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Ursula Bogner

Recordings 1969-1988

(Faitiche; US: 11 Nov 2008; UK: Unavailable)

You can believe the backstory if you want: a German housewife/pharmacist named Ursula Bogner builds a studio in her home to try and capture the electronic sounds that fascinate her so. Yet upon finding out that minimalist electronic composer Jan Jelinek “found” these recordings and used it as the flagship release for his Faitiche Records imprint, eyebrows were raised (it certainly doesn’t help that the press release notes that “all tracks selected and a few partly re-worked by Jan Jelinek”). So, yes, it’s a Jelinek side-project, and, unfortunately, the “backstory” is intrinsically fascinating than the music contained within. Though many of Jelinek’s minimalist trademarks are here, never has he done something so deliberately stripped down, bare, and utterly boring. Keyboards spend more time bubbling and percolating than forming any sort of cohesive statement, all while the faintest of backbeats give the illusion of proper structure, even if it’s not there. The six-minute closing number “Soloresonanzen” at least tries to create something dynamic with its waves upon waves of synth washes, but by and large, this lighthearted prank should have remained where it started: inside Jelinek’s head.  (Sidenote: isn’t it strange how the Ursula Bogner backstory is essentially that of Tickley Feather‘s?)


Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album, and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.

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