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Concepts and Coincidences: An N-Discography

img  Tobias Fischer

„Back in 1998, I experienced a “by chance thing” for the second time: The piece which would later be named “Bergen: See“ and come to be used as the title track for my debut album was a multi-layered experiment, which I performed as a break in between Mal and me working on [multer] tracks at a rehearsal. When later listening to the recording that Mal did without telling me, I felt this to be, maybe for the first time, exactly the sort of sound that would be worth releasing as a solo-piece. To tell the whole truth, I have to admit that Mal added some electronics to the music at first. But soon, we both thought that it worked best as a pure guitar piece without any later changes and additions. And so it began with N, later followed by two solo sessions, this time with the mindset to go for a solo release straight from the beginning.“

Released 2003 on Genesungswerk

Bergen – Skizzen + Notizen
„In a way, Thomas Köner is to be blamed for this record, telling me about his idea of reworking a track of Bergen just after he finished mastering the record. Although he never actually managed to take a stab at it, I always kept this concept of some 'Skizzen + Notizen' (sketches and notes) in my mind. Everything came together when Dirk Serries made his contribution in mixing and adding additional guitars within two weeks after having heard the album for the first time. Mirko 'Aalfang mit Pferdekopf' Uhlig joined for his very stripped down vision of „Rauschbogen“. And Segment - who'd already  recorded the original version of „Bergen: See“ - was using his rhythm-oriented cut-and-paste-style for his variation of precisely that track. I could not resist going for „Horizont Wo“, just using my amps and fx-pedals ... And for all those who feel troubled by the twin-like cover: After all that, it seemed impossible to choose anything else.“

Released 2009 on Consouling Sounds

„I was inspired by a variety of things for this album. There were those otherworldly sounding drones. There was the impact left by an exhibition. It was then that I knew, that this one needed to relate to a ghost-like place. And I began searching for it. For me, there is no question that Prora is such a ghost-like place, crowded by phantoms of the past. I confirmed my idea by going there in order to, just as with Gager, put the music, title and visuals in relation to each other.“
„Maybe there is already some sort of a political side to the album just for the fact that the album carries this name, which will forever be stained by history. I was well aware of the fact that there are both people eager to blame anyone who touches the Nazi past without at the same time telling at least a hundred times that this was a horrible time which caused enough guilt for the next three hundred years or so - as well as those who are still into the ideology today, although they should know better.“ 
„But I had neither of these things mentioned above, nor this “getting political by chance” in mind when conceptualising the album. In fact, when I first listened to the two pieces that would later become the record, I was instantly fascinated by their ghost-like appeal. With the further impression of the HMKV exhibition “Wach sind nur die Geister”/“Awake are only the Spirits”, which dealt with people who try to “catch” ghosts, I soon felt I really had “caught” some with these two pieces. And after some research on the subject matter and some talks, especially with artistic director Inke Arns of HMKV, everything in this matter seemed to point towards Prora. That made me settle on Rügen and in fact, this place is bewildering and strange and very difficult to catch visually. There is a mixture of the ghosts of the past, the awkward efforts to set up something new and all these guys hanging around, attracted by the place and its history. All that made me search for a more indirect way in using the place to illustrate the mood of the music. Finally, I took the picture that I already used, showing the sea and a small bit of the Prora waterfront. For me it is the perfect choice.“

Released 2009 on Droehnhaus

„I had the recordings, I had figured out the arrangement of the tracks and I had the strong feeling of this being something dark and wild. Suddenly, I knew that this had to be some place surrounded by the sea and I found myself reading maps, looking for “that” place. And as before, I knew I'd found it the very moment I read about it.“
„It is forbidden to visit the island because of nature protection measures. Only a single birdwatcher lives there and during the wintertime, it is even completely uninhabited. So my “visit” could only be done by pictures. But the music already led me to the place. Since then, I have been fascinated by the idea to really spend some time there and capture the atmosphere in practise; or better: to check whether the music told my any lies ... And maybe doing so would result in a Trischen II, who knows.“
„The pieces were recorded during one or two days and according to my personal approach. After that, I did not listen to them until I had forgotten how they sounded. This is my way of being able to judge my own work more objectively. It is simply impossible to do so directly after recording. And while “Nordküste, Winter” was the first piece to evolve, I soon realized that all these recordings belong together, that these five compositions are comparable to frames taken from a much longer piece. Like a sort of excerpt. Even if this “longer” piece is nothing more than imagination.“
„I like melodies and I even think there is a sort of melody in nearly every track by N. But often, especially with Trischen, it is some kind of meta-melody that spans across the entire track or maybe even the whole record. And in these cases, the melody is slightly hidden behind the mood, the texture or the atmosphere of the track. It is a very archaic melody, then. I already compared it with the “melody” of the sea or the fire; you cannot whistle it, but you can remember it. It's very catchy.“

Released 2009 on Genesungswerk

„I had the picture, which I would eventually use for the finished cover, and I knew I would name a record after this place nearly one year before I made the recordings. And when I knew, after listening through a lot of recordings, that those four pieces belong together, I also suddenly “knew” that this is Gager. And the moment I arrived at that conclusion, everything seemed to fit and there were no more doubts: the loop-based music, the somehow “looped” landscape ... both calm and silent.“
„These four tracks basically develop from a single note to an orchestra of single notes, chords and different harmonies, with the peak at the end of the track, especially with both center-pieces “Groden” and “Groden II”. At the end, as a listener, you are simply surprised how you got there, but everything sounds logical and you cannot remember any break. To play such a track live means to keep in mind the different structural and tonal ingredients that need to be stacked on top of each other to arrive at the desired result.“
„The melodies of these four tracks are an ever changing repetition of an in fact very simple motive (“Missweisung”), the evolution of melody from a single note (which, by default, can not be a melody) to an orchestration (“Groden” + “Groden II”) and a layered bouquet of bowed single notes turning into a melody (“Netzgang”).“

Released 2010 on Denovali