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CD Feature/ Mirko Uhlig: "The Rabbit's Logbook"

img  Tobias

Information overflow, subliminal messages, the data highway, emails on your mobile: Mirko Uhlig seems to be the only one who does not want to get a message across these days. “The Rabbit’s Logbook”, brought to you on a heart-red 3’’ disc, is the result of a musical and personal friendship with Dronaement’s Marcus Obst (who also runs the Field Muzick label) and another piece in a colourful mosaic of releases which have transcended the collage-like to form a unique handwriting somehwere between an impressionist’s field of flowers painting and a dadaist’s love song.

On the other hand, Uhlig has been compared to Christoph Heemann of Mirror of lately and called “one of the better drone masters of Germany”, both of which I do not agree with. Not quality-wise, I mean, but these parallels simply do not adequately capture his musical personality in full in my opinion. It is true that Uhlig works with drones, just as much as he has a liking for combining them with field recordings and concrete noise samples from old tapes and a huge, evergrowing vault on his harddisc. And yet, his scope is always much wider, his interest much broader and his palette much more varied than those of the typical genre names. Stretching tones to infinite threads and allowing their friction areas to spark little fireworks of harmonics is all fine and well, but to what end? To Uhlig, the pure sound aspect is never enough. Drones make up 90% of the material on “The Rabbit’s logbook”, but they are hardly an end in themselves, either serving as emotive sheets, capturing a mood or even just an impulse in their fluctuating clouds or as derrivatives from former thematic cycles. In their latter appearance, they are the remnants of what western tradition once called melody and harmonic progression. Now merely fossilised memories of former times, their trunkated character allows them to transport nostalgic sentiments as if they were drenched in amber. Nothing lasts forever here, even the most melancholy moment can abruptly fall to pieces and give way to better days. And yet, the constant ebb and flow of old and new scenes, the smeared out sonorities and the precise caligraphic lines as well as the dispersed reoccurence of the imposing, wide-as-the-atlantic-ocean lead theme, lend a consistency and cohesion to these scattered islands of sound. Maybe the mastery in weaving these elements together has slightly increased just a little bit more, but other than that, “The Rabbit’s Logbook” is rather a case of refinement than radical experiments.

One could describe Uhlig’s method as “recontextualising lost musical fragments” (it sounds soooo cool for your biennale application), but to him, there is no context. This EP is what it is, nothing more and nothing less. But fear not: As “The Rabbit’s Logbook” proves, you don’t need no complicated philosophies to connect with your audience. Only a nihilist could claim that there is nothing but the void behind a music without message – and Uhlig is none.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Mirko Uhlig
Homepage: Mirko Uhlig at MySpace
Homepage: Field Muzick Records

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