The 2018 Lord Litter introduction
Reading about all this noise and avant-garde here I feel a bit like an alien (again) because I'm anything but an only noise and/or avant-garde musician/producer/promoter. So I guess it's not a bad idea to give a little introduction why I'm here and who I am today.
In 1986 I discovered a booklet entitled *The Independent Kontakter* published by L'Edarps A Moth, who, I later found out, was a truly unique and very bizarre singer-songwriter. The booklet offered 600 addresses from small underground activists worldwide. I wrote to Matthias Lang's IRRE Tapes, sent several of my tapes, received several of his tapes .. and that was it - my life was changed forever.
Finally I had found a free worldwide open-minded scene offering all sorts of music, sounds, experiments, attitude, options, cooperations and much more. Before this I was involved in a professional artist management that wanted to keep as much freedom for the musicians as possible and still also cooperate with the music business. To cut a long shocking and extremely disillusioning story short - it does NOT work. All the cliches I had heard about *music business* came true.
With this new-found freedom my activities were exploding. I made my own music, started a cassette label, got involved in KFR, a worldwide distribution service, where I took over the news departement including a newsletter, a radioshow, cassette compilations and more. Everything one could possibly do, I did - for example I traveled with Toshiyuki Hiraoka, homerecording musician from Japan, all over Germany when he came for a visit ... visiting music friends, jamming, recording. I traveled to a 3 days cassette culture fair in Cologne, several festivals in Duesseldorf etc.
My idea was to take everything that came to me via this *level of culture*, get inspired and promote it. I made friends with Folkbands from Germany, electronic labels from England, noise musicians from the USA, punkbands from Iceland and pure Rock from Canada ... everything...important was the communication and cooperation and always a flair of friendship.
"While much of the rest of the European underground community was dabbling with electronics, beats and industrial noise, Litter was opening his ears to all of it and championing all types of creativity and expression via his radio broadcasts..."
- Don Campau.
I always had the impression that I was *alien*. I remember this Hard Core fan from Cologne, Germany who was writing about my tapes in his fanzine. He sent me Hard Core mixtapes with bands from Australia. I sent him mixtapes with bands that inspired me including the early sometimes quite bizarre tracks by the Bee Gees .. and he liked them, which was very inspiring to me!
Since I'm interested in music I just love the whole spectrum. When everybody listened to radio pop I played them 1920's Blues; when they listened to Progressive I gave them Slade. Early inspirations from other musical worlds were for example Moondog, whom I found on a compilation and was totally fascinated - I always looked for the ones that did something *different*. Blues? Well, yes but can you offer something *special*?..so in recent years I found Blues from Bavaria, Germany which is Blues but - ha - yeah really *special*.
The unbelievable happened and the Berlin Wall came down. The very next day (really!) I joined Das Freie Orchester, free improvising underground, avant-garde band from East Germany. We had several very fruitful freakout years and LOTSA fun!
All these years I produced a radioshow for changing stations. I always tried to present this *spirit* that I thought was so fascinating and definitely had a positive - pro life - effect.
Slowly it all changed and disappeared - transformed into a vast avalanche. Suddenly everybody was *indie and had a never before heard sound* - mainly on CD. Some of those at least came with a three-lined handwritten-note. Then it even got worse - digital only, slick email newsletter, download, like us on Facebook.
I almost drowned in this avalanche. I started to hate what I once loved .. I knew I had to act.
I slowly started to construct a system that adjusted everything. It's obvious that people don't write four-paged in-depth letters any more but I realised that for example there are definitely people longing to communicate via several means. Some even publish in-depth, open-hearted fanzines on paper! This is where I see a definite connection of *something different* in 2018 - this can be a fanzine by a avant-garde experimental artist or a power pop collective - I'm in touch with both.
I completely stopped to present the ongoing avalanche of music. This is one reason why I only present physical releases these days. I NEED to have these here around me, listen to them, see them on my floor, touch them, they are real in my real world. Then I present these releases for several months sometimes returning to releases after a year for various reasons - one maybe it fell on the floor: "ah yeah I remember this one! Let's play it".
The times music and sound is constructed for the first time are over for now I guess - from classical compositions to Ragtime to Elvis Presley to Karlheinz Stockhausen to hip hop to noise and back to roots - we had it all - and I was present when many of those were created for the first time. So the music/sound I choose these days is a combination of intelligent structures, looking for uniqueness, digging up things I loved in a personal way, variety, aesthetics, enthusiasm, some in-depth *quality* and always blessed with communication and a touch of friendship...any direction, any style.
Whitewolfsonicprincess have written this about my show, which made me quite happy, cause it's what I want to create: "... I have listened to a couple of shows, and Lord Litter really loves to find unique, off the beaten track music. Love his show! So happy to be included in the club! It’s a club made up of those who aren’t trying to be in any one else’s club! You get the unique perspective of a very adventurous, and intelligent musical sensibility. Lord Litter plays what he wants, when he wants. That’s a rare good thing."
Everybody should create their unique own *club* - we have to escape this equalising digital avalanche that now dominates the world .. invite me to your *club*, I invite you to mine. This is definitely NOT meant as some arrogant, elitist behaviour, it's about the unique, personal selection that everybody should do in his/her way to become an autonomous, independent person.
I produce radioshows for 3 stations. All a bit different - the one perfect for the EC universe is probably *Lord Litter's Radio On Show*, a wild, free form, daring station. You sure can also always try the fresh forward version on KWTF.net - or you can download them all after broadcast from archive.org.
My last solo release was *Lights Out* from 2016. Compared to the classic days I'm extremely slow these days - also no live activities at the moment.
All of the above just defines my own way into the modern digital world, which became so very many-faced that I think one needs to take a close, analysing look and then find one's own approach. To do what *everybody is doing* is still the wrong way I'm sure of that - but it became so very easy these days - look at all these smart phone junkies.
A perfect way for me to get back to an updated personal, individual level in the digital world is this highly-appreciated return of Electronic Cottage - and this is the reason why I'm here!
Vive La Difference!
read Don Campau's interview with Lord Litter at The Living Archive of Underground Music
Great introduction of yourself! I read about you(and other pioneers in the tape trading game) on Don Campau's website already, but it's nice to hear from the artist self.
Glad you like it! After I've written it I was'nt sure if I've written it for myself or for others .. but then I thought that all this is about an individual approach towards *culture* so I guess its ok and your interest was a *proof* - thanks!
LL! After all these years of looking at that KFR (Kentucky Fried Royalty) logo that appears in your picture above and in SOOOOOOO much literature that I got from you back in the days... I JUST NOW realized that those little circles under the KFR are parts of a cassette tape graphic! Perhaps my perceptions have been skewed just enough by the very recent and dramatic removal of a tooth, that I was able to see this? For me, you are always bringing interesting surprises to light. Keep that beam shining on!
... will sure try to shine on! .. the logo was comming via Stephen Parsons ( http://livingarchive.doncampau.com/lost_and_forgotten/stephen-parsons ) and it sure was part of a cassette tape, because that was what KFR was all about .. I even had a cassette shaped lighter in those days! .. which was leading to funny episodes when I was visting Das Freie Orchester when there still was East Berlin. Very thorough investigations at the border: "This is a lighter?" .. great times...
I had designed the KFR logo with the intention, to give the whole idea a "professional" look, but keep it easy to photocopy. Amusing to see how it got fuzzy by generations of re-copies. This is typical Steven Parsons' style of graphics processing: A tenth generation of pale copies finally done in saturated black. And you have the whole image littered with black stains and white holes.
Many thanks for clarifying this! Quite some aspects from this past are a bit blurry in my mind.
Litter is the most important champion of independent and "non fashion" music in Europe over the last 25 years. It is sad that his own music is overlooked at times because of the massive energy he has put into promoting the work of others. He is often compared to the late, great John Peel but for my money he is every bit as important. He communicates on a personal level, is honest and is a true gentleman. I am proud to have known him all these years.
Many thanks for this!
Hello DC & LL, enjoyed the read :) and totally relate to what you've described above.
Not overlooking His Lordship's talents here! Mister Litter's very own music and 20th Century cassette recording legacy is on display in this Lo Finest Show broadcast from 2011:
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