Artist: PEKLER, ANDREW
Title: Tristes Tropiques
"Faitiche welcomes back Andrew Pekler, the musical director of the 2011 album Sonne = Blackbox (FAITICHE 005CD) featuring Ursula Bogner. Andrew Peklers Tristes Tropiques is an album of synthetic exotica, pseudo-ethnographic music and unreal field recordings. Jan Jelinekinterviews Andrew Pekler about Tristes Tropiques:
JJ: Youve titled your album Tristes Tropiques - a reference to Claude Lévi-Strausss famous account of his travels among native peoples in the Mato Grosso. If I remember correctly, the book can be read in two ways: as an ethnographic study of indigenous Brazilian tribes, and as a critique of anthropological methods. What exactly about Tristes Tropiquesinspired you? The melancholy travelogue, or the formation of a new, critical school of thought?
AP: Both. Lévi-Strausss constant reflection on the purpose of his work and the often melancholy tone of his writing constitute an internal tension which runs throughout the whole book. Tristes Tropiques is many things; autobiography, travelers tale, ethnographic report, philosophical treatise, colonial history. But ultimately, its the authors attempt to synthesize meaning from fragments of his own and other cultures that resonated most strongly with me - and led me to a new perspective on how I hear and make music.
JJ: Listening to Tristes Tropiques I noticed a certain oscillation between references, which is what I really like about it. Obviously, your music alludes to the beloved fairytale kitsch of exotica, but it also repeatedly shifts to a mode of ethno-poetic meditation music that seems to have no beginning or end. Where do you yourself locate the tracks gathered here?
AP: As a listener and as a musician, exotica music of the 1950s and 60s has always been a constant reference point and inspiration. And perhaps my listening has been "ruined" by exotica, but as I have dug deeper into ethnographic archives of "traditional" music, Ive come to the realization that all recordings that evoke, allude to, or ostensibly document other musical forms have a similar effect on my imagination: I am most intrigued when I perceive some coincidentally familiar element within the foreign (a tuned percussion recital from Malawi that immediately brings to mind Steve Reichian minimalism, or the Burundian female vocal duet that sounds uncannily like a cut-up tape experiment, etc.). I suppose this album is an attempt to recreate the same kind of listening experience as what Ive described, just with the electronic means that I have at hand." - Faitiche.