Review: Jan Jelinek has made many fine albums over the years, under both his given name and a handful of occasional aliases. One such pseudonym was Gramm, a handle he plucked out of thin air for the release of the now celebrated 1999 full-length "Personal Rock". Here that set is given a deserved 20th anniversary vinyl reissue, allowing a whole new generation to investigate the dusty nooks and crannies of one of the producer's most techno-centric releases. It is every bit as sample-heavy, glitchy and crackling as his other work, whereas other outings explored skewed hip-hop beats and downtempo grooves, "Personal Rock" was more informed by the steady pulse of dub techno, the deep space fluidity of ambient techno and the locked-in hypnotism of original era minimal techno. The results are out of this world.
Alice Schwarzer, Is It True That You're A Person Of Great Tenacity? (2:10)
John Cage, I've Been Told To Ask You The Following Question: Where Are You Going? (2:58)
Hubert Fichte, Your Journey Through Life Has Been Full Of Twists & Turns. Please Tell Us When & Where This Journey Began! (2:18)
Slavoj Zizek, What Signs Were There Of The Imminent Dissolution Of Yugoslavia? (1:52)
Joseph Beuys, It Was You Who Said: Democracy Is So Big One Can Only Sing About It: You Recently Made Your Debut As A Singer: Which Democracy Are You Singing About? (3:05)
Lady Gaga, You Once Said In An Interview That You Write Music For The Fashion Industry: Is Fashion As Important To You As Music? (2:13)
Ernst Jandl, What Are Your Plans For Language: Revolution, Reform, Revolt? (1:57)
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Which Difficulties Are Involved In Conserving Electronic Music On Magnetic Tape? (2:23)
Marcel Duchamp, Would You Like Or Expect People To Spin The Wheel On Your Kinetic Object Roue De Bicyclette? (2:19)
Friederike Mayrocker, When You Write, Do You Feel Like The Creator Of The Work Or More Like A Medium? (3:12)
Yoko Ono, You Were Born Into A Rich, Aristocratic Family In Tokyo. Do You See That In Yourself? (2:08)
Max Ernst, This Is The First Time In Twenty-Five Years That You've Returned To Your Old Home Town, To The Cathedral In Cologne, Right? (2:02)
Review: Over the years, Jan Jelinek has been responsible for some fantastically inventive experimental records. His latest is a concept album inspired by a radio play he wrote for German radio, in which every collage-style track was crafted from an interview with a different public figure (these include Yoko Ono, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage and Lady Gaga). These vocal excerpts, which include non-verbal sounds as well as speech, were also used to control a synthesizer. While the nuts and bolts are pretty far-sighted and next level, the results are actually rather enjoyable and easy to listen to. For every dystopian, mind-altering cut-up track, there are four or five others that veer closer to left-of-centre ambient bliss. It's an intriguing and hugely entertaining collection, all told.