:: Caesar In Camerun ::

:: High Moon Enters Heaven ::

:: Metasamba ::

:: Chipmania ::

:: O Queen Of Saba ::

:: Memorymetropolis ::

The other month, in the flurry of a 30% off sale, I found myself with an armful of vinyl and a headful of worry about how much I was about to blow, even after discount. Then I had to just check out one last section before I forced myself out of there. Unfortunately it was the electronic music section, and it was rife with things I already wanted as well as things I didn't even know I wanted yet. Evidently I was in such a frenzy (kind of like those dreams where you keep finding money all over the place and can barely find room for all of it in your hands and pockets) that I don't even remember buying this. I only just rediscovered it a few days ago.

This, I suppose, sounded pretty weird, fringe, and experimental in 1983. At least to people who didn't spend part of the 70's listening to stuff like Eno/Moebius/Roedelius/Plank. There are a lot of familiar sounds, many of which make me think Clara used some of the same equipment that New Order used, but there are also some sounds that I've never heard. One of the songs, Chipmania, uses a trick that Boards of Canada use on songs like nlogax, where things aren't quite right, but the rival discordant notes somehow create something right.

The kicker? Clara Mondshine is not really a Clara. In fact, she's not even a she. Real name: Walter Bachauer. He put out a few albums under this moniker before evidently committing suicide in the late 80's. This one came out on famed German electronic legend Klaus Schulze's Innovate Communication label in 1983. The most accessible tracks here are probably the title track and Metasamba. The scariest is O Queen of Saba.

« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Friday, July 06, 2007 9:42:00 AM

bloody fantastic stuff!! thanks so much!!!    

Monday, December 03, 2007 9:00:00 AM

Tony, this is great! I never knew that Mondshine is Bachauer. Walter Bauchauer was in a fact a hugely influential music journalist working for RIAS Berlin, but also organised the MetaMusikFestival in Berlin, which was an early experiment in "world music" (a term unknown then) bringing together musicians like Terry Riley and Klaus Schulze. As if this would not be enough, Bachauer was involved in the production of Philip Glass' Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack. A multi-talent. It's fascinating to discover his music from that perspective.    

Monday, December 03, 2007 9:05:00 AM

Ah, cool. Now we've both learnt something. I always have to double check what's playing when one of these songs come up, like, "What's this cool stuff?".    

Monday, March 30, 2009 3:33:00 PM

Doing some more research on the dude, it turns out he appears as "Walter Bachauer" on 3 Wergo-releases as performer of electronics in a project/band called "Between" and they, in their turn, apparently are some notorious Krautrock formation. Oh, and also check Clara's "Luna Africana"... now that's a stunning album!    

Monday, December 27, 2010 3:59:00 PM

I worked for Walter in his studio, Belle Epoch, in Berlin in the mid-late 1980s. He would invite musicians from all over the world to come lay down live samples for him which he would incorporate into his music. I was a kid at the time. He sampled some of my (really bad) poetry and voice in some collaborative work he did - not always with my knowledge or okay. He was a brilliant musical ear, but a troubled guy who often told me, "I always said I'd commit suicide when I turned 40!" We had a falling out in late 1988, but he hired me back to translate and record a spoken word thing for National Public Radio in the US. I arrived at his studio straight from Tegel airport in May or June of '89, rang the buzzer and got no answer from Walter, who was always always home. A neighbor came out and told me very matter-of-fact, "He's dead. He shot himself in the head." It was so German. I sat on the steps of his apartment and cried. I think he was 46 when he died. Six years late, by his reckoning. He never saw the Wall come down! He was troubled and I mourn him, but he was also the dad to a great teenaged daughter -- and unfortunately that makes his sad story the story of a coward. He would probably be a grandpa by now. - CC    

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 8:59:00 PM

Wow, thanks for this story, CC. I am surprised no one has said anything about it yet. I love it when you read about someone who knew a musician back in the day, telling a story for everyone. Thanks.    

» Post a Comment