A previously unreleased concert recording from 1983 by Das Moabiter Duo
(Sven-Åke Johansson and Thomas Kapielski). An eclectic improvisation
associating drums, electronics
and concrete music, offering a snapshot of the experimental Berlin scene
of the 1980s.
The LP recovered, mixed and mastered by Frieder Butzmann,
features a previously unreleased concert recording from 1983. Joint
performances by Kapielski and Johansson took place in clubs like the
Korrekt (Alt-Moabit, Berlin) or—as part of the experimental concert series
“Materialausgabe” initiated by Heiner Goebbels and Christoph Anders—at the
Batschkapp in Frankfurt/Main.
Das Moabiter Duo, as we can see from today's perspective, already
anticipated live performances between noise, improv and advanced
electronics that now almost daily enrich the nightlife of a city like
Berlin. But back to the concerts of that time: Kapielski's electronic
manipulations of sounds from everyday objects resulted in, as he himself
puts it as ironically as conceitedly, an “ingenious-stockhausianistical”
performance. Meanwhile, Johansson explored the sonic possibilities of shoe
trees, lashed out with towels, grabbed his accordion with its attached a
rear-view mirror, and, last but not least, played, of course, his
astonishing drum kit.
Confusion arose—both during the actual performance and, in a completely
different way, decades later, when Kapielski rediscovered the audio tape
with a concert recording in an old carton—because
of a typically unique idea by Johansson: “With a professional gesture, in
the middle of the concert and while playing, Sven-Åke exchanged the
cymbals, mounted on stands to the left and right of the bass drum, for
large "cymbals" made of thick foam pads. And he continued to play on them.
We laughed—but we heard nothing. Or presumably even more. Each of us
something different. That was enlightening—how else would this
scene still be so present in my memory after 35 years.” (Heiner Goebbels,
text excerpt from the booklet)
Obviously, listening to the original recording on which the LP is based
you wouldn't be able to see Johansson playing his foam cymbals, in order
to, as it were, hear them before the inner eye. Moreover, as Kapielski
remembers in an e-mail to Johansson printed in the booklet, the recording
microphones were placed in such a way that little of Johansson's drums
could be heard anyway.
So, across decades, a special kind of improvisation emerged: Johansson
added new, “real” sounds with his drum kit, turning his improvisations
with Kapielski into a, not only in a temporal sense, genuinely
free-floating undertaking: recovered.
In addition to a download code, the vinyl album contains an extensive
format-filling 16-page booklet with drawings by Sven-Åke Johansson, a
text by Heiner Goebbels, an e-mail from Thomas Kapielski and photographs
by Gerald Domenig of the legendary performance. In addition, a video
documentation of the concert at Club Korrekt from 1983 will be published.
Published on the occasion of the artists' joint exhibition at Laura Mars Gallery, Berlin, from February 22 to March 21, 2020.
Das Moabiter Duo is a music project founded by Sven-Åke Johansson and
Thomas Kapielski in Berlin
during the 1980s.
Sven-Åke Johansson (born 1943 in Mariestad, Sweden) is one of the
style-defining drummers of the German free
era of the 1960s and 1970s. From the 1980s onwards, he pursued
an artistic path as a music performer, largely independent of institutions
and groups, and increasingly involved in the visual arts and new music
circles. His oeuvre includes more than fifty record releases, numerous
music theatre pieces
, visual works and a lively touring life.
Thomas Kapielski (born 1951 in Berlin, where he lives and works) is
perhaps better known as an author, with publications at Merve, Suhrkamp
etc., certainly also as an artist. But since the 1980s he has also been
active as a musician. He released records with Frieder Butzmann, among