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PREVIEW: Mohn, Köner & More In Brussels
Joseph Burnett , January 22nd, 2013 13:48

Belgian record label meakusma and the Goethe-Institut Brüssel team up for a night of eclectic electronica in two superb Brussels venues

The Goethe-Institut Brüssel and Belgian record label meakusma are once again joining forces after two successful collaborations in as many years. February 16 will again see them dissolving boundaries between different musical genres and linking various musical eras. Further claiming electronic music's relevance outside of any club context, two audio-visual concerts in the Brigittines chapel in Brussels will be the starting point of this year's collaborative effort, followed by an eclectic club night at Recyclart.

Thomas Köner, born in 1965 and a pioneering multimedia artist, will open the festivities at the Brigittines chapel. Having been involved in numerous experimental film projects, sound installations and given his experience as a producer in the experimental techno project Porter Ricks, he has an incredible ability to subtly connect sound and image, be it suggestively rather than explicitly. His most recent solo album, Novaya Zemlya, was released in 2012 on Touch.

Equally groundbreaking is the new collaboration between Wolfgang Voigt and Jörg Burger, Mohn. Voigt and Burger have long been the masterminds of what is commonly described as the sound of Cologne. Voigt's Gas and Mike Ink projects are amongst the most revered electronic music projects of the last two decades and Burger's The Modernist alter ego has seen him developing his own humorous version of minimal techno music. Mohn encompasses pop music and experimental music into a highly charged, sometimes dissonant, sometimes soothing type of ambient music. They call it opium for the people and by lack of a better description, that is exactly what it is.

After these two concerts, the night continues in Recyclart, the old train station that is still the most exciting venue in Brussels, right next door to Brigittines. The musical focus will shift towards more club-oriented music. Without losing its informed eclecticism, the club part of the night promises to be a subtly anarchic overview of some of the most relevant DJs and producers working in contemporary club music.

Barnt, responsible for the revered Magazine label, is the appropriate DJ to warm-up and make a link between Brigittines and Recyclart. A musical freethinker, equipped with a seldom-seen diversity, Barnt focuses on experiment and emotion. His take on music is utterly unique, even stubborn, but seems to reach people, a rare feat for someone not interested in hiding his experimental interests. Groupshow is a collaboration between Jan Jelinek, Andrew Pekler and Hanno Leichtmann, for this occasion accompanied by legendary Can vocalist-turned-drummer Damo Suzuki. Their performance is about improvised music and not about presentation, in an effort to avoid any distance with the audience. The result is a direct, almost unfiltered music, highly dependent on the chemistry between the musicians and its openness towards the audience.

Having gained notoriety for their uncompromising analogue sound, the MM/KM project of Mix-Mup and Kassem Mosse from Leipzig is heavily based on improvisation, but combines this with skill and a relaxed ease. Their fleet of vintage synthesizers and drum machines produces a raw, in-your-face yet beautiful musical aesthetic that seemingly goes against its own roots.

Closing the night will be the legendary, yet still underrated Anthony 'Shake' Shakir. His adventurous take on Detroit techno and house music has made him one of the most important producers of club music of the last 25 years. He has worked as a producer or engineer with people like Derrick May, Carl Craig, Moodymann and many others. His own own Frictional and Puzzlebox labels have brought his own productions to a much wider audience. Not interested in flawless DJ mixing, Shake's choices as a DJ are eclectic, making Anthony Shakir one of the most genuine and open-minded people in the music business of today.

The Quietus will be in Brussels to review what promises to be a hugely exciting event, so watch this space for more.