miércoles, 7 de septiembre de 2016

Wolfgang Tillmans - Device Control - 2016

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  1. Tillmans has been active as a photographer and visual artist for three decades now, but this year brought a renewed attention to his work thanks in part to his campaigning on the EU referendum as well as the release of his 2016/1986 EP. The EP featured two new tracks from Tillmans that channelled his longstanding love of house and techno (the ‘2016’ side) and a handful of synth punk tracks recorded in his teenage years (the ‘1986’ side). Its follow-up, the Device Control EP, is more locked in the present, with two new songs appearing alongside remixes from 2016/1986, including a spooky new remix from the dormant Salem.
    The two EPs mark the first time that Tillmans had made music in almost 30 years – but that’s not to say that music ever left him. His photography is often concerned with club culture and musicians, and he creates music himself, with studio collaborators, and with his band Fragile. “For years I took notes of lyric ideas and voice memos for melodies that came into my head,” Tillmans tells us over email, “The strange thing with melodies is that they come from nowhere and are just there. This summer I’ve been working with musicians and a number of melodies used in the process stem from back 30 years ago – they were still in my mind.”
    Tillmans has created an official video for “Device Control” that takes a dive into his studio sessions. As Tillmans explains, it was filmed between two studios (Trixx in Berlin, where he worked on the music, and Studio G in New York, where he added live drums, additional keyboards, and mixing) and exaggarates the role of hardware devices in making the song. “My best friend Anders Clausen and I filmed a third element on a stay in Memphis this summer, of two smartphones making a kind of intercourse by filming each other’s screen in an endless feedback loop,” he says, “This is indeed a recourse to the first video I made in 1987 called Video Feedback of a video camera pointed at a TV set which shows the image that the camera was filming in real time.”
    “The whole video is deliberately lo-fi, yet not trashy,” he continues, “It is a bit tongue-in-cheek, yet not ironic. I wanted it to be light-hearted, yet employing long standing visual interests of mine.”
    Watch the video below, and read on for a Q&A with Tillmans about the track, his approach to making music, and the way that music factors into his life and his art.