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offshoot bands
last updated on
november, 24th
Thanks to Joachim and Tom for sending articles and information about the offshoot bands.
 
Console
Ogonjok
Potawomi
Rayon
Tied & Tickled Trio
Toxic
Village Of Savoonga
mixed articles

 If you want more information about the most of these bands or you want to order something, go to the "Hausmusik"-label page.

Als Einstiegspunkt in die bunte Welt aus Weilheim empfiehlt sich z.B. der Sampler "Einigen wir uns auf die Zukunft", der in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Berliner Label Kitty-Yo entstand. Dieser sollte auch im gut sortierten Plattenladen erhaeltich sein. Die anderen Sachen sind zum Grossteil nur ueber Mailorder erhaeltlich. Auch die Festplatte und der brandneue Sampler "Jimmy gimme more" sind dahingehend zu empfehlen. Waehrend auf ersterem noch Gitarrenmusik dominiert, liegt der Schwerpunkt bei zweiterem doch eher auf elektronischen Sachen.

Die Platten/Projekte sind nicht so eingaengig wie Notwist, aber die Verbindungen zur Musik von Notwist sind immer zu erkennen. Musikmaessig ist natuerlich alles Geschmackssache. Nach Meinung von anerkannten Experten auf dem Gebiet sind aber ein paar absolut brillante Klassiker darunter. Die LPs von Village of Savoonga, Potawatomi und Tied & Tickled Trio gehoeren mit zu den besten Sachen in meinem Plattenschrank. Wie ueberall gilt: Scheuklappen abmachen und staunen!
 
Console /Martin Gretschmann solo)
Discography: 

 - Console 12" (Payola) 
 - pan or rama CD (Payola) 
 - Rocket in the Pocket LP/CD (Payola) 
 - Rocket in the Pocket 12" (Payola) 
 - Songs on compilations "The Day My Favourite Insect Died" und "Jimmy gimme more"

 
Console: 

Indierock geht anders in diesen Tagen  

Da hat ein junger und grundsympathischer Herr einen nicht unmaßgeblichen Teil seiner Zeit damit verbracht, anerkannte Lieblingsbands in die Digitalität einzuführen, um kurz darauf mit selbigem Zug zurück zum Start zu fahren, und verkörpert so wie selbstverständlich jenes "alles ist möglich" der Post-Indie-Zeitrechnung, ohne daß es jemand merkt. 

CONSOLE Martin Gretschmann, eine Hälfte des elektronischen Duos KEVIN & PAUL, hat die Bleeps in den NOTWIST-Probenraum geschleppt, den STELLAschen Diskurs elektro-akustisch interpretiert und diversen Bands aus seinem (erweiterten) W-heim-Freundeskreis einen Ausflug auf die Festplatte gegönnt. Gerade veröffentlichte er nun sein zweites Album "Rocket In The Pocket" auf "Payola", die formvollendete Fortsetzung dessen, was die voralpenländische Elektronikfraktion (BLOND, SNOWE etc.) schon vor Zweijahresfrist schlicht Lied nannte. Natürlich funktioniert das auch auf dem Plattenspieler, und natürlich schreit das nach mehr, als nur neben COME in der alphabetisierten Indie-Plattensammlung zu stehen. Der freundlich-einladende Gestus, der Weilheim-Platten seit jeher umschwirrt, schwingt bei "Rocket In The Pocket" sowohl ästhetisch (Super8-Videostandbild-Niedlichkeits-Plattencover) als auch musikalisch immer mit. 

Wo andere ganze Nachmittage damit verbringen, den einen oder anderen hübschen Moment von wieder ins Gerede gekommenen Flohmarktplatten zu samplen, macht Martin Gretschmann seinen Pop selbst. Hier wird keine Catchyness suggeriert, die sich hintenrum als affirmativer Umgang mit historischem Tonmaterial bloßstellt, sondern reinstes Pop-Songwritertum auf die digitale Produktionsweise übertragen. 

Strophe-Refrain-Strophe-Refrain-Mittelteil-Refrain-Hit. Und ein sichtlich zufriedenes Grinsen vom Künstler inklusive. Martin Gretschmann vereinigt, wenn man so will, PHIL SPECTOR, BRIAN ENO und MARTIN GORE hinter (s)einer Brille. Er schafft es, Plakatives smart zu arrangieren und so vorbehaltlos durch Popdekaden zu wandern, daß Anachron- oder gar Retroismen garantiert draußen bleiben. "Rocket In The Pocket" ist vielleicht gerade deshalb eine fast schon demokratisch zu nennende Platte, weil ihr Urheber auf eine persönliche Plattensammlung verzichtet und das Jagen und Sammeln von heißem Scheiß lieber anderen überläßt. 

Wer also die an anderen elektronischen Orten gepflegte Konzeptionalität vorzieht, sollte besser nicht einsteigen. Denn Konsequenz heißt für CONSOLE auch, daß sich ein gitarrenverzerrter Elektropop-Gassenhauer mit Schulparty-Erinnerungsfaktor ("Pigeon Party"), exquisites Echokammer-Listening ("Delay Dackel") oder eine brutal-offensiv produzierte Old-school-Reminiszenz ("Rocket In The Pocket") den Platz auf dem analog wie digital lieferbaren Tonträger teilen.  

Klemens Niedenthal 
 

Console 
Rocket In The Pocket 
(Payola / Community / Virgin) 

Im Wohlklang der Störgeräusche. Nachdem Martin Gretschmann das aktuelle NOTWIST-Album mit elektronischen Fluchtlinien verfeinern durfte, ist er nun zum zweiten Mal im Langformat auf sich alleine gestellt. Unter dem Namen CONSOLE repräsentiert er als Exponat seiner Labelheimat Payola undogmatisches Tüftlertum. So zeugt "Rocket In The Pocket" von einem allgemeinen Interesse an Sound, anstatt die vollendete Reinheit einer Spezialwissenschaft anzustreben. Letztendlich funktioniert das so ähnlich wie die in Alliterationen gekleideten Titel mit einer Vorliebe für Tierarten: Wortschöpfungen, die nicht direkt Sinn anbieten, dafür aber gut klingen. Delay Dackel. CONSOLE provoziert Assoziationen mit ausgeruhten Beat-Varianten und transformiert von Clubmusikresten bis hin zu Vibraphonklängen die unterschiedlichsten Fundsachen in seine Zuhör-Elektronik. Dort angekommen, enden die einzelnen Elemente allerdings nicht als Fragmentsammlung. Vielmehr offerieren sie in disparater Einheit den Hörerinnen und Hörern an Stelle spektakulärer Extremlandschaften dicht inszenierte Atmosphärenschichtungen. Abseits von Zitatmaschinen und Zeichenpolitik funktionieren diese Stücke auch nach dem Blick hinter die Kulissen. 

Sven Opitz 
 

Console 
Rocket In The Pocket 
(Payola / Community / Virgin) 

Das 97er Debüt von Console (aka Martin Gretschmann, Weilheimer-Elektronik-Impressario und mittlerweile Notwist-Festmitglied) fand ich nicht uninteressant, doch ziemlich ungroovy. Jetzt ist alles anders, "Rocket in the Pocket" (Payola/Community/Virgin), die zweite Console ist eine Platte voller Wunder, die man mit dem kopf und/oder den Beinen erleben kann. Voll elektronisch, voll aus der Samplekiste, aber so gut und spannend wie sonst nur bei Mouse on Mars. Friendly electric, frei, funky, breit grinsend. Schlau aber nicht altklug. Höre und erkenne - das sind doch Hits. 

Alex Brandt (Visions 10/98) 
 

 
Ogonjok (includes Micha Acher)
Discography: 

 - Ogonjok LP/CD (Hausmusik) 
 - Ogonjok 10" (Kollaps/Hausmusik) 
 

 
 
Potawomi (includes Markus und Micha Acher)
Discography: 

 - The Last Funeral LP (Kollaps) 
 - Noisy le Grand MLP (Kollaps) 
 - Extrapool EP (Kollaps) 
 - Song auf dem Sampler "Einigen wir uns auf die Zukunft" (Kollaps/Payola/Kitty-Yo) 
 

 
 
Rayon (Markus Acher solo)
Discography: 

 - YOM 2x7" (Kollaps/Hausmusik) 
 - Song auf "The Day My Favourite Insect Died"

 
 
 
Tied & Tickled Trio (includes Markus und Micha Acher)
Discography: 

 - Tied & Tickled Trio CD/LP (Kollaps/Payola) 
 - (RMX) 12" (Payola) 
 - Song auf dem Sampler "Jimmy gimme more" (Hausmusik)

 
Magnet Issue 37 Nov/Dec 98 

Notwist 
Shrink 

Tied & Tickled Trio 
Tied & Tickled Trio 

These two groups are from Germany, and each features the unusual talents of Markus and Micha Archer.  While both ensembles can be described as musically progressive, the overlap between the two isn't as great as you might imagine.  The Notwist inhabits a strange, twisted, prog-improv-trance-jazz universe where bands like Sonic Youth sometimes come to laugh and play.  With dense layers of multiple instrumentation (including horns), electronic programming and unusual guitar tunings surrounding Markus' warm, comforting voice, Notwist occasionally recall alt-guitar cross breeding a la Dinosaur Jr.  So, what might the Barvarian bred, ersatz-jazz-electropop Notwisters have in common with cats like Thurston Moore and J Masics?  Scope, baby, scope.  Their songs are brawny, effusive and even subliminal, poppier moments sound so art damaged that you know there has to be some serious sonic-architecture hidden in the overdubs. 

The prime mover behind Tied & Tickled Trio (actually a septet) is saxophonist Johannes Enders.  Drawing on '60s jazz and '70s fusion as well as the more modern milieus of rock, dub and electronica, the Tied & Tickled Trio constructs an introspective, evocative soundscape.  With bass clarinet, trumpet and tenor saxophone  juxtaposed against drums, electronics, little instruments and acoustic bass, this futuristic ensemble jumps between contemplative and adventurous jazz-isims. 

Mitch Meyers 
 

Alternative Press Issue 125 Dec 98  

Tied & Tickled Trio  
Tied & Tickled Trio  

Not process music but "results music, " Tied & Trickled Trio's work emphasizes sound as the final product.  So right away the critical perspective seems irrelevant; really, the only question worth asking is: "Does it accomplish its goal?"  Yes, in fact and wonderfully, too.  Listening to this album is akin to pulling back a camera on a huge, mystifying machine that's freed itself of its operator.  One catches  the clicking of the gears, the glimmer of polished metal, the symmetry of moving pistons, the hum of various motors, the overall geometrical beauty.  The Trio (actually a septet featuring members of Village Of Savoonga, Notwist and acclaimed saxophonist Johannes Enders) incorporate drums, horns, sampler, theremin and other instruments, but again, because the emphasis is results, the listener quickly loses interest in singling out particulars.  What's fascinating is the way the sound layers mingle, and the way the "mechanics" become alive with the addition of layers: synth tones bounce across the murky percussion in "Rara Avis"; jazzy piano and bass lines dance over robotic beats in "Mutant"; alein electronic sounds burble beneath a lush jazzscape in "Nordlied".  Some Similarities emerge to Miles Davis' electric period, the geometric funk of Liquid Liquid, The "museum music" grooves of To Rocco Rot and Kreidler, and the warmth of '60s Blue Note recordings. But, rather than sounding merely Xeroxed or stratified, the parts all become essential  to the creation of a new, very alive machine.  

Aaron Burgess 
 

 
Toxic (includes Martin Gretschmann)
Discography: 

 - Tanzbrause 12" (Kollaps) 
 - Railtracks LP (Kollaps/Supermodern) 
 Songs on compilations/singles: 
 - "Aufschwung ´97"-Aidshilfe-Sampler (Chiller Lounge) 
 - Antihund-fanzines-tape-sampler  
 - "Die Wüste bebt"-Sampler (Chiller Lounge) 
 - Weilheim Sampler '93 (ICR), 
 - Flatline Single

 
 
Village of Savoonga (includes Markus und Micha Acher)
Discography: 

 - Village of Savoonga LP (Kollaps/Hausmusik) 
 - Phillip Schatz LP/CD (Kollaps/Hausmusik/Communion) 
 - thought loop/new torture 7" (little brother) 
 - Score LP/CD (Kollaps/Hausmusik/Communion) 
Songs on compilations/singles:  
 - Hausmusik Sampler '91,  
 - Weilheim Sampler '93 (ICR),  
 - "The Day My Favourite Insect Died" (Kollaps),  
 - Festplatte (Hausmusik),  
 - Flatline Single

 
 
mixed articles: English / deutsch
Kinetic Kollektive 

Is Weilheim the new Seattle? Tied & Tickled Trio, Notwist, and Village of Savoonga are just three of the endlessly proliferating groups who have put this sleepy German town on the post-rock map. 

"People say that it always seems to be autumn in Weilheim," sniffs Andreas Gerth, keyboards and electronics operator in Tied & Tickled Trio.  "It's true that all the music coming from here seems touched by a certain melancholia."  A small, rural town south of Munich, Weilheim is currently churning out the most forward-looking music to come out of Germany since Düsseldorf and Cologne first rang with industrial klang.  It might have a melancholy bent, but the music is as exotically varied as the groups' names.  There's the electronic chug of Tied & Tickled Trio, the synth-skewed stoner rock of Notwist and the sample-seeded studio abstracts of Village of Savoonga.  Based around the Payola, Kollaps and Hausmusik labels, its output would be impressive for a city many times its size, and it is all the more astonishing when close inspection reveals all those groups and names are drawn from the same small cooperative of artists. 

Caspar Brander, drummer in Tied & Tickled/Savoonga/Potawatomi, is fully aware how confusing it can all become.  "The incest in our scene seems a little bit ridiculous to other people," he sympathizes, "but it gives us the advantage of being able to extract elements from different musical experiments and putting them together in a new, well-fitting configuration.  Also, the fact that we know each other so well musically [means] there isn't much need for explanation or discussion and we can work quickly and effectively." 

What's happening here mirrors similar giant steps being taken in backwaters the world over.  Weaned on the US hardcore explosion of the mid- to late 80s, young musicians began to dig deeper underground as their appetite  for some new kind of kick grew.  Free jazz, electronica, musique concrête and outsider folk have all been exhumed and welded to the roaring exoskeleton of full-on hardcore.  OK, so in that sense, it's post-rock of a kind, but this time minus all the generic connotations of timidity, turgid, plodding fusion and anti-AC/DC rhetoric that generally characterizes this territory, where sensible shoes must be worn at all times. With the Weilheimers, it's more about isolating some truly diverse strains from the rock experience and using them to bolster the original prog-rock intent, as if they were trying to reanimate the corpse. 

As A member of Notwist, Tied & Tickled Trio and Village of Savoonga, drummer Markus Acher is perhaps the scene's key player.  Since forming avant rock stoners Notwist with his brother Micha and Martin Messerschmidt, he has watched the Weilheim scene blossom at an alarming rate.  "The community of musicians and bands developed over the years and I think it stems from the rural situation we live in," he explains.  "I mean, there's not much to do here so we started making music, putting on concerts, publishing fanzines and comics. Gradually we created our own economic situation, where one person distributes the records, one records them, one makes the covers, one prints the covers...so nearly everybody is more or less involved in all the activities." 

The Notwist are still an active component in the whole Weilheim buzz they instigated some 11 years ago.  Superficially more straightforward than many of their mutant offspring, they've reconfigured rock's guitar/bass/drums trio components across three LPs in ways and combinations that appear mathematicaly impossible on paper.  Previously drawing on lots of stoner rock staples such as Codeine and Dinosaur Jr, their new album Shrink (on Stereolab's Duophonic label) submerges these tendencies in sticky layers of jazz flight and processed synth.  Martin Gretschmann -Village of Savoonga's sampler player, also known for his icy solo electronica as Console- joins them for the first time, and their attack is now even more subtle and unpredictable. 

Markus Acher agrees that Notwist are the most immediately graspable of a truly eccentric mob of musicians.  "It's true that Notwist always works with songs," he confirms. "We arrange them and then sometimes try to work against the songs, but we always have a song structure as the starting point.  Then we use the instruments, pile on electronics, improvise round them and allow accidents to shape the song.  Perhaps we're a pop band that doesn't want to be one." 

by David Keenan (The Wire Issue 177 11/98) 

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Kinetic Kollektive Part II

With Tied & tickled Trio, the Acher brothers leapt head first into the bloop of early electronics while simultaneously setting the controls for the headier regions of stellar jazz.  They had already begun to explore such territories with earlier projects like the now defunct Potawatomi.  Markus remembers their early assays fondly.  "That was a collaboration with a free improvising bass clarinet player called Rudi Mahall, where we attempted to combine free jazz, noise and post-hardcore elements.  It was a predecessor to Tied & Tickled in that it combined improvisation and free elements with static structures to create tension, but it worked with other musical styles/methods, it was more intense and it always went to the extremes."

Andreas Garth was playing in the comparatively straight-rocking Ogonjok, at the time.  He originally designed the sleeves for Potawatomi, using photographs of the beautiful electronic instruments he constructed from scrap.  The Acher brothers' interest was aroused and they asked him on board for their latest venture, which they christened Tied & Tickled Trio.  After hooking up with local big cheese, saxophonist/pianist Johannes Enders, an old schoolfriend who'd played alongside the likes of Sam Rivers and Donald Byrd, the line-up was complete.  Markus recalls, "When we started, Tied & Tickled was more or less only rhythm with electronics and bass, which worked live but when we recorded it, it was too boring and basically unsatisfying.  So we asked Jhannes to write and play for the recordings."

Enders's beautifully belched tone comes straight out of the belly of Blue Note, taking cues from the likes of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and the convoluted vibe patterns of Bobby Hutcherson.  The resultant pile-up of humming electronic static and propulsive rhythmic hammering that characterizes their self-titled debut (originally on Payola, now reissued by Bingo) kicks like Big Fun-era Miles or Hereby Hancock's Sextant, albeit without some of those illustrious forebear's sidewalk sass and sleaze.  A live favorite is their heavily nailed take on Joe Henderson's "Earth", from the Elements album he recorded with Alice Coltrane.  "For us those Joe Henderson records of the '70s are very strange and inspiring," he raves.  "We also like some of the Alice Coltrane collaborations with Pharoah Sanders."

But Markus is wary of electronic jazz's negative connotations.  "We really wanted to find a way to integrate all this stuff into our music but without becoming this typical groovy electronics meet jazz thing.  Johanne's playing keeps us out of that whole 'Acid Jazz' thing."

"I think it's also because we don't live in a big city," Andreas Gerth adds.  "We aren't so surrounded by all this anonymous, cold, functional technology.  We just use electronics on our records as another instrument to create sound that corresponds with our conception of music and that reflects where we come from."

Gerth's homemade instruments -which project electronic silhouettes on to the music the music, recalling the spooked soundtracks of Chrome and The Residents- are central to Tied & Tickled's deeply human aura and warmth.  They look as fabulous as they sound: lost steam engine entrails and primitive pumps, a quaint futurama.  "As a sculpter I have a pretty naive relation to technical considerations," he admits.  "I tend to judge my creations purely by their appearance.  As a musician, though, it helps if they actually work.  I use something called a D106, which is a construction of metal pieces that not only look interesting, they also sound in a way I like.  I simply contact-mike it and put it through an amp."

The Acher brothers also instigated Vllage Of Savoonga, whose sampler-heavy modern electronics are much more abstract.  Their extended forays into hazily filmic territory have produced three startling, extraterrestrial long players: Village Of Savoonga, Philipp Schatz, and  Score.  Again it's the constant line-up shuffling that keeps Markus inspired.  "Working with different people gets you different results," he says. "It was always important for us try different things in different constellations to get new ideas.  Our concept for Village Of Savoonga was simply to have no concept.  We always go from one idea, or one noise, anything that comes into or minds."  Building tracks from a single sound source or a solitary piano chink, textures are layered and warped in the studio.

"The orgin of most of the songs is in the studio," Markus explains.  "We're never really sure how the tunes will sound until we finish mixing them.  Sometimes w only have a sketchy idea or a bass pattern, though we also play fully composed pieces.  When we play live, we open out the spaces in the songs for intense improvisation, making them simpler and more malleable."

At the heart of Savoonga's studio-bound process is the Uphon recording plant run by Hausmusik engineer Mario Thaler -"The Mastermind", as Markus describes him.  Indeed, like legendary Krautrock engineers Dieter Dierks and Conny Plank before him, Thaler works according to his own uniquely awry sound logic. Markus, however, doesn't see his music conforming to a particular Krautrock aesthetic.  "sure, I'm a big fan of Jaki Liebezeit's drumming, and for me it was certainly a big influence, alongside the aspects of repetition in some of Faust's music and the electronic sounds of early Cluster.  But I really don't feel that has anything to do with the fact that we're a German band.  I was too young to recognizes Krautrock when it happened, so I didn't grow up with any particular musical tradition.  All German music was as near or as far as any other music from elsewhere.  For me that only changed with the musical scene that we built around ourselves."

Markus is quicker to place the activities of Savoonga et al in the same context as contemporaries like Mouse On Mars.  "Some of the new German electronic music is really important and inspiring to us, especially the A-Musik scene from Cologne," he enthuses.  "To see Mouse On Mars playing out live, as a band, was a very big influence and one of our most fascinating experiences ever."

Savoonga are undoubtedly the most far-flung of the Welheim collective.  But their kind of hybrid is becoming more and more common as the leftfield opens out to the abuse of previously straight-edged punkers.  For Markus, the explosion of new electronic exploration and sampling culture has blown open many a closed mind.  "There's definitely a greater interest and understanding of strange, innovative music these days, which makes it much easier to get our music across. It sometimes seems that almost everyone knows the likes of Pierre Henry, Lee Perry or Ornette Coleman.  People don't panic anymore when they see a saxophone on-stage."  Andrea Gerth is also an advocate of cultural cross-pollination.  "I think the borders between the underground and so-called 'high-culture' are much more permeable than they were a few years ago.  New ideas and developments spread much faster than before; what was one day a unique expression of a special scene is by the next day public knowledge."

by David Keenan (The Wire Issue 177 11/98)

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