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Book Feature/ F.S. Blumm: "Drawings"

img  Tobias

Thanks to video clips, the internet, arts students storming the charts, a general conversion of the different artistic disciplines as well as some truly stunning and influential record covers over the last few decades of pop and rock history, music and images have seemingly become indivisibly entangled. With F.S. Blumm, however, they can also go their separate ways.

“Drawings” may appear oddly out of place in the world of experimental sounds, but it is a logical and completely harmonious addition to Blumm’s audio catalogue. For one, this truly international artist with strong local ties (born in Bremen, based in Berlin, releasing with German and Japanese labels and currently on tour in the USA) has ever since his childhood faced the dilemma of knowing that he wanted to do something with his hands instead of his mouth, without ever conclusively answering the question whether this implied a career as a painter or a musician. And secondly, in his main occupation as a producer of radio plays, he is already combining different genres, implicitely approaching ear-related material with the eyes of a child. The same goes for the Ahornfelder label, which feels comfortable in a space between the visual and the sonic, capturing the natural music of the world around us as well as the nature-related microcosms of man-made acoustic compositions. In this 40-page book,.which as a further reference to the record business comes in the format of a 7’’ vinyl EP, Blumm presents imaginary landscapes of his mind, ball point drawings, feltpen scribbles, pencil strokes, lines and curves, shapes and random patterms, each stretching out over a double page. At times, there will be concrete objects, such as a hand or a couple of mushrooms, occasionally there are hints at animals or human members, but mostly the conturs are too unique for comparisons, existing in their own system of references. Three things are immediately noticable: Despite being very different in nature and obviously created individually, these pictures seem to relate to each other, like scenes from a sitcom with a long gap in between the episodes. Or as if they were merely snapshots of one large painting with manifold areas. Secondly, the same directness of Blumm’s music shines through in his drawings as well: There seems to be no intellectual censor at work here at any time. And thirdly, there is a gripping sense of movement, even in the emptier moments, when the space outside of the frame tells as much of the story as its actual content.

We should now probably conclude by saying that this is not only a wonderful and intimate collection of drawings, but also a book which is in no need whatsoever of musical accompaniment. Which is absolutely true. And yet, we couldn’t resist the temptation: When looked at with Blumm’s naive and romantic guitar pieces playing in the background, these images come to life even more.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: F.S. Blumm
Homepage: Ahornfelder Records

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