Ursula Bogner - Sonne = Blackbox
Review Limited Edition CD/Book
Inside every synthetic man there's an electronic woman and the woman in the picture above does not exist - we know this because because Wikipedia doesn't have a page about her. This image purports to be a photograph of a pioneeering electronic artist who died in 1994 at the age of 48.
Ursula Bogner might never have been heard outside her immediate family had Jan Jelinek not discovered them through a random encounter with Bogner's son. This is where the mystery begins as rumor says the Bogner's story is a hoax-- a cover for music Jelinek made himself. The story goes that she was born in Germany in 1946, she became a pharmacist, a wife, and mother by her early twenties. In her spare time she studied painting, printing, and electronic music. The latter interest led her to record her own synthesizer-based compositions on reel-to-reel tapes in a studio she built herself.
Whatever the truth Sonne = Blackbox consists of 15 tracks of her primitive brand of electronic composition and tape manipulation supposedly between 1971 and 1985. Much of the music would not be out pf place comming from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in Jon Pertwee’s 1970’s Dr Who. Some say the giveaway that this is Jelinek's work is the heaviness of the sub-bass and the attendant dub-head's sense of space. Hard to imagine you would get this feel and sound in late 60s and early 70s Germany synth culture. There are no drums, just vocal loops, blips and oscillators. Whatever the truth this is a very interesting collection of minimal electronic music that off-kilter electronic music fan will enjoy.
The Deluxe Edition includes a very interesting 127 page book (in German/English) addressing the now commonly held belief that Ursula Bogner was no more than an imaginary character. The book decides to offer an unusual defence of the provenance of the material by examining the nature of the "Fake" in art, with a number of essays looking at Bogner's authenticity from different angles with the bottom line that someone like Bogner could have existed without the world knowing. It also offers a series of beautiful reproductions of line drawings and notes made by Bogner, presumably offering more tangible evidence of her existence. Does is leave us convinced? Whatever, it’s a great read and will be of interest to electronic music fans.
Jan Jelinek is a German electronic musician who also operates under the names of Farben, Gramm and The Exposures. His music is usually categorized as minimal techno, glitch or microhouse, and is characterized by deep basslines, extensive use of samples from earlier jazz and rock recordings, and clicks & cuts effects. He is the founder of the German record label Faitiche.
Rating 4.5 of out 5 CD + BOOK £22.99
More information - UK orders from http://boomkat.com/