WABI EXPERIENCE: FEDERSEL X TARNOVSKIWabi Experience
PHYSICAL | CD
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The story of the making of the album was complicated, almost mythological. Instead of retelling the original story we give a word to Federsel, the initiator of the project:
It all began in 2002, or it might have been also in 2001, I don’t remember anymore. For whatever reason, I had an idea to remix songs of Czech country hero Wabi Daněk, who’s music I remembered from my childhood, from singing around the fireplace. I thought this will be some sort of funny game for me, with which I will spend few weeks the most. I worked with sampler Roland JS-30, borrowed from a friend. It had no external memory, so I had to always keep it on. The result was not so special, but I got hooked on the material. I continued exploring its possibilities, which I just began to see. At some point I deliberately erased everything I had, so I would start again from zero. I started working with computer and various softwares and I totally changed the course of where the whole thing was heading previously. I stopped talking about remixing and started to think about deconstruction. I did some stuff, which I finally liked, but then my computer crashed and I lost everything again. I started again, with new computer, new software, new direction. I still wanted to finish this project, it became a kind of obsession. I felt this needed to be finished, one way or another.
With the third version of the same material I felt I got totally lost. I felt not strong enough to move along. I called Jára Tarnovski, my friend and colleague from the band Gurun Gurun. He somehow understood where the material was heading, even without any previous experiences with country music. After productive period of exchanging ideas we thought the material is finally ready.
It was in 2010. We didn’t erase it. It didn’t disappear. We just had it.
The album went to Japan, where it was to be released. We waited for two years, then the label went on hiatus. We waited some more time and the label resurrected, but with the new bosses we somehow fell out of the waiting list. We went to Mexico and waited some more, but there was no agreement in the end. We felt our waiting period is getting little bit too long. But we still had the material and we still liked it. Then we finally got to Mikroton.
The album is finally released. It all started eighteen years ago. We won’t be able to bring this album to Wabi Daněk anymore, he died in 2017.
Enjoy this album, friends! I’m happy its being released! I won’t put eighteen years of my life to any other project like this ever again.
Tomislav Federsel, Prague, Czech Republic, 12.3.2019
With the owner of the Mikroton label, I sometimes have discussions about music, and one of the constants is what it is that he releases. Usually, a discussion comes from the fact that I say it's improvised music whereas I get firm assurances it is not. For some people, I guess, this is an exact science, which of course I think it is not. It might not even be important; just convenient when writing reviews. In the case of Wabi Experience we could safely say it is not improvised, but less safely to categorize it somewhere else. It is the project of Federsel and it started in 2002 when he was asked to do a remix of "Czech country hero Wabi Daněk", but not necessarily of the man's music; more like Federsel's own interpretation (if I understand the press information correctly). After spending some weeks on a sampler with no memory card, Federsel was hooked on the machine and the notion of sampling and later on expanded to using computers and software. He kept on recycling Daněk's sounds. Never satisfied he called in Jára Tarnovski, from the band Gurun Gurun. In 2010 this was all done and then it was waiting for a label to release this (and a label that would not disappear), which now finally happened. Wabi Daněk died in 2017, so he's not hearing this but we should be so lucky we can hear it. This is a great release! Genre-defying and that's a word I won't use lightly. It's glitch like, it's rhythmic, it's ambient and it's, dare I say it, even a bit pop music like. Especially when the tracks are kept short, and most are, a pop music sensibility slips in, such as in 'Outsider Tango', but it is also filled with all these odd like extra sounds that remind us that this is surely not pop music at all. It reminds me of all the good things of electronic music in the past; of Oval's '94 Diskont', The Books, clicks 'n cuts, even Pan Sonic and Fennesz to a certain extent. It's also music that one might not be thinking about so much these days and perhaps a revival is due now. If so, Wabi Experience is the first great work of such a revival.
Nicht immer sind die Künstler selber dafür verantwortlich oder gar schuld, dass sich eine Veröffentlichung über Jahre hinweg hinauszögert. Das beste und somit auch mühsamste Beispiel wäre wohl “Wabi Experience”, eine Kooperation zwischen den tschechischen Musikern Tomislav Federsel und Jára Tarnovski. Eigentlich als Hommage an den Countryhelden Wabi Daněk aus dem eigenen Land angedacht, wurde die Klangforschung als Wabi Experience mehr als dies. Bereits 2001 wurden die ersten Grundsteine für die Platte gelegt, nun erst darf sie auch gehört werden.
Labels ohne Zahlungskraft, rechtlich gesperrte Musik, Vertröstungen – erst 2010 war das Album fertig angedacht, musste dank den Widrigkeiten aber noch weitere neun Jahre auf eine Heimat warten. Nun lassen Wabi Experience alle in ihre Visionen eintauchen, welche sich mit Samples und kargen Synthesizer-Fundamenten langsam in wärmere Gebiete wagen. “Still Burning I” ist der Trost mit der Gitarre, “November Is Gone” bietet das düstere Pochen der Bässe. Experimenteller Electronica ist die Scheibe immer.
Oft werden die Tracks von Wabi Experience nicht gross ausgearbeitet, ein Knistern, eine Verzerrung, eine Andeutung. “The Fourth Floor Of Sadness” und “Wave Break” geben sich gar sehr minimalistisch, da wird man von den flächigen Stimmungen in den anschliessenden Songs fast überrascht. Das ist war weit entfernt von der Musik Daněks, zeigt sich aber trotzdem immer hingebungsvoll. Erstaunlich ruhig und gelassen ist das Werk und niemals veraltet – nur schade verstarb das Idol der beiden bereits vor zwei Jahren.
Wabi Experience is the result of the collaboration between Tomislav Federsel (Tomáš Procházka), Czech sound artist and actor, who had the idea for Wabi Experience and Jára Tarnovski, Czech experimental musician from the band Gurun Gurun, who came in creative support a little later. The story goes back in 2002, with Federsel’s desire to remix Wabi Daněk‘s Czech country songs, a legendary musician in his field and a strong familial memory for Federsel.
This project took ages to materialize, in fact, seventeen whole years including some mishaps, setbacks, frustration, and in between, inevitable hardware breakdowns. There is a helluva story surrounding this album in Tomislav‘s words: “I worked with sampler Roland JS-30, borrowed from a friend. It had no external memory, so I had to always keep it on. The result was not so special, but I got hooked on the material. I continued exploring its possibilities, which I just began to see.” Be sure to read the full story, a quite interesting supplement to something beautifully created!
Every moment of this recording is magnificent, clocking in at 44 minutes. Forget everything you – may – think or imagine about remixed traditional or country music. The sound of Wabi Experience is fully deconstructed, not just remixed! No trace from the original tunes, instead, a seminal touch of electronic music, traditionally rooted, derived from an unknown (to me) source; this adds a lot to the overall enhanced mystery. The outcome is bizarre and original, powerful, a unique blend of electronic and a transformative approach.
Wabi Experience is a puzzle with a cut and paste process, made out of reborn raw sound materials, with a very sensitive, minimal approach in terms of effort and imagination. Federsel and Tarnovski treated their raw sound material with utmost care and gave life to a new hybrid of traditional music.
Their work is complete, and their experiment fulfilled after so many years of struggle for it. Thanks to Mikroton from Russia, so that we can also be part to this experience. Unfortunately, Wabi Daněk passed away in 2017 so he cannot listen to their efforts. Nevertheless, his work is re-emerging in a new form but with the same deep love!
Realizzare questo album è stato complicato, a tratti mitologico. Non voglio aggiungere molto di piu’, perche’ le parole di Tomislav Federsel, l'iniziatore del progetto, sono abbastanza: “Tutto è iniziato nel 2002, o forse anche nel 2001, non ricordo più. Ho avuto l'idea di remixare canzoni dell'eroe ceco Wabi Daněk, la musica che ricordo fin da bambino, cantando intorno al camino. Ho pensato che sarebbe stato una sorta di gioco divertente. Ho lavorato con il campionatore Roland JS-30, preso in prestito da un amico. Non aveva memoria esterna, così ho dovuto tenerlo sempre acceso. Il risultato non è stato così speciale. Ho continuato ad esplorare le sue possibilità. Ad un certo punto ho deliberatamente cancellato tutto quello che avevo, per ricominciare da zero. Ho iniziato a lavorare con il computer e vari software e ho cambiato completamente il corso di dove l'intera cosa si stava dirigendo in precedenza. Ho smesso di parlare di remix e ho iniziato a pensare alla decostruzione. Ho fatto delle cose che alla fine mi sono piaciute, ma poi il mio computer si è rotto e ho perso tutto di nuovo. Ho ricominciato, con un nuovo computer, un nuovo software, una nuova direzione. Volevo ancora finire questo progetto, è diventato una sorta di ossessione. Sentivo che doveva essere finito, in un modo o nell'altro. Con la terza versione dello stesso materiale mi sono sentito completamente perso. Non mi sentivo abbastanza forte per andare avanti. Ho chiamato Jára Tarnovski, il mio amico e collega del gruppo Gurun Gurun Gurun. In qualche modo ha capito dove stava andando il materiale, anche senza precedenti esperienze con questo tipo di musica. Dopo un periodo di scambio di idee, abbiamo pensato che il materiale fosse finalmente pronto”. Era il 2010 e di questo capolavoro non si seppe piu’ nulla. L’etichetta giapponese a cui era stato affidato il lavoro e’ fallita. La buona notizia e’ che la russa Mikroton l’ha pubblicato quest'anno. La brutta notizia? Wabi Danek e’ morto nel 2017. Non ha potuto ascoltare questo tributo alla sua carriera. Un omaggio sui generis, senza renderlo ne’ un santo ne‘ un peccatore. Le atmosfere sembrano apparentemente non coincidenti ma, se si ascolta Wabi Experience e subito Danek, capirete la grazia del continuum che li lega. Fate attenzione alla traccia 7 (''November Is Gone'') e 9 (''The Fourth Floor Of Sadness''). Il climax sta tutto li’. Speriamo di non dover aspettare altri diciotto anni per il prossimo lavoro.