How I became a music producer:
In the 70’s I collected Beatles vinyls, bootlegs and fetish stuff. In 1979, I had the chance to meet Paul McCartney in his home studio in Campbeltown, Scotland, where he was working on his album “McCartney II”. He was very welcoming – he answered all my questions, played me some new demo tracks, showed me his instrument collection and told me how to operate a 16-track recording machine. I was very punk-influenced in those days and we had a little session in which I played his Mellotron with some prerecorded taped voice loops: “Hi George, morning Terry”. He created the track “Check My Machine” on this day.
After this meeting I moved to Berlin, sold my entire Beatles collection to an art gallery for an exhibition entitled ‘It was twenty years ago today..’ (catalogue by Frölich & Kaufman). The proceeds allowed me to buy my first recording tools: a TEAC 144 Portastudio (4 track cassette), a Korg Mono-Poly Synthesizer, a Dr Rhythm drum machine and a Panasonic DR48 short wave receiver. My first apartment in Berlin was very close to the Tempelhof airport, with the result that the airport radar caused short noise spots to appear on all my recordings. My first demo production entitled ‘Some Tracks Before’ came out as a self-manufactured cassette in 1981 and opened the doors for me to Berlin’s underground music scene. With my short wave receiver I captured plenty of sounds and voices from radio stations all over the world. I was fascinated by the Soviet/American programme of Radio Moscow, East Germany’s Radio Berlin International (the voice of the German Democratic Republik) and the special frequencies where the East German secret service Stasi broadcast secret number codes for their spies in various languages. These recordings became a foundation for my tape archive, serving as a source of inspiration for my electronic music as well as a documentation of obscure voices of the Cold War time in West Berlin. Later when Fostex released their first 8-track reel to reel home recording machine, I upgraded my equipment and bought a 38cm/sec mastering machine. My archive swelled with ever-more obscure recordings and became a personal political documentation of the ‘Glasnost’ time, the breakdown of the Soviet Union as well as revolutions in Poland and Romania. I used these recordings in my productions, ‘Eligio’s Hallucinogenetic Plans’, ‘Genetic Plans’, ‘The Mysterious Phenomenon of Human Languages’ (the first Genetic druGs tape with Ralf Droge) and ‘Worldradio’. In 1986 I was honoured by the Senate of Berlin as a Berlin Rock Award winner.
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