Swallowing air and farting it out, that's the main life skill of the weatherfish. But what's best about him is his evocative German name: Schlammpeitziger. When German electronic artist Jo Zimmermann launched his solo career in the early 1990s he chose to be identified with this creature living in the flat muddy waters of the European and Asian plains. Unlike the fish, Schlammpeitziger's early reputation was built on his inventive use of cheap Casio synthesizers and composite nouns, such as Erdrauchharnschleck, Burgfensterrhythmuskuckloch, Freundlichbaracudamelodieliedgut, Spacerokkmountainrutschquartier or Augenwischwaldmoppgeflöte, to name but his first five albums. This here is his eleventh, and while Schlammpeitziger's art has moved on, true to his nature it does contain some colourful references to farting.
As one of his many celebrity fans, Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars, knows all about the ins and outs of Schlampeitziger's work:
When I first met Schlammpeitziger he shouted across the room: “Incredible, the young Andreas Dorau!” Was this strange man in possession of some extrasensory abilities of visual time radiation? Could he see things and beings that nobody else was able to detect? His congenial companion, Uli the Bear, pinched my cheek so as to convince himself that I was a real person. It must have been a sort of initiation ritual. I was x-rayed by two shamans of multiple association, and from that point onwards it all went off: Living, shouting, forest, dancing, music, without dogma or stage directions, a vibrating melancholy mythology that was entirely new to me was incessantly being extracted through filter sweeps and claps. French fries were as much a part of it as synthesizers, farts, earthworms, iPads, pubic hair and fish (by the way, Schlammpeitziger knows all of the domestic species by their full names).
In this forest of mysteries, his schematic, fastidiously executed drawings function as explanatory systems that are funny but at the same time complex and occult. They map out a non-physical world that is being triggered by events in the common world, but initially only takes shape in Schlammpeitziger's perception by means of impressions buffered in Schlamm-RAM and decoded in quick succession using enormous flows of incoming and outgoing catalytic energy. From time to time, the world around him will experience these moments of transportation in an intense way. Schlammpeitziger will then declaim out loud abstract or explicit formulas that have been tapped from a parallel world to be disgorged into the here and now. Like his paintings, these formulas appear similar to seismographic studies: invisible vibrations are recorded and translated into new alphabets. Constellations of parallel worlds that bear names such as “Wuthaltebucht” or “Hydraulicmeistershalbtagstanz”, but which you can also simply behold and put up on your wall because in the end what Schlammpeitziger produces is proper art. Everybody should have at least two of his works at home because his art is the kind that will protect you from being constipated with reality.
In his search for inspiration Schlammpeitziger is the eternal pedant, following up the most inconspicuous leads to find different ways of making sense of reality. A magnetist's curiosity drives this folklorist of the self deep into the thickets of the world. Where others get caught up in well-worn symbolisms or cling to new age rituals with their drones and flickering lights, Schlammpeitziger is taking it easy. He turns his toes inwards, rotates his hips and beams light signals up into the dark. Jo Zimmermann has the primal funk, a beat that can thread anything together. That certain clap, the short gaps between accents, not to mention the physicality of the bass taking care of the lower levels. In all of this, Schlampeitziger's own movements are an invitation to join his parade of mysteries. When the train comes to a stop the doors open so wide that anyone who is present will come on board as if they were mesmerised. And once the train leaves the station, trees, earthworms, wild women and mirror balls alike will go into a mad spin as if they'd only just unleashed. Hydraulicmeistershalbtagstanz.
The fact that, following releases on Entenpfuhl, A-Musik, Sonig and Pingipung, Schlammpeitziger’s new album is coming out on another great German idiosyncratic label such as Bureau B should not be overlooked by historians. Asmus Tietchens, Monoton, Conrad Schnitzler, Harmonia, Neu!, Richard Wahnfried, Der Plan, Schlammpeitziger, it all goes together perfectly. For those looking for a future that doesn't reach back into the past but is searching for access to engrossment, Schlammpeitziger's radiation therapy of sound should be just the ticket.
Jan St. Werner (Mouse on Mars)