017 Contra Communem Opinionem

“It’s a field for crazy people” is a way to categorize the group of people with an obsessive love for hardware and modular synths as documented in the film; ‘I Dream of Wires’. CCO seems to be one of them, considering the list of equipment he used to create the seventeenth addition to our series. A 303, an 808, various modular synths and a sequencer were among the machines he hooked-up to create this timeless live performance of ‘futuristic’ acid.

His releases on Mathematics Recordings, Lux Rec, Drumpoet and Plak Records convey a strong relation to Detroit Techno and Chicago House. “Stuff like early Derrick May, Drexciya and all their aliases, Larry Heard, Theo Parrish, Moodyman, Aphex Twin and the current lively deep music scene in Scandinavian countries. Especially Legowelt and the The Hague scene are a great influence, but I still listen to a broad variety of music; from jazz (Herbie Hancock, Pharoah Sanders) and funk / soul (early Lonnie Liston Smith, Minnie Ripperton) to all kinds of disco (Moroder, Rinder), krautrock (Can Neu!, early Tangerine Dream) as well as some dark ambient/ drone, 70ies film scores.”

The latter forms a new challenge offered by his friends in Zurich at the IOIC (Institute of Incoherent Cinematography): “They show silent movies in theatres without any sound, which are then scored live by musicians. As a musician, this is a great experience, as one has to time the music very drastically and focus on the screen a lot when writing and playing the music. I did this two times so far and both times it was fun – once I scored Metropolis and once Aelita.”

The themes that come forward in the above mentioned movies are common among his visual influences: “Moody landscapes (including urban aesthetics) and working class aesthetics/revolutionary politics (hence the artist name Contra Communem Opinionem). Both of these conceptual images focus on contradictions, on tensions and dialectical thoughts. It is the warmth shining through in a cold place, for example the sad beauty of snowy mountains or the urban aesthetics of industrial machinery and their potential for both emancipation as well as repression of the masses.”

The podcasts’ accompanying artwork is based on the movie Blade Runner, which deals with such contradictions. The moral question what it is to be human is an important theme in the movie as cyborgs dream of having an authentic life on earth. Just like contemporary producers, who nowadays have all the digital technology at their disposal and yet will always have a melancholic feeling towards the ‘high-tech’ materiality of blinking lights, knobs and faders of modular synths and vintage drum computers.

“This mix is actually a rehearsal session for a gig I had at Club Cabaret in Zürich on 29th of March 2013. It was recorded in my own little home studio with the exact same setup as used live. My release “Music for Cosmonauts” on Lux was a re-recording of one of my live sets as well. Check it out!”


*Artwork is an in-game screenshot in CryEngine2 for a video game concept by Ilya Nedyal, Alina Gal and Steven Chagnon.