The Surreal Funfair’s influence comes from 70s Electronics, Legendary Pink Dots, Coil, Residents.
Born 1970, I had a couple months of organ lessons in the early 80s – until I found out reproducing German folk music is not my cup of tea. I’ve been to impatient to learn properly and still can’t read notes nowadays. I finally started making music in the mid-80s when I first came across bands like Skinny Puppy and Joy Division.
I met some guy with a fairly good collection of instruments (for a teenager) and we recorded a number of instrumental tapes. The band’s name was ‚Reverse‘. The other guy was rather interested in Hardrock, so we stopped at some point. I was introduced to the Synth-Pop band ‚Venice‘ and they were looking for a keyboard player. I joined them and a little later we ended up as a duo and changed the name to ‚Voltage Control‘. That was about 1988. After 2 demo-tapes we split.
Equipped with a Mattel Synsonics Drums, a Korg MS-10, an e-guitar and the leftover organ I tried to record tracks by playing everything simultaneously, which resulted in a tape filled with long and boring songs.
I got myself a 4-track-cassette recorder, a Korg Poly61, a Casio CZ101 and a ‚Drumatix‘ Roland TR606 and later on a TR505. I recorded countless tapes. I still have boxes of old 4-track tapes blocking space in my flat.
My first DIY release was the tape ‚Escape from the City of the Llava-Hounds‘ in 1992, followed by more than 20 tapes (and later on CDRs):
-escape from the city of the llava-hounds
-spastic actor in a dead man’s dream
-9 + 10
-spiders in a crock
-catching flies with my eyelids
-the fishes breathe the rain
After the tape ‚Dolphins‘ in 1994 i got myself an 8-track-cassette recorder and later 2 (quite boring) workstations. I changed my project name from my nick ‚Sick‘ into ‚Surreal Funfair‘ and released a couple more CDRs:
-the surreal funfair
-the final show
After the recording of ‚The Surreal Funfair‘ my 8-track recorder broke and I used my computer as a multitrack recorder. With all the virtual synths and effects you have access to, your options are almost unlimited. That had a bad effect on me. All that options overload makes it impossible for me to decide what to do/add to/keep for a track. So I ended up finishing only about 1 song per year.
In 2003 I experienced a short time of playing live quite a lot with my band ‚Chromatron‘. We released a CDR (‚Auf Dem Stand Der Letzten Dinge‘) and a 7″EP (s/t). Surreal Funfair gigs are quite rare – and after each one I promise myself never to play live again.
The latest releases are a split/live tape with Ragnar (from Liquidated Error) as ‚Surreal Error‘ on ‚Aufnahme Und Wiedergabe‘ label. We performed an improvisational gig in Berlin, also recorded a session we did at home and added a LE and a SF track (‚Confirmed‘ by LE and ‚Mr.Sandman‘ by SF) for the release.
By the time of writing this the tape is still in the pipeline, but should surface, soon.
I also just released a best of, along with 2 new tracks on vinyl on ‚No Emb Blanc‘ label. The record’s name is ‚Navigation Lost‘.