Thursday, September 25 2014
In May 2013 the classic “AV” set, which Atom™ performed from 2007 until January 2013, was replaced by the new “HD/AV” set (which, as the name suggests, contains material from his “HD” album). “HD/AV” was premiered at the Montreal “Elektra Festival” on the 3rd of May of the same year. The “HD/AV” show, just as the classic “AV” set is a semi-improvised audio-visual set. HD is executed using an extremely reduced technical setup – just one machine is used to control audio and video, which are played, altered and re-organized in real time. Since audio is “playing” the video data, the alteration of sound modifies the visuals, hence every time generating a different performance. Various set types have been produced and performed so far, which ranged from short, 45 minute “festival sets” (Sonar Barcelona 2013 where it was voted into the festival’s “Top 10″) up to 70 minute “full sets” (Moscow, June 2013). “HD/AV” will be performed world wide from 2013 onwards. In March 2014 the “HD” set will be updated into version 2.
Atom™ (also known as Atom Heart and often confused with Señor Coconut, real name Uwe Schmidt) is a German composer, musician and record producer of electronic music. He is often regarded as the father of electrolatino, electrogospel and aciton (acid-reggaeton) music. Atom™ began making music in the early 1980’s, first playing drums, then switching to programming a drum computer after he had heard a Linn Drum on the radio.
Uwe Schmidt’s “Rather Interesting” label remains his largest unified body of work. To date, R.I. alone has over 46 full-length releases under numerous aliases and styles, of which most of them are written, recorded, mixed and mastered by Schmidt himself. Additionally, Schmidt handles all the label management and most all of the album artwork and design.
Remixes for Les Baxter, Perez Prado, Jamie Lidell, Plaid and Japanese superstar Kumi Koda have been continuing to garner attention for Uwe Schmidt. The collaboration “Surtek Collective” with Vicente Sanfuentes, invented yet another musical style called “aciton”, a blend of “acid” and “reggaeton”. “Surtek Collective” mainly tours Latin America, playing shows in Mexico, Venezuela, Brasil, Argentina and Chile.
The “Flanger” album “Sprituals” was released in 2005 on Bernd Friedmann’s label “Nonplace” and the “HEADZ” label for the Japanese territory. A couple of years later songs from “Spirituals” got licensed for the Hungarian movie “Bibliotheque Pascal”.
From 2007 until 2010, collaborating with Japanese composer Masaki Sakamoto, he produces the album “Alien Symphony” and the modified (online) version of it, called “Meteor Shower” which was released in 2010. The same year sees Atom™ acting a mini-role in the Mexican movie “Orol”. By the end of 2010 a short South American tour is played with the “Sr. Coconut” project. Atom™, in collaboration with Japanese musician Toshiyuki Yasuda produces a cover version of the brazilian Bossa Nova classic “Aguas de Março”, pre-released on the compilation “Red Hot 2″ in June 2011. The vocals on this song are performed by Fernanda Takai and Moreno Veloso.
A photo exhibition called “Winterreise” was unveiled in Tokyo in May 2011, accompanied by a”Playbutton” release. “Atom™” performances at the Lincoln Center in New York City, “Communikey Festival” in Boulder, the “Raster-Noton”/”Mute” festival at the Roundhouse in London, Labyrinth Festival in Japan plus many others.
Exclusive contributions to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Kizunaworld” project and Towa Tei’s “Mach” online platform. A second “Winterreise” exhibition was held in Frankfurt (Germany) in October 2011 as well as the “Winterreise” soundtrack was released in May 2012 through “Raster-Noton”. “atom-tm.com” was launched in July 2012 and serves as Atom™’s official news platform and archive. As a result of the “Winterreise” release, Atom™ received an invitation from Richie Hawtin, to play an ambient set at his club in Ibiza. The invitation was accepted and the then entitled “Alpha txt” ambient set created, which was then again performed, opening the “labyrinth” festival in September the same year. An initially abandoned album, which in 2005 carried the working title “Hard Disc Rock” (as a self-reference to the 1997 Atom™ title with the same name), re-surfaced as “HD”, after some of the unfinished tracks raise interest at the Raster-Noton label. The album was finished during the second half of 2012, and mixed down during January 2013. The release of “HD” was then scheduled for March 2013. In the middle of the “HD” production, the terrible news of Pete Namlook’s sudden death reach Atom. Months later, as a practical consequence of Namlook’s passing away, the “Rather Interesting” label, which both Pete and Atom ran together since 1994, was shut down forever. Early 2013 see Atom™ playing various live shows, such as the double opening feature at Berlin’s “CTM.13″, where he first performs “Bauteile” with colleague Marc Behrens, and later on, together with “Material + Object”, plays a 3 hour “Alpha txt” set. Extensive promotional activities for “HD”, which, amongst other results, bring Atom™ on the front page of Germany’s “De:bug” magazine and the preparation for the “HD” and “Ground Loop” live sets keep Atom™ busy during the first couple of months of 2013.