Moritz von Oswald
Moritz von Oswald is a German multi-instrumentalist who has become one of the most influential record producers of dub techno in the 1990s. He is most famous for his work as one half of both electronic production duos Basic Channel and Maurizio and their characteristic sound of 4×4 beats with dub-influence syncopated synth pads slowly modulating over time.
After studying percussion at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg he became percussionist for Palais Schaumburg and Associates in the 1980s. But by the later half of the decade he moved into electronic music. He co-founded the Basic Channel label with Mark Ernestus, whose various releases came to epitomize dub techno.
Living in Berlin, von Oswald was also part of a music scene that pivoted around the Tresor Club and record label, as well as Hard Wax, the record store founded by Ernestus.
His work with Mark Ernestus as Rhythm & Sound fused his interests in dub reggae and techno, where Jamaican vocalists sing or speak over stripped down techno beats and bass. His most recent releases are with the Moritz von Oswald Trio, where he ‘conducts’ Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric) and Sasu Ripatti, aka Vladislav Delay. The Moritz van Oswald Trio released Fetch in July 2012. Drummer on the album Sounding Lines and band member since 2015 is the Nigerian musician Tony Allen.
Since 2013 von Oswald joins up again with Juan Atkins as Borderland, one of many collaborations of von Oswald with Musicians from Detroit since the early 90s.
Berlin-based Rashad Becker is one of the most highly regarded mastering engineers in contemporary experimental and electronic music.
Since 1997, he has worked at Dubplates & Mastering (which was founded by techno pioneers Basic Channel in 1995), and he has mastered and cut well over a thousand records, ranging from minimal techno and glitch to noise and musique concrete.
Since the late 2000s, he has also owned and operated his own recording and mastering studio, Clunk. In 2013, Becker made his debut as a recording artist with Traditional Music of Notional Species, Vol. I, an album of eerie, unsettling synthesizer compositions issued by Bill Kouligas’ Pan label.
Known for his unrivalled attention to sonic detail across his work, Becker’s unique techniques and expressive manipulations of sound are laid bare in his stylistically distinctive second full release Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. II.
Eric Chenaux makes conceptual music that’s not meant to sound conceptual. He operates among various ‘traditions’ but perhaps most broadly, Chenaux’s records grapple with the relationship between improvisation and structure in very particular, unique, idiosyncratic ways – and quite without irony or cynicism, through love. Because fundamentally, Chenaux writes love songs, which he sings in a voice honeyed and clear, while his guitar gently bends, frazzles, chortles, diverges and decomposes. This juxtaposition of his mellow, dexterous crooning and his highly experimental (and equally dexterous) guitar explorations, explodes even unconventional notions of singing and accompaniment, of tonal and timbral interplay between guitar and voice.
Eric Chenaux’s March 2018 release Slowly Paradise is a lovely collection of songs guided by soothing, buttery singing and bent, fried fretwor and arguably Chenaux’s most assured and essential solo work, expanding upon on the themes that garnered his previous releases Guitar & Voice and Skullsplitter such critical acclaim.
Chenaux was a fixture of DIY and experimental music in Toronto throughout the 1990s and 2000s, progressing from local postpunk legends Phleg Camp and Lifelikeweeds towards a highly distinctive technical and gestural mastery of amplified acoustic guitar. An intrepid explorer of free/improvised music, folkways, bent jazz, and sculptural sound, Chenaux began releasing solo and ensemble work in the 2000s, amidst incessant live performances as a central figure in Toronto’s fertile avant/improv scene, and as co-founder of the experimental music label Rat-drifting. Constellation has been home to Eric’s “solo” records since 2006 – a brilliant discography of adventurous, sumptuous, mostly languorous deconstructed folk, jazz and pop-influenced balladry rooted in the juxtaposition of Chenaux’s fried guitar playing and his gorgeously clear and lyrical singing voice.
Bristol New Music
Bristol New Music is a consortium of five key organisations in Bristol (Colston Hall, Arnolfini, Spike Island, St George’s Bristol and the University of Bristol) dedicated to bringing the very best international new music to the city, while working to create opportunities for emerging regional artists.
The consortium present a biennial festival of new and experimental music in venues and spaces across the city. The first festival took place in February 2014 and showcased artists including Quatuor Bozzini, Canada’s leading new music string quartet, Ensemble musikFabrik, composer and saxophonist John Butcher, soundscape artist Cevdet Erek, electronic artists Klavikon, Roly Porter and Addison Groove and the Christian Wallrumrød Ensemble.
In 2016 the festival returned for it’s second instalment in May with a fascinating installation in Colston Hall’s cellars titled Requiem for 114 Radios by artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard alongside performances from contemporary music artists, Max Richter and Kronos Quartet. Bristol composer/producer Vessel teamed up with Liverpool’s Immix Ensemble to present the live A/V incarnation of their 2016 Erased Tapes collaboration Transition and new commisions were performed by John Bence and Arve Henriksen at St George’s Bristol.
In 2018 the festival continued its growing reputation of fearlessly exhibiting and exploring new realms in sound with a programme including Charles Hazlewood with Army of Generals and members of The British Paraorchestra performing Steve Reich’s The Four Sections across the four levels of Colston Hall’s foyer, electronic artist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith performing in the IMAX cinema at Bristol Aquarium, and Sarah Angliss’ unsettling electronic composition at St Geroge’s Bristol with Aether Music and Oramics, to name a few.