EMEGO 010V / General Magic
- 1. Tyrell
- 2. Take The Bus
- 3. Rollen Rink
- 4. Close, But Not Quien
- 5. The Official GM Ski-WM Theme
- 6. Temko
- 7. Boom
- 8. Madshoes
- 9. Obvious
- 10. No Ketting
- 11. Blob Return
- 12. Bonden
- 13. Mimi
- 14. 11:25
- 15. Die Mondlandung
First time vinyl issue of this 1997 Mego classic. General Magic, the duo of Ramon Bauer and Andi Pieper, who, alongside Pita, first pioneered the classic Mego sound on the Fridge Trax 12” in 1995. The following year proved to be formulative when Mego released Frantz alongside a slew of game changing releases from Farmers Manuel, Pita and Fennesz.
Originally released as MEGO 010 Frantz presented a thrilling digression from what was in vogue in music at the time. This was the advent of portable computing and the Vienna based label was at the forefront of harnessing the potential of audio within this new technology.
At once smart and playful these releases reconfigured once disparate genres such as industrial, techno, glitch and the avant garde, folding them into a bright, audacious and euphoric new system of sound. The music on Frantz (named after the Austrian skier, Franz Klammer) still pushes the boundaries of acceptable audio constructions with it’s startling fried electricity and twisted sensibility. The sense of joy in the audio discovery is palatable as techno laced explorations unfold a variety of unexpected and unprecedented sonic manoeuvres.
Tyrell launches proceedings as schizophrenic stuttering handclaps simultaneously slice into pieces as it propels forward. The bending of the brain is on display with the likes of ‘Obvious’ and ‘Close, But Not Quien’. Temko skewers digital debris in which a ghost melody comes to the fore. Brazen rhythms mobilize the tracks ‘No Ketting’ and ‘Bonden’ whilst the Official GM Ski-WM Theme is a short stab of priceless pop wizardry skittering about a strange exhilarating melody in homage to the finest of winter activities.
This reissue also includes ‘Die Mondlandung’ which was released as a 12” in 1995 (MEGO 002), and has never been released anywhere, physical or digital, since. This track is based on the live German TV coverage of the moon landing. An apt theme for the abundance of exploration contained within this classic release.--
About Frantz ... and Peter (by Ramon Bauer & Andi Pieper, November 2021):
Listening to the test pressings of the remastered Frantz album for the first time on vinyl, 25 years after the original release on the then still young Mego label in 1997, felt like uncovering an ancient artefact. In those exciting days during the mid-1990s, together with the late Peter Rehberg, we founded a label called Mego to further explore the wonders of electronic music. And that is what we did for the next 10 years until everything became too much with the label in somewhat rough waters. So we dropped out of music business and pursued different things. It was Peter who continued producing and releasing music with the restarted label, now called Editions Mego. Until his unexpected death in July 2021, he developed Editions Mego into the grown-up and much acclaimed outfit for which it is known today. We will forever miss Peter’s inspiring personality and his uncompromising creativity. His legacy will live on in his music and in the vast and rich Mego and eMego catalogues. We are humbled and proud to have played a role in those formative years of the label.
Peter approached us in October 2020 with the idea to do a vinyl reissue of Frantz, just in time for the 25 year anniversary of its release. That came as a complete surprise for us, General Magic had not released any music or performed live for over 15 years. Anyway, we were delighted with the prospect of having that General Magic "classic" remastered (by the exceptional Russell Haswell) and released for the first time on vinyl on Editions Mego.
Frantz is a collection of tracks that we produced in 1995 and 1996 right after recording “Fridge Trax” (with Peter) and “Die Mondlandung” (which comes as a bonus track on this reissue). At that time, we started to migrate our analogue gear to 64 MB RAM computers and used almost every other digital thing that yielded a sound by any means. We even deliberately crashed our then so-called "Powerbooks" and scratched self-produced CD-Rs until they produced previously unheard sounds. Real time audio processing with computers was barely a thing back then (before SuperCollider was released), but cheerful massaging of sound files yielded interesting results and the future looked bright. Listening to Frantz today, with decades of distance, there are some parts that might appear dated by modern standards, but the energy and the general magic of that period is well captured.
All Frantz tracks were produced in Andi's studio in Berlin and at Mego Vienna. The Mego studio/office was a vivid place located in an old factory on the outskirts of Vienna. We shared the place with Tina Frank, who created most of the early Mego covers and videos. Other artists, musicians and friends were hanging out there almost every day. Many ideas on Frantz are a product of that particular environment. “Mimi”, for example, is based on a field recording in the backyard of the factory, where we also shot the video for “Tyrell”. “11.25” contains sounds from the Prague train station we regularly passed through on the night train travelling between Vienna and Berlin. Other sounds were sourced from the early internet and mangled on the computer, carefully preserving those early audio codec artefacts. While working on the Frantz tracks at the Mego Vienna studio, Peter was usually around, as he was literally working and living there. And so, of course, he also made an impact on that album: It might not be widely known but Peter even appeared on Frantz contributing his voice to the choir on “The Official Ski WM Theme”.
Let there be Frantz!