MM XX Vol. 1 & 2


MM∞XX is a virtual orchestra Marc Richter initiated during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Isolated at his Hamburg studio he started to reach out to former collaborators and old friends, picking up on previous conversations as well as asking people to post short previously unused sound recordings for a collaborative piece of music. He then assembled, transformed, and mixed these generous offerings (by 33 artists) into perpetually evolving compositions to be published and performed in different constellations, formats, versions, and mixes over the course of 2021. Not only did he get these lovely sonic gifts from his many collaborators -- he received messages about childbirth and death, marriage and divorce, building houses, buying houses, happiness, and depression, everyday life. The resulting pieces were premiered at the lockdown editions of Rewire and Papiripar Festival in 2021 and are now compiled into this double-CD set. The music is as unpredictable as the guest list yet it all gels in unexpected ways. Some of the pieces are surprisingly beautiful while others are deliberately comic and ridiculous. Richter often piles up five or more unrelated samples on top of each other with unforeseeable results; Andrew Pekler's psychedelic ambient loops combined with a discreet noise guitar and subtle field recordings by Luke Fowler and others, Paul Regimbeau's doom metal guitar colliding with Roger Tellier-Craig's musique concrète recordings and Brian Pyle's artificial church organ, sounding like a long lost Melvins/Luc Ferrari combo, Lucio Capece's reed noises screeching on top of Felix Kubin's voice/MS-20 mobile phone recordings. Almost every track features at least one surprise element that would never happen on a non-collaborative album: the Guido Möbius slide guitar, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh's wonderful buzuk playing, Jan van Hasselt's singing robots, Eric Chenaux's recurring voice memo loops. Collaborators were free to send any kind of sonic material. Among the sound files Richter received were pure field recordings (cats, children, toilets), dictaphone sketches (people singing/whistling/whispering their song ideas), found sounds, accidental sounds, sample loops, tape loops, voice recordings, improvisations on buzuk, clarinet, guitar, piano, no-input mixer, Buchla Music Easel, MS-20, and modular synthesizers in varying fidelity and tunings. Richter is an idiosyncratic and autodidactic expert in sampling and audio collage for almost 20 years now so it's no surprise that nothing here sounds forced or hyperbolic and even the strangest combinations always make sense. And fortunately, he knows when to withdraw from the setting and when to simplify the proceedings. Mastering by Rashad Becker. Artwork by Bora Başkan.