On Saturday July 27th 2013 I took part at a very remarkable event. Ingmar Koch aka Dr. Walker organized the Telepathic Bubblebath Liquid Sky Open Air Session at ELSE Club, An der Elsenbrücke in Berlin. The idea was to have electronic musicians from over 4 decades to jam together all day, with some occasional DJ sets in between.
Those musicians involved were no other but legends like Michael Rother+ (Ex-Kraftwerk/ Neu/ Harmonia), FM EInheit (Einstürzende Neubauten), Harald Blüchel (aka Cosmic Baby), Dr. Walker and Cem Oral (aka Air Liquide), Nerk (TokTok), to name but a few.
Supporting DJs and acts were Renaat Vandepapeliere (R&S Records), Corin Arnold (aka ED2000) and of course those notorious members of the Liquid Sky Berlin family like Audiosex (aka ADSX), Omsk Information, Elec Ice, Bad Bad Tom, Monsieur Fleury, Bad Bad Tom and Klaus & Achim Selbst.
I suggested to take care of all things BASS, so I brought a couple of instruments for that purpose. Next to my glorious Devilfish 303 I set up two Korg Electribe drum machines, a Boss PC-2 Percussion Synthesizer (as demonstrated by myself in this video) and an MFB Synth Lite II, played with a Novation MM-10 keyboard. As far as I know the MM-10 was the very first product by Novation and was designed to hold a Yamaha QY-20 pocket sequencer. I recently found out that the MFB Synth Lite II fits almost perfectly into the mould on he MM-10 and can also be powered through the MM-10 by that special MIDI/ power supply cable that came with the MM-10 originally. Oh happy joy! Both the MFB Synth Lite II and my old selfmade faithful Rockinger Bass were routed in a Korg Kaoss Pad 2. With it’s Mic/ Line switch I could conveniently select the source I wanted to play through it.
As soon as Harald Blüchel and myself had set up we started to play at 11 am. I would play some simple beats with the Electribes, sync a pulsating bassline from the 303 and then play live some occasional electronic bass melodies through the delay section of the Kaoss Pad, while Harald would play his “very cosmic” and iconic melodies or soothing synth pads with a Roland JX-8P (with controller unit PG-800) or get noisy and nasty with his Roland SH-101. It was just a relaxed start of what was supposed to become a legendary day, but I had the most fun already during that jam, since we just flowed so well with each others. Unfortunately that session was not recorded in audio or video. Later Chad Carrier aka Omsk Information would join in with his Electron Machines, providing bigger beats.
Later I accompanied Liquid Sky member Monsieur Fleury during his live set just playing the bass axe. The rest of the day was filled with chilling, talking, drinking, sweating and anticipating the big final session with all the headlining musicians. At 8pm we set up. Michael Rother installed his gear consisting of a Fender Strat, an amp and several FX devices. Cem Oral also brought a guitar, an amp and a delay, while FM Einheit installed his famous spiral that he would treat later rhythmically with a hammer, a drill machine and all kinds of other tools.
Harald was again playing his Rolands and Bad Bad Tom created vocal effects while Dr. Walker and ADSX would add drones and noises from their laptops. The backbone rhythm was again provided by Omsk Information and I played – of course – the bass. We were jamming for over an hour, slowly finding structure from a cloud of noise into the emerging sunset with sudden occasional melodic elements and passages of groove before falling back into introvertive solos or pure audiosonic improvisation.
At the end of that hot day, I had a blister on my finger (from playing the bass for hours) and my Electribe ES-1 sampling drum machine died a sudden death, when a bottle of Mate poured over it.
So beware: never place open bottles next to your gear, kids.
Since everybody has so much fun last weekend, I am confident that this event is going to be continued.
In the meantime check out the cool black-and-white trailer by Andrea Henao.