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Das Dosierte Leben

ZEIT Online

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Autre Directions (Fr)

Conjointement, le label allemand Ahornfelder se fait maison d'édition et publie Drawings, un livre regroupant une collection de dessins de F.S.Blumm. Souvent monochromes, ses dessins au feutre ressemblent à ces traits que l'on trace inconsciemment alors qu'on est pendu au téléphone, à ces formes que l'on répète et que l'on colorie sans même s'en rendre compte. Une sorte de cahier de brouillon de pensées intimes, plus hasardeux que les mélodies du bonhomme, mais qui rejoignent ces dernières dans leur fragilité.


Book Feature/ F.S. Blumm: "Drawings"
A gripping sense of movement.

Thanks to video clips, the internet, arts students storming the charts, a general conversion of the different artistic disciplines as well as some truly stunning and influential record covers over the last few decades of pop and rock history, music and images have seemingly become indivisibly entangled. With F.S. Blumm, however, they can also go their separate ways.

"Drawings" may appear oddly out of place in the world of experimental sounds, but it is a logical and completely harmonious addition to Blumm's audio catalogue. For one, this truly international artist with strong local ties (born in Bremen, based in Berlin, releasing with German and Japanese labels and currently on tour in the USA) has ever since his childhood faced the dilemma of knowing that he wanted to do something with his hands instead of his mouth, without ever conclusively answering the question whether this implied a career as a painter or a musician. And secondly, in his main occupation as a producer of radio plays, he is already combining different genres, implicitely approaching ear-related material with the eyes of a child. The same goes for the Ahornfelder label, which feels comfortable in a space between the visual and the sonic, capturing the natural music of the world around us as well as the nature-related microcosms of man-made acoustic compositions. In this 40-page book,.which as a further reference to the record business comes in the format of a 7'' vinyl EP, Blumm presents imaginary landscapes of his mind, ball point drawings, feltpen scribbles, pencil strokes, lines and curves, shapes and random patterms, each stretching out over a double page. At times, there will be concrete objects, such as a hand or a couple of mushrooms, occasionally there are hints at animals or human members, but mostly the conturs are too unique for comparisons, existing in their own system of references. Three things are immediately noticable: Despite being very different in nature and obviously created individually, these pictures seem to relate to each other, like scenes from a sitcom with a long gap in between the episodes. Or as if they were merely snapshots of one large painting with manifold areas. Secondly, the same directness of Blumm's music shines through in his drawings as well: There seems to be no intellectual censor at work here at any time. And thirdly, there is a gripping sense of movement, even in the emptier moments, when the space outside of the frame tells as much of the story as its actual content.

We should now probably conclude by saying that this is not only a wonderful and intimate collection of drawings, but also a book which is in no need whatsoever of musical accompaniment. Which is absolutely true. And yet, we couldn't resist the temptation: When looked at with Blumm's naive and romantic guitar pieces playing in the background, these images come to life even more.
By Tobias Fischer

Textura (Canada)

Give Ahornfelder credit for extending the playing field beyond audio releases to print products too. In the label's own words, the latter works perpetuate "the ideas of structures, abstraction and harmonic experimentalism on a graphic level and in such a way complement the musical output." In some special cases, the visual work originates from artists known for their musical output, with F.S. Blumm (Frank Schültge Blumm) a prime example. Created between 1998 and 2006, the images displayed on the forty pages of the book (seven square inches in size, matching the size of a 7-inch vinyl disc) are abstract and obsessively detailed drawings which possess an undeniable charm in their unassuming simplicity. Ahornfelder presents them lovingly too on high-quality matte-finish paper. Having said that, some of the drawings are a little too primitive and sketchily defined, and one questions whether they're deserving of such treatment. Regardless, the experience would have been more complete in this case and ultimately more satisfying had there been an EP (5-inch vinyl disc vinyl or CD) tucked away in the booklet's inner sleeve that one could listen to while studying the drawings. One can certainly approximate that idea by listening to Blumm's latest Morr Music release Summer Kling while reviewing the artwork.