Boomkat Product Review:
*Compiled, mixed and edited by Andrew Pekler* Germany's answer to Daphne Oram or Raymond Scott - or more likely an elaborate wind-up perpetrated by Jan Jelinek, on whose Faitiche label her "archive" recordings sporadically appear - Ursula Bogner is back. Whether or not it's Jelinek behind the Bogner corpus (and I think by now we know the answer to that), there's no disputing the consistently brittle beauty, dizzying complexity and easy charm of her radiophonic constructions. You certainly get a lot of Bogner for your buck on Sonne = Blackbox, with 15 tracks showcasing her brand of primitive electronic composition and tape manipulation. On 'Or Dor Melanor', 'Shepard Monde' and the title track, Broadcast and Stereolab immediately come to mind, while the eerie synthetic ramble of 'Trabant' is like the Ghost Box crew relocated from Belbury to Berlin. There are killers throughout: 'Signalfluss' and particularly 'Uranotypie' with its combo of droning, minimal electronics and Teutonic spoken voice, sound like vital cold wave (cold war?) artefacts, while the playful, impish quality of 'Der Chor Der Oktaven' and 'Permutationen' (before it lapses into a kind of slanted techno groove) invoke the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's John Baker and Delia Derbyshire. If there's a dead giveaway that this is Jelinek's work through and through, it's the heaviness of the sub-bass and the attendant dub-head's sense of space, both hard to imagine in late 60s and early 70s Germany. Still, we're glad that the producer is maintaining the illusion, even closing out the album with a track called 'Liner Notes', a wonderfully earnest dissection (in English) of Bogner's methods. Whatever you want to believe, make no mistake, this is a truly delightful collection of off-kilter electronic music and quite simply a must for all dedicated heads.