Various Artists

Soundstories/Materialmeeting

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Co-produced by Bayerischer Rundfunk and Hörspiel und Medienkunst, the project Soundstories/Materialmeeting brought together authors and electronica musicians around sound banks from the past. The intent was to give new life to the radio play archives of German radio. The artists were presented with a selection of heavily treated recordings. From the start, the original works had been rendered unrecognizable. Out of this material, word and soundsmiths were asked to create new radio plays with a modern twist in three days. The CD presents six of them, each ten to 15 minutes long. Of the historical past nothing remains and little here can be considered as "hörspiel." The music mostly sits in experimental techno, occasionally verging on more abstract sound art, but in general rhythm prevails. The highlight is Console and Thomas Meinecke's "Welche Farbe Hat Mariah Carey?" (Which Color Is Mariah Carey?). The lounge techno, Meinecke's ethereal vocal delivery, the persona of the pop star, and the presence of lines like "I'm black and I'm proud" create a piece worth remembering. Hans Platzgumer and Caroline Hofer's variation on the same theme, but with German crooner Rainhard Fendrich, takes a more artsy road but also works well. The next contributions lack panache, but the closer, "Links in Big Boxen" by Kalle Laar, Zeitblom, and Ulrich Schlotmann, offers the most developed piece, at least musically. The sound palette includes electric guitar and a wider array of electronics. This one better integrates music and text, coming closer to a modern-day hörspiel.