miasma 3

gg interview on hi-tunes italy

interview on catascopic.com:

M is for Multifaceted

In Germany, Gudrun Gut's name is synonomous with many facets of the art world, from music to performance art - to say that this woman has been busy is an understatement. Owner of a music venture, M-Enterprises, record label, producer of a radio show in Berlin with Thomas Fehlmann, and being member of seminal post punk art group, Malaria, are the spokes of GG's world. As a result, M-Enterprises, Moabit records, The Ocean Club, and the release of Malaria Compiled 82-84, and Malaria Revisited, GGs world has not been confined to just Europe over the years. Her collaborations, past and present include familiar names, as well as obscure ones, but all have a creative, high quality experimental tone that covers everything from rock to electronic music. Electronic music is where she first began her musical foray in the early 80s, and now, as the same kind of experimentation takes the limelight again, so does the chance for Gudrun's many projects to come to fruition. [LG]

Did you find it harder or easier when you began experimenting with MIDI, or now, experimenting with similar electronic technology, especially as a woman?
Harder or easier than what? It was the most natural development for me- I was excited about it. We wanted to know how it works. No real problems- I had some friends I could ask as well. Still now I like trying things out. I'm not at all scared of technics. I'd rather get my fingers burnt - I'm a learning by doing person. At one time I had an English-speaking boyfriend musician and he couln't read the German manuals - So I did and explained the equipment for him. It's not a big deal. Some males are much worse than female with this!

What was the catalyst in creating Mania D? How does that group compare to Chicks on Speed? Did COS get their concepts of Art production/destruction in the realm of commerce from this precursor? Was the reaction the same as how people are receiving COS now?
We founded Mania D because we were sick of the music around. It had nothing to do with real life and with our interest - the mainstream music was overproduced and boring. That was the main reason to start the band for me.
Some silimalrity to COS is the connection to art - we did shows in galleries with Kippenberger etc. I thought Malaria was a bit like COS speed as well - because of the very powerful attitude.

What spawned your involvement in industrial/electronic band Einsturzende Neubauten? Did you get into the musical realm of experiemental art through involvement in Mania D, or earlier with Din a Testbuild?
My interest in more extreme music began already with school when I worked at an underground mailorder distribution. Din a Testbuild was a testing ground but [it was] too many boys who knew exactly what they wanted and how it all works and I couldnt find a place for myself in that - it was not what I wanted. In Mania D we had fun together and we were three equal women. Bettina and I were at art school then, Beate worked as a technician for a Berlin radio station. EinstŸrzuende Neubauten came later. With Mania D we had our rehearsal room at Blixa's [Bargeld of Einsterzende Neubauten] apartment for a while. We were friends with similar musical taste. It was natural that we helped each other out - so Beate and I were in the founding group of EN in 1980 and did some gigs with them at the beginning - because we were friends. But Mania D was definitely the more important band for me at that time. We were active girls and had lots of projects then.

Was your work with Manon and Beate in Matador your first foray into filmworks? How was the tour with that band different from the Malaria tours, or work with similar projects?
Malaria was more song orientated and fitted somehow in in the alternative rock formula. We were touring a lot and had a manager. With Mania D and later with Matador it was more experimental and the aim was to try out more corners and search for new possibilities. So we did involve performance art and film. We wanted to force ourselves and our creative output and not only reproduce already written material. We wanted to get out of the marketing and selling process and that's what we did with doing tape only releases etc. but not only that- with Matador we began programming (atari) and got our own recording facilities which was very good for producing the records we wanted and the freedom of taking the time you need to record and write songs.

During the fist Malaria reconnaissance, how did you hook up with Jim Thirwell as a producer on the "Old Man River" recording (on the Elation EP, Moabit Records, 1992)?
We knew Jim from old Malaria times. From Malaria playing with the Birthday Party. And he was friends with them and with Lydia Lunch. Jim came to Berlin as well and we were friends. We met him in New York and always liked his work. Since he worked with the same computer program we wanted to work together and we all really liked to go to New Orleans- where Bettina was living then. So we did and recorded Old Man River there and we had a great time.

What were the events that lead up to another North American collaboration, Miasma with Myra Davies?
Myra came to Berlin for studying romanticism at Humboldt University. We met at a party. She showed me her writing and I found it interesting to create sounds for it- I was working with Matador in the studio at that time. We tried stuff out when the studio was free. It worked surprisingly well and it was interesting to me not to do songs with song lyrics but work with sound and text. She went back to Canada and we discussed issues via the internet. We continued working in Canada/Vancouver and back and forth in Berlin and Canada/Banff. We involved new media, dance and theatre and did big productions with lots of women involved. We just finished some new tracks which we will distribute over the net very soon (see the M-enterprise page - Miasma)

When did you decide to start Monika Enterprises? What was the main obstacle in getting it off the ground?
In 1997 I stated Monika Enterprise as well as the radio show. I wanted to do a label for other music than my own (Moabit) for a long time, the Quarks tape made me start the label - it was worth putting the work in and it was obvious that no big label would understand that kind of music - it was not loud rock music nor industrial and it was not techno. There was this little scene of bands who played in living rooms in East Berlin. The whole scene is very friendly and warm and not rocknrollstar like. When I first saw Barbara Morgenstern play I really couldn't believe it- She was so natural with her music and had no star attitude and just did her songs with her electonic organ and rhythm box. The new signing is Figurine from America - the band and their music seem so close and totally Monika fitting. Yeah - the label takes a lot of my time and energy - but to see the development of all the bands is very fullfiling. They got really good and are as exciting as ever.

Can you tell us a bit about Ocean Club and what is involved in producing your own radio show?
Ocean Club began as a solo project for my recording work including other artists and it evolved into a real club with DJs and a radio show. We produce the radio show as if it would be a record (I do the show together with Thomas Fehlmann and since we both come from the recording art this seemed the most natural to us). The music we play is a mix of new electronic, dance, indietronics, old classics and melancholic love songs and we have spoken word from Wolfgang Betke, a mermaid with under waterscience and fortune cookies and a short guest DJ each week. We still do Ocean Club nights with different guest artist all over the world where I DJ as well.

Any other projects in the works for the future?
This year I'd like to do more music again - I just got a new music program (Ableton Live) and I like to mix some live music with the djing. Then Monika has lots of new releases coming up and with Ocean Club - lots of interesting gigs - I know we will be in London with the Ocean Club on the 12th of April and we are planing nights in Spain and Barcelona and Switzerland.


Click here for a Gudrun Gut Discography

Press from "Miasma, Greatest Hits", Miasma's third theatrical production, performed at The Banff Centre, (October 24, 2000) and at The Gas Station Theatre in Winnipeg (November 6, 2000)

"Ah Miasma! I've seen 'em live and I've got their CDs -- wicked stuff about boys and girls and bears and danger lurking below the surface. Live or on disk, they're very cool. But I warn you, they swim like sharks below the illusions we nurture here in our comfortable life at the top of the food chain."
- Greg Parry, Wild Life Magazine, Fall, 2000.

"Radical sound merges with wicked female wit and fantasy whenever Berlin electronica queen, Gudrun Gut, and Banff satirist, Myra Davies, perform in Canada."
- Bernice Gargas, The Calgary Straight, Calgary, October 2000

"The work of Miasma is a through-the-looking-glass journey among the myths, fantasies, and realities of modern culture as it shapes the lives of women. Davies and gut deftly manipulate popular culture with wit and wisdom in their multi-media performances, to reflect the trails, tribulations and complications of life for women around the world."
- Barb L. Stewart, Stylus Magazine, Winnipeg, January 2001.

miasma 2

"ozzing semi-song delivery submerged in Gut's slow-burning acid Electronica,conveys the sense of narrative coming undone. No mean feat considering the centering of Davies'voice inevitably draws attention back to the story-telling process."
- The Wire, UK.05.97

"I really dig the Miasma 2 CD; easily one of the best marriages of word poetry and music I've ever heard. Great sounds too!"
- Jim Thirwell (foetus), 1997

...and in the German Press (translated by Walter Wittich): "Cool smart and emotionally charged"
- Wochenspiegel 04.97

"Romantics! The civilization blues is female. Miasma contemplates the modern western world...as if by nature humanity would be noble, helpful and good. How wild. How reckless. How romantic!".
- Ticket Berlin 05.97

ăIt 's about relationships of tension between humans and nature, man and woman, girl and bug. Davies mediates lust and cunning with androgynous cool.ä
- Tip Magazine, Berlin 05.97

"Canadian performance artist Myra Davies collaborating with Berlin's expert in strange atmospheric sounds Gudrun Gut. Listener discretion advised. The technoid romanticism of these cool mini-dramas must be faced with strength."
- GDM 05.97

"In their second Miasma CD the two women compliment each other like identical twins. This time in their weird compositions they dedicate themselves to the subject of Nature".
- Cybermusic 04.97

"What's on offer is a well thought out mix of Gudrun Gut's technologically generated music and intelligent stories from Myra Davies who animates the cold electronics with her Amanda-Lear like vocal timbre. The expression "technoid romanticism" fits here one hundred per cent."
- Kulturspiegel 04.97

miasma 1

"... an engaging unusual album of electronic instrumentation and spoken word vocals. Music ranges from frantic near-techno dance to grinding ambient industrial noise with detours for operatic samples and varied fragments of found sound... The lyrics are equally eclectic -- surprising, sometimes disturbing, sometimes hilarious commentaries and stories on the oddities of human behavior."
- Digital Sound Lab, Philadelphia USA, January 1996

" really strong material...solid use of language, great wit, and a driving rhythm."
-Kedrick James in Euphony, Vancouver, Canada, November, 1995

"Miasma brings Romanticism and intellect into a clinch. The listener feels pulled back and forth between sensuality and cool electronic rhymes. Somewhere between the avant guarde performance of a Laurie Anderson and the thoughtfulness of an Ann Clark, two maturing artists using wit and humour, show us conflicts we all know. Very interesting!"
- Westzeit, Germany, 2/94 (translated from German by Walter Wittich