First live appearances of Rother/Shelley/Mullan
Michael Rother, Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and Aaron Mullan (Tall Firs) will be performing together for the first time at the festivals in
Bad Bonn Kilbi, Switzerland, on May 28 2010, and at Primavera Sound 10, Barcelona, Spain, on May 29 2010.
Some comments (in German) on the festival and the particpation of Rother/Shelley/Mullan:
INTRO (Germany), 78s (Switzerland).
Michael Rother/Steve Shelley/Aaron Mullan trio debut in Europe
Michael Rother first came to the public’s attention shredding Hendrix-toned riffs in a particularly psychedelic 1971 version of Kraftwerk. He and drummer Klaus Dinger left after 6 months to form NEU! and took with them their tandem musical language that would go on to have a far-reaching influence. Dinger’s propulsive beat is often cited as the quintissential motorik drumming, while Rother’s guitar playing made something new from a variety of influences: The timbres were of rock music, but the melodic sense was something else- the scales were bittersweet and very European, accompanied by a Middle-Eastern style open-string drone. NEU! released 3 proper albums between 1972 and 1975, and these albums had an influence disproportionate to their commercial success; easily heard in Low-era Bowie, Hawkwind, Stereolab, Radiohead, and beyond.
In 1973 Rother began a collaboration with Cluster (Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius.) The trio became known as Harmonia, and was referred to by Brian Eno as ‘The world’s most important rock band.” Their influence can be heard from Pere Ubu to Portishead. Starting in 1977, Rother released a series of solo records (many with Jaki Liebezeit of Can on drums) which further explored the ideas of ambience, repitition, and harmony and further blurred the distinction between Electronics and Electric Guitar. In 1998 he and Moebius re-started their collaboration, and Harmonia reunited for concerts from 2007-2009. In 2008 Klaus Dinger passed away. Rother is currently finishing work on a NEU! box set for release in May of 2010.
Steve Shelley is best known for having played drums in Sonic Youth since 1985. The tom-tom trance of ‘Schizophrenia’, the ‘Bull in the Heather’ shuffle, the pounding backbeat of ‘100%’, and the driving near-motorik of ‘Teenage Riot’ and ‘Skip Tracer’: all Shelley. In his 25 years in the band Sonic Youth has made 13 “proper” albums and countless EP’s, side projects, instrumental double LP’s, singles, compilation tracks, live film scores, etc. Steve has also recorded or performed with The Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, Arto Lindsay, Loren Mazacane Connors, The High Confessions, Christina Rosenvinge, Richard Hell, Giant Sand, The Matt Zivich Trio, Ron Asheton, Townes Van Zandt, Cat Power, The Raincoats, Brigitte Fontaine, Robert Quine, Enrique Morente and many others.
Since 1990, Aaron Mullan’s playing driven by drone, timbre, and bittersweet melody has been ? the guitars of Tall Firs. He has also collaborated with Chris Corsano and the Matt Zivich trio, amongst others. He has engineered several albums and hundreds of live shows for Sonic Youth since 2002, and many other records at that band’s studio.
The three musicians gathered for some (so far unreleased) recording sessions in late 2008 which channeled some early 70’s energy. With Rother currently in the NEU! mindset, it seems likely this trio will present some strait-ahead, rush-forward-into-the-sun style jams. As the NEU! song title suggests, this music is F?r Immer.
More information coming soon.