TL;DR? Then check out the video version!
Hi everyone, we're happy to present you 3rd longplay by Nervöse Leute which has already been available in October if you had previosly purchased a floppy disk "Mellow" (still available).
This album is an exploration of a frontier zone between music and non-music, an attempt to find an answer where music begins (and where it ends). The album contains samples recorded since 2003 until present. As in case of previous longplay, I did all the work myself.
The cover shows you what one can see when going downstairs leaving my apartments, and it's all about living in an old concrete box. The title of the album messes around an idea of us participating in a rat race which is held indoors, in a box made of concrete. Moreover, there's some musique concrete on the record, to be fair.
OK, let's turn to the tracks.
The title track, "Erziehung" ("Education") was shown before on our VA sampler "Pereat". It illustrates the topic of importance of education, whilst the education which we get, is almost totally inappropriate (which refers to "Bad Education" by Blue Orchids). It also laughs at background music dedicated to educational purposes, which is, to my mind, is simply ridiculous. Music distracts. It's supposed to do it. It is also inspired by Japanese noise and explores abilities of distorting the sound of an acoustic guitar.
Second track, "Take the Chance", is an attempt to play industrial music using abovementioned acoustic guitar.
"Health" is much more a complex piece, almost a play. It's partially inspired by This Heat's "Health and Efficiency", and it's sort of "anti-cover" concept. It's more percussion oriented attempt of deconstructing the composition itself; and, as we know, This Heat's aim was mainly to deconstruct rock music in general. Moreover, "Health and Efficiency" idea: to be sober, to be responsible, to be efficient — is a doctrine which I'm very likely to follow for years. This Heat stated it was a counter-culture step, a protest against punk junkies, and this approach of fancy dressed modest guys seeking to commit an act of violence against music and an image of musician, is so close to my methods.
But it's not only about a tribute to This Heat. "Health" also includes recording of a Russian history lecture read in university at the same time when in a church nearby there was an Orthodoxal ceremony, and at some moment you can hear bells of the church together with lecturer's voice. There is also an alarm clock recording which also represents discipline, and some sounds which were supposed to expose the genie coming out of the bottle. So metaphorical, eeh.
"Smash" is a "play" which "contradicts" to "Health" the same way "Take the Chance" contradicts to "Erziehung". Again, it includes acoustic guitar, metal percussion, and it's the central piece of exploration of the borders of the music. Its ending with naturally stretched notes refers to bassline of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus.
"White Noise 2003" indeed contains radio samples recorded in 2003. It's the only track under Creative Commons license, it's a nod to previous Nervöse Leute albums. Just another radio collage.
"Frosch" ("Frog") is a field recording of frogs in Moscow. They were chatting in the centre of the city in a pond in the park. And I thought if it could be music? We say "birds sing", but what do frogs do? Probably it's not singing, but can we call it music? The track is an "investigation" of this issue.
"Foretelling" is the only track which has lyrics. I was thinking about the future which is always uncertain, and it reflects usual paranoia, so common for Nervöse Leute. The track also has plenty of radio noise, metal percussion, acoustic guitar — all the elements featuring on the album.
The final track, "Mystery and Something Else", is short but not that simple. It refers to Blaine L. Reininger's hit song "Mystery and Confusion" and Tony Wilson's TV show "Something Else". It's also a field recording made during a walk. I was strolling down and thinkng about David Thomas' (Pere Ubu) idea of "the art of walking", and I started to doubt if the walking is indeed a sort of art; I was recalling his interview when he was showing the bottom of the cup, and I guess this is what I tried to expose on this album as well. "If the walking is art", I thought. "Then I got to check if it's music or not". We know walking has a rhythm. Soldiers march, marches sound rhythmically flawless. But when we're walking without any purpose (wandering around), will our steps be rhytmically organized, and would it be suitable to create musical piece out of it? So I made this record trying to get the answers.
I have to confess that Nervöse Leute is the only project which never causes irritation while I'm working on it. The less musical it was, the better was my state of mind when I had been working on tracks. It's also the most therapy-oriented of my projects. I am deeply proud of what I created this time, and I sincerely hope it can make some impression.
Warmly remind you that your feedback would be much appreciated.
John "Grey Lenses" Grey