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  • Writer's pictureThomas

new music from 'Unsichtbare Gegner' / TBWB 'sells out'

Unsichtbare Gegner is a new technoid / industrial (!!!) musical project from me. I’ve released very little “rhythmic” or “dance”-oriented music in 20+ years, but that is where my aspirations were for much of my youth. My first legitimate recordings, done right after the advent of the affordable CD burner, were some sort of recorded-in-one-take frigid dub done with an Alesis HR-16 drum machine given me for free, Korg polysynth found at an Oklahoma pawn shop for $15, Juno 106 borrowed from the engineer and my brother’s Ibanez Roadstar bass (R.I.P. to you both). I posted a disc to Mason Jones at the ‘Trance’ label (we were in correspondence over some unrelated stuff), received some kind words of encouragement, and was ready to keep going in this vein until the possibilities for real-time computer manipulation exploded and the main manipulators of such techniques lit a fire in my imagination that obstinately refuses to burn out. The gentleman recording the aforementioned dub drippings also, on finishing, urged me to “throw that drum machine out the window” to truly unlock my potential - it was advice I made good upon until very recently.

After all that time, we now have a “dance” record, such as it is, and general aesthetic that I feel confident enough about to share with complete strangers. I originally intended “Unischtbare Gegner” [Invisible Adversaries] as an anonymous side project, but quickly scrapped the idea on the basis that this is just as much a product of my experience as the oneiric / abstract electronic music I do otherwise. It’s another mask that I am trying on but, more importantly, representative of a different set of experiences. Main TBWB work is often intentionally infused with a sense of “I-don’t-know-what” and extreme disorientation, while these sounds are bled out of my day-to-day realities (again in the best “industrial music” tradition). I think others who engage regularly with an overload of pointless work and fatigue from online infantilization - and who attempt to maintain a diversification of experience in spite of these things - may find something to identify with in this set of anxious, unsentimental, science-fiction-now grooves.

I make no pretensions to originality here; just contributing to a canon of like-minded sounds spinning off of Berlin and Birmingham variants of techno and some ‘classic’ electronic body music. I take some philosophical and thematic cues from the fear of artificial intelligence, the ‘corporate horror’ of Thomas Ligotti (“My Work Is Not Yet Done”), J.G. Ballard’s legacy (as always), Raoul Vaneigem’s zero-work ideals, and selected films by Gaspar Noe and Valie Export. In short, I aim at invigorating yet never “easy” music, by and for those who can question where we are all going even while dancing in place.

There will be more to come. If there’s enough interest here I *will* use funds to press physical releases and related propaganda for those who want / need them.


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