Hafler Trio s/d

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skool me you funsters

Chip Morningstar (bob), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 13:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I bought the first two records they made - I remember being mildly amused by them but not exactly bowled over.

Dadaismus (Dada), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 13:14 (seventeen years ago) link

I wish I knew where to start with these guys. As it is, I only have a CD collaboration with Peter Greenaway, and their Wir remix. Shit is expensive and hard to come by.

hstencil, Wednesday, 30 April 2003 13:17 (seventeen years ago) link

thing is i'm not even sure if they're worth exploring. all i've heard is they are a bit like rapoon which doesn't really get me jiggling to be honest

Chip Morningstar (bob), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 13:21 (seventeen years ago) link

anyone heard that new 10" on crouton?

j fail (cenotaph), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 13:22 (seventeen years ago) link

The early records have Chris Watson on them - so there's some tracks that are just field recordings of birds and the like. Actually I havne't listened to them in years - I have "Bang - An Open Letter" and "Alternation, Perception and Resistance - A Comprehension Exercise", the latter someone ruined by having a lecture by a phoney German professor running thru it.

Dadaismus (Dada), Wednesday, 30 April 2003 13:24 (seventeen years ago) link

I had a friend who was obsessed by what people possibly could get out of listening to the Hafler Trio, so much so that he kept buying their CDs (okay, also partly because he was seduced by the packaging), yet most of the time their music sounded like nothing more than a barely audible "vroom" or something. I guess Bag of Cats is mildly entertaining, if I remember correctly, but certainly not worth more than $.50.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 30 April 2003 14:15 (seventeen years ago) link

there are good moments in the catalog. among fans 'a thirsty fish' is generally regarded as the high water mark, originally a 2 record set but effectively condensed to a single CD. It rides the line between deep noisy drones and information overload editing. A lot of effective use of field recordings, effectively montaged so you can't quite tell what's going on, violently cut together in very disorienting ways, suddenly you're in the desert, suddenly you're in the middle of town, but that street musician couldn't possibly be playing that could they, suddenly everything's violent noise, slowly becoming a 15 minute resonant scrape. 'bang: an open letter' I've heard is also good.

even when they go for the straight drones, there's a lot more white noise sanding you down than on the zoviet:france records, which were more tribal/primitive/lovely. in the 80's those two bands were the ones following what I thought were the more interesting directions of early industrial music, spreading out. (Nurse With Wound were always completely their own thing, i thought. The NWW/HT collaboration is actually just McKenzie remixing Stapleton sounds)

There are a lot of pointless Hafler Trio records though, they really put out way too much. (bag of cats is pointless, yes.) In the mid-90's Mute did a reissue series that just flooded the shelves with way too much samey material (he reuses source materials across records way too often. Nurse With Wound does this too but for some reason I don't mind as much, there's usually a valid new context for them across the different albums.)

My personal favorite is 'kill the king', not much to say about it beyond that it's quite a powerful piece of sound. 'intoutof' is a one track piece, beautiful whistling drones interrupted at the halfway point by 6 minutes of metallic noise twice as loud as anything else on the disc. That record made quite an impression on me in 1989. 'mastery of money' is quite good too.

The new 10" eps are $15-20 each. I'm curious about them yup but hesitant as well. It's two decades later and all.

milton, Wednesday, 30 April 2003 18:01 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
I wish I knew where to start with these guys. As it is, I only have a CD collaboration with Peter Greenaway, and their Wir remix. Shit is expensive and hard to come by.

still feeling this way. more recommendations?

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 4 February 2005 04:15 (fifteen years ago) link

'fuck'

stirmonster, Friday, 4 February 2005 04:28 (fifteen years ago) link

i saw a double lp with a red phone box (?) on the front -- i got told it used interlaced voice in a pre-sample kind'a way -- have not heard it though i believe the info-load was considered pretty formidably dense back in the 'eighties

sounds like it could be hopelessly dated -- should i have a listen ?

but do the words amount to anything profound (my real reason i feel i can only inquire here first) or is it more of a unique of-its-time technique presentation ?
and so it follows, are they really that musical ?

george gosset (gegoss), Friday, 4 February 2005 07:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Nice post Milton and george! And now please excuse my controverial comments.

I grew up with compilations on which the Haflers would make an inevitable appearance. They were OK but not as visceral as, say, NWW or The Legendary Pink Dots were visceral. There was something canny and academic about the way they looked, the sounds they made, and the name of the band itself - professors of the new wave of noise, cluey, grant-savvy, aware of the history of noise music, perhaps natural teachers - no, too kind, natural historians in some department of new media or other - but ambitious too, ambitious enough to - pretend to be musical. They were not musicians, and could never be: they placed theory before sound. You are right, george gossett.

I think they have won the day - The Wire is full of artists like this, they tour from one university to the next, they play at events with names like 'futur.fall', and they are smart artists - not really artists, but academics, they play the system. The Hafler Trio make me think of all that. I don't know what they really contributed, but when I think of the kind of dull-normal artists often featured in that period piece of pretentious journalism, The Wire, making various noises through various gimmicky means, but ending up with sound pastiches of no real intensity or imagination, I think of them.

thee music mole, Friday, 4 February 2005 09:53 (fifteen years ago) link

hmm, i think of the hafler trio as one guy with hep who nobody listens to.

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 4 February 2005 16:45 (fifteen years ago) link

oh my music mole!

McKenzie is certainly on the academic side, and capable of some very self-indulgent, ponderous liners, but when it comes to 70 minute tunnels of post-eraserhead industrial drone like 'kill the king' I think he's definitely got some intuitive, musical ears.

we need a new thread in which we book the lineup of 'futur.fall codetone 2005 (Fengersfors)'

(Jon L), Friday, 4 February 2005 19:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Gosh that was a mean post of mine. I had had a hard day. My apologies.

'futur.fall codetone 2005 (Fengersfors)'

Already confirmed:

Helmut Frinckmann

Some info:

Frinckmann is (Non)-'Musician'-in-Residence at Soundlab, Leipzig. He has played with such prestigious post-muisc artists as Thurston Moore, Philip Glass and DJ Shadow at No(h) Enjoyment Allowed and other prestigious events attended by numerous worried young white men in coke bottle glasses.

He plays a plastic tube with contact mic attachments through which he screams, hollers and pleads for more funding.

thee music mole, Friday, 4 February 2005 23:00 (fifteen years ago) link

stirmonster, you are the best. the next day, i found a copy of "fuck." i like it. i'll probably keep it (tho i think ebay could do me right). come back to america soon, my man.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 7 February 2005 11:27 (fifteen years ago) link

ps those without sin, cast the first scanner.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 7 February 2005 11:37 (fifteen years ago) link

the unofficial trilogy - Kill the King, Mastery of Money and How to Reform Mankind - is probably all the H3O anyone needs. maybe even more. but it's good stuff and mostly back in print. i also remember somewhat enjoying Dislocation, Inoutof, the Murray Fontana Orchestra material and the inane tautology that is The Hafler Trio Play the Hafler Trio.

A Bag of Cats really is one of the most pointless CDs ever.

echoinggrove (echoinggrove), Monday, 7 February 2005 15:20 (fifteen years ago) link

i used to have Inoutof which has some nice treated field recordings. at least that's what it sounded like.

No(h) Enjoyment Allowed and other prestigious events attended by numerous worried young white men in coke bottle glasses.

He plays a plastic tube with contact mic attachments through which he screams, hollers and pleads for more funding.

this is hilarious and sadly close to truth but i would never think to put the blame on the hafler trio for it. Wire Magazine, on the other hand...

eman (eman), Monday, 7 February 2005 15:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I retract my nasty remarks about the Hafler Trio, I was just in a bad mood. The Haflers are OK.

thee music mole, Monday, 7 February 2005 20:37 (fifteen years ago) link

four years pass...

of course all largely propaganda of course all largely propaganda of course all largely propaganda of course all largely propaganda of course all largely propaganda of course all largely propaganda

rio (r1o natsume), Friday, 17 April 2009 13:55 (eleven years ago) link

eleven years pass...

Great new interview:

https://toneglow.substack.com/p/0355-the-hafler-trio

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:41 (two weeks ago) link


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