Performance and action are generally defined as a theatrical
presentation without audience participation, whereas stadtfisch
integrates the viewers. Basic elements are: rhythm, space, spontaneity,
speech, sound. the visual-acoustic ability of experience form the core
of stadtfisch's artistic work. Progress also implies the danger of
moving away from usual patterns of perception. Digital evolution
pretends to replace just those analog abilities that have to be
cultivated in order to use it for further human development.
stadtfisch - Biography Uwe Bastiansen
Uwe Bastiansen, Hamburg, Germany. Sound artist, musician and filmmaker.
After his childhood he discovered as a youth punk for the first time(1976). The climax of the glam rock Era was over and his opinions changed. The beginning was characterized by "new" bands and artists. First it was fun, then it was testing out the limits. Very soon he developped his own definition "art is not the 'Mona Lisa'." History had become bland. but, different from "now" in the punk stereotype, the things to come became his genuine interest.
As a punk first of all you had to dismiss music that features endless soli of miscellanous instruments and seemingly endless songs. For example "Krautrock". Bands like "Jane", Guru Guru" and "Can". it was different though for "Kraftwerk". Synthesizers took on. There was an effect also on "new german music" (not the "Neue Deutsche Welle"), especially the use of sequencers ("DAF"). Combined with lyrics like in "Tanz den Mussolini" - direct, confusing and short. And then there were also massive scandals by this provocation. Consistent action strongly influenced his musical evolution.
After early clumsy and naive efforts his first actual band "Mask for" formed consisting of him, singer Michael Seidler, the former drummer of the agit-punk-band "Slime", Stephan Mahler and bass player Oliver Sander. Suddenly there were crazy concerts and the first publication of an LP. To a great extent this was paid for by the sale of their instruments. "SPEX"-writer Michael Ruff about "Mask for": "they write pieces, not songs."
In collaboration with Guiseppe Gagliano and Lothar Mattejat ("Trash-Center Altona") a gallery was opened for a short time by the name of "Mask For - Vision". In an exhibition vast amounts of devaluated money bills were "thrown to the vultures". Making the acquaintance of New York polit-punk Pete Missing there came a new variety: "Missing Foundation". This band saw itself as a kind of direct political opposition. Opinions were shouted out loud . Trash and chaos went beyond the scope of everything. From here more unusual connections evolved. For example he played with "KMFDM" (early form of "industrial") and the project of a bass orchestra formed by Marc Chung ("Einstürzende Neubauten"), exclusively consisting of 7 bass players.
In 1987 he and some friends founded their own label "GAP-Records". It was another effort to find a "gap". Besides other things he worked as a tour manager, thus getting to know swedish band "The Leather Nun". Out of this evolved a long lasting partnership with guitar player Nils Wohlrabe from Göteborg. An unusual kind of "noise" refining the "ordinary" with extreme distortion and excessive feedback orgies.
1987 til 2000
In 1987 there was a restart of "Mask for". They toured widely through Europe with Nils Wohlrabe, guitar player Frank Markendorf, bass player Gisbert Kellermann ("Abwärts") and Harry Cain.
In 1987 Uwe Bastiansen also got to know Frank Ziegert, founder of experimental punk band "Abwärts". Soon he became part of the new Abwärts line-up. Additionally there were F.M. Einheit ("Einstürzende Neubauten", Michael "Elf" Maier ("Slime"), Jochen Hansen ("Rio Reiser") and Frank Seele. A multitude of sound recordings came into being next to provoked scandals (the skull bunny, 100,000 DM action for injunction by "playboy"). He wrote various songs for the album "Herzlich willkommen im Irrenhaus" but left the band before its publication in 1993.
Towards the end of 1992 stadtfisch was formed together with Hamburg artist Irina Frederich with whom he works with frequently until today, and repeatedly changing cast. The first version for example next to Nils Wohlrabe for the first time featured musicians of the Jazz and Funk area with Brazilian bass player Ronaldo Nascimento and Heinz Lichius on drums. Here there was another chance to combine different artistic and musical styles in an unusual manner.
In order to record and manipulate these sounds in a professional studio Uwe Bastiansen worked as a sound engineer and producer in the Hamburger M.O.B.-Studio under director Horst Siewert aka "Blank Fontana". Together with him new possibilities came up. With Siewert, artist and text author Moishe Moser ("The Real Moi") and Chrissie de Winter ("KMFDM") complicated pop sounds broadened his horizon. Wind sections, classical instruments and advanced sampling technology produced a sound of solid pop.
Apart from that Uwe Bastiansen played with the "Sisters Of Mercy" for a short time and began writing film scores, for example for the film "Metallene Bilder" by directors Veronika Kirchgatterer and Isabel Skalska. Also there were the first unusual performances. During an exhibition, for example, he played with a "floating" amplifier suspended with a rubber band over the heads of the audience.
Also he joined "Station 17", a group formed of mostly physically and mentally challenged people. There were many concerts all over Europe. The audience was different from what he had known before: more handicapped people, their attendants and people interested in culture without a musical background. In this period 2 tv documentaries were filmed expressing the still long distance between the "normal world" and the "normal world " of challenged persons.
2000 til 2008
He made the acquaintance of drummer Muck Giovanett ("Happy Grindcore"). Both of them wanted to create something different from the generally appreciated, sometimes even alternative, music. They intentionally ignored the four-four time. as they could not mobilize other musicians they turned the table. another pillar was the equipment. They used no amplifiers, played intrumentals and had no use for monitor speakers. They just played with headphones granting them an extreme independence. Some performances were "headphone"-concerts - the audience having to put on headphones in order to hear the music. Bagio almost never played on a stage. Rather in the middle of the audience, in display windows, in street intersections and cellar rooms. They would play for a children party in the afternoon and at the "avantgarde festival" the same night. Their shows were always unique.
Surprisingly many international artists like Danielle de Piciotto, "Slits"-singer Ari Up, Matthias Schuster ("Geisterfahrer"), Dutch experimental guitar player Lukas Simonis and Hamburger Taiko drummer ensemble "PTP" participated in an unusual remix-cd. Complementing the music pictures and fotos were created.
2008 until now
At an unannounced bagio-show at the "Avantgarde-Festival" Bastiansen made another important acquaintance: Jean-Hervé Péron, a founder of Krautrock legend "Faust". The perfection of "bagio" encountered the chaos of "art-Errorist" Péron. He was invited to play with "Faust" at the sides of Zappi Diermaier (schlagwerk and angle grinder), keyboarder James Hodson, guitar player James Johnson ("Nick Cave") and Irish artist Geraldine Sayne. He was fascinated by performances with chainsaws and concrete mixers and a tremendous energy that ended in chaos. "After all it is possible to find a kind of 'punk' that is not 'punk rock'." The crossing of the narrow borders of music and art led to a multimedia artwork. He made his first documentary motion picture "le piano fatigué" on a legendary concert in Paris at the "Point Éphèmére". Despite of his lifelong performance ban since this concert he held the premiere of the film exactly there.
In a period of 3 years Uwe Bastiansen got to know a multitude of musicians making some kind of "avantgarde". Amongst others he played singular concerts with Eberhard Kranemann ("Kraftwerk", "Neu"), Jutta Weinhold ("Jane"), Damo Suzuki ("Can"). So he made acquaintances that gave him the current idea of "stadtfisch". "stadtfisch" is an integrated work of art containing "stadtfischflex" and "stadtfischfilm". "stadtfischflex" are "stadtfisch" Uwe Bastiansen and his "flexible orchestra", on their first publication consisting of Englishman Geoff Leigh ("Henry Cow"), Austrian Zappi Diermaier ("Faust"), Frenchman J.-H. Péron ("art-Errorist") and Cathy Heyden ("Urban Sax"), Italians Diego Pandiscia ("Underdog") and Diego Vinciarelli ("Chaos Physique") and Sebastian Nagel ("The Ape"). Besides Tim Hodgekinson ("Fred Frith", "John Zorn") they were once again joined by Irina Frederich who took care of the (photo-)graphic artwork. The album was recorded live in a single day without prior consultings or rehearsals. It took him more than 3 months to bring this into a "consumable" form.
In 2009 during the "Deutsche Kurzfilmfestival" (german short movie festival) he went on an almost 2 months long performance tour through China. Besides showcases in museums, galleries and village festivals he also played in universities. In Hong He he was appointed professor of honour for teaching how to use atonal music as a part of a whole musical arrangement. Despite of the worried eyes of the other professors fearing he would simply destroy the grand pianos used for demonstration similar to his film "le piano fatigué" (which he didn't).
He is now planning to make his new movie "head over heels to China" about these experiences. He was enchanted by these events of an exclusively spontaneous kind. And it is important for him to show the tension mirrored in the eyes of the participants (Uwe Bastiansen as a solo artist and the audience). Parallel to the movie he is also working on the next publication of "stadtfischflex" and on live soundtracks of Chinese motion pictures (e.g. "Die rote Frauenarmee") together with Hamburg musician "Xyramat" coming from the genres of computer-, noise- and soundmusic.
|Mask For||Vinyl||"Mask For"||1984|
|CD||"All the world´s a stage"||1992|
|Missing Foundation||DVD||"Video Collection"||1984/2010|
|stadtfischflex||Mini-CD||"tanz den deutsch.l.a.n.d."||2011|
|CD||"es tut mir alles so leid XXL"||2014|
|bagio||CD||"Unterm Durchschnitt (I)"||2005|
|CD||"Es geschah im Mai"||2005|
|CD/Video CD||"I", "II" and Clips exclusive for public libraries||2007|
|CD/Vinyl||"Ich seh´ die Schiffe den Fluss herunterfahren"||1990|
|7"-Vinyl||"Sonderzug zur Endstation"||1990|
|Station 17||CD||"Genau so"||1993|
|Think Big||CD||"And she still"||1995|
|Jaildog||CD||"Punkrock, HipHop and other obscure stories"||1995|
|Twin Planets||CD||"Pleasure, wisdom & revelation"||1994|
|The portable Kingdom||CD||"The portable Kingdom"||1998|
|Maxi-CD||"boy beats boy"||1999|
||"Oslo Rockefeller 2009"||2016|
|Heinz Rudolf Kunze||CD||"Meisterwerke:Verbeugungen" (Track: "Der
|Compilations||Double-Vinyl||"Song and Legend"||1987|
|CD||"Godfather´s of German Gothic"||1995|
|Double-CD||"Notes from the real Underground"||2003|
|CD||"Neuronic Org./from the inside"||2005|
|CD||"Neuronic Org./from the inside"||2007|
|CD||"The Ocean/Fake Magazine"||2007|
|CD||"Electro Arc 2"||2007|
|CD||"Kraut 4 Ever"||2009|
|DVD||"Kraut für Ewig"||2009|
|CD||"Bargraft Festival Live"||2011|
|Vinylbox||"Analog Love In Digital Times"||2011|
||"Transzendieren Exzess Pop"||2013|
||"Fidel Bastro 20/A"||2013|
|stadtfischfilm||DVD||"le piano fatigué"||2010|
|DVD||shortmovie "head over heels to china"||2012|