Rasmus Folk / Walter Schnaffs Rasmus Folk / Walter SchnaffsEndless House: The Folk / Schaffs EP
DRAMATIC RECORDS (DR003, 12” + digital)
The obsession of the hauntologists with visualising the past as a dimension of the memory covered by ivy - defeated and mythical, as if they were visiting the ruins of a civilisation lost forever - has led to a kind of music that is eminently ambient, slow, solemn, always made with vintage resources like primitive synthesisers and cassettes and subtly, never violently, using noise. On labels like Ghost Box (a mix, in general, of cosmic electronica and obscure soundtracks) and on Leyland Kirby's most recent recordings you can hear that cracked calmness, that spelunking in time, memory and longing. What isn't so common in hauntology are dance beats, or it wasn't, until last spring, when Dramatic Records released “The Endless House Foundation”. It was a compilation CD featuring a fistful of new producers who, parting from proto-techno, evanescent disco and Kraut-rock, created a seventies utopia: the construction by Czech magnate Jiri Kantor of a colossal discotheque, Endless House, in the Baialowieska woods, which ended up being a spectacular failure, another broken dream like the one of Fitzcarraldo in Werner Herzog's film.
On that compilation there were two names, Rasmus Folk and Walter Schnaffs, who now deliver three cuts each on a split EP that expands The Endless House Foundation's sonic universe. “Coupé” (Folk) and “I Am Germany” (Schnaffs) had already appeared on the CD (the first was a delicious cosmic poem with downtempo beats, the second very much in the vein of the Italian giallo soundtracks), and the other four tracks are a gift to the senses. “Phillips Pavillion” (Schnaffs) is reminiscent of the decadent ambient of Leyland Kirby with very Tangerine Dream-like sequences towards the end; “Dinner In Trieste” (Folk) points at early German new age as made by Klaus Schulze (it's explicitly reminiscent of forgotten composers like Mind Over Matter), “Spaceship Earth” (Schnaffs) remits to the origins of electro and on “Sylvia Kristel” (a tribute to the star of erotic film “Emmanuelle”) there are echo chambers, unnervingly slow disco beats and intoxicated atmospheres, a summary of the sound between hedonist and catastrophist of this slippery and brilliant collective. We can't wait for their next outing.