Coh Bale


This new album compiles several songs made in the years following Black To Comm's classic Alphabet 1968 album. Originally released on the seminal Type label in 2009, Alphabet 1968 combined the sound of vintage shellac and vinyl loops with broken electronics and field recordings, the press release mentioning disparate influences "ranging from Moondog to Basic Channel by way of Bernard Herrmann". Now titled Coh Bâle (inspired by a strange dream) these recordings were supposed to become a follow-up to said album but for reasons unknown it never materialized and the album seemed forever lost. At the time Marc Richter started to dive deeper into several strains of (so-called) world music aka the folk music of Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe as well as liturgical and medieval music, the kraut-electronica of Harmonia and several certain Mediterranean experimentalists from the 1980s who started to merge their mostly electronic and field recording based compositions with traditional musics from all over the world by way of new sampling technology. Many of the songs for the album were recorded while travelling and at various residencies around Europe: a detuned piano in a Thessaloniki basement (Richter played at a children's birthday party there), vintage synthesizers in the GRM studios in Paris, decaying acoustic instruments found in an old Black Forest mansion, childrens' voices at a workshop in Karlsruhe's ZKM Institute; then mixed on headphones in the ICE trains running between these places and his hometown Hamburg. Coh Bâle is taking inspirations from old Nonesuch Explorer and Ocora LPs, Crammed Records, '80s Mediterranean ambient (Nuno Canavarro, Roberto Musci) combined with the DIY spirit of Deux Filles and Flaming Tunes and the playfulness of Asa Chang & Junray. The songs are both mysterious and transparent, intricate and frugal, vibrant and patient. One of the album's unexpected climaxes is a gorgeous (artificial) berimbau version of the Welsh traditional "Iechyd o Gylch". No two songs feature the same instrumentation and many acoustic sources (pianos, flutes, wood percussion, viola, tablas, autoharp) were disassembled and later coalesced into new configurations or used as virtual instruments; later combined with samples, field recordings, electronics and (on a few tracks) autotuned vocals reminding of recent works by the likes of Claire Rousay or More Eaze. This is the second release from his archives after the Diode, Triode LP which presented musique concrète/acousmatic recordings made at INA/GRM and ZKM. Edition of 300.