OWNING A CATALOGUE WITH OVER MORE THAN HUNDERED ALBUMS, GERMAN MUSICIAN MICHAEL BRÜCKNER IS A WORKAHOLIC WITH A LOT OF CREATIVE EFFORT. BUT STILL THE WORLD DOESN’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THIS SELF TOUGHT SOUNDGURU WHO MADE A GIANT LEAP FORWARD WITH HIS 2020 ALBUM ‘KLAUSTROPHILIA’. A TRIBUTE TO KLAUS SCHULZE COMBINED WITH THE KS-BIOGRAPHY ‘VIOLINS DON’T GROW ON TREES’ WRITTEN BY HIS FRIEND OLAF LUX. MICHAEL SPOKE TO MUSICOPHILIA ABOUT HIS LIFE, CARREER AND STRUGGLE IN THE WORD OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC. AND HE ISN’T AFRAID TOT TELL.
How are you? Are you experiencing musical problems because of the Covid-pandemic?
Well thanks – at the moment I’m doing alright. And I hope you do so as well!
Of course I have the usual share of ups and downs in my life like everyone, I guess – but all in all I count myself fortunate to live in this place and time. As for the pandemic, the effects on my life were mixed – of course, I miss meeting friends and family in person, I miss visiting pubs, restaurants, cinemas and concerts. There were some significant changes to my daytime job, too. Then again, I tend to be a hermit anyway, only crawling out of my molehill occasionally – so isolation is much less of an issue to me I guess than for many people.
On the other side, I always complained that I had not enough time to really dive as deeply into art and music as I would love to – I still would love to do it more, but Covid 19 gave me at least a few extra months in lockdown last year which I could use for workig on musical projects. So, as far as music goes, this was a plus, I have to confess. However, there were also severe drawbacks, of course – especially when it comes to concerts: in early 2020, there were plans for at least three concerts which I had to cancel, including a very attractive offer by an organiser from Belgium for doing a complete ambient festival. It still might happen at some later point, but for the time being, that window of opportunity is closed.
What were your first electronic experiences? I mean musical and no electric fence experience or something in that way.
The first LP I bought as a boy back in late 1983 was Jean-Michel Jarre’s ‘Oxygene’- possibly one of the best introductions to the genre one can wish for, and still one of my favourite albums of all times. Soon albums by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze followed [‘Sorcerer’ and ‘Audentity’ being the first, respectively]. Michael Hoenig and Michael Garrison too – and Vangelis! Also Pink Floyd and Eloy, which had many electronic elements. Other early experiences included Kitaro’s ‘Silk Road’ and an album by local German artist Peter Seiler.
Of course, I have heard some electronic music even before that, however I wasn’t so aware of it being particularily electronic – for example, as I boy I already liked both ‘The Model’ by Kraftwerk and ‘Fade to Grey’ by Visage, but just regarded them as normal songs. And then there were movie soundtracks – I was very much into films before taking a special interest in music – and some were electronic, but again at 10 or 11 years, I wasn’t aware of that.
I remember to have watched ‘Barracuda’ [which is an awful movie really, but as a kid I liked it], and so obviously I must have heard Klaus Schulze’s ‘X’ then already, but when I stumbled upon ‘Audentity’ a few years later, I couldn’t remember to ever have read his name at all.
Actually, even when I listened to the artists I’ve just mentioned, during my teens I didn’t so much perceive them as being ‘electronic’, but rather being a part of the progressive movement that started in the late 60s. I was listening to so much classic 70s rock, often instrumental or at least where instrumental parts were important – like Mike Oldfield, Yes or Camel, but also Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and so many more. And I also put Jarre, TD, Schulze, Vangelis and all of them in that context. During the 80s and early 90s, I actually wasn’t aware that anyone was still doing that kind of music. I thought it was something that had primarily happened in the 70s [even if some of them still carried on]. I had no idea that there was a scene of younger musicians still doing that kind of stuff.
It also kind of took me a long time to appreciate and take interest in the more contemporary electronic music. Finally I did, but more or less only from the mid 90s on, when I was introduced to some of the better artists who have come from the dance/techno movement, like The Orb, Future Sounds of London or Underworld [who in the end became important influences]. Only then I also was introduced to the ambient works of Brian Eno. Of course I knew his name and even had a CD with some of his early work – but those were mostly [strange] songs, and at the time it didn’t click. But especially albums like ‘On Land’ or ‘The Shutov Assembly’ became very important inspirations after I finally had heard them.
Are you a trained musician?
Unfortunately not – I really wish I were. I’d love to be able to play cello, clarinet or guitar. And I would love to be a much more accomplished keyboarder or piano player than I am [or all of it…]. In fact, in relation to ‘real’ musicians, I still tend to compare myself to ‘a hobbit at the court of the elves’.
Early on in school, music teachers told me that I were unmusical, so I regarded myself as a hopeless case and kind of gave up on music during my teens – even though I loved it, and felt drawn to musical instruments, but also recording gear [which meant cassette recorders back in the day]. And I adored musicians like they were magicians, and in a way, I still do.
It was only at 21 after some events that included practicing medative yoga and mantra chantig, but also the [temporarily] end of a relationship [to cut a longwided story short] that I started to dabble in music. Actually, I even took piano lessons for six months or so, but I never advanced far, because on the one hand, I didn’t have a piano. Just some rather cheap entertainer keyboard. On the other hand, I rarely practised and was eager to produce my own music instead- and using electronic gear, I could compensate for my missing skills to some degree.
Back then, I still planned to get proper musical trainig one day, but only some years into my musical journey, I married and we had a child – both being poor students, and having to both study and earn a living meant that already then, time to dedicate to music was limited – and money was very limited, too. I had to make a decision how to spend the few hours per day I had – so I kept producing and inventing, and the formal training never happened so far. Also, in the first ten or more years of my little ‘carreer’ I worked alone in the ivory tower of my tiny home studio and had hardly any contact to other musicians, was not part of any scene and had nearly no public releases of any sort [they were some exceptios, but they really hardly made a difference].
So, when finally a friend kicked me to start presenting my music on social networks in 2006, I felt uncomfortable calling myself a musician and prefered the term ‘sound artist’ [that’s also why my artist page on Facebook has the sub-title ‘sonic storytelling’]. However, as time went by and I got some listeners, and also met other musicians and started collaborating with some, it turned out tiresome to explain this to people, and some musical friends even grew impatient with me and said I should stop to sell myself short. From then on I accepted the name musician, but still see a difference to real musicians.
What are your major influencers musically?
There’s a very long answer to that, but I try to cut it short. My musical taste encompasses a lot of genres, electronic music is only a [small] part of what I listen to. It starts with early and medieval music, rennnaissance and baroque music, classical and romantic, early and contemporary avant garde, modern classical music, minimal music, but also all kinds of jazz, rock, pop, dance, world music and so on. Although there IS an emphasis in my taste, which is not determined by genre, but by what comes across, what is expressed. I like immersive, vast and deep music, I like introspective, but also dramatic music, I love music that tells stories. Well, and all of the music I ever heard [even if I didn’t like it] has in some way or other influenced me – to varying degrees, of course. Anyway it’s important to me to point out that my sources of inspiration are much more complex than a few names might suggest, and this broad view and also the aspect of genre crossing or fusion is important to me.
That said, here are still some names to make it more tangible and less abstract, but these are still only some points of reference in the ocean of music that I adore. When I started around 1992, I attempted to come up with instrumental [maybe partly new age] music in the vein of Mike Oldfield, Andreas Vollenweider or some works by Vangelis, but soon also Peter Michael Hamel, for example. At the same time, I put a lot of effort into trying to produce rock music, partly in the style of Deep Purple, or later bands like Tiamat. I’m not sure if any of these early efforts were convincing – maybe some music turned out nice, but they never quite sounded like their inspirations.
During the second half of the 90s, my focus somewhat shifted after being introduced to Eno, Future Sound Of London [FSOL], Underworld etc. like I mentioned above. This remained my main direction for a couple of years, and I discovered more music from that area as time went on [Massive Attack, Mouse on Mars, Aphex Twin etc.]. Around the turn of the millenium, I co-founded the prog/art rock band B4 Sunrise with Gerd Weyhing, Wolfgang Bechtluft and Reinhold Krämer. They were all a few years older than me and part of the local prog scene, where they had already played together since the late 70s in various changing band projects. As a band, B4 Sunrise was spectaculair unsuccesful [we only ever played one gig in 2006, and it was a small one] and hardly ever sold any records, but it was a great time for me to learn, develop further and just have fun jamming and recording with the boys. And again this opened my ears to new music which has been an influence since, especially King Crimson and Robert Fripp, but also Dead Can Dance and [maybe surprisingly] David Sylvian and Björk. When I finally started to enter social networks in 2006, my horizon especially regarding electronic music kind of exploded – so many new major artists alone to discover, not to mention the vast underground scene which today I’m a part of, too – a veritable ocean of music that no single human can fathom anymore today. At that time, I remember to have especially been impressed by Lightwave, and also the likes of Carbon Based Lifeforms, Solar Fields or Aes Dana.
You might wonder at this point when I’ll finally cite TD, Hoenig, Ashra and Klaus Schulze as influences. Of course, I was familiar with their music – or at least a part of it – since the 80s, and always LOVED it. However, until some point around 2009, I never seriously attempted to make any music in their style [known as Berlin School]. The reason for that is that I thought it was impossible to really catch the spirit – especially in the case of KS. When I say that, I think of their albums from the 70s to early 80s in the first place. At some point around 2005 I finally discovered that whole copycat scene [as KDM would call them] – Dutch, German and British musicians in the first place that more or less succesfully tried to imitate TD [more often] or KS [less often]. I think it was a case of bad luck that at first [in YouTube, I guess] I came about some examples which I thought were not so inspired, and for some years I had not a really high opinion of that scene. Of course, later I would learn that lot of great Berlin School music had been recorded between 1983 and today. Also around 2005, when Klaus Schulze’s back catalogue was re-released by ReVisited Records, I started to finally close the huge gaps in my KS collection, in fact listening to such masterpieces as ‘Timewind’ or X’ for the first time. The same with some classic albums by TD.
But it wasn’t until 2009, when I bought a new synthesizer and finally had gear to perform electronic music in a live situation, that I started to dabble in Berlin School myself. Funny enough, this happened only after at some point in 2007, I nearly gave up on music altogether for several reasons and didn’t expect anymore to produce anything relevant in my life. But that allowed me to go back to the point where making music was just fun and I was doing it only for myself – so I didn’t care anymore if I was a copycat or a relevant contemporary artist.
Well, but I still need to mention a few influences that have become very important to me from around 2010 on – artists who I had partly already met briefly early, but at first failed to realise just how great and special they realy are [to me, anyway]. I’m speaking of American ambient [or deep listening, as he prefers tocall it] pioneer Robert Rich here in the first place, and touch guitarist and avant garde/prog/ambient composer Markus Reuter. But also drone ambient pioneer Mathias Grassow and electronic artist [founder of the ‘Bielefeld School’and inventor of doombient] Stephen Parsick and his project ‘Ramp. There are still many more great artists who are working in a similar field, but these four really stand out for me as a source of endless awe and inspiration, and a benchmark for what can be achieved [if maybe not by me, though, but anyway].
Your first album was based upon the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Amazing! Not literature that you associate with electronic music directly. How did you get that idea?
Oh, I fear it wasn’t my first album. In fact, in my catalogue it’s listed as album number 41. I recorded it in 2002, actually 10 years after my first album. It’s also not my only album inspired by HPL.
But it’s the first ‘real’ album listed on reputable websites like Progarchives and so. A kind of mistake?
Not really a mistake. On Progarchives, they list quite a few of my albums, but it’s not a complete list by any means. Maybe I need more fans in Prog circles who feel like adding my other albums. As far as I know there is currently no website where all my albums [both solo work and collaborative projects] are listed. However, both in the [German] WikiPedia entry about me and on Discogs [are those reputable?], the lists are far more complete than on Progarchives or other review pages. Of course this is because they only review [and only if I’m Lucky] whatever I send to them, and I started to give promos to reviewers in 2012. Therefore, they never saw any of my earlier albums [with a few exceptions].
Also, both WikiPedia and Discogs are not maintained by myself, but by listeners [in case of Discogs also labels or reviewers], and they just take care fore these pages whenever they feel like or find some time to, which means these are not entirely up to date either. I once had a nearly complete catalogue [a list in a blog, technically] on LastFM, but when they completely revamped their system, blogs were discontinued, so it ends at this point, even though there’s still a direct link to it [which is not visible via LastFM anymore though]. Check: BruecknerSounds Tagebuch – Michael Brückner – the (nearly) complete catalogue | Last.fm
I think it’s still interesting because I wrote a few words about my projects at that time, and about each album. Since then, of course, the story has continued.
I see. Well, back to your H.P. Lovecraft album. How did you get that idea?
Well, before starting to do music, I actually aspired to become a writer [and a painter/illustrator too]. I wrote my first short story when I was 12 years old, and it was a horror story [something about a werewolf]. Later I would still write horror, but mostly science fiction and fantasy. I published some in amateur magazines in the 80s and early 90s. When I was about 20 I changed my focus to magical realism in the vein of Gabriel Garcia Marquez [or at least tried to]. That was the time when I also discovered Lovecraft. I immediately was fascinated, not only by the stories, but soon also by his person. And I still am – just at the moment I’m about to finish the second part of S.T. Joshi’s brilliant Lovecraft biography.
But the idea for that particular album, ‘The Outsider, came when I did my diploma project in graphical design, which I studied from 1995 on [to become an illustrator, which never happened, but I earned a living as a designer and printer anyway…]. My project was an illustrated book on H.P. Lovecraft [which I couldn’t finish], and part of it was the addition of a CD with music to go with it [typically, this was the part I got done in the end]. It’s not so much a gothic album as one might expect, but rather experimental and diverse [of course also often very dark]. It’s not only a musical adaption of his stories, but also contains biographic references about the man himself.
From my point of view, the idea wasn’t really that new or unusual – very early on as a teenager, I also was a huge fan of ‘Tales Of Mystery And Imagination’ by The Alan Parsons Project – quite a popular album, and an adaption of horror stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Another early favourite was Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of ‘The War Of The Worlds’. Also an adaption of a famous early sci-fi novel with horror elements. By the way, even Lovecraft has been adapted musically many times – the first time I read the title of his ‘The Call Of Cthulhu’ was a song by Metallica, but also in electronic music there are many examples [at least in recent years, maybe not in 2002], especially in the field of dark ambient.
We have a lot in common. I adore the novel/album ‘The War Of The Worlds’ and ‘Tales Of Mystery…’, and I’m a Poe-fan. Also I like Metallica before they went straight commercial in the 90s. When do we meet?
Anytime, if you like. As soon as this pandemic thing is over.
Some of your albums have been released on the Syngate label. Why is there no lasting collaboration with that label?
Well, but there is! Kilian Schloemp, the owner of SynGate, is a good friend. We came in touch even before he took over the label from Lothar Lubitz in 2012. It was a lucky coincidence for me, because he offered me my first release on a real label. It was actually my 100th album at the same time [the first 99 were all self-distributed], and I have an agreement ever since that I can release one or two albums on SynGate per year, if I like. Which I did, every year since 2012 [which, as far as I remember, was also the only year when I actually released two albums there]. Sometimes solo albums, and sometimes collaborations, like the albums together with Detlev Everling or Alien Nature, and the debut by Betzler & Brückner [which basically is an early version of P’Faun]. So, one album per year from one particular artist, this makes sense for a label.
But there were still my 99 older albums, and even from 2012 on, I simply produced more music than that [solo or in different collaborative projects], so I needed some other place to release that. Also, different labels reach different audiences, and while it makes sense to release a certain kind of music on SynGate [Berlin School in the first place], it might make more sense to release other music on a different label – like the debut album by Bridge to Imla, my duo with HaDi Schmidt, on the dark ambient label Winter-Light.
I find it a kind of strange that, dispite your professional skills, there’s no Michael Brückner-website.
That’s true. Well, it’s still on my to-do-list since when God’s dog was a puppy. Basically, it always has been a matter of budget. As I have said elsewhere in this interview, although we are not poor, we are not very wealthy either – just getting along. And I finance all my musical projects strictly from the small income I have from the music itself. I simply never could afford it. Unless, of course, I get something like a website on wix.com – but I cringe at the idea of my website address being michaelbrueckner.wix or something. Perhaps Your German skills go far enough to know that ‘wix’ is phonetically identical to the colloquial German word for masturbation. And of course, while it’s true that I’ve studied design, I’m not a web designer, but an [oldfashioned] print designer, and have worked in the printing business for more than 20 years. I still could easily design a website, but I lack the skills to program it, and needed the help of a specialist here…who I couldn’t pay, though. In addition to these obstacles, I’m also not sure if I really need my own page. Who would ever visit it, unless a listener who knows me already anyway from other places?
I have an artist page on Facebook which is always up to date, I have a YouTube channel, and my shop is Bandcamp. My stuff is easy to find if someone is looking for it.
Together with drummer Tommy Betzler you form the Pfaun project which is a continuation of the 80s band P’Cock in which Betzler also participated. P’cock enjoys a kind of cult status among fans of electronic [rock]music. Why did you choose a different band name?
Not only with Tommy, but also with guitar player Sammy David! In fact at different points, Tommy wanted to use the name P’Cock for our project, but I vetoed that. Partly because out of respect for the other original members of that band, who were [more so than Tommy] the musicians who wrote the actual music back in the 80s. Except for the drummer, there is simply no other original member of P’Cock part of the project, and never was. But also not to trick our listeners or evoke wrong expectations: P’Cock were – even though they had a strong electronic element – a rock band [a bit in the vein of Saga maybe] with a singer and regular songs [plus one or two instrumentals]. That’s a different focus. If we had called ourselves P’Cock, audiences would have expected us – and rightly so – to play a lot of old songs in our concerts. We would have needed a singer. It would have been a whole different approach. In fact we only ever played one – or in fact just half of one – P’Cock track, the second instrumental part of ‘House In The Storm’. And even in quite a different version compared to the original.
So, from 2013 until 2017, we simply called ourselves Betzler & Brückner, but when Sammy David, who had been a guest musician before, joined as a regular member, we felt we needed a new band name [because Betzler, Brückckner & David seemed a bit lame]. So, P’Faun was kind of a compromise, because it hinted at Tommy’s past as the founder of P’Cock – and even though there are a few similarities, it’s still a different name. I thought it was kind of clever – since’. You speak German, I guess You know that the word Pfau hidden in P’Faun in English means peacock.
You made a special album called ‘Klaustrophilia’ for the successful Klaus Schulze-biography ‘Violins Don’t Grow On Trees’ by Olaf Lux. Did you benefit from that?
Oh yes – that was a great thing for me, definitely. Maybe you already know that Olaf and I are old friends by now, we met, I think, 11 years ago. Even back then he had the idea of writing a KS biography one day, and I had the good luck to be able to see this project grow from a close point of view, often discussing the matter in many conversations over the years. I also lent a hand here and there – for example I did the design for the cover and also gave advise concerning the design of the actual pages. It also was my suggestion to use Bandcamp as a platform for distributing the book. At first, Olaf wasn’t sure if he liked the idea, but after looking in vain for some better place, he finally came back to it.
However, BC being a music platform, it was necessary to also include some music there. My suggestion had been to release a tribute compilation by members of the Deutsche(s) Klaus Schulze Forum on Facebook. Many of the members are musicians themselves and would have loved to join in such a project. Again, Olaf thought about the idea for some time, but then decided it would be to complicated logistically to do it that way.
So – actually only two or three weeks before the day of the release – he asked me if I had some music to go with the book as a free giveaway, and to satisfy the rules of Bandcamp. It was on short notice, so I said that I was not sure with what I could come up, but I would give it a try. The result was the album that You know – I wrote two new tracks for it and for the rest I edited some previously unreleased session recordings. And it was positively received by quite a lot of people and earned me some respect among Schulze fans which otherwise probably would have ignored my music. So yes – definitely quite a boost for me, I’m very happy about it!
Aren’t you afraid that with almost 100 albums recorded over a relativily short period you create some kind of overkill?
Once, someone wrote about Steven King: “You’re not a writer – you’re a fucking industry!” Stephan Schelle of ‘Musikzirkus Magazin’, who was the first reviewer writing about my albums from 2008 on, used to introduce me as “the workaholic from Mainz”.
Well, in a way I indeed am afraid! And in fact we are talking about even more music already – my 100th album has been released already in 2012 on SynGate, currently I think there are all in all about 150 albums. Actually, in 2018 I had to find a new job, but all my files and lists were on computers at my old job. I had to move rather quickly from one to the other, and some of the lists [that had been neatly numbered up to that point] got lost, so I kind of stopped counting at 135 and didn’t find the time to create a proper new list yet. But I digressed – yes, it seems a little crazy. And maybe it is, but it’s not like my goal was to just release every note I ever played on a synthesizer [as maybe some people suspect who don’t know the story behind it all]. In fact there is still about as much unreleased music in my archives as I have released already.
How do I cut that long story short, though? Well, I mentioned from 1992 to 2006 – for 14 years – I worked alone [except for B4 Sunrise] and I didn’t really release albums. I did record albums, though, starting from very early on. I was constantly composing, performing, producing music on a daily, or rather nightly, basis. Some of my projects – each representing an album – were finished, others were not. I never worked on these projects one after the other, but always had several [sometimes many] going on in parallel over the same period of time. Some grew quickly, some very slowly. In these days, hard disc space was scarce and expensive, so I archived a lot of material on CD-rs to make room, with the plan to return to it later and finish it. There were heaps of CD-rs in my little room, and from some point on it grew hard to remember how many ideas I was juggling around. Then there were also my early recordings on 4-track cassette [1992 – 1997]. I had no clear idea how much music I already had recorded, I only knew that it was a lot.
But – and this is important to me – before 2006 I did make no attempts to release any of it. Mainly because I still thought about a release at a major label, or at least a smaller, but commercial one, and thought that I had not yet recorded an album which any label would be willing to accept. Today I believe that I indeed already could have found some small independent label even in the mid 90s if I had been aware that such labels existed.
Come 2006, here three very different things came together that led me to make a strange decision:
1. I believed I was terminally ill and had to die rather soon [this turned out to be an irrational fear, thanks to god – but I really felt like this for about two or three month]
2. I was angry about something Klaus-Dieter Müller, the publisher of Klaus Schulze, said in his biographical section on KS’ homepage [with hindsight I guess he was probably right, though].
3. I noticed that my cassette mastertapes from the 90s and also my early archive CD-rs started to decompose and that the music on them would be lost if I didn’t transfer it to some other medium…
So, I made this decision to try and finish ALL my unfinished projects up to that point and create something like a large CD-r box set, containing ALL the albums, and send copies of it to several music magazines, withing the next 12 months. And I did create it! I called the result ‘No Single Single’ and it contained 85 albums plus one interactive CD-rom with a musical computer game. I only ever sent one set to a music journalist, who was Albrecht Piltz, the former reviewer of German ‘Keyboards Magazine’.
Until almost the end, I wasn’t really aware that it would grow so large. When I started, there had been about 20 albums which I regarded as completed. And my guess was that in the end, I might end up with 20 more. At some point, I saw it would be even more, but how much more I only realised when I counted the result after finishing the final album [at the time]. And 2006 was also the year when I started to present my music on social networks – so I was this strange guy no one had ever heard of, appearing out of nowhere with a back catalogue of 85 albums. After ‘No Single Single’ I took a long break – not from music, but recording albums – until 2009. Making a lot of contacts via MySpace, LastFM and later Facebook led to collaborations and finally to my first official [physical] label release on SynGate. In late 2011, I started to use Bandcamp. In 2012 I played on a festival for the first time. Over time, some people started to take notice, but for some reason, they were only rarely interested in my back catalouge. It was only new releases which received some attention. And so I kept recording and releasing further albums – never hurried, but at a steady pace.
I admit that pace accelerated again over the past few years, and especially during the pandemic. Of course, I just have enough material to do it [so I have to take responsibility for how much I release], but partly I also blame the social dynamics of the internet and how they put pressure on artists to do something [which, in absence of concerts, means to release music] to remain visible. Attention spans are short – if you do a release, there’s interest in it for about one week at best, and most of the sales happen within the first three or four days. After that, listeners go on to something else. You maybe heard about those ‘Bandcamp Fridays’ when BC gives all the money of what they sold on that day completely to the artists, without taking their usual share. On each of these days, literally hundreds [if not thousands] of artists and bands release an album. Each month! And that is not even counting the still many albums which are released on each of the other days. So with or without my admittedly high output, overkill is here anyway.
However, in favour and defence of my mainy albums, I’d like to state that I never repeated myself a lot, and it’s not at all like “If you have one Brückner album, you know all the rest”. Each album is quite individual, I was told that sometimes two consecutive releases sound like coming from different artists, maybe that was even more the case earlier in my musical journey. Most of the album have unique concepts or basic ideas, and most of them hopefully are what Robert Rich once called considered releases in which I have really invested thought, care and quite a lot of concentrated work. Also, I didn’t only do all that music, but also took care for the cover art, the design, for printing, for promotion and distribution. For YouTube videos and also public relations. Being the producer and recording engineer of the band projects. Also a concert organiser. And so on.
I did not just do one job, but many. And all this all along with my real job and having family. Can you imagine how much work that was…and not bad work at that, either?
So, I admit it’s slightly disappointing if the only thing people ever seem to feel when looking at my work is it’s overkill. Sometimes I would be happy if someone just told me I did a good job there.
What are you future plans as far a possible?
Funny thing with regards to the previous question. My masterplan actually is to release less! In fact, already since years now I want to reduce both my output and the time I spent on music considerably, in favour of other activities: spending more time with my wife, family and friends. Giving my body a little bit of regular exercise. Maybe finally return to writing and visual art. And if I put out albums still from time to time, I’d like to make them more of a multimedia package, including a storyline and visuals that enhance the music, or form a greater whole.
Before I can reach that point though, there’s some work I need to do. In the first place this means to finally finish quite a few collaborative projects which partly are waiting since years now. But they are wonderful projects still and it would be a shame to never do them. Also, there are at least three ongoing bandprojects [two duos, one trio] which I of course want to continue, which is Bridge to Imla with HaDi Schmidt, P’Faun and Le Mansarde Hermétique with Mathias Brüssel. So even when all other chapters will be closed, I still will be doing music with these gentlemen, plus my solo projects.
For 2021, I already have made plans: there will be two sequencer based Berlin School albums, [one for SynGate, one for Cyclical Dreams], there will be at least one release of a special collaboration that is electronic space rock, and we’re also [slowly] working on the next P’Faun album. Also, as long as the ‘Bandcamp Friday’-thing continues, I might use it to release some very good material that I in fact have hold back now for years – yes: purposefully holding it back, to avoid to release too much actually! At the moment most listeners kind of accept a higher output rate, so it’s possible to finally share some of this material. And I didn’t even mention live events now, which hopefully will return later this year, and streaming events, which I will probably do more often from now on.
Thank you very much for your time, Michael.
Well, many thanks to you for having me and for your interesting questions, Michel!
Michael Brückner (Musiker) – Wikipedia
Michael Brückner | Diskographie | Discogs