Plays John Cassavetes . Ekkehard Ehlers
2001. dl . lp
Second part in the trilogy of vinyl-only mini albums released on Staubgold during 2001. The other two parts are dealing with Albert Ayler and Hubert Fichte.
“Ehlers’ interpretation of Cassavetes work strips away the freeform in favor of ambient stasis. Both Cassavetes pieces involve orchestral loops, similar to the dreamworlds of Stars of the Lid, especially their work circa The Tired Sounds of… The first Cassavetes composition ebbs and flows underneath a varnish of audible hiss, as if unearthed from some Hollywood catacomb. While the string section loops with metronomic consistency, Ehlers surrounds the synths with digital duststorms, similar to Christian Fennesz’s Endless Summer. What the second piece lacks in sophistication, it makes up with emotion. Once the loop settles, the strings march steadily onward for close to 10 minutes before Ehlers slowly disassembles. The Cassavetes EP, while simplistic compared to the rest of Plays, establishes and maintains a dramatic, triumphant edge quite well.” (Otis Hart, Dusted)
In addition to his solo career, Ekkehard Ehlers has recorded under the monikers Auch, Betrieb and Ferdinand Fehlers and as a member of the duo Autopoesies and his band März. In 2001, Ehlers began recording 'Plays', a series of singles to serve as tributes to some of his aesthetic heroes. These releases brought Ehlers notoriety outside of experimental electronic music circles and led to collaborations with the Red Hot Chili Peppers among others.
He followed 'Plays' with the far more abstract 'Politik Braucht Keinen Feind' in 2003, and then with 'A Life Without Fear', which incorporated blues in a typically oblique way, in 2006. Since 2000, he has been working on ballet scores for choreographers William Forsythe and later Christoph Winkler and theatre music for Ulrich Rasche. As a curator Ehlers has been responsible for the 'Lux Aeterna' festival at Berlin's Berghain and 'Audio Poverty' at Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt.