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Aufgehoben: Counter-Intuition

By Published: December 4, 2007
The Albums

SR: [On] Anno Fauve and Messidor we had problems thinking compositionally, structurally and how the dynamics were going to work.

DP: Anno Fauve is a really good album, but I just don't think it had the same...

GS: I think Anno Fauve was just an extension of Magnetic Mountain, from my perspective, where I came and just played. Anno Fauve was an extension of that but Messidor is a step on from that. It is a different ballgame. Also, it is a very dark album; there is not much there really.

DP: On that basis, you can then go to Fifth, which sounds like the same band but totally different. The things we're recording now sound different again but still sound like the same band.

GS: That's what I said to you, isn't it...

DP: If you find a territory, you can move around a hell of a lot inside it but it still seems like your territory.

GS: With four people, the group has a personality.

SR: There is just an awful lot more to be done with that. The interesting thing for me is that I have to negotiate a distance to it that I didn't have before, just because it was down to me to impose some identity onto it, and now there's a clear sense of identity.

AAJ: It's no coincidence that you have started playing live, now that you've got this group identity. What effect has that had or do you think it is going to have?

DP: I think it's going to open up the sound a bit more. In front of an audience there are some things you can get away with and some things you can't. You can't spend three hours mucking about, fiddling about...

AAJ: ..and selecting the best bits.

SR: We've always had that attitude, and since Anno Fauve we've always just left the tapes rolling, and whatever ladder you need to get somewhere interesting, you need that but you can ditch it, it doesn't matter; there's shed loads of stuff there.

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The Future

GS: I would say from my perspective, I wouldn't see the group as becoming a more improvisational group; I'd see it becoming a more structured group. Whatever structure means—not necessarily that you're working out the riffs. From my perspective, it would be the natural evolution to start structuring it. But I don't necessarily mean start structuring it like we did today.

SR: In my playing, I'm thinking along those lines.

GS: The person listening to it can see there's some thought going on. That would make a lot of sense.

SR: I'm thinking of playing with far more shape.

DP: My thing doesn't have to be one long piece, repeatedly revisiting the same idea in different formats. It is just the obvious thing to do after you've been to the absolute pinnacle of noise. It is like people saying that when we're quiet we're as threatening as when we're noisy.

GS: The intensity is always there. In fact I'd say in my playing low dynamic is much more intense than pushing it out; pushing it out is just pushing it out.

DP: We can freak out without having to go to any levels of noise, almost banish noise.

SR: The last two albums have actually done quite a lot of that. An awful lot of it has been about reining it in and implying those points. Of course, we let it out as well. There are clearly areas we could push further out. We've still got the firepower for that.

GS: It is obviously a natural thing for the group, to push things out, but to contain it would be very interesting.

SR: The containment is interesting when it's more of a sense of reining it in.

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Aufgehoben—Live Performances and Studio Sessions 1997-2007

Violence of Appropriation, three sessions;

Magnetic Mountain, one session;

Anno Fauve, one session;

Messidor, one session;

Resonance FM session;

Fifth album, one session;

Sixth album, one session;

Porto rehearsal;

Porto gig;

London rehearsal;

London gig;

Gatehead gig;

Bristol gig.

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Meaning of the Name Aufgehoben

I sent Stephen Robinson this quote, found on the internet: "Sublation is a Hegelian view of synthesis, where two contraries are transcended and cancelled, and combined into a new unity. The German for this is 'aufgehoben.' The Dutch word is 'opgeheven.'"

Robinson's reply: "This definition is too close to some problematic assumptions about Hegelian dialectics—the crucial thing is that this is to be understood as a process immanent to the object itself."

Over to you, philosophy students.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Aufgehoben

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