It’s a little embarrassing to find out just how much I don’t know about electronic music in and around Frankfurt back in the 90s, considering that I moved there in ’87 and spent two decades there. No use denying. Move D? Didn’t really became visible to me until 2007 (but then with lasting effect – “Got Thing” and “Workshop 02” entered my DJ bag immediately and never left it), and I entered the world of Pete Namlook on the wrong foot as I somehow couldn’t really relate to the “Dark Side Of The Moog IV” album I picked up on Ebay one day (primarily because I was into a lot of what Bill Laswell was doing).
Thanks to the “Reissued” series that I luckily didn’t overlook I can now start elucidating myself on a whole shelf of stuff that Moufang and Kuhlmann produced over the first decade of the new millennium (26 albums…). To be honest, I am not listening to one of the tracks on this EP right now, it’s “Montage III”, thoroughly fascinated. One track leads to another.
My deep dive into the work of Move D and Pete Namlook starts here. Not with 01 as it still needs to make its way from the UK to my mailbox, but I can live with that. I’m not much of a numbers guy, and 02 is a great one to start with.
Two tracks, both beyond 12 minutes. And that’s more than appropriate. This is not the kind of stuff that you can serve in five or even seven minute packages. I can relate. Even why these guys were releasing their music on CD back then (a format that I always despised, but mostly because it was forced upon me and was made to kill vinyl). Most of what they produced simply wasn’t compatible with vinyl playing times. And I remember once buying an album that had a half hour piece of music spread over two sides of vinyl. Fade out on A, fade in on B. Suboptimal.
Which doesn’t mean that the two tracks selected here haven’t been edited. “Silk Route (Part 1)” opened the album “Traveling the Silk Route” (2008) and had a playing time of almost 20 minutes. We get a good 12 minutes here. Unfortunately it’s not possible to compare this edit to the original without hunting down someone that is foolish enough to sell their CD – not found on YouTube.
The flip side gives us “Sleeplearnin”, a track that was just beyond 18 minutes long when it was published on “Sons Of Kraut” in June 2006. We get 13 and a half, and I trust them to be the essence of what I could hear on the CD if I had it. Sells for around 40 Euros on Discogs. I already hope this Reissued series goes on forever.
Off we go. Traveling the “Silk Route (Part 1)”. What a trip. Plenty of oriental flavor, as the title of the track suggests, paired with a relentless beat that starts somewhere in the background, taking plenty of time to develop, move forward and build up continuously until it departs a minute and a half before the trip is over, supported by a classic bass theme that perfectly complements the rhythm, all taken to another level by just the right dose of electronics, a mix that makes it almost unavoidable to say they just don’t make music like that anymore, and the inevitable thought following – of course not, without Kuhlmann things aren’t the same.
It’s strangely reassuring and comforting to listen to these twelve minutes, experiencing an electronic piece of music evolving with such gentle but unwavering force. No, you don’t need a break, no you don’t need a spectacular re-entry of the beat, no DJ friendly antics, just follow the route, the journey is the reward.
“Sleeplearnin” enters our minds from an Ambient angle, as if we were sleeping already, ready to immerse ourselves in what Moufang and Kuhlmann are about to teach us. Pulsating deep bass drums, muffled by the fogs of sleep, dreams and sounds that reach us from all around us as if sleeping on a high plain in a starry night, slightly chilly, and again the rhythm builds without a hurry but with clear purpose.
When the bass line enters the sleep learning process, I get transported back to the late 90s, an album that I picked up at a second hand shop in Frankfurt, Grasshoppers was the name of the project, “Livingroomscience” the album. Don’t ask me why this pops up. I look them up on Discogs. Short lived project. But hey, wait a minute. Amir Abadi? Isn’t that… Oh. Yes it is. Dr. Atmo, another guy that has a Fax +49-69/450464 history, even being one of the earliest artists to release an album on Kuhlmann’s label.
Without even having heard the other two parts of what is hopefully just the beginning of a long series of releases, I am a fan already, no denying that. And I might even buy one or the other CD. Something that I never thought I would do. The more you hear, the more you discover. In so many ways.
Release for review: MOVE D & PETE NAMLOOK – REISSUED 2 – AWAY MUSIC – AWAY LMTD 002
Buy the vinyl on Bandcamp: Click