For the nights of October 1st and 2nd 2012, DIKTAT is looking for a place in New York to rest their tired heads, after their dikta-performances in the Big Apple on those evenings. The band comes with little luggage, is easy-going and has little demands w.r.t. comfort etc. Pretty much anything will do. We offer a unique Staaltape audio document of our US tour and, whenever needed, a place to sleep in Paris in return. Do spread the word! All tips & tricks are welcome! Contact: diktatkwartet[at]harsmedia[dot]dom.

Diktat outside/inside the Manufactured Normalcy Field

august 11, 2012.

"How, as a species, will we be able to
prepare for, create, & deal with, the future,
while managing to effectively deny
that it is happening at all?"

( * )

There's a lot of different ways in which I could describe to you the mighty DIKTAT. The least reverent & respectful one, though, is surely the best...

Here is what you'll get at your average upcoming DIKTAT concert: there's this (often pretty misted) double bass player, who seems to mistake his antique caisse for a mistress and cannot make up his mind as to whether make love or beat the shit out of her; and then there's three middle aged guys (two of them balding & a third one running to stomach), each standing behind a microphone. They fool around with a couple of out-dated cassette players, from which emanates a flood of crackling voices and other pretty much random-like sounds. They look at the small machines in the palms of their hands as if they're on the verge of oracling the number of a million dollar winning lot; they also make small, irregular passes back and forth, like in a uTube cut-up of some long time ago discarded pop dance choreography.

So let me get this straight. I'd say: what you are looking at right there & here below, is - no more, no less - than the happening future of Rock 'n' Roll! If these were the 1960's, DIKTAT'd be the fucking Ronettes...

Diktat in Berlin


I readily admit that one needs to see this in proper perspective. Which in turn asks for a deeper understanding of what 'future' really means. As Venkatesh Rao recently observed in his thought-provoking ribbonfarm blog, we are living in a continuous state of manufactured normalcy: "To really understand the world and how it is evolving, one needs to break through this manufactured normalcy field." DIKTAT moves in parts of Rock 'n' Roll's happening future, that have not been integrated in our Manufactured Normalcy Field. This, as Venkatesh points out, brings about a kind of existential nausea, for which air travel (his prime example of manufactured normalcy) provides a convenient metaphor: "if you experience air travel in its true form and are not prepared for it by nature and nurture, you will throw up" ...

Diktat in Berlin - cover

Venkatesh's idea of a future nausea explains DIKTAT's current social and cultural status being utterly fringe-fringe and still so far removed from that of a latter-day Ronettes. Negligibly few air travelers will voluntarily opt for a glimpse of what modern air travel can do, and knowingly book a flight across the ocean during which, at a randomly chosen surprise moment, the pilot will engage the aircraft in a couple of spectacular loops and then have it drop a couple of kilometers of altitude in a few seconds time. Exactly the same mechanism accounts for the undeniable fact that but negligibly few music lovers will opt for a visit to, say, the Staalplaat basement in Berlin, to catch a glimpse of what modern rock 'n' roll really is about. And those that do while being only vaguely aware of what to expect, run a strong risk of experiencing this future nausea. Like in an airplane's free fall, it may make them, literally, throw up. I've seen it happen...

The very fact that you are reading these lines, though, is a pretty reliable estimator of a high probability that *you* are part of those negligibly few actually ready to experience the happening future of music outside of its manufactured normalcy field.

And here comes your chance to prove me right.

Between September 26th and October 3rd, DIKTAT will be at the other side of the Atlantic for a short American tour. We will be performing inside (at least) at the Martin Art Gallery in Allentown on September 27th, on Friday 28th at the Sonic Circuits Festival in Washington DC (that is what makes us come over, thanks to Jeff Zeromoon), and twice in New York (on October 1st and 2nd). Besides, as always, we are going to do a series of outside guerrilla recordings & performances, the details of which you will surely be able to read back later on these pages. As you will be well aware, this is a pretty costly enterprise for a no-budget fringe-fringe act like DIKTAT to embark upon. We therefore decided to try our hands at some DIY crowfunding, to help us cover the costs of the band's stay in the US, including (but not limited to) car rental, gasoline, toll, parking tickets, vegan salads, hamburgers & beer.

As DIKTAT is principally a live act, that usually describes its field of action not as rock 'n' roll, but (far more formally, though, arguably, maybe also less appropriately) as electro-acoustic (free) improvisation ( ** ), in the six years of its existence there has been no CD, no vinyl, not even a cassette, that came with a - let's call it authorized - set of recordings of our musical investigations.

Until now.

D I K T A T in Berlin is 7 track album based upon our last year's live recordings (inside/outside) in Berlin, Germany. It is available as a 'name your price' hi-quality download on Bandcamp. Which means that - if you were to choose so - it will be yours for free. That's cool with us. No reason to feel ashamed. We know these are hard times. But of course we do hope that some of you will be able and willing to show their appreciation for our six years of hard, uncompromising & dedicated work, by donating a bit of real money for this - and I really think it is - pretty exciting collection. And as said: every single cent of the proceeds will be spent while touring the US early fall of this year.

Your return actually may be even a whole lot better than merely a temporary 'feel good' and an amazing hi-quality digital download to play and cherish in your iTunes. This is were the 'crowd funding' part comes in: we will extensively sound-document our stay in America, and a selection of these US 'on the road' recordings will be published as a Staaltape limited edition documentary pocket tape audiozine cassette-only release. Now it's needless to say that any amount donated will earn you a cheer; but :
* throw in €15 or more, and we'll send you a copy of this Diktat overseas Staaltape release for free, as soon as it is available. (Also: in case of more than twenty tape-meriting donations, the cassette will NOT go on sale. It'll be produced for your ears only ...)
* the three highest donations (of at least €25) will receive the Diktat Staaltape together with a unique smart & luxurious cassette purse, hand knitted from magnetic tape by a band member's loving mom ( *** ), and impregnated with the music of your choice...

cassette purse

Now I guess that some of you will wonder whether not such acts of keen contemporary web marketing are going to push the mighty DIKTAT back inside the boundaries of this 'manufactured normalcy field'.

Well, anything is possible of course... Shit happens. But we are ready for that. You should try this: when you play D I K T A T in Berlin, play it VERY LOUD. Then listen... Mastery of the dictaphone, the extreme contrapuntal thinking, asymmetry of free declamation, the spontaneity of associative, surrealist collage... It's all in there. But let's be honest. At heart... Isn't it just rock'n'roll ...?

Hell, if these were the 1960's, DIKTAT'd be the fucking Ronettes...

Diktat in Paris


Thanks for helping us spread the word by mentioning DIKTAT in Berlin to your colleagues, friends & lovers; liking this and the Bandcamp page; posting the links to Facebook; tweeting them, et cetera... Let's flood the social web with DIKTAT! If you're on Twitter, follow DIKTAT to the US of A @diktat_us.


" ... DIKTAT's concerts are recorded in the emergency of a wild energy. A little punks, a little academicians, they play outside, along a river, sometimes in galleries and walls disappear... The more one listens to this fierce album, the more comes to one’s mind Moondog, who played in streets and ended his life in Germany. The choice to record this 'DIKTAT in Berlin' makes even stronger the assertion that these 4 are indeed the dignified heritors of the incredibly missed Louis Thomas Hardin..."
Flavién Gillié - The Field Reporter, December 09th, 2012


notes __ ::
(*) Venkatesh Rao, in Welcome to the Future Nauseous. [ ^ ]
(**) In earlier moments of reflective writing I even ventured as far as considering DIKTAT as one, variable piece of music, and the quartet's successive performance as different realizations of that piece. [ ^ ]
(***) It will take but a second and/or third look at the band's portrait above to fully appreciate this item's emotional (as opposed to monetary) worth... [ ^ ]

tags: diktat, berlin, usa

# .429.

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