Nachtmix: Uwe Schütte on Bavarian radio

On Saturday, April 8, our very own Uwe Schütte will be featured in Bayern 2’s famous Nachtmix series to talk about his adventures in pop music.

Follow this link to the show’s webpage.

Nachtmix, mit Karl Bruckmaier

Samstag, 08.04.2017
23:05 bis 00:00 Uhr

Bayern 2

Auf Schwarz und Weiß
Zu Gast: Der Autor Uwe Schütte

Uwe Schütte ist Germanist, hat über Elfriede Jelinek gearbeitet und bei W.G. Sebald promoviert. Doch unermüdlich ist er auch auf der Pop-Überholspur, schreibt über Musik, veranstaltet Symposien, gibt Bücher heraus – von den Mühen und Freuden des Büchermachens in Zeiten von Internet und Sparzwängen. Die Musik kommt von Kraftwerk, Laibach, Zeitkratzer, Psychic TV und Jeb Loy Nichols.

Launch of new research project on German Pop Music

This event marks the launch of a new project on German Popular music at Warwick/ Aston unis. It takes place on Wed 8th Feb, 5-7pm in the Occulus building, OC1.09. Warwick Uni Campus. No tickets. Event free. Come along!

This ia a new research intiative that seeks, through collaboration with Warwick University, to promote the serious academic treatment of German popular music and its (much underrated) cultural value and contribuiton to world culture. The topic, perhaps oddly, remains something of a blindspot within German Studies as a discipline. We start with two venerable speakers, David Pattie and Luis-Manuel Garcia.

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German Pop Music. A Companion

Out now is a new book by our colleague Uwe Schütte. He has edited a collection of essays on major musical styles and bands in the history of German pop music. The contributors comprise a range of international experts on popular music from across Germany, the UK and the US.

The volume is chronologically structured: following the introduction by Uwe, it starts with a chapter on German Schlager, followed by chapters on Krautrock, German Punk, German Industrial, Techno and Rap. There is also a chapter dedicated to Kraftwerk, written by Uwe.

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The survey is concluded by an interview with Diedrich  Diederichsen, the leading scholar in the field who has recently published his major study Über Pop-Musik. For more info see the publisher’s website here or order the book, reasonably priced at £18,71 from Amazon or any other online retailer.

Read an illustrated excerpt from Uwe’s chapter on Kraftwerk on the CUEPOINT music blog.

GODSTAR – Der verquere Weg des Genesis P-Orridge

Straying a little from his usual area of expertise, our colleague Uwe Schütte has published a small book on the life and artistic career of Neil Megson, better known as the extremist performance artist Genesis P-Orridge. Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 21.41.10

In the late 1960s he founded the performance group “COUM Transmissions” which later grew into the band “Throbbing Gristle” who are credited with inventing the industrial music genre. Their dissonant anti-music, played at ear-piercing noise levels, intended to question the role of entertainment in a post-Auschwitz world. Picking up on the cultural critique of Critical Theory, they disavowed all forms art or artistic activities that aim to cover up the ugliness and moral decay of modern existence.

Following the dissolution of  “Throbbing Gristle”, P-Orridge founded his new band “Psychic TV”, which dabbled in esotericism, and he even founded a sect called “Temple of Psychic Youth” in the early 198os. It was shortly afterwards that “Psychic TV” first released a single and then an entire double album with the title GODSTAR as a tribute to the late Brian Jones, founding member of the Rolling Stones, who had prematurely died in mysterious circumstances in 1969, aged 27. P-Orridge had met Jones by chance in May 1966 in a film studio on Aston Road, just a stone’s throw away from Aston University.

Uwe’s book, which extends on a  long essay written over ten years ago, traces the results this meeting had on P-Orridge and how it changed his life. More info on the book can be found in this article published by Uwe in the Austrian national paper WIENER ZEITUNG. The book was launched in Vienna on December 12 at the Künstlerhaus in Vienna and can now be ordered at the Der Konterfei website.

Uwe Schütte on Pop Music and Literary Writing

The leading German literary magazine VOLLTEXT was re-launched today with its title story written by our colleague Uwe Schütte.

SScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 21.19.52tretching over seven pages, “Poetry + Electricity = Rock’n’Roll” takes its title from a quote by Patti Smith. The essay deals with the overlap between pop music lyrics and high-brow poetry but also looks at novels recently written by pop musicians.

You can download Uwe’s essay here.

Kraftwerk Symposium @ Electri_City Conference, Düsseldorf

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The three-day conference organised by Rudi Esch following on from “Electri_City”, his best-selling oral history of the electronic music scene of Düsseldorf, was a resounding success, attracting several hundred visitors. The first day was devoted to a symposium on Kraftwerk that was organised by our music expert Uwe Schütte.

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Featuring speakers from both Britain and Germany, it explored various aspects of the seminal band’s  history and music. The audience included scholars from Germany, the English-speaking world and beyond, as well as enthusiasts of electronic music. This included Claudia Schneider-Esleben, the sister of Kraftwerk core member Florian Schneider, and Ralf Dörper, keyboard player and founding member of Die Krupps & Propaganda, as well as several people who had also attended the conference at Aston Earlier this year.

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Following the academic part, the was a Q & A session with Peter Hook, formerly of Manchester bands Joy Division and New Order. Hook talked about the great influence of German electronic music and Kraftwerk in particular during his formative years as a musician. During the evening, there was a concert by Heaven 17 and a DJ set from Mute label founder Daniel Miller.

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The second day was devoted to Düsseldorf bands other than Kraftwerk and again featured papers in both German and English. Again, academics who had already presented papers at Aston, such as Stephen Mallinder (formerly of Sheffield industrial pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, now a lecturer at Brighton University) and David Stubbs, made an appearance. Highlight of the day were the evening concerts by Mallinder’s new band Wrangler, and by Michael Rother, a founding member of Kraftwerk and Neu!.

 

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For the third day, proceedings moved to the spacious Düsseldorf Conference Centre. The programme featured Aston Kraftwerk conference stalwarts such as the unstoppable Rusty Egan (Visage) but also a number of important musicians such as Gabi Delgado (from Düsseldorf electronic punk duo DAF) or Andy McCluskey (OMD). Highlight of this day was the visit to the formerly secret Kling-Klang Studio in Düsseldorf’s red-light district, where Kraftwerk recorded most of their albums from the early 1970s to about 2008.

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Based on the success of the event, opportunities for a follow-on conference next year on the more recent musical developments in Düsseldorf, including bands such as Kreidler or Mouse on Mars, are being explored,  and plans were laid for formalising this field of research into an International Research Network.

Following are more pictures from the event, mostly taken by Markus Luigs.

 

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Rudi Esch in conversation with Ralf Dörper (Die Krupps / Propaganda)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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David Pattie talking about early Kraftwerk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aston logo at the Düsseldorf Conference Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Krautrock legend Michael Rother at panel discussion       prior to his great concert.

 

 

 

 

 

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Uwe Schütte on the phone of the legendary Kling-Klang Studio – but no Ralf Hütter calling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alexei Monroe during his presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Uwe Schütte on Morrissey’s debut novel “List of the Lost”

Our resident literary critic Uwe Schütte has just published a full-page review of “List of the Lost”, the debut novel by indie music hero Morrissey (formerly of The Smiths).

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It has appeared in SPEX, Germany’s leading music magazine. While essentially all critics in the Anglophone world dismissed Morrissey’s book as a failure, Uwe points to a hidden subtext, linking the story of four student relay runners to gnostic thinking. As he argues in his review, it is only when reading the novel within this framework (which other critics failed to identify) that the story begins to make proper sense.

You can read his review, entitled “Penis und Schwert”, here.

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(Illustration: Matt Blease/The Guardian)

Kraftwerk conference time again….

Following the great success of January’s conference on Kraftwerk at Aston, Uwe Schütte has been invited to organise another one-day symposium on the German electronic music heroes. This time it will take place from 29 – 31 October at the place where it all began – the city of Düsseldorf.

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The conference, which will feature papers in both German and English, is part of the 3-day “Electri_City – Electronic Music from Düsseldorf” event organised by Rüdiger Esch. In addition to academic papers, there is also an exciting programme featuring bands, DJ sets and panel discussions. Among the artists appearing and performing will be Peter Hook (ex New Order), Steve Mallinder (ex-Cabaret Voltaire) with his great new band Wrangler, Andy McCluskey (OMD), Heaven 17, DJ Rusty Egan and more. The highlight will be a concert by Michael Rother playing material from his former bands, the legendary Neu! and Harmonia.

More info here.