Ursula Bogner - Recordings 1969-1988
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Ursula Bogner
Recordings 1969-1988

While on a flight a couple years back, electronic musician Jan Jelinek started talking to a fellow by the name of Sebastian Bogner. He worked for a pharmaceutical company, and after some discussion disclosed that his mother used to like to "play around with synthesizers." As it turned out, that was kind of an understatement, because his mother (Ursula Bogner) actually was so into electronic music that she had a room in their house when he was growing up that was dedicated to playing. Over time, his mother (who was also a scientist within a pharmaceutical company) recorded different tracks and they pretty much went unheard.

That is, until Jelinek convinced Bogner's son to let him listen through the archives, and the result is this fifteen track debut release on his newly-formed Faitiche Records label. Released in a limited number on both CD and LP, this odd little release is fascinating given the circumstances in which it was created. There's no real particular style that her work is tied to, and the largely sketch-like tracks are both playful and at times delightfully kooky. Opener "Begleitung Fur Tuba" loops some overlapping layer of said horn and drops some drippy electronics and almost sine-wave patterns over the top. "Proto" only runs just over a minute and a half but sounds very ahead of its time, racing with a couple layers of driving synth and a squiggling bass that's punctured with sharp bursts of noise.

It's probably fate that brought this collection of tracks to Jelinek, because there are several pieces on Recordings 1969-1988 that honestly sound like they could have come from his hand (like the low end rumbler of "2 Ton," which seems to stutter with little clips and fragments of looping melodies). Elsewhere "Soloresonanzen" (which at seven minutes is easily the longest piece on the release) sounds like it could have come from the Raster Noton label, while other tracks toy with the same sort of quirky edge that artists like Bruce Haack were so good at. With most tracks on this release clocking in at well under two minutes, it definitely feels a bit fragmented, but it's a charming document of a truly outsider musician who simply created without caring whether anyone ever heard what she did.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2008-12-18 19:25:02