Ursula Bogner: Recordings 1969-1988

Ursula Bogner
Recordings 1969-1988
Faitiche
2008-11-11

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?)

RATING 3 / 10
PopMatters