Mystery Plays Records
Mystery Plays Records presents a very special night of retro-futuristic electronics. Andrew Pekler and Jan Jelinek perform works by German electronic music pioneer Ursula Bogner. Support from Wrangler plus DJ Jonny Trunk.
It seems almost incredible that Ursula Bogner’s musical talents should have remained undiscovered until now. Yet in view of her biography, this might have been just as inevitable.
It was on a flight to Vilnius that I met Sebastian Bogner, Ursula’s son, who told me he was on a business trip for a pharmaceutical company. The usual small talk soon led to the topic of his mother Ursula, who also ‘liked to play around with synthesizers’, albeit purely on an amateur level and in a dedicated music room fitted especially for this purpose in the parental home. Among her acquaintances, it was simply considered one of her many eccentric hobbies and not paid a great deal of interest. At a cursory glance, Ursula Bogner’s life seemed simple and bourgeois to the core: a pharmacist, wife and mother, firmly ensconced in a detached house. A setup that made her obsession with electronic music all the more bizarre; an obsession that drove her to build her own studio for extensive recording and experimentation.
In the late 1960s, Ursula Bogner started to record her own music on reel-to-reel tapes. With some of these titles, we only found individual tracks of pieces recorded on a four-track-recorder – in these cases I had to recombine the separate tracks to recreate the original piece. Unfortunately, I could not involve Ursula Bogner in the mixing process as she passed away in 1994. Invoking the original’s authenticity might seem insensitive, yet there was no other way to release them in their entirety. Ultimately, only three of the tracks featured on this CD/LP (Recordings 1969-1988) are such ‘reworkings’. All other titles were taken straight from the original reels. Covering a fairly short period of her creative career, they also convey a peculiar coherence in both form and content. A coherence that reflects her accessible, rhythmic and sometimes even ‘poppy’ side. Naturally, my own preference played a part in the selection process. All my personal favourites made it on the CD/LP, and whenever I listen to this collection, I invariably succumb to the titles’ light-hearted nonchalance. This might leave many hours of undiscovered gems, but a further compilation is already in the works. ~ Jan Jelinek
Formed by Benge and Phil Winter, Wrangler have been recording pure ground-breaking electronic music for a number of years. Utilising an amazing range of analogue and sequencing equipment they are at the cutting edge of the ‘synthetic’ sound which breaks a few boundaries but also pays homage to the sounds of electronic music’s past.
Benge has been releasing ‘pure’ electronic recordings through his Expanding Records label and as a producer with other artists (John Foxx, Tunng) and is currently working with John Foxx as The Maths; Phil is a long standing musician and DJ, most recently as a member of alt-folk group Tunng.
They have recently been joined by Stephen Mallinder who has a long history in music, most notably as a founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, and most recently with Ku-Ling Bros. and Hey Rube. Wrangler recently released the 7” single ‘Mind Your Own Sequence’ on Kudos Records and are working on their debut album due out early in 2013.
UK's leading collector of film music, library music, electronics and vinyl oddness. Need we say more? He also runs the amazing Trunk Records.