out now: The Hafler Trio – Normally

  • The Hafller Trio – Normally (Soleilmoon, 2cd)
    ?Normally? reunites The Hafler Trio and Soleilmoon for the first time since 1996, when ?An Utterance of the Supreme Ventriloquist?, a limited edition clear vinyl LP wrapped in hand-made Japanese paper was released.

    The first CD in this two disc set is based on the voice of Einsturzende Neubauten?s Blixa Bargeld. A particular phrase was read three times, in Blixa?s three trademark vocal styles: Whispering, hysterical and ordinary. ?Normally,? the title of this CD, is a reference to part of what Blixa didn?t say when he spoke his phrase, and also to the way the German word for ?Normally? is used.

    Although there are seven titles associated with the album, the music flows as one continuous track. They refer to different sections in the piece, but some of the changes are subtle, and the listener is left to discover them on her own. Or not. The second disc, ?Sphotavado?, is also based on vocal recordings by the Einsturzende Neubauten frontman. Three ?meaningful? vowels were taken and arranged according to certain rules of Sanskrit. By repetition of these sounds, vibratory rhythms are created in the body to awaken the psychic fields. Everything, from our thoughts and ideas all the way up to things like people, trees and mountains, is a result of these vibrations. Along with its energy, every object has its accompanying range of sounds. Vibration is therefore a result of sound, not its cause. The name ?Sphotavado? is the name given to this concept of sound, and is referred to in many trantras. It forms the foundation of tantric mantras, which are a fundamental aspect of Vedic rituals.

    Like the music inside, the packaging for this release is at once subtle and complex, presenting a simple and clean exterior that opens and unfolds to reveal (or hide) its complex inner workings. Designed by The Hafler Trio mastermind Andrew McKenzie himself, the sleeve and accompanying artwork are an intrinsic part of the whole package. It is essential that the music be played back through speakers, rather than through headphones, where its effects would be negated. Likewise, conversion to MP3 will render the music ineffective, as the compression removes the most important information.