Space & Didier Marouani: Historical facts

2005-09-30 21:32:00

The creative way of the band Space started back in 1977, when Didier Marouani, who was under contract with Polydor Records as a singer at the time, composed Magic Fly and proposed to Polydor to release it as a single. Polydor replied that it would never work on radio and would not sell any record of it.

Marouani had to create a project band to record and publish the track. He hired the lyricist Paul Greedus, Yannick Top, John Edwards (later Status Quo bassist) and Roland Romanelli as well as Dominique Perrier and Roger "Bunny" Rizzitelli, both from the duo Space Art. Space Art released their album Onyx earlier that year.

Due to contract terms, Marouani was not able to use his real name in the band Space, so he released the first album Magic Fly under alias of Ecama and had to perform only in astronaut helmet. Albums Deliverance and Just Blue followed later. The cover for Deliverance was created by the studio Hypgnosis and Storm Thorgerson who was working for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Alan Parker.

After Deliverance was released, the band was supposed to give a big concert under the Eiffel Tower in Paris; they worked on this project for 6 months, also the promotion for the event. Although, producer decided to cancel the concert 20 days before the show date, and officially that was the reason why Didier Marouani quit the band.

The producer of Space registered the trademark Space under his name, so they've done a 4th album Deeper Zone without Marouani. The album had a limited success because of more experimental attitude coming from Roland Romanelli and lack of catchy melodies.

In 1983 Marouani resurrected with a new band PARIS FRANCE TRANZIT and same name album. This disc sounds as the following album of Space. Later, Marouani initiated a court process to take back the name Space and he succeeded in the mid-80s.

In the 80s Marouani and Space lost all its US popularity of the 70s, as well as general recognition in Europe. It's then they they started to play Space in the USSR on government TV and radio stations (only ones that existed at that time) and the success came immediately; the popularity was all over USSR. After meeting with the Ministry of USSR Culture in 1980 and the Russian Ambassy in Paris, Marouani was offered a tour proposal - more than 30 shows all over the country.

When Marouani finished recording the album Space Opera in 1987, he wrote a letter to Gorbatchev to inform him about the album. Marouani also wrote that nothing has been done in space concerning the culture and music. Soon after that the Minister of Space accepted that the Russian Cosmonauts take with them a Space Opera CD together with a CD player.

Without releasing any new material, Marouani & Space gave a few tours in the 90s, mostly covering ex-USSR territory.

The latest album Symphonic Space Dream, was presented in November 2001 in Kiev, Ukraine and in November 2002 in Moscow, Russia, never making a way out to international market though.

Conspiracy of Internet

2005-09-30 04:05:00
Comparing to Holy Grail legends and Great French revolution, Internet is relatively young. So there is no known story for it from the point of conspicary theories.

Despite all the pathetic talks about Internet, still the majority of its traffic is porn. First it was pictures, then zipped galleries, then movies, now full DVD backups. This situation lasts for more than 10 years and everyone, including the industry, seemed to feel alright about it. Even if internet was stealing billion dollars from them.

What we see now is the industry crying out loud and protesting that p2p networks steal their profits, yet profits grow! To me it looks like somebody protests not just sharing as such, but consuming something good and useful. I mean, they were giving green light when people were demoralizing themselves. Now people are able to choose what to download, including books and videos (you cannot imagine how many banned books, movies and historical works can be found online), and somebody tries to put a stop on that.

The most dumb projects never get under attack for some reason. Zillion LiveJournal users stew in their own juice, zillions talk deliriously on various pointless forums and chats. While it's all about flirt and gossip, it's harmless. As soon as one can find banned info on Rosicrucians there, the network ceases to be. "One ring to rule them, one ring to bind them."

Dropped Off The Face Of The Earth

2005-09-29 04:19:00
Trying to understand on what label the musician Sense released one of his albums, I got to his official site and was stuck. Sense seems to have enough and gave up his public career. Not sure if he will keep that front page disclaimer for ever, I'll better copy it here just in case.



Thanks to EBAY
Thanks to Soulseek
Thanks to the IDM scene
Thanks to corporate mentality and concept
Thanks to worldwide mediocrity
Thanks to those who make music for reasons other than music
Thanks to heartless promotors
Thanks to shallow ideals
Thanks to those who gave up
Thanks to compressed audio and the worldwide push to diminish listening feeling and quality
Thanks to those who soil our childrens minds with societies concerns
Thanks to inadequate parents
Thanks to freedom dictated to you by others
Thanks to branding
Thanks to slavery
Thanks to imprisonment
Thanks to equality
Thanks to competition
Thanks to low self esteem
Thanks to those who think good means bad
Thanks to those who believe war is innevitable in our civilised society
Thanks to everyone who accepted nuances of evil as unnavoidable
Thanks to everyone who feels good about themselves for wanting to help
Thanks to dishonesty
Thanks to those professionals who dictate other peoples sanity
Thanks to fear
Thanks to survival mentality

If it werent for you , the world would be a very different place.
nothing to see here



I would sign after each of these lines. And would probably add another one - Thanks to those who consider emotions and relations as a object of fast mass consumption.

Although, sense, I cannot think of any modern society that would be free of what you listed. For all my life I look for places to run and hide. I did that a number times, yes, but it doesn't give any liberation. Sure, there may be forests in Papua New Guinea but I seriously doubt we could live there. Isolation of Iceland and emotional freedom of Eastern Europe are probably two options one should consider.


2005-09-27 19:49:00
Right, life has no plans to give me any rest whatsoever. I was given an option of financial independency to put in first, then huge amount of conspiracy literature - this thing in particular is kinda scary if to think how much of my attention it consumes. And in opposition - orthodox slavic music, Choir of the Brethren of Valaam Monastery as an example.

Whereas many people live simple lives, everything is much more complicated in my opinion. On the other hand, too much information is a way that most likely will not lead to any sort of happiness. Still, there are zillion reasons to dig deeper into it all. Of course, there are plans to start up some websites, encyclopedias et cetera, none of what will be done.

Among other news is the birth of Antenna's descendant. All people seem to live, go forward, realize their dreams yet myself was probably hit by a comet at some point...

Boys who in teenhood thought that black & silver clothes and black glasses was different, later on understand it all is more complex and became the modern Knights Templar, not by joining secret societies, but by serving your own ideas, sacred in that way or another.

A couple days ago had a long chat with my aunt Nina about old-believers, about my grandmother's family. Wonderful things showed up, like mediterranean and indian trip of the family. Still, she's an atheist and wasn't very pleased to talk about matters of belief and religion. Still, genealogical tree is a handy thing.

Bill Drummond on world conspiracy

2005-09-13 08:00:00
Reading Bill Drummond's book "45" again. I was always wondering why I liked him so much, he doesn't have a vivid charisma in a way, say, David Gahan or John Bon Jovi have. Now I know - he's paranoid just like me.

Throughout the entire creative way of The KLF he and Cauty sang about loneliness in a way that I like - loneliness on a rave party, loneliness at night in the middle of nowhere, loneliness in a hood when surrounded by hundreds of fans. All that was covered deeply in almost sectarian propaganda and KLF's own mythology: sheep, 3AM, Justified Ancients Of Mu-Mu (The JAMs), Trancentral. Then, I understand why he left the industry. It's not because the experiment was over, Drummond just got tired and bored, because there was no way forward: he wouldn't be able to become a regular smiling pop star, he wanted something different but the industry couldn't offer anything. He must be a person with a vivid imagination who's actually afraid of everything at all. He had built his own world and he could prove his right to do so.

Anyway, he could leave showbiz, but with that he just fed up his fears and senses again. "45" the books proves it. And, blimey, how good he is! He's originally scot and he knows very well what happens to modern Scotland, especially to his childhood Mecca, steel town of Corby. 12,000 people were let go from there because Polygram lobbists convinced the government that, literally, "the music business generates more cash than British Steel". And Labour Party quoted the slogan "British film industry - bigger than British Steel". But then Polygram is a Dutch-owned corporation and most of the steel used in the UK now has been made in Holland and Germany.

It's a shame to see people are ripped this way. And who will say Drummond is paranoid? What's wrong or incorrect in what he says?


2005-09-11 08:27:00
Butros Butros Gali! Well, yesterday was a fabulous day. Met a lady from Tyler, TX and infected her with a bit of paranoia. As always, I don’t care what to talk about so when I feel bored, I start to tease a company. She said some plain phrase don’t recall what about exactly, finished with “okay”. Then I asked if she knew the origins of the word “okay”. She got stunned for a few seconds and then said she didn’t but she wants to. I replied there’s no official version and all existing ones are at least suspicious. She said her dad taught her never to say the words which meaning she didn’t know, so it’s like about time to stop using “okay”too. I said that probably comes from some masonic conspiracy. She didn’t say anything but seemed to be very thoughtful. I didn’t want to do her any evil though. She was nice, we had a good chit-chat and I thought she would ask for my phone number. Didn’t do it, most probably because we’d never talk and that’s understood. Oh that crazy man in red denims, as Stephanie calls me.

It’s almost 1 am and I’m in the bed typing this stuff on a laptop. Sure, this lady is not what made my day. Scooter did. But there was a separate post about it.

Stayed up late last night, till 5 am. Was trying to tweak iPod, which now seems to have limited support of synchronisation. There are a few problems: iPod history of playback doesn’t always recognize Cyrillic and West-European symbols (I even don’t mention hieroglyphs ), then doesn’t matter how many times you listened to the track - it always counts as one (with a timestamp of the latest playback), then you have to listen to the track to the very end or else it doesn’t count. So, when I lay here for an hour with Scooter - She Said in the headphones, that would only count as one track. Not fair! But it submitted after all and that's good.

Now I see how I miss my diary. I was writing BS for 1.5 years in LiveJournal and left it completely wrecked. Although old time English posts still are most valuable.

Yeah, it's Nine Eleven today. A huge hoax perpetrated upon the entire world, along with The Moon Flight and all the democratic revolutions in the world. I don't believe in anything at all these days. As my tutor in journalism taught me: before you believe anything, think who and why would want you to believe it.

Scooter 2005 Live in Chicago

2005-09-10 21:59:00
Move to the rhythm! She said move! The first and only concert of the german outfit Scooter in the United States was all success. HP Baxxter and Co. have a huge base here in US, and I have no idea why their CDs are not released here. HP definitely could keep silence and the crowd would sing all the songs by itself. Except maybe the brand new one - Hello Good To Be Back. Actually, there was a bunch of video cameras and photographers between the stage and the front row because on this Chicago event they were shooting a video for this new single and recording a crowd singing along. “It’s entirely new song and we need your motherf*cking support”, as HP said.

The band played for 1.5 hours and performed a lot of their hits, it was a typical Scooter concert, visually the same as the Koln’s one that I saw. Including “The Surfing Bird” with Ramp! The Logical Song after it. Including Jigga Jigga, so long asked for by the crowd. Rick and Jay helped to sing Call Me Manana and in the end they crashed a synth. New song is a typical Scooter song, HP intones and chorus is made of a crowd singing “Hello, good to be back, good to be back”. As always, positive and energetic. Unfortunately, quality of sound in the Arena was not very high, so I’d better wait for a release.
All-State Arena is a gigantic concert hall, could compare it to Luzhniki in Moscow. And all that venue went totally mad. At some instant between the songs HP got onto the huge speaker and shouted “I think you all are mentally insane!”. People happily agreed.

There was a warming band prior to Scooter - Benassi Brothers, completely pointless and pathetic band (right, it’s not even a band). Everyone got so boring looking at how two men in their 40s talantlessly dancing to the music. I even didn’t understand - are these two men Benassi Brothers as such? Why don’t they play then but dance? Antenna said he was considering to purchase an expensive ticket for their concert. I’m glad he didn’t after all. Also there was a fat host of the event, wacky MC. He was teasing the crowd before Scooter appeared on stage, the way Santa Claus teases kids to ask to light a Christmas tree. “Are you ready for Scooter? Which part of the floor wants Scooter more?” Then, after the show he was going to teach people how to start your own band. Lecture was like this: “You need to gather in a garage and start to play. And not to think about sex. Well, you can think of it, it depends on how successful you are. Everybody thinks of it... If you play really good, all girls are yours anyway! Wait, don’t all go away, I’ll come down and meet you ...” But the hall was almost empty by then. Oh how stupid he was!

I’m pretty sure Scooter will be back to the USA soon, he repeated twice “see you”, that’s more than a hint. In fact, his concert was a part of the project called “Dance Invasion”, sponsored by Lufthansa and RTVi (russian television channel in the USA). 40% of all people in Arena were poles and russians. More poles than russians.

Anyway, it was definitely a very good evening and to be remembered for a long time.

Photos from the concert are here: Scooter 2005 Live in Chicago

New electronic arrivals. Hansel and Gretel in Electronic Forest.

2005-09-05 07:29:00
A couple years ago I was asked: what d'ya think, what impact on the music scene will the free online labels make? There was a discussion afterwards and we came to the same conclusion - it will bring more "noise" to endless names of existing musicians, it will be harder to find pearls among tares. Truth is, it's much easier to become published on a free online label. When Windows 95 made music-making easy, cheap DSL made publishing easy. But screw "easy" things, good things never come easy. There's such thing as talent. No Windows or cable connections will help improve that matter.

Alright, I check out some online labels from time to time and how good that I do so. Because today I found one very exciting net label called OTIUM and two of its beautiful releases, really talented ones.

First one is Koan, dark quirky electronics with moods quite similar to Future Sound Of London works and Lifeforms in particular. It's a soundtrack to some imaginary land, mysterious and probably pagan. My overall impression was that the land is somewhere around russian North-East, maybe even Karelia - a land that gave the world Kalevala, a tale which was later transformed into The Lord Of The Rings. Female folk choirs gracefully interlaced with dark ambient and dub sounds, sounds of unknown rivers and definitely evil spirits. I'm much into karelian legends and haven't ever heard a better soundtrack to those places. They say their style is Ethnic Lounge but it sounds like mushroom psychedelic electronica to me - positive. Koan is a duet of yet unknown origin, they may be russians but I'm not quite sure in that. Anyway, if they go further that way, their next CD will get me in the retail outlet nearby next to Kettel, Secede and Biosphere.

The next one is the band Sounds Of Belovodye with the album Varo. Some of their track names refer to Tarkovsky's movie Stalker, sound reminds of Cirque and Substrata. And maybe Robert Rich, who also wrote an imaginary soundtrack to Stalker (the real one is by Eduard Artemiev). Full of emptyness, multidimentional echoes and hardly identified sounds, this dark ambient work builds up a strong athmosphere of uneasiness and even alarm. It's a brothers Grimm tale without words. Even a tale for electronic age. Hansel and Gretel went to a forest at midnight, the forest was full with frightening holograms, each giant mushroom had its own analogue sound generator, the witch controls the forest with a network of wi-fi cameras. That's what this album is about.

I want to assure that from a sonic and melodic points these two albums are just great. Despite the fact, as I said, they came out on net label.

In fact, free net labels may be a real future for us listeners and the industry in whole. But that's another story for another day.

Aulis Vierhovssen
September 2005

The Wall in my life

2005-09-05 05:57:00
While New Orleans remains flooded, I'd talk about something water-y. Usually when I get out of bath, I sharply open a bath curtain, make a step out of it and at that very moment I start to sing In the Flesh, the song from The Wall when Pink shaved his eyebrows and comes out of bath, all in bleeding cuts - that's in the movie The Wall, of course.

I used to watch the movie one or two times a year, each time like the first time. It really touches me a lot, I feel so similar to Pink, with all that childhood and publicity bits. It should be psychological, because the next Pink Floyd movie, based on The Final Cut seems very weak, although logically and musically it's a sequel.

I recall that almost 5 years ago the art director of a cinema theatre nearby was showing The Wall on a big screen at midnight, only for invited people. It was not the first time I saw the movie but anyway - I felt so empty after it. I was walking back home, it was snowing a little, 2 am, streets were empty and I was under a massive impression.

Guess no DVD or Blu-ray stuff will ever compare to a real theatre / stadium experience. The more sophisticated the technics will be the more lonely people will become. So no future technics will bring a real theatre experience closer, but quite the contrary ...

Gimmik '2005 News From The Past

2005-09-04 18:15:00
To be honest, I dislike drum patterns that hurt my ear. The more melodic the music is the better for me. For that case, the label Toytronic is a godsend, with all its names like Multiplex or Digitonal.

Gimmik (who in fact is austrian sound engineer Martin Haidinger also published by the name Abfahrt Hinwil) is also in that line of Toytronic names - a really respectable musician and one of idm ideologists, not a weird public persona like Richard D. James and without Squarepusher's "I'm Jesus 2.0" ambitions. Although mostly silent from a media perspective, he still creates his warm sonic landscapes around wonderfully crafted melodies. News From The Past features half a dozen of previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1994 and 2000.

The sonic elegancy seems to be Gimmik's trademark even then: analogue sound, perfect sonic construction, delicate melodies, multiple sound layers with all nuances highlighted. Track Floating Clear has some references to drum'n'bass rhythm patterns (not very much sophisticated, I mean), but the melody is good anyway. I'm not sure this compilation will get anyone's eyes wide open, but it will sure help to trace Gimmik's journey to his most recent outputs.

Gimmik is a very important figure in electronic music and always was. When it was shameful to deliver nice melodies in music, when even Bochum Welt gave it up releasing Kissing A Robot Goodbye, Gimmik and his alter ego Abfahrt Hinwil was still feeding those ones in need. News From The Past is certainly a pleasant collection of musician's early works, and despite it's destined more for Gimmik fans and enthusiasts as an ideal introduction to his work, it is consistent and talented music.

Aulis Vierhovssen
September 04 2005

Kraftwerk in "Pop I Fokus" Swedish TV documentary

2005-09-04 06:25:00

Whoever is interested deeper in Kraftwerk's music and image in general - go find the subject. I watched it a couple hours ago and it shook me not less than, say, Pascal Bussy's or Flur's books. Among all other interesting things in it - Karl Bartos (now Elektric Music) praising Ralf Hutter, Wolfgang Flur (now Yamo) holding an extremely interesting tour around Kraftwerk places in Dusseldorf, Karlheinz Stockhausen listening to Autobahn and discussing early Kraftwerk years; Bjork, Moby and others.

Wolfgang shows the Kling Klang building to the TV crew. Basically, it's a five storey high building in the office district of Dusseldorf, with all windows curtained. There's one entrance door with a bell - no captions whatsoever. Wolfgang held the tour around noon, he said Ralf never wakes up that early and working day in Kling Klang actually starts at 3-5 pm. Karl Bartos agrees, he described what usual working day in Kling Klang looked like: they gathered at 5 pm, then later did a little break for coffee or nigthclub, or chit-chat about bikes. And then worked further till almost morning.

Obviously, Bartos respects Ralf a lot. Not just respects, but admires, he tells of him as of genius and unique person. To whom Karl himself is "a younger brother". Also says despite Ralf always uses phrase "Kraftwerk is Ralf and Florian", the real mastermind is Ralf himself and everything depends on him. Florian is mostly into technical details and equipment. For instance, Florian is considered to be an inventor of one of the forms of vocoder and speech generators. Initially it was a military thing but Florian adapted it to Kraftwerk needs.

Wolfgang tells a story when we was walking down the street in Dusseldorf and saw Florian with his daughter somewhere ahead. Florian, as soon as he spotted Wolfgang, crossed the street.

Really interesting film and I would be happy to share if anyone needs.