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Manuel Göttsching at Worldtronics

img  Tobias
This is an audio recording of a Panel discussion at Worldtronic in Berlin in late 2007 - you canfind the files on the left hand side bar. For this discussion, the organisors invited three German electronic composers from three different generations: Manuel Göttsching, Dr. Motte (who co-founded the Love Parade) and Henrik Schwarz, a contemporary laptop artist deriving from the Acid Jazz and techno tradition. While the latter two producers were also involved in the debate, the focus of these MP3s is clearly on Manuel Göttsching.

The issue at hand was “Electronic Music in Germany” and the debate was held entirely in German, so anyone unfamiliar with the language will unfortunately have to wait until we find the time to put a full transcript online. Until then, let’s give you a rough overview:

Manuel Göttsching talks about how the German music market slowly moved from Schlager and traditionals to a Rock-oriented scene modelled to the American blueprints, before finding a language of its own.

He stresses that he still regards himself as a live musician and that the live situation, to him, is still “where music comes from” – not from expensive studio technology. Quote: “To me, what matters, is composition, the structure of the music. (...) It doesn’t really matter, whether you use a comb to play it or a grand orchestra.” According to Göttsching, the term “electronic music” has lost its meaning, because everything is “electronic”. He draws a border between his own music and the academic approaches of the 60s, instead citing the “Neue Deutsche Well” as an important step forward.

On a personal level, he talks about “E2-E4”, how that record slowly became famous and turned into a classic over time. It is a nice bonus for any fan to hear that Manuel Göttsching showed very early interest in DJ culture, recalling a party in New York 1977, where he was impressed by a DJ capable of mixing pieces so skillfully, that the music seemed to go on forever. He also mentions his own – playful - experiments to master the art of “scratching”.

There are also questions from the audience, for example about how much electronic music has lost its utopian character (Göttsching: “The plurality which we could achieve today has been put upside down by radio stations all playing the greatest hits of the 70s, 80s and 90s”), which touches the issue of different formats (CD vs Vinyl) and how consumers may be trying to revolt against the dictatorship of big business.

Many thanks to Myriam Abeillon of MG ART for the Audio!

Homepage: Manuel Göttsching
Homepage: Worldtronics at MySpace

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