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Le Guess Who? Preview #5: Felix Kubin
Christian Eede , August 5th, 2021 19:01

Kubin discusses records by Nihiloxica and more in the latest instalment of our Le Guess Who? preview series centred around the coinciding Mega Record & CD Fair in Utrecht

Ahead of this November's Le Guess Who? festival in Utrecht, we are presenting a series of previews centred around the coinciding Mega Record & CD Fair, and artists playing at the festival.

Last week, faUSt's Jean-Hervé Peron stepped up to discuss his fascination with Soviet-era X-ray records, and this week, in the fifth instalment of the series, we have Hamburg-born, Gagarin Records-founding Felix Kubin on hand to tell us about the records that he will be looking for if he gets a chance to check out Europe's biggest record fair during this year's Le Guess Who? Read on below for his thoughts.

Le Guess Who? will this year welcome the likes of William Basinski, faUSt, Pa Salieu, Ana Roxanne, Vladislav Delay, Jesu and Vanishing Twin, as well as guest curation from Lucrecia Dalt, Midori Takada, John Dwyer, Phil Elverum and Matana Roberts. The Mega Record & CD Fair will run alongside it in Utrecht. You can find more information about the fair here.

Le Guess Who? will take place from November 11 to 14, 2021. Find more information here.

Which three records would you be on the hunt for at the Mega Record & CD Fair?

Felix Kubin: Gil Mellé's The Andromeda Strain film soundtrack, Nihiloxica's Kaloli and A.E. Bizottság's Jégkrémballet.

When / how did you get to know these records, and why are they special to you?

FK: Gil Mellé's soundtrack frightened and fascinated me already, when I was a kid. I saw the film The Andromeda Strain with my best friends Bob and Jeffrey (I know, unusual names for Germans), while our parents were out. A few years ago I saw it again and was again totally mesmerised by the compositions. It's a very daring and unusual blend of early synthesiser music, jazz and avant-garde, abstract yet with recognisable musical motifs. It still sounds incredibly fresh and timeless. And it shows how open-minded the film industry used to be for experimental film scores. Quite the opposite today, where directors or producers seem to replace the composer with their (mostly lame) record collection.

Nihiloxica's double LP was introduced to me by Crammed Discs' Mark Hollander whom I interviewed for our art/music festival Papiripar. This release took me by surprise: a very unusual and powerful encounter of a drumming group from Uganda and two electronic musicians from Great Britain. Its intense, cathartic, dystopic energy will get you dancing your feet off. One of the recent releases that I can't wait to DJ when clubs will finally open again.

A.E. Bizottság was an artist/music collective from Szentendre near Budapest. The record's title (translated "Ice Cream Ballet") refers to an incredible post-punk movie of the same name that features the members of the band in many surreal scenes, dressed as Albert Einstein or walking around on ice skates. You can google a few excerpts of it on youtube. The record sounds different from most music I know, it's basically of an anarchic character that feeds on free minds and humour without censorship.

What album have you listened to the most over the last year?

FK: The endless tape cassette Vexations, an early conceptual piano piece by Erik Satie, interpreted by Wladimir Schall. I had to listen to this piece over 100 times because I released it and had to copy all the tapes myself. The track is amazing, and it actually grows when listened to for a long time. Satie wants it to be played 840 times in a row. We don't know if this was a joke. John Cage and several of his friends were the first to really play it that often.

Which record do you wish had been released on Gagarin above all others (and why)?

FK: Tom Dissevelt and Kid Baltan's Song Of The Second Moon. An absolute masterpiece of early sci-fi pop, playful and adventurous.