International Electronic Folklore
In the 1970s the American composer Henry Flynt started a series of pieces under the title „New American Ethnic Music“. In so doing he worked together native styles of music such as blues, Country or Hillbilly with electronic production methods to make something altogether new. So far in Germany it has never been attempted to rework folklore electronically for a compilation. However, this picture changes if one redefines the idea of who the population is. Incomers have brought new „national anthems“ to Germany, which means: even the Portuguese Fado, the African Gnawa, the Croatian Klapa or the Vietnamese Quan ho are these days at home in Germany.
With the cultural project „Heimatlieder aus Deutschland“ (“Native songs from Germany”) founded by former Spex editor Mark Terkessidis and label manager Jochen Kühling all the various styles of traditional folk music now found in Germany has been collected. Thirteen of the songs recorded for the project have now been transformed by contemporary electronic producers to present a „New German Ethnic Music“. But why remixes? For one thing electronic music has recently focused a lot on the past (Ghost Music, Hypnagogic Pop etc.) - electronic editing is well suited to follow the effects of the immigrant music which the „imaginary national anthems“ has created. Furthermore the project's instigators were curious how „electronic musicians“ would handle folk music and folk songs which is a hugely difficult task. To this end artists were sought out who could get along with the idea of each music style and who are known to already have experimented with the human voice. The results are as varied as the music styles and Djs involved. Some melodies remain completely intact while others are abstracted beyond recognition.
Margaret Dygas' associative approach ensured that she presents a polish song about a girls arranged marriage with a claustrophobic feeling. With his remix of the Marrabenta of Mozambique Mark Ernestus has continued the rhythmic experiments he is known for with Jeri Jeri. Thomas Mahmoud translated Gnawa into dub and finally Ulrich Schnauss turned the song of the Italian Chorus of „Donni So“ into a hymn for the horizon-expanding power of migration.
Hopefully this compilation will also expand some horizons.