sama recordings pres. s c h w e b e n № 11
April 14th, 2023 – rhiz Vienna
unhappybirthday (Tapete Records, DE)
Occupied Head (DE)
Ambient Animal (sama recordings)
kindly supported by Stadt Wien Kultur / MA7
„sama recordings pres. s c h w e b e n“ evenings rub against the often closely meshed interfaces between avantgarde pop, electronic music and experimental music trends of the 1970s and 1980: beguiling kraut excursions, organic club music, uplifting ambient drones & gripping rarities to dance to: profound musical realities from different angles that will inspire you.
unhappybirthday (Tapete Records, DE)
For their latest album „Stella Loops“ the Hamburg outfit swap the Mediterranean for the Sea of Tranquility, slipping their terrestrial moorings in the name of auditory escapism. Written in part as a response to the enforced inertia of the pandemic and ever-present anxiety of life in the now, Stella Loops finds the group staring skywards, seeking solace in the possibilities of the infinite. Using the sci-fi literature of the GDR as a lyrical launchpad, unhappybirthday stumble, tumble, float and fall through the galaxy, finding freedom in each mantra like vocal.
With space as their place, the group take inspiration from the dreamy electronica of their teenage daze, filtering their yearning melodies and intricate arrangements through core memories of Ultramarine, Gus Gus and The Beloved. Processed beats and blinking sequences underpin nonchalant basslines and graceful guitar licks while nebulous pads provide a woozy weightlessness befitting their cosmic concerns.
Recorded once again in Hamburg and Berlin, Stella Loops sees Daniel Jahn and Tobias Rutkowski working closer than ever with regular collaborator Jonas Meyer, who joined the group in addition to his usual production duties. Hamburg’s Andreas Dorau and Zwanie Jonson return to lend their vocal talents alongside Berlin based Martha Rose, while Finnish legend and Bureau B sibling Jimi Tenor graces album closer ‚Jimmy‘ with an enchanting flute solo. The Bureau B connection also extends to the band’s first ever cover version, a suitably smooth take on ‚Lass Uns Überlegen‘ by the oddball Swiss cassette project Die Welttraumfoscher. The latest evolution of the unhappybirthday sound, Stella Loops is replete with all the chiming motifs and intuitive arrangements we’ve come to expect from the group, this time imbued with a fresh set of influences and intentions. Who knows where they’re headed in the future, but their present is a gift.
Dieter Mauson alias Occupied Head was born in Leer, a small town in the north-west of Germany, in 1964. In 1982 he started as a bass player in a no-wave band in his hometown and was later bass- and guitar-player and singer in the industrial-pop / post-punk duets Nostalgie Éternelle (since 1986) and Opfer der Hingabe (since 1989). With Siegmar Fricke from Wilhelmshaven (Germany) he founded the electronic duet Delta-Sleep-Inducing Peptide in 1989. His first solo-project (musique concrete) called Majestic Twelve was started in 1992. In 1995 – having two children – life changed and Dieter stopped making music for nearly15 years.
In 2009 Nostalgie Éternelle came back to life and a few years later Opfer der Hingabe and Delta-Sleep-Inducing Peptide (DSIP) were also reactivated. Nostalgie Éternelle did some tours over the last years and released a lot of archive material as well as three vinyls with new material. DSIP also released archive and new material on cd and vinyl since the restart. Dieter started his new solo project called Occupied Head in 2011.
Dieter met the Chilean musician Cristóbal Rawlins (Raw C) in 2016 and both began their electronic duet 7697 Miles. A year later Dieter travelled to Chile and in 2018 to Peru to record music and play concerts (solo and with 7697 Miles). The same year he and two of his friends started the techno/post-punk/country/electro trio Sauerstofff (one ‚f‘ for every freak).
Beside the above mentioned duets Dieter released collaboration-albums with Miguel Angel Ruíz from Madrid and Lord Litter from Berlin in 90s and with Boban Ristevski from Skopje, melophobia from Thessaloniki, Non Toxique Lost from Berlin and DJ_Iterate (Thomas Park) from St. Louis over the last years.
With Low Rhahn from Paraíba (Brasil) he released an album under the moniker ‚The Pulse‘ and with Wilfried Hanrath from Wuppertal (Germany) under the duet name ‚Die Abbilder‘. He also published a collaboration album with O.D.I. from Barcelona. Dieter also started another project with Jan Kruml from the Czech Republic called ‚Forest Lake‘. Other projects are in the drain.
So far, Occupied Head has played concerts in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Chile, Peru, Lithuania, France, Spain and Italy. After some digital releases, Occupied Head released his first physical release
(a CD) – ‚Steady‘ on Wet Dreams Records in Almeria, Spain in December 2019. In Fact Recordings from Thessaloniki, Greece released his second album ‚Interoception‘ on vinyl in April 2022. Occupied Head also released a bunch of tracks on digital, cd and vinyl compilations over the last years.
In his live sets Occupied Head combines electronic, ambient, electro-acoustic and electro-pop elements, mostly avoiding a beat in its conventional way and always keeping a meditative character. Playing in clubs the show is more minimal electronic orientated.