Saturday, February 24, 2007

when bauhauses collide...


i was digging through a box of my "childhood" 45's, and found one of the oddest things in the 4AD catalog. it's a 7" collaboration between bauhaus the band (actually bassist david jay) and surrealist poet/painter renee halkett who studied at bauhaus the school (in the 1920's).

halkett seems to be somewhat forgotten, as most of the online references to him are connected to this record; but i did find some images of early paintings here.

halkett lived in java following world war one, and then ended up in weimar at the bauhaus where he studied with oskar schlemmer, moholy-nagy, and walter gropius. he writes alot about the the dessau bauhaus contradicting the intentions of the experimental weimar school; and laments the fact that it was the beginning of what are now known as official schools of art and design (think MFA program...). despite his connection to early avant garde histories, he seems more connected to the beats in terms of wandering and irreverence.

in spite of the band name, i believe this was the only actual collaboration between a member of the school and a member of the band. i bought the 7" when it came out in 1981, just a few years before halkett's death in march of 1983.

the two tracks are not great, but totally worth a listen (particularly if you like drum machines and that early 80's post punk, right before the batcave thing started, type of sound). armour is somehwat hampered by jay's distracting music; but nothing is pretty darn good... with jay adding a subtler bed beneath halkett's fragile, yet slightly manic, delivery. halkett's voice is the thing here; and it kind of reminds me some of the things burroughs did (the voice... not the words...). i'm pretty sure this is the only released recording of him reading his own works; and it's a nice document of an artist who seems somewhat forgotten. i don't think this has been re-issued on cd, so i've posted both sides. take a listen... armour & nothing.

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Anonymous b_g said...

nice - a lil gem of forgotten music. thanks!

10:59 AM  

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