisting of Joao Orecchia and Tobias Vethake. Multiple analog instruments give these atmospheric masterpieces a unique, folk-like attitude, that is combined with electronic soundscapes. Hovering somewhat between The Notwist and Tom Waits, VINCENT create a new genre: folktronica.
The vinyl-debut of MINI POPS JUNIOR (Jan Hupe with Tobias Vethake) is a fresh combination of Jazz and Electronica. Warm saxophone melodies and fragments meet atmosperic rhodes-sounds and disturbing turntable scratches. strange and beautiful..
This is the music for the highly controversal italian movie `Bye, Bye, Berlusconi!` by Jan Henrik Stahlberg. Among others it`s mainly The Phirefones that create musical style that makes this movie so strange and yet so authentic. Lingering between Ennio Morricone and The Notwist, The Phirefones combine witty and tiny sounds with big italian melodies. One leading member of the Phirefones is Tobias Vethake (aka.Sicker man).
This second Blankrecords sampler features live tracks by Sicker Man, Fotomaton, Vincent, Mini Pops Junior and Blankmusic. This compilation once again explores the possibilities of electro-acoustic improvisation. With soaring melodies and cracking atmosphere, it is difficult to believe this music was made purely with live instruments and without computers.
The second album by Sicker Man is a perfect meeting of ambient and pop. The same delicate exchange between atmosphere and textures we heard on his debut, Duive Moro, combine with vocals, beats and broken rhyrhms that closer resemble unhealthy machinery than imitation drums.
This is the first solo album of electro-acoustic guitarist João Orecchia. Touching on the experimental, the poptastic, the soundscape and the beat, the result has a beautiful and sometimes epic quality. Motherless Brooklyn explores ideas of `home, homelessness and the feeling of displacement`through a narrative of epic beauty.
This Blankrecords sampler contains music that is inherently both acoustic and electronic. Virtually void of beats, Quality is Punk proudly occupies an undefined space, hovering between noise and melody, hiss and archestral depth.
This one sided vinyl release puts you in one of Berlin`s famous wandering clubs, dimly lit and smokey, with Fotomaton beautifully clashing acoustic instruments and turntables noise. Improvised, atmospheric and mischievous, Live at NBI captures Fotomaton`s expertise at it`s best.
Full of cellos and acoustic guitars, Sicker Man`s debut album is dreamy and romantic- It is the ultimate melancholy soundtrack to a moonlit winter`s night