Al Karpenter LP
If We Can't Dream, They Can't Sleep​!​!
ever/never (NYC)


Strange connections -- Bilbao meets Japan via Berlin on a record that will put you in a constant state of WTF. ASMR rock? Post-internet punk? A political manifesto in times of generalized madness? After his acclaimed 2017 destructo-punk single on Munster Records, Al Karpenter now delivers his mature, complex debut LP on the world's premier record label for adults, New York City's Ever / Never. Al Karpenter is an elusive figure. On this record, he comes off like "Che" Guevara fronting Suicide in the year 2020: In halting, quivering tones, he warns us not to fall asleep, even as he slips into a dream state; he reminds us that we must not give up hope even in these times of collective self-destruction; then he shakes our very core with an agonizing scream. There is no resignation, no giving-up, and no mourning for a lost future in his work. Instead, Al Karpenter pits the burning energy of the present moment against older underground musical forms, playing things "wrong" as a technique for exposing the fundamental wrongness of consensus reality. His record is a puzzle, a conundrum, at once conflictive and erotic, violent and beautiful. Yellow Green Red's Matt Korvette described Al's debut single as ”Very deconstructed and cuckoo, as if one of Fushitsusha’s psychic jams was condensed into a couple minutes of indigestion" -- a perceptive appraisal, seeing as Al is now joined by time-bending drummer and percussionist Seijiro Murayama, whose early credits include Fushitsusha’s Double Live. Further strange connections include key players from Bilbao's exploratory music scene -- drummer Joxean Rivas of Bilbao's demolition unit Killerkume, experimentalists María Seco and Mattin -- alongside the legendary Chie Mukai, of Japan's Ché- SHIZU and the seminal East Bionic Symphonia school of improvised music. Tying it all together everything are the lucid sexophone and electronics of Lucio Capece. If it is no longer possible to dream of a just and equitable future, Al Karpenter's answer is to shout desperate truths, to disrupt the notion that "weird" music is the province of the connoisseur, the specialist. For Al Karpenter, the ugliest racket and the most sensual textures are instruments for change. He transforms his angst, fragility, and sense of powerlessness into a force for destroying(-)destructive Nonsense. Al Karpenter's love-cry, his healing force, is violent and fragmented and paradoxically smooth. Things are not right, he insists, and we will not make music that pretends they are. -e/n

rec of the day: AL KARPENTER "if they can't dream, they won't sleep" (ever/never LP). nuts debut album from spain's cracked answer to the question, "how to you spell early swell maps?"
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Recordedness

REVIEW:

If communism was haunting Europe like a ghost (Marx and Engels: "A specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism"), then Al Karpenter is now a ghost of rock 'n' roll haunting with his album "If We Can't Dream, They Can't Sleep!!" And like communism, this record is actually more ghost than solid, transforming into contemporary culture in many invisible and surreal ways. Some would say communism is already dead. Or was ruined in the hands of dictatorships. But what if the magnificent spectacle was in fact a reflection of the passions of the masses, like the magnificent spectacles generated by rock 'n' roll? Undermining "all that is solid" and letting it melt away, Al Karpenter gives a lot of space to a kind of negative form in the music, using fragmentation, and contrasting shining high frequencies with cloud-dark low frequencies. The ghost drives through us like a murmur using our bodies like drum set made of flesh. This is an album for the moment. You can't remember and retell its structure. There is no beauty that appears again from memory. There is no future promised. Just the moment of small noise and vast space, the moment in the river of life. It's not about Al Karpenter's singing and, or Seijiro Murayama's trance drumming overlapping with Lucio Capece's roaming saxophone, nor the heavy bowed bass by María Seco andMattin's auto-tune transformation... It's about reacting to the ruins of reality at every floating moment. (The idea that communism is a form of ghost is inspired by Oier Etxeberria's book "LaLana".)
Yan Jun

INTERVIEW:

YJ - Yan Jun (interviwer)
AK - Al Karpenter (artist)
M - Mattin (producer)
PART ONE

YJ: How did you know when to stop working on this record and allow it to be born? Are there things you considered doing but did not? AK: Well, there were some recordings that were left off of the record, I have tried to use them for a forthcoming record "Musik From A Private Hell" which will come out with the French label Bruit Direct Disques. M: To answer the first question: when it sounds wrong in the right way. Regarding the second question, the material can always be changed and adapted. I always wish that apps like Soundcloud could have a feature to copy and paste directly into the sound so anybody could take the material and do something straight away. In regard to this LP, it is already a record, a crystallization in a given time of a set of relations, certain materials, sounds and thoughts. And when it is out there, it becomes a message in a bottle, nobody knows where it will end up. YJ: Chie Mukai's part is short. Is it all she recorded for this album? Or some materials were abandoned? How much materials or ideas were abandoned during the process? AK: The recording of Chie Mukai was a proposal from Mattin, as the contributions for this record from Seijiro Murayama, Lucio Capece and Joxean Rivas. I don ́t know if herrecording was at “Larraskito” in Bilbao, or in another place, but her contribution and all of those recordings helped to make the album what it is in terms of how it sounds. I ́m really glad for it. To your next question, two ideas we left behind was making a kind of “ASMR-type” of song, and making some more “noise-rock” textures. M: With Chie Mukai we recorded a few tracks in my studio in Berlin, but we did not record while listening to Al Karpenter's record. The idea was always to put the record together as an assemblage. This means that not all the material was made for this record specifically. As we took material from many different places and we could have use sound already out there, we could even say that all the sounds available in the world that are not on the record were abandoned. YJ: How much did you use le cadavre exquis-bira le vin-nouveau (exquisite corpse) method? Did you change any of the results of the pre-decided rules? AK: Well, I think I don ́t know that method, sorry... We started - Mattin, Marı́a Seco and me - recording this with a guitar, drum and bass in “Castle Rock” in 2018, and the next year we did it at “Bilbo Rock”, both in Bilbao. Of course, not everything from those recordings is in the final record. M: There weren't any rules. I see potential in any material that Al produces. It is very liberating working with him, because we can be extremely playful between hierarchies, between good and bad sounds, or good and bad recordings. For example, Al records many of his vocals with his mobile phone and often there are background noises from other bands playing, so they become like field recordings. Following Marshall McLuhan, Al Karpenter demonstrates in practice that any medium can become part of the message. YJ: There are many sudden changes or turns in the structure. What if there was a demonstration marching to your music but suddenly the atmosphere changed? AK: The sudden changes in structure is something I have done since I began to record songs for this project and several past musical projects (Krpntrs, Opus Glory Ignominia), and Mattin also loves to change structures. I think that ́s a funny thing for both of us. M: At the structural level, the sudden changes seem to be a reflection of our times. I don't think that the linearity of playing rock can match the complexity of today's reality,especially if you take into account what the internet does to our perception and cognition. So even if Al and I come from a passion for rock, we to try to shake it up, leave behind some of its problematic stereotypes and make music that can be in dialogue with contemporary reality rather than being an exercise in nostalgia. YJ: "If We Can't Dream, They Can't Sleep", "Pow'r", and many parts of other songs, have strong bass sounds, or even pure sine-waves. What if people play it through smart phones and all of these frequencies are missing? AK: Those abstract bass parts are from Marı́a ́s unique talent with the bass and the bow, I just love those parts. I really think that without them would not be the same album and not the same songs. M: Many of those frequencies are computer generated. An example of the limitations of rock is the narrow frequency range that it uses but to be honest I think Al's attitude and message comes across with or without the frequencies. However in the near future when we all have neuro and aural prosthetics, there will be no problem to deal with these frequencies or with other much broader ones. YJ: How much did the musicians know or not know about the plan, the lyrics or the method? Have they made any mistakes? AK: When I start recording one album I don ́t know how will it end, or when... It ́s an adventure, and it ends when I finally have it in my hands, or in somebody else ́s hands. Fortunately, there were no mistakes here, all went right. M: It depends of whom. For example, as Al already mentioned, Marı́a Seco was very important from the beginning of this record, while Chie did not listen to any of it until it was finished but she trusted us. Lucio listened to the tracks very attentively and played in response. The process varied a lot depending on the contributor and how much of the record was done. YJ: Is the auto-tune effect of "Riot and Roll" Mattin's idea? How much did you paid for the pedal or plug-in? Do you mostly use freeware on this album? AK: Yeah. It ́s an idea from Mattin. I don ́t know what systems he uses to do that... I justknow the way I do my work with my recordings, using a mobile, a sound recorder and a sound-mixing program, Audacity, which was recommended to me by Xedh. M: The plug-in is actually called Auto-Talent and is a free software version of Auto-Tune. The entire record was made with free software: Ardour for editing, Supercollider for digital sounds, and LADSPA plugins effects, all used under Debian gnu/linux system. For the drum machine we used a free online version. I cannot remember the name but it sounded very trap-urban like. There are also some samples. YJ: How many versions of "If We Can't dream, They Can't Sleep!!" exist? How many versions could you make? I found the Chinese melody (T) in Youtube version (https://youtu.be/B1iSYACCKAg) is missing in the album version. AK: Well, I don ́t know anything about that video... All 7 songs from the album are played as acoustic versions with my acoustic guitar. And also with the electric one. Next thing is to play them with keyboard. M: As far as I know there is only one, but Al is very good at reworking material and giving tracks another life in another context. With this specific track, there was a question of whether it should be one or two tracks, but Al decided that it should be one. I still wonder what would be the difference. Recently a friend suggested we make shorter tracks for critics and radio, but I thought that did not happen so much in the underground scene. I would love to hear that song. Do you have a link Yan Jun? YJ: Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZywj-U76YM . AK: I just watched the YouTube video... Well, the story is that I bought a megaphone that contained that melody, amazing! But it ́s not in the album, it just appears in the video-clip from that song.
M: It is crazy, this story of the megaphone, it says so much about globalization!

PART TWO

YJ: Is it true that Al Karpenter is not into technology and new modern gadgets? How do you fit your body (voice, hands on guitar, and your presence on stage) into today's media and machines? As Mattin mentioned, social media has changed our perception. I remember once Mattin was asked about computer coding,M: In regards to coding, I remember a conversation that Miguel Prado and I had with Patricia Reed and Anil Bawa-Cavia (https://soundcloud.com/socialdiscipline/sd13-w-patricia-reed-anil-bawa-cavia-modes -of-access-to-complexity ) where they updated the communist expression "seize the means of production" to "seize the means of complexity." I think it is crucial that we understand the possibilities that technology can bring us. For us musicians, technology can allow for different uses of time, structure, frequency, and rhythm. I think it is very healthy to see the limitations of previous ways of music making from the perspective of today's possibilities. For many years there was the feeling that everything was already made, similar to what Simon Reynolds called "retromania." However lately I get the feeling that new things are appearing that make previous forms of music making outdated. I think Al has no problem with technology at all, he uses everything he has at his disposal. I am thinking of a concert that we did together some years ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PoWZoaiXnc ) and Al was playing the guitar while taking pictures and videos of the audience but also using the camera as a slide for the guitar. AK: Well, I still do the things as I ever did, with one guitar, and a voice, but not doing what everyone expects with them, but making new noises, playing without notes... That ́s still my aim. YJ: Do you think Cornelius Cardew would agree with what you are doing in music? Specifically the Cardew who abandoned experimental techniques and turned to neo-romantic popular music. How could music today not serve imperialism without going into a narrow taste of so-called obscure art? M: Anthony Iles, a very good friend of mine, said that Cardew playing neo-romantic realist music was the most avant-garde thing that he could do. Actually just before Cardew died, he was talking to AMM about playing together again. We are living now very different times. At that time many people thought that communism could be (however problematic that was). When Cardew became a member of the Communist Party of England in the early 70's, one could say that he turned political revolutionary but musical reactionary. This brings us to the question of form and content in regards to aesthetics (whether the type of party politics he engaged with was revolutionary has also been questioned, but that is a long debate for anotheroccasion). I remember an anecdote that Keith Rowe told me about the Scratch Orchestra (Cardew was a founding member). At that time the Scratch Orchestra was doing "pocket concerts," which basically means they were playing with whatever objects they had in their pockets. Around 1971 they were doing a tour in the UK and at some point they encountered a workers strike. The Scratch Orchestra really wanted to help them in their struggle but thought it would be completely meaningless to do it with their pocket concerts. For Keith Rowe the type of political popular music that they were doing afterwards with Cardew was like a spark or short lived fire in order to encourage workers in their struggles. While instead with AMM, Rowe thought of if as very slow burning fire that occurs through the years, decades. The question is the function of different types of music in society, and this changes with the times. Rock certainly has no potential to subjectivize young people like it had in the 60's and 70's, when rock musicians thought they could really change the world, and they actually did. Today rock seems to be more like a language, a very gendered historical cultural expression with its tropes and cliches, which we cannot negate. In fact we should do the opposite; to work with these negative connotations in order to give it new potentialities, and I think this can only be through perversion. Music has something to say because it functions as a kind of social unconscious that is not yet fully worked out. Music expresses symptoms. Possibilities and potentialities collide in complex ways that are yet to be deciphered. Can we call this record obscure art? And if so, for how long, since never before there has been so much experimentation in mainstream music? AK: Well, I didn ́t know Cardew... I watched some videos of him and his music, it ́s alright. I don ́t know if he could agree with our music but I think we would invite him to make some improvised music, yeah! YJ: In 2021 would you still see capitalism as the most troubling issue for human society and our minds? Do you think the mess of this virus and the endless international political bargaining are evidence of democracy's failure? AK: In fact, the pandemic and the renaissance of a "neo-fascism" era, is the final proposal of those ridiculous restrictions of mobility due to a "virus" ruled by governments and big corporations. M: Democracy under capitalism is bound to fail, since capitalism is based in an unequal set of relations therefore it can never guaranty the necessary equality for democracy to work. Having said that, I think democracy is an ideological illusion based upon the assumption that we can be free individuals with subjective agency, which I think produces what I call social dissonance, a structural form of cognitive dissonance which has to do with this contradictory belief in personal freedom and a systemic determination which constantly negates this freedom or makes it extremely narrow. We certainly don't seem to have the freedom to dictate our future beyond a capitalist horizon. That is why I think we need to be suspicious of concepts and terms that presuppose freedom or agency and look very precisely into both their fallacies and potentialities. Rock, improvisation and noise are cultural expressions which have been victims of presupposing such a type of freedom but increasingly we can see its limitations and we need to work with them. YJ: About dream, what are the dreams that lead us to a better reality and what are the dreams that keep us far from it? Basically the mainstream talk is that we all should be dreaming of something far away instead of digging our own garbage. M: If we want to change things we certainly need to dig into our own garbage, there is no other way around since we are in deep shit. AK: The dream for me is to a world with more solidarity, but I think it ́s only possible avoiding capitalism. YJ: Some of my old rocker friends say this album is "fancy post-modern shit" or "conceptual arty stuff". But when I post primitive tribal field recordings, they always give a "like." The sounds and structures of birds, wind, murmurings, and are sometimes similar to this album. Would you draw any connection between this "post music" and the wild and primitive part of nature? M: This comment is interesting in relation to a distinction that has been drawn between first and second nature. First nature would be the natural form and second nature when commodity exchange appears which is humanly made. There is always a desire to achieve a relation to first nature, to look for something pure that is not tainted by commodity relations but this is only a form of mystification because we only perceive first nature from the perspective of second nature since we are living in capitalist relations. That is why I am ok with the kind of description that your friends are giving to you with regard to this LP. This record shows its artificiality, is fragmentary character. It does not pretend to be pure. In fact it tries to show how purity -of rock and roll, or improvisation, or noise- can be manipulated both in formal and ideological ways. A proof of this is that we are talking about it right now. AK: I think they could be right... It ́s always so easy to underrate what you can ́t understand. It's nothing new to me. YJ: Some artists are angry, some are performing anger. Should a performer be their real self or perform their self? Or, if you say there is fundamentally no "self," then what should an artist do? AK: I remember a phrase from John Lydon, "anger is an energy" (from "Rise" by PiL), with which I agree. I always need some kind of motivation or energy to get onto the stage and start to play. M: I think as an artist one deals constantly with the contradiction of an overblown personification, a kind of performativity or campness that is both painful and playful. This makes you aware of the processes of mediation and theatricality in regard to the production of selfhood but you also realize that it can never be stable. A clear contradictions of our times is that while many people praise authenticity and integrity, they are doing it often through media that is everything but authentic. Perhaps with zines and very low-key publications, things are more down to earth but the way that they can be manipulated in the future is something that we don't know and it might be worth to take it into account. YJ: Please ask me, your audience who you never met with this music in same room, a question. AK: Well... I imagine a press conference, picking up my guitar and saying: -"What song of the album don ́t you want to hear... ? I ́m gonna play that song, ha-ha-ha!!"-. M: What kind of future do you want?


Beijing, Bilbao, Berlin,
April-June 2021
Proofread by Bob Ostertag / Anti-Copyright


Chinese Translation:


如果我们不能做梦,他们就别想睡觉!!
——关于艾尔·卡朋特专辑的访谈
英文校对:Bob Ostertag;英译中:阿科;校对:罗万象
唱片链接:https://evernever-records.bandcamp.com/album/if-we-cant-dream-they-cant-sleep

YJ - 颜峻 (采访者)
AK - Al Karpenter (艺术家)
M - Mattin (制作⼈)

如果共产主义像幽灵一样在欧洲徘徊(马克思和恩格斯:“ 一个幽灵正在欧洲徘徊——共产主义的幽灵。”),那么现在艾尔·卡朋特就是一个摇滚乐的幽灵,他用他的专辑《如果我们不能做梦,他们就别想睡觉!!》作祟。而且就像共产主义,这张唱片比起是个实物要更幽灵一点,以许多无形和超现实的方式转变为当代文化。 有人会说共产主义已经死了。或者已经被独裁之手毁了。但如果壮丽的景观其实是群众激情的镜子,就像摇滚乐制造的壮丽景观? 艾尔·卡朋特破坏 “坚固的一切”并让它消融,他把很大的空间留给音乐的一种负形,使用碎片,把闪烁的高频与暗云般的低频进行对照。那个幽灵像低语一样穿过我们,像血肉之鼓作用于我们的身体。 这是一张为瞬间而做的专辑,你无法记得和重述它的结构,没有从记忆中再次浮现的美,没有被承诺的未来,只有细小噪音和巨大空间的瞬间,生命长河中的瞬间。这不是关于艾尔·卡朋特的歌声,也不是关于村山政二朗恍惚的鼓声重叠着 Lucio Capece 漫游的萨克斯,也不是关于 María Seco 用琴弓拉出来的沉重低音,或者马丁用 auto-tune 效果器做的转换……它是关于在每一个流动的瞬间对现实的废墟做出反应。 (共产主义是一种幽灵形态的观点受到了 Oier Etxeberria 的书“LaLana”的启发。) ——YJ YJ:你们怎么知道什么时候该结束这张专辑的制作,放手让它问世呢?有没有你们本来想做却没做的东西? AK:嗯,是有一些录音在这张专辑里去掉了,我试着把它们用在一张将出的专辑《来自私人地狱的音乐》里,会由法国厂牌 Bruit Direct Disques 出版。 M:先回答第一个问题:当它在对劲地听起来不对劲的时候。至于第二个问题,素材总是可以修改和调整的。我总是希望像 soundcloud 那样的 app 能有可以直接复制粘贴声音的功能,那样就谁都可以直接获得素材,即刻做点什么了。关于这张黑胶,它已经是一张唱片,一个在给定时间内的一组关系、某些材料、声音和思想的结晶。当它出版了,就变成了瓶中信,没人知道它会在哪里结束。 Yj:向井千惠的部分很短。这就是这张专辑里她的全部录音吗?还是说有一些素材被放弃了?在这个过程中,有多少素材或者想法被放弃了? Ak:向井千惠的录音是马丁的建议,同样还有为这张专辑做出贡献的村山政二朗、Lucio Capece 和 Joxean Rivas。我不知道她是在毕尔巴鄂的“Larraskito”还是在其它地方录的音,但她的贡献和所有这些录⾳,都帮到了这张专辑,让它成为现在听起来的样子。我真的很高兴。对于你的第二个问题,我们这次没用上的两个主意是,制作一些“颅内高潮”类型的歌曲,以及制作一些更加“噪音摇滚”的质地。 M:我们和向井千惠一起在柏林我的工作室里录了几轨,但并没有边听艾尔·卡朋特的录音边录她的。想法始终是把录音组合成一个集合体。这意味着并不是所有素材都是特意为这个专辑而制作的。由于我们从许多不同的地方获取素材,并且我们可以使用已经存在的声音,我们甚至可以说,世界上所有不在这个专辑中的声音都被放弃了。 YJ:你们用了多少“le cadavre exquis”(精致的尸体,指超现实主义的拼贴并置)的方法?有没有什么预先决定的规则产生的结果后来又被你们更改了? AK:嗯,我想我并不知道那个方法,不好意思……我们——马丁、Marıá Seco 和我——在2018年,在 “Castle Rock”用吉他、鼓和贝斯开始录音,第二年我们在“Bilbo Rock”录音,都在毕尔巴鄂。当然,并不是这些录音里的一切都出现在最终专辑里。 M:没有任何规则。我在艾尔制作的任何材料中都看到了可能性。和他一起工作是非常无拘无束的,因为我们可以在等级之间,在好声音和坏声音之间,或者在好和坏的录音之间玩到极致。比如说,艾尔用手机录了他的许多人声, 而且常常有其他乐队演奏的背景噪音,因此它们变得像是田野录音。继马歇尔·麦克卢汉之后,艾尔·卡朋特在实践中证明,任何媒介都可以成为信息的一部分。 YJ:结构中有许多突然的变化或转折。如果有人伴随着你们的音乐示威游行,但突然气氛改变了怎么办? AK:自从开始为这个项目和过去的几个音乐项目(Krpntrs、Opus Glory Ignominia)录歌,结构的突然变化就是常事,马丁也喜欢改变结构。我觉得对我们俩来说这都是一件好玩的事。 M:在结构层,面上,突然的变化似乎反映了我们的时代。我不认为线形的摇滚玩法还能匹配当今现实的复杂,特别是,如果你考虑到互联网对我们的感知和认知的影响。因此,尽管艾尔和我都从对摇滚的热情中出发,我们也要努⼒改变它,抛弃一些有问题的老套模式,制作能够与当代现实对话的音乐,而不是怀旧的练习。 YJ:《如果我们不能做梦,他们就别想睡觉》、《力量》(Pow'r)和其他歌的许多部分都有很强的低音,甚至是纯粹的正弦波。如果人们通过智能手机播放,然后所有这些频率都播不出来怎么办? AK:那些抽象的低u音部分来自 Marıá 在贝斯和弓方面的独特天赋,我就是很爱这些部分。我真的觉得没了它们,就不会是这样的专辑,也不会是这样的歌了。 M:其中许多频率是计算机生成的。关于摇滚乐的局限,一个例子就是它狭窄的频响范围,但说实话,我认为有或没有这些频率,艾尔的态度和信息都能传达出来。不过,在不久的将来,当我们都有神经和听觉的假肢时,处理这些频率或者其它更广的频率都不会有问题。 YJ:音乐家们对这个项目的计划、歌词或者方法了解多少?他们有犯什么错误吗? AK:当我开始录制⼀张专辑时,我不知道它会怎么结束,或者什么时候结束。这是一次冒险,当我最终把它拿到手里,或者到别人的手里时,它就结束了。幸运的是,没什么错误,一切都很顺利。 M:这取决于对谁而言。例如,正如艾尔已经提到的,Marıá Seco 从这张唱⽚的一开始就非常重要,而千惠在完成之前都没有听过任何一首歌,但她信任我们。Lucio 非常专心地听了曲目,并且用演奏来回应。因贡献者和录制完成度的不同,这个过程也有很多差异。 YJ:《暴乱摇滚》(Riot and Roll)的自动移调(autio-tune,青少年流行乐常用的一种效果插件,主要用来把人声变得“很电”)效果是马丁的想法吗?你们为踏板或插件花了多少钱?在这张专辑里你们用的主要是免费软件吗? AK:对,这是马丁的主意。我不知道他是用什么系统做的……我只知道我的方式是用⼿机、录音机和混音程序 Audacity 来做录音工作,Audacity 是 Xedh 推荐的。 M:这个插件实际上叫做 Auto-Talent,是 Auto-Tune 的免费版本。整张专辑都是用免费软件作的:用 Ardour 做编辑,用 Supercollider 做数字声音,还有用 LADSPA 的插件效果,都在 Debian gnu / linux 系统下使⽤。鼓机我们用了免费的在线版本,我不记得名字了,它听起来很有 trap-urban 那种味道。也用了一些采样。 YJ:《如果我们不能做梦,他们就别想睡觉》有多少个版本?你们能作出来多少个版本?我发现那个油管版本(https://youtu.be/B1iSYACCKAg)里的中文旋律在专辑版本里不见了。 AK:嗯,我不是很知道那个视频……专辑里全部的七首歌我都用原声吉他演奏了原声版本。还用电吉他做了一版。接下来就是用键盘了。 M:据我所知,只有一个版本,但艾尔很擅长重新加工素材,在另一个语境中给录音另一次生命。关于特定的这首歌,曾经有一个问题,就是说它应该是一整首还是做成两首,但艾尔决定它应该是一首。 我仍然想知道会有什么区别。最近,一个朋友建议我们给乐评人和电台制作短一点的曲目,但我觉得这在地下场景中并不常见。 我想听听那⾸中文歌。颜峻,你有链接吗? YJ:这是链接:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZywj-U76YM (《十五的月亮》) AK:我刚刚看了油管视频……好吧,事情是,我买的一个喊话器自带那个旋律,太棒了!但它不在专辑里,它只是出现在那首歌的视频片段里。 M:疯了,这个喊话器的故事,太全球化了! YJ:艾尔·卡朋特真的不喜欢技术和新的现代小玩意儿吗?你怎么样让你的身体(人声、吉他上的手,以及你在舞台上的呈现)适应今天的媒体和机器?正如马丁提到的,社交媒体改变了我们的知觉。 我记得有一次,有人问马丁关于计算机编程的问题,当时马丁说,为了摆脱控制,我们需要学习技术。但是那个人争论说,最简单的工具才是每个人能用的(大概是“普罗大众的鹅卵石”的意思吧)。今天你会怎么回答这个问题? M:关于编程,我记得⽶盖尔·普拉多(Miguel Prado) 和我,跟帕特里夏·里德(Patricia Reed)和阿尼尔·巴瓦- 卡维亚(Anil Bawa-Cavia)有过一次对话(https://soundcloud.com/socialdiscipline/sd13-w-patricia-reed-anil-bawa-cavia- modes-of-access-to-complexity),他们更新了共产主义的表达,由“夺取生产的手段”变成“夺取复杂性的手段”。我认为至关重要的是,我们要了解技术带来的可能性。对于我们音乐家来说,技术可以允许时间、结构、频率和节奏的不同用途。我认为从今天的可能性角度来看,看到以前音乐制作方式的局限性是非常健康的。很多年来,人们一直觉得一切都已经做完了,类似于西蒙·雷诺兹(Simon Reynolds)所说的“复古狂热”。但是,最近我有一种感觉,新事物的出现让以前的音乐创作形式过时了。 我认为艾尔对技术完全没有问题,他任意使用他手里的一切。我想起了几年前我们一起做的一场演出(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PoWZoaiXnc),艾尔在弹吉他的时候对着观众拍照录像,同时也把相机当吉他滑棒来用。 AK:嗯,我还是在和以前一样干这些事,用一把吉他和一个嗓子,但不去用它们做大家期待的事,而是制造新的噪⾳,不用音符来演奏……这还是我的目标。 YJ:你们觉得科尼柳斯·卡丢(Cornelius Cardew)会赞同你们在音乐方面做的事情吗?特别是放弃实验技术、转向新浪漫主义流行音乐之后的卡丢。今天的音乐,怎么样才能不走向所谓的晦涩艺术的狭隘品味,从而不为帝国主义服务呢(注:这里指卡丢的小册子《斯托克豪森为帝国主义服务》)? M:我有一个非常好的朋友叫安东尼·伊勒斯(Anthony Iles),他说卡丢演奏新浪漫现实主义音乐是他能做的最前卫的事情。 实际上,就在卡丢去世前,他和 AMM 乐队聊过再一起玩起来。我们现在生活在非常不同的时代。当时许多人相信共产主义(尽管它也有问题)。当卡丢在70年代初加入英共的时候,有人会说他在政治上是革命的,但在音乐上是反动的。这就把我们带到了美学的形式和内容的问题上(也有人质疑他参与的那种政党政治是不是革命的,但这是另一个漫长的争论)。我记得基思·洛(Keith Rowe)告诉我的一个刮擦乐团(Scratch Orchestra,卡丢是创始成员之一)的轶事。当时,刮擦乐团正在举办“口袋音乐会”,基本上意思就是他们会用口袋里装的任何东西演奏。大约在1971年,他们在英国巡演,有一次遇到了工人罢工。刮擦乐团真的很想帮助他们的斗争,但又觉得用口袋音乐会来做这件事完全没有意义。对于基思·洛来说,他们后来和卡丢合作的那种政治性流行音乐就像火花或短暂的火焰,是用来鼓励工人斗争的。而如果是 AMM 的话,洛觉得那是燃烧得非常慢的火势,会持续几年,几十年。 问题在于,不同类型的音乐在社会中的功能,而这会随着时代而变化。摇滚当然没有潜力再让年轻人主观化了,就像60年代和70年代那样,那时候摇滚乐手认为他们真的可以改变世界,他们也确实做到了。今天,摇滚似乎更像是一种语言,一种非常性别化的历史文化表达,带着它的修辞和陈词滥调,我们没法否认这个。事实上,我们应该反过来干:用这些负面的内涵来工作,以便赋予它新的潜能,而且我觉得只能通过反常的做法来做。音乐有话要说,因为它是以一种尚未完全实现的社会无意识来起作用的。音乐表达出症状。可能性和潜能以复杂的、还没被破译的方式碰撞着。我们可以说这张唱片是晦涩的艺术吗?如果是这样,那又可以这样说多长时间呢?就因为,主流音乐里从来没有过这么多的实验? AK:嗯,我不知道卡丢……我看了一些他和他的音乐的视频,挺好的。我不知道他会不会赞同我们的音乐,但我想我们会邀请他来玩一些即兴音乐,耶! YJ:在2021年,对人类社会和我们的心灵而言,你们还会觉得资本主义是最麻烦的问题吗?你认为这个病毒的混乱和无休止的国际政治讨价还价是民主失败的证据吗? AK:事实上,拜政府和大公司控治的“病毒”所赐,瘟疫大流行和“新法西斯主义”时代的复兴就是对流动性的荒唐限制所给出的最终方案。 M:资本主义制度下的民主注定要失败,因为资本主义是建立在一套不平等的关系之上的,因此它永远无法保证民主运作所必需要的平等。话虽如此,我认为民主是一种意识形态幻觉,它建立在这样一种假设之上,即,我们可以成为具有主观能动性的自由个体。我认为这个主观能动性制造了我所说的“社会失调”,一种认知失调的结构性形式,这和对个人自由和系统决策的矛盾信念有关,后者总是会否定个人自由,或者把它变得极其有限。看来我们的确没有超越资本主义范畴、决定我们未来的自由。这就是我为什么认为,我们需要质疑以自由或能动性为前提的概念和措辞,并且非常精确地研究它们的谬误和潜力。摇滚、即兴音乐和噪音都是文化表现形式,它们一直是预设这种自由的受害者,但我们越来越能看到它的局限性,我们也需要与之共事。 YJ:关于梦想,是什么梦想带领我们走向更美好的现实, 是什么梦想让我们远离它?基本上主流的说法是,我们都应该梦想着某些遥远的东西,而不是探索我们自己的垃圾。 M:如果我们想要改变一些东西,我们当然需要探索我们自己的垃圾,因为我们已深陷粪堆,所以没有其他办法。 AK:我的梦想是一个更加团结的世界,但我认为只有避免资本主义才有可能。 YJ:我的一些摇滚老朋友说这张专辑是“花哨的后现代狗屎”或“风雅的概念艺术”。但当我贴原始部落的田野录音时,他们总会点赞。那些鸟儿、风、喃喃自语的声音和结构, 有时候很像这张专辑。你会把这种“后音乐”和野生原始的那部分大自然联系起来吗? M:这个评论很有趣,它区分了第一自然和第二自然。第一自然是大自然的形式,第二自然是伴随着商品交易出现的,是人为的。人们总是渴望实现与第一自然的联系,寻找一些不受商品关系玷污的纯粹的东西,但这只是一种神秘化的形式,因为我们只能从第二自然的角度来感知第一自然,因为我们已经生活在资本主义关系之中。这就是为什么我可以接受你朋友对这张唱片的说法。这张唱片显示了它的人为性,它的碎片的特性。它没有假装是纯洁的。事实上,它想要表明,摇滚乐、即兴演奏或者噪音的纯洁性是可以被操纵的,是同时以形式和意识形态的方式操纵的。一个证明就是,我们现在正在谈论它。 AK:我认为他们可能是对的……总是很容易低估你⽆法理解的东西。这对我来说并不新鲜。 YJ:有些艺术家很愤怒,有些艺术家在表演愤怒。表演者应该做真实的自我还是表演自我?或者,如果你说根本而言是没有“自我”的,那么艺术家应该怎么做? AK:我记得约翰·莱顿(John Lydon)的一句歌词,“愤怒是一种能量”(来⾃ PiL 的单曲《Rise》),我同意这句话。我总是需要某种动机或者能量才能上台、开始演奏。 M:我认为,作为一名艺术家,始终要面对那个过分渲染的人格化身之中的矛盾,那是一种表演性,或者说既痛苦又有趣的坎普性(campness)。它让你意识到自我生产的调解过程和戏剧性,但你也意识到它永远都不可能稳定。我们这个时代有一个明显的矛盾:许多人赞美真实和完整,但他们总是通过媒体来赞美,而媒体是除了真实以外的一切。也许独立杂志和特别低调的出版物会更实在,但未来它们会以什么样的方式被操纵,这是我们不知道的,而这或许值得思考一下。 YJ:请向我——一个你从没见过也没一起分享过这些音乐的听众——问一个问题。 AK:嗯……我想象在一个媒体发布会,拿起我的吉他说:“你不想听这专辑里的哪首歌?我现在就演奏那个,哈哈哈!!”。 M:你想要什么样的未来? 北京,毕尔巴鄂,柏林 2021年4月至6月 反版权


UHIN #3 Yeray Portillo, Enero 2021, Bilbao

Al Karpenter Uhin #3



Yellow Green Red April 2020

Al Karpenter faded from my memory after his debut 7″ EP of enjoyably combustible noise-punk, but thankfully Ever/Never is there to keep tabs on fierce weirdos such as he. Now Karpenter’s got a debut album, the protest-titled If We Can’t Dream, They Won’t Sleep!!, and it picks up where he left us, presumably causing a ruckus in Bilbao’s town square. Even though Al Karpenter gets the marquee billing for this project, Mattin is credited with playing a variety of instruments, and the stink of his unique aesthetic is all over this one. Punk songs are disemboweled and strung up; scattered samples are looped out of a computer; a buzzing sine-wave will be the only sonic aspect for endurance-testing lengths of time; muttering and rustling are as prominent as bass and drums. That said, this album is surprisingly listenable (at least relative to other Mattin projects), mixing samples and electronics into the fray and finding a continuous thread to hang onto, even if it’s going to scare away the vast majority of music listeners, even adventurous ones. Most of you could probably make it through the off-kilter dubsteppy gauntlet of the track “2020”, but there are at least a few of you freaks out there that will sincerely enjoy it, which is a beautiful thing.

Revue & Corrigée #126 December 2020

Difficile de comprendre ce qui ce joue là, comme dans tous les projets de Mattin, ici aux manettes de producteur pour son compatriote basque Al Karpenter. Il y règne une déconcertante confusion, salutaire ? Sans doute, en tout cas ça fout une nausée auditive. Al Karpenter a ouvert la porte de sa cellule révolutionnaire aux batteurs Seiijiro Murayama et Joxean Rivas, Lucio Capece au saxophone, Mattin et Maria Seco à l'électronique, lui à la guitare et aux voix. Ca lorgne du coté de la No-Wave, une no-wave graisseuse, plombée, assaults rythmiques d'une guitare tranchante sonnant boite de conserve rouillée, dans une impasse stylistique revendiquée, voulant tout éclater et recommencer une fois encore. De la déconstruction comme esthétique révolutionnaire. Viva la revolution ! Rythmique de salsa indus, noyée dans des poussières de feedback, on songe au groupe séminal Don King qui jammerait avec un quartet d'aspirateurs. Suicide aussi hurlant au fond d'une cage d'ascenseur, confiné. Pour une philosophie à coup de taser, nous rendant claustrophobe ou nostalgique des années disco. Le corps des danseurs est criblé de larsens vicieux, des voix vaudous de Nigériannes sous amphet enlacent la psyché des auditeurs, secondant celle d'Al foutrement maladive, masturbant le sax mélancolique de Lucio Capece. Do you remember Steve Lacy ? Putain dans quel asile de fous sommes nous tombés ? Impossible de s'endormir, pas plus de rester à cocooner dans nos rêves repeints avec des accryliques fluos, ces zombies de l'apocalypse moderne nous balancent des coups de tatanes dans les tympans. Plus improbable encore le fantôme de Chie Mukaï qui joue du Kokyu dans un reste de chanson trouée, un grand moment de blues et de solitude. L'album défile voulant sa fin brutale. « Sing the Battle Hymn » est un pur moment de rock n'roll renouant avec les primitifs pionniers, le « Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboon » de Little Richard ou le « Fun House » des Stooges, nul doute que Lester Bangs aurait pris ce titre pour illustrer son article « Les Suprématistes du Bruit Blanc » si Bangs écrivait aujourd'hui ce texte. Le rock n'est pas crevé juste moribond attendant son corbillard repeint en rouge et noir. Riot & Roll !
Michel Henritzi



brainwashed Creaig Dunton, 02 August 2020

Al Karpenter’s debut album is one of those that feels perfectly aligned with the present day. With performers hailing from the Basque region of Spain, Japan, and Berlin, the entire world’s state of disarray is fully represented in the broken electronics, erratic garage rock, and full on unhinged punk styles. It is entirely unpredictable: a massively disparate backing band supporting Karpenter’s erratic, rambling vocal style that is a ceaseless mix of frustration, paranoia, and anger, but it all makes sense and—while it may not be a casual experience—it is a gripping one. Karpenter and crew: a backing band made up of Bilbao, Spain’s preeminent experimenters (Mattin, Joxean Rivas, and María Seco), early Fushitsusha drummer Seijiro Murayama, Lucio Capece, and Chie Mukai waste no time in getting weird. Right from the onset, the opening title song is all massive bass, garage guitars, and erratic drum machine loops. With some shifting tempos and intentionally jarring stop/start moments, there is an endearing, and intentional sloppiness throughout. Later on, the crew transition things to more menacing spaces, with Karpenter's megaphone like vocals and shrill electronics giving a greater heft to the proceedings. That psychedelic tinged garage punk vibe is probably the most consistent thing on here, and is also prominently featured on "Sing the Battle Hymn!" as well. Fading in with a lofi 60s rock mood, it quickly erupts into full automatic drumming and broken guitar squalls. On "No Face" a similar guitar sound bursts out here and there, but in this case it is more of an added flavoring to dreary improvised percussion and elongated strings by Mukai, making for one of the few meditative moments on this otherwise blasting record. Other songs on If We Can't Dream, They Won't Sleep! lean a bit more into the electronic end of the spectrum. With Karpenter's voice and Mattin's electronics leading the way, the subterranean bass and skittering cymbals, "Pow'r" resembles an extremely bastardized take on Miami Bass. That is at least until the jazzy sax of Capece and improvised percussion from Rivas and Murayama shift into focus. Even with Karpenter’s spoken word and rigid rhythms, album closer "Riot & Roll!!" is another electronics heavy piece of sputtering rhythms and synths, bass guitar, rigid rhythms, and Karpenter's far off frustrated yelling. For me, the high water mark of the album is the side one ending "If They Sleep…" The up front drumming and jazz-laden outbursts with Karpenter's bizarre re-interpretation of the Stooges’ 1969, lyrically updated for 2019, capture frustration and disgust perfectly. Samples, surging electronics, and a multitude of rhythms intertwine for something that feels simultaneously spontaneous and composed. For its entire shambolic opening, however, the second half makes for an accurate reading of free fusion jazz with just the right amount of noise and absurdity to be had. As a debut, Al Karpenter's If We Can’t Dream, They Won’t Sleep!! is certainly a difficult one to categorize. At times sounding completely unhinged and random, and at others something that is actually carefully planned and structured, it is challenging to say the least. But regardless, he and his backing band use this to create such an amazing sense of tension, frustration, and confusion that just makes perfect sense. With some pure strain psychedelic guitar workouts and noise outbursts that add a sense of both terror and fun, the album is sprawling and all over the place, yet given how 2020 has been thus far (and is likely to continue), it is the perfect sound for the times.


cowsarejustfood 14/07/2020

al karpenter does not write protest songs. what do you protest with a cultural hegemony presented so disparate we just cannibalise? no, al karpenter writes propaganda songs (manifesto on my window, and my fruit). but who or what the fuck is al karpenter and does it even matter? ideologically, thematically, it’s a loosely elusive concept. as an album it plays with place, person and time (but is very much of a time, person and place). as an album it’s a mess, a reigning confusion. old picasso said, every act of creation is first an act of destruction, but goddamn this feels more like the befuddled post-coital aftermath or a stumble through wreckage. it’s on the brink, flirting with collapse, the sweatsoaked and breathless exhaustion of too much, the teetering delirium of endlessly coping with the unknown / unknowing. which is very twenty twenty. so it stumbles to life, a band tu(r)ning up, wandering into frame like a lost actor. they try and try again, staggering to feet, sputtering out, the guitar as brief huffing pneuma, a broken fingered hardcore, then nothing. a faint dying heartbeat, adrift in a fug of electricity, rhyming dictionary mantras (spain, pain, gain, shame). there’s a snare that’s rain falling on a tin roof in the distance. picture it as occam’s razor. what happens is this; it grows so tired of movement, so stops. what happens is this; the opposite of awakening. well it’s 2020 and if they don’t let us dream, we won’t let them sleep repeat as necessary till bored, burned, dead-eyed and staring? i wish i wish i wish that something would happen… and it does, reeds and voice coalesce around beats. the comedian frozen on stage. gathering moss. here it is, the opposite of shark. well it’s 1969 okay another year with nothing to do i say oh my and a boo hoo that stooges echo, that ahistorical line spanning fifty years. rock, still the preserve of bored young men, but the translation into nihilism and destruction has been replaced now by a kind of charmless idiom. this no-wave creaking asphalt jazz, all feedback and drum rumbles hitting a lumpen funk, feels like a sneer, thankfully. a xerox of a xerox of a xerox of a fifty year old record we need no more of. let’s call it folk music then, where individualism and the collective collide. right now everything feels very self *and* very communal. loneliness next to godliness. once we had a house and bread, dignity and a workplace, now we have no place and no face and / or power to the sick, power to the meek, power to the tears, power to be bent by the power, to the meek and the lower in the wrong hands these words are a limp fuddled pete seegerish knit. in the right hands they’re synapses firing. here they’re buried, scorched, torn – the bruised chant of a protest we’ve all moved on from but some fuckers are still singing. so if it is folk music let’s plot points from alan lomax to raoul vaneigem to this clatter and bleed. or say it’s jazz, like a post-something jimmy giuffre side, smashed to pieces. jazz in the misphilosophised sense of freedom. it’s picking up and playing whether you can play or not (it’s all play goddammit!). it’s not radical in the sense of outbursts of volume or violence (though there is some of that). as music it works best when built round a fitful ur- of wry sigh (those repeat ‘ai’ dipthongs again), a monotonous ostinato, and a desire for liberation. a liberation, politically, musically, socially, that comes via disorientation and disassociation. it’s not the forward marching backward looking 4/4 of punk, but the nagging rattle of not knowing what comes next. a noise for breaking-down. a machine for disruption. despite the personnel involved it’s not hard work, in fact it’s arguably uncomplex. a lot of it musically feels like happenstance, of marbles rolling down stairs, communication through foggy gestures, to the extent i’m not sure what the album’s called or which of the last two tracks are which as it loops round again but it’s like the first butterfly to emerge from the cocoon as a caterpillar. there’s shape, unforming. the battle hymn is the battle hymn of class struggle, of anti-imperialism, not that of a blustering america, sclerotic and holy, thrashing on a freshly shat bed. it’s the truth marching on and on and on, round and round and round… sonically it’s the lou reed amp tapes, it’s metallic ko all through one channel. it’s a dream of refusing, not flinching, not struggling. it’s all that really comes close to the blown rockisms of that early single or autobiographik blues. even in the last three minutes when it’s congealed into actual anatomy – hellraiser’s skinless frank cotton – it is not an exit. we won’t let em sleep, feels numb not enraged. the electronics are a weary delirium, one last jig in the face of the unevolving and unenlightening. in the end it doesn’t feel like a manifesto. it is here, in this moment, part howl of despair, but also a plea, a confused clumsy fumble for understanding at the incomprehensibility of what to do when everything is fractured and all the pieces reflecting.

GRRARW Sep 2nd, 2020

I like to think of the Stooges as some sort of Eastern gods, and their records as scripture. I say Eastern because the thing isn’t (or isn’t supposed to be) about worship or adoration, but more about teaching, and a sort of ritualistic practice. Through the Stooges, through their mantras, one can achieve bliss and knowledge. Now why am I waxing religious here? Because Al Karpenter’s debut LP, If We Can’t Dream, They Can’t Sleep!!, is a bit of a Stoogesian ritual. A bold, arty, difficult statement and a ritual. The seven tracks, while forced in a sequence by the physical limitation of the grooves, sound as if they’ve been emptied on the record like the contents of a bag. Lines and verses repeat throughout the album, using the famous Stooges mantra as something between a war cry and a fatalist, numb lament delivered through clenched teeth: “It’s 2019 ok, all across the fucking Spain, all across this fucking pain”. By the end of side A, you’re in deep: glitchy noises attacking you out of the blue, fragmented electronic beats, bursts of silence, ghost guitars and incredibly beautiful (in contrast with all the ugliness) saxophone and drums adding jazzy flourishes. On side B, things slowly escalate from the bitter and creepy “No Face” to the joyous and angry call for “Riot & Roll”—expanding the musical palette so far as to include trap beats with their distinctive hi-hats and autotune, together with analog synths, melodica, saxophones, tortured bass, banging drums. It’s not an easy album and it’s comparable to what Karpenter’s fellow Bilbaoan Mattin has done in the past (a similar use of the Stooges’ “practice” can be heard on Billy Bao’s Buildings from Bilbao). Mattin’s role in If we can’t dream… seems in fact crucial, and even if he wasn’t listed among Karpenter’s collaborators I could have guessed that he was involved, especially in the mix. It took me a few listens to really get into it, but now that I got it, I’m gonna shake, riot and roll as much as I can.

The Blog of Roland September 10, 2020

BPP-WHAT IS THIS? SOUND LIKE SINISTER INDOCTRINATION SPEECH OUT OF LOUDSPEAKER AT NVA FORCE LABOR CAMP. RW-It’s Al Karpenter. BPP-WHO? RW-AL KARPENTER. BPP (dismayed) AL KARPENTER? FROM 1ST AIR CAV? HE NO SEEM LIKE BOBBY GARWOOD TYPE. RW-NO, NOT AL CARPENTER. THIS AL KARPENTER IS AN ALIAS FOR THE SPANISH MUSICIAN, MATTIN. BPP-AH, LIKE SPY NAME. RW-YES. BUT NO. HE’S NOT A SPY. WELL, MAYBE HE IS, HOW THE FUCK WOULD I KNOW? YOU HAVE OTHER RECORDS BY HIM, REMEMBER BILLY BAO? BPP-THIS BILLY BAO? NOW I SEE. YES, VERY SIMILARITIES. SUBVERSIVE TENDENCIES. RW-PEOPLE HAVE MADE COMPARISONS TO FUSHITSUSHA. BPP (excitedly) FOOSHED!? WHO GOT FOOSHED? RW-NOT FOOSHED, FUSHI- BBP (interrupting) REMEMBER TIME YOU FOOSHED COLONEL IN BATHROOM AT OFFICER CLUB IN DA NANG? (laughing hysterically) ROLO WOODBE, YOU CRAZY! RW (laughing) YEAH, HE SAID TO ME, “SON, JUST BECAUSE THERE’S A LINE DRAWN IN THE SAND,DOESN’T MEAN WE ARE AT THE BEACH.” BPP-YES, COLONEL VERY WISE. LIKE WITCH DOCTOR. SAME COULD BE SAID FOR THIS ALBUM.


KFJC cinder 10/7/2020

Bizarro, deconstructed, confused, experimental, angry, delirious, ASMR, damaged.Cast of characters include Spain experimenters (Mattin, Joxean Rivas, and María Seco), early Fushitsusha drummer Seijiro Murayama, Lucio Capece, and Chie Mukai. Skittering electronics, sloshy cymbals, jangled guitar, sloppy garage rock spurts, quivering sax, drunk drums, repetitive words.


Dave “new Yesr New You” R 25 oct. 2020

a statement of intent and representation of certain and apparent influences (Billy Bao, Gil Scott Herron, Burial, Crass) dichung irony for clarity, except maybe not. Crooning and clanking and saxophones and noise and etc.

RockinBilbao


por Txema Mañeru - 8 septiembre, 20210

Hace ya muchos años que el bueno de Al Karpenter vive en su cielo (o infierno) privado y particular. Años de infatigable lucha musical. Primero con su fanzine Brutus Zine. Luego ya se lanzó de lleno a crear su particular música (solo apta para selectas minorías) y con un montón de publicaciones a recuperar bajo su anterior denominación, KRPNTRS. En solitario va a cumplir pronto una década de vida, pero además sigue con NUZ y Silver Surfing Machine. Ha pasado también por otras historias más o menos puntuales como The Heart Junkies, Mubles, Opus Glory Ignominia, Kontubernio Kriminal Kósmiko, No Jump! o Lapidaciôn Läser. Siempre sin dejar de apoyar a los grupos locales con su presencia en casi todos los conciertos, además de acudir a otros de más renombre cuando son de su agrado. Son muchos porque su cultura musical es amplia y no se limita solo a la música de vanguardia. En los últimos años como Al Karpenter ha ido adquiriendo cada vez una mayor repercusión en selectos medios y discográficas internacionales. Así el verano pasado el sello neoyorquino Ever/Never lanzó un muy recomendable LP en vinilo titulado “If We Can´t Dream, They Won´t Sleep!!” y que puedes oír en https://evernever-records.bandcamp.com/album/if-we-cant-dream-they-cant-sleep, por si luego quieres hacerte con él. Magnífica conexión Bilbo-Japón vía Berlín que puede definirse como un manifiesto político en tiempos de locura generalizada. Este LP de debut sucedía a su single punk en Munster Records. Lo defines como un puzle conflictivo, erótico, violento y hermoso que combina al Che Guevara con Suicide. Las poderosas colaboraciones japonesas vienen de la mano del percusionista y batería Seijiro Murayama (Fushitsusha’s Double Live) y de Chie Mukai (Ché-SHIZU). Además su ídolo y a la vez colaborador Mattin, con especial presencia con su guitarra, ordenador y voz en los 9 cacofónicos minutos del perturbador tema titular. El saxo de Lucio Capece está también presente y brilla en temas noise-free-jazz (y hasta ritmos tribales africanos) como en los 10 minutos de ‘If They Sleep…’, en los que también brilla la batería y percusión de Joxean Rivas (Killerkume) y el ya citado Murayama. Además María Seco con el bajo y el bow en todo el disco. ‘No Face’ es también inquietante, oscura y con mucha presencia para la percusión. Mattin dirige con su batería el ritmo demoledor de la revolucionaria ‘Sing The Battle Hymn!’ y finalizan la revuelta de estos 45 minutos los dos también a dúo en la juguetona y más electrónica ‘Riot & Roll!!’ que acaba Al gritando de manera salvaje y punk. Sorprende también Mattin con su melódica en la hipnótica narración en euskera con el título y lema del disco en ‘2020’ Buena distribución entre las caras A (“Sleep”) y B (“Dream”). Pero es que ahora ha repetido jugado con otro prestigioso sello de música vanguardista como es el francés Bruit Direct Disques en el que también tienes trabajos en esta onda noise, electrónica punk y experimental de Terrine, Femme, Stefan Chistensen, Oso El Roto, Kenji Kariu o City Band, entre otros. Ellos son los encargados de publicar, también en vinilo, su segundo LP con el acertado título de «Musik From A Private Hell». En la producción vuelve a repetir su colega y experto en este tipo de sonidos Mattin (Billy Bao). Entre las sonadas colaboraciones no podía faltar Barbara Karpenter, pero además tenemos otras chicas como María Seco y María Medina, o la presencia de prestigio internacional de Werner Dafeldecker. También lo puedes oír y conseguir en http://bruit-direct.org/product/al-karpenter-musik-from-a-private-hell/. Tiene también nuevo y destacado vídeo con uno de los temas más destacados del nuevo disco y que es todo un homenaje a The Stranglers, al menos en su título, ‘No More Heroes Anymore!’. Un tema inquietante, tribal y percusivo. En su realización le ha ayudado Jorge Núñez. Me encantan las palabras de Guy Mercier al respecto de este nuevo LP: “Más allá de la música incendiaria de los MC5 o Sham 69, antes de la muerte de Arthur Russell, y después del “Lifetime” de Klein, Al Karpenter y Mattin aparecen por detrás de la máscara del “Lulu” de Lou Reed”. También en pleno confinamiento se marcó un sorprendente “The Lockdown Sessions” concebida como una lista “non-stop” con 31 vídeos, cargados de improvisaciones, aunque los temas de “47” incluidos sí están arreglados y mezclados para un trabajo aparte, con su propia “playlist”. Puedes conocerlo en https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgvZCGcYjPzJbHQJPnW-bG9kcgxZQjbC7. Por cierto que cuando leas esto ya tendrá también a punto de aparecer una nueva casette con el título de “The Black Tape”. Constará de 9 nuevos temas y lo editará el sello de Burgos Crystal Mine. ¡Vamos, que el bueno de Álvaro no para ni en pandemia ni en confinamiento! Pero regresando a “Musik From A Private Hell” decir que estamos ante un disco gestado en pleno confinamiento y en total soledad. También es indicado para escuchar en una reflexiva soledad porque tiene muchos matices que pueden ir introduciéndose en tu cerebro o en tus oídos según el momento. Ese Hell del título, que llevamos ya casi 2 años viviendo con esta interminable pandemia, está presente desde la reveladora canción inicial con un pandero casi marcial pero que va mutando con diferentes colores y timbres a lo largo del tema. Además utiliza su voz como una auténtica arma sonora que acompaña muy bien a la experimentación tecnológica. Con esta avanzada tecnología emula violonchelos o banjos y se adentra en terrenos sonoros cercanos incluso al metal industrial. Se trata de la ya citada ‘No More Heroes Anymore’ que encabeza la cara A del disco también con título propio y que es el de “Private”. Hay que escuchar temas como ‘Libertarian Song’ o esa gozada destructiva, noise y casi industrial titulada ‘Eyes Without Faces’ que puede gustar por igual a seguidores de Esplendor Geométrico, Suicide, The Residents o Einstürzende Neubauten o ese ‘1994’, que cierra la cara A para perderse por sus montones recovecos sonoros. En ‘1994’ tenemos delicadeza y minimalismo al estilo del John Cale más experimental y en ella Al repite la frase “I’m The Invisible Man…”. La cara B se titula “Publik” y se compone de dos brutalidades como ‘True-Man (The Revenge Of Tao)’ (con un poderoso doublé bass a cargo de Werner Dafeldecker) dentro de un gélido manifiesto que suena ultra-coool-wave. Luego está el extenso y clarificador tema titular que nos lleva a ese particular infierno a través de “glissandos” en las cuerdas de violonchelos (rabeles) o banjos (guitarreos de la “AK-47 Guitar”) que resquebrajan géneros como el “rock sureño” o el “metal”. Siderurgias abandonadas y arqueologías de signos industriales que nos quedan lejos. Contiene una hipnótica narración a la vez que desafiante con su voz, percusiones y zumbidos varios. Luego torna en momentos de una mayor agresividad sonora y marcialidad combinada con experimentación noise alucinada. Duro y a la encía sobre todo en esa explosión realmente infernal final. El estupendo y llamativo art-work lo firma el propio Al y la eficaz masterización corre a cargo de Rashad Becker en Berlín. Puedes conseguir ambos discos directamente si te diriges a Al en brutuszine@hotmail.com. ¡Tiene algún posible concierto cercano a la vista donde presentará como es debido los temas de ambos LPs!



Blow Up Magazine

Incontenibile Mattin. Il musicista-agitatore anarcosituazionista basco (tra i pochi musicisti a meritare la definizione – intendo agitatore e anarcosituazionista, non basco), oggi di stanza a Berlino, torna con l’ennesimo progetto che lo vede coinvolto. Stavolta il responsabile primo sarebbe tale Al Karpenter, già messosi in mostra tre anni fa con un singolo su Munster; adesso tocca all’LP d’esordio, che esce per la newyorkese ever/never, e anche se il suddetto ha una faccia e un fisico da mostrare (vedi foto) scommetterei cose preziose che si tratti di un nick come accadeva per (i) Billy Bao (vedi BU#178), vale a dire un nome fittizio che nasconde una band vera dietro la quale però si cela Mattin. Accanto al fantomatico Al Karpenter (parole, voce, chitarra e drum machine) troviamo infatti Mattin (chitarra, computer, voce, melodica e batteria), Seijiro Murayama (batteria in metà disco, già coi Fushitsusha), Joxean Rivas (batteria nell’altra metà), María Seco (basso), Chie Mukai (voce ed er-hu, non chiedetemi cos’è) e il nostrano Lucio Capece a sax ed elettronica. Cosa contiene il disco? Roba curiosa, as usual. Diciamo che è, come spesso accade con Mattin, una degradata celebrazione di quel che il r’n’r avrebbe dovuto continuare ad essere ma non è più capace di: coraggioso, sfrontato, disperato, geniale e completamente inutile e gratuito. Quindi la title track è un interrogativo balbettio avant-boh; 2020 e Riot & Roll!! sono magnifici diradati annichiliti spasmi free-rock; If They Sleep… è il climax del disco che parte come una specie di funk totalmente afasico e sfasato per mutare poi in psychodrone e quindi in carta assorbente (fraseggi jazzy, percussioni jungle, macine industrial, campionamenti etno); No Face e Pow’r sono bislacche e sommesse nenie para-ritualistiche che vedrei bene in qualche disco occult-psichedelico e para dark-industrial-folk; Sing The Battle Hymn! è un’escrudescenza noise’n’roll erta, sfatta e sedata. Fine. Dio non voglia che ascoltiate questo disco se non siete psichicamente debilitati e politicamente ben calibrati sulla giusta lunghezza d’onda rossonera. Per me, pur non essendolo (politicamente ben calibrato), è sempre (8) a prescindere. Stefano I. Bianchi



Big Love Records, Harajuku, Tokyo

泣く子もきょどる唯一無比のレーベルEver/Neverよりまたしても理解不能のアンダーグラウンドAL KARPENTER、2020年1stアルバム。1980年代初頭のジャパン・アンダーグラウンド界に舞い降りたSCOTT WALKER状態のNO WAVEエクスペリメンタル。限定。