nope, please calm down and think happy thoughts, think of the things you have produced over the last few years and think of the people around you that care and love you, and all the people who put you in a mess and tried destroying you. evil lurks in all evil minds. it is the way evil madness works. like that guy from the hotel where i stayed at last week in fukuoka, how dare he ask me if i am a football player for the german national team. how dare the old woman from room 246 ask me if i am hollywood actor keanu reeves. help yourself. it is free to telephone anywhere and at anytime, please go ahead and try it out, it might bring happiness to your sorry little life. it might bring you a wife. if not a wife then it might bring you wine. and bring yourself in a good and better shape. try fitness studios, that is a good place to meet women. no no, i must sleep off my unhappiness and get away from people, stay up all nights when everybody else sleeps. well well well. i never was much of a happy thinker. ha! well a few nice things have happened though, like during the last few minutes of my life today, a guy asked me where i am sitting right now in a netcafe in tokyo if i was going to a halloween party, he thought so from the way i am dressed. i get undressed for many good reasons. you see, you see. people want to bring me down. when they should bring me a slice pizza. he was by the way a dangerous man, he had those dark deadly eyes, he had death and madness written all over his face. and looked at me with something very evil in mind. nothing beats a good strong coffee though. i have seen in several films and i have also heard several people, like people i overheard in a cafe or my collegues at work, or even friends of my family, talk about that it is great to smoke a cigarette after having sex with someone, well since i have never smoked cigarettes in my entire life and not yet had sex with anyone, i feel that it is great to have strong italian coffee right after i have just finished pleasing myself, for me it is like a good way to start the day off with, first waking up and putting the coffee machine on and then quickly masterbate(i sometime play a game of challenging the coffee machine in who is more faster) and then as soon as i have finished pleasing myself the coffee is most always ready.

why is it that i see no fat people in japan. maybe fat people stay at home. i wish i could be fat, then i could have an excuse to be left alone in my flat in tokyo. my best friend is a very emotionally disturbed individual but i respect him. a few nights ago when watching the japan vs. germany football match with him together which took place in Yokohama, i asked him "hey kato, tell me something, is soccer popular in japan?". kato: "yes, osaka is a very popular city in japan". another best friend of mine had this problem with communicating with others beside himself, so he started doing cocaine daily. i would say that is a very creative and positive step he made. and he was happy to get to know the world outside of his own. this thing that i write right now, at this very moment, i dedicate it with all my loving heart to my former alcoholic collaborator. a very intense person. that strong intensity i couldnt deal with after a long period of time knowing him. we met up with eachother nearly daily, but i cant deal with his negative and depressing lifestyle anymore. so i use the word former collaborator when i speak of him. nothing personal though. just all make believe. like when jesus walked on the water sometime long ago, something i must have heard about or it could have been that i read about it in one of those fashion magazines. well you know what, my former alcoholic collaborator jumped once into a canal in amsterdam and was fished out by the police and taken to the station, there he was stripped naked, cleaned up and had to stay in a prison cell for the day, now jesus try beating that. it will be hard. i know. as i was there. like when john made the ark. or was it joan of ark. or maybe that german krautrock band "german oak", man what a record, i recommend all readers to buy it right away, best fucking krautrock record ever produced, the newly re-issued digitally re-mastered cd is now possible to get hold of from radioactive records, and it is self-titled. dear reader let me explain you something. this was made under no special circumstances and for no particular reason. so please do keep in mind that this is for those who have a weak heart or a very disturbed mind ONLY. many who have told me that they might have a serious stomach problem and not knowing what to do about it, i tell them that it is all in the mind. the human mind does play tricks on us. also do keep in mind that the mind is only a toy. the devil speaks for himself through us. a total braindamage is not possible to recieve, it is all a trick. stop playing mind gamble with me young man, i eat shit for breakfast. i eat up every last bit and die.

sigtryggur berg sigmarsson
24th of december in the year of 2004, tokyo

The upper corridor, and the lower

Oh God it’s too early, too early to let the soldiers march in the rain
It is too early to let the boats take off, to let the horses stop and rest
It is too early to believe that the front line will do the job,
that the front line will clear the trenches
It is too early to believe that they will forget where they come from,
and focus on the target without any hesitation
That´s the problem
They still have to be encouraged, encouraged

And the King is still there, having the overview from his tent, watching the loading of the boats
While the cameraman in the white suit are being killed and dragged down to the water
soon disappeard under the surface
And the King with his eye seeing everything in the night too
nowhere to hide. Oh God it’s too early!
And the woman in the deep black dress, in the car, driving carefully
without being stopped once

And the police says: Sister, come on! The night is dark and the border
still open, you can make it!
And the car in the night, black, maybe a chance to hide (gone) you can
see the cigarettes glow, nothing more, silent
And the free road, the engine spinning and no one else
As humans we got problems seeing in the dark, but the spotlights of the
car makes that irrelevant
The eyes are calm and the air saturated with oxygen
No more violence, no more violence

The first is not the same as the second and the second is not the same as the third
It´s a difference, it’s a hidden difference
But this is totally forbidden at the fourth level, step, or whatever we can call it
It is totally forbidden cause we are not allowed to change our personal destiny
And that means we can not change our collective destiny
We can not do anything at all, we can not do anything at all

The soldiers who just have cleared the trenches are smoking and talking about the future
About family life and cars and houses and money and kids and TV and mothers and fathers
About birthdays at the lake, at the river, when the sun is going down
And the rain is coming suddenly, the rain
And they have to run
They are laughing, they are relieved, they have to move from the second to the first place

And the mothers, the mothers that gave birth in vain
Such a waste!
And the fathers, the fathers that gave them their hatred
Such a waste!
And the kids, the kids that wanted to go inside
But they could not, it was not possible to go anywhere for them, they could not move,
they could not move at all

Vomits, vomits all over: on the streets, in the corners, on the sidewalk, in the subway
Splashes all over, drops
And the guy in the corridor laying in his own vomits
Searching a lost silver needle
Moving his arms like a dry-swimmer in slow motion
Pasta with tomatoe sauce

And the dogshit, like fresh meat, flesh
And it smells the same
If you are not used to it it smells the same
It is just a bad habit
Linked to a lot of other bad habits in a row
No one cares, no one cares

Coronation in the hallway, in a halo
The crown of pure gold, ancient
Tar dripping
Flowing out over the marble floor
Eyes, faces, eyes

The crowd are in uproar
United States of Europe
Stars; like Gold on Blue
Like in the old bad days
Blood underneath as always, underneath the beds, blood and vomits and excrement and urine
Fear all over, fear as the main factor that keeps it going without any hesitation, as always, yes

Crowns, golden crowns on black
Black crowns on gold, yellow
We are all born to this world
The same, but not at all, not at all
Bleed to death in the garbage room
Coronated. Such a waste!

And the faces in the upper galleries
Agony and fear
But also hate and envy
A person close to God
Everyone near to that one: Close. Quick!

The same old crying
screaming, shouting
in the corridors
There is dirt inside my shirt
And I do not know
What to do with it

My father was a betrayer
The trenches became defenceless
Had to run
Had to hide
You know, no where to go
But inside, inside cover

Trenches in the veins
In the head
In the brain
First World War
But not the last, not the last
Second, third, and then back again, you know

Never ending
In my Mothers body
Back again, back again
One, two, three
Back again, back again

Return of the never wanted
The never welcomed
The never wished
Never ending
In my Mothers body, back again

Oh God it´s too early, too early to let the soldiers march in the rain
It is too early to let the boats take off, to let the horses stop and rest
It is too early to believe that the front line will do the job,
that the front line will clear the trenches
It is too early to believe that they will forget where they come from,
and focus on the target without any hesitation
That’s the problem
They still have to be encouraged, encouraged, encouraged

And the King is still there, having the overview from his tent, watching the loading of the boats
While the cameraman in the white suit are being killed and dragged down to the water
soon disappeard under the surface
And the King with his eye seeing everything in the night too
nowhere to hide. Oh God it’s too early, too early!
And the woman in the deep black dress, in the car, driving carefully without being stopped once

Leif Elggren
december 2004

Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson is a creature of horror mostly to himself. He, coming from Iceland, drinks a lot. His view on life comes out often when he has hit the "vacuum point". The life of Siggy is based on the delicate human balance of life and death on an ever tipping scale towards an inevitable bleak death. He has told me that the weight of space rides on his mind like a 4 headed horse, going different directions, tearing his tied down body apart. "The weight and mass of the space vacuum must be embraced, we have this horror within us, consuming and destroying ourselves every second in time. You cannot run from the vacuum of life." In all this bleakness his music takes a few nods to krautrock, mostly the band Cluster which pulls him onto a lighter plateau of exhilaration where he can be as easy going as "a chimpanzee in a leaf filled tree." However his mind again takes him into the massive terror of space as soon as the music is over, or when the upbeat music loses its hold. "I think the best thing for me when I am totally without friends, losing my Cluster records, or too old to do anything 'right' is to be launched into space by a satellite company or taken away by aliens to infect a corpse-less planet." There is some kind of mad sickness and despair to his sounds that he gets from Wilhelm Aschmertz' studio in Berlin where he practically has been living this past month. Each track has some cold north wind or vacuum cleaner from Promethius recycled death-company sucking in the background. He has gotten a sound which has been equal to the rumblings of his stomach and disintigration of his liver. He slowly promenades these bleak ice blocks into the the ears until you are horrified by what is his stock in trade. "All Icelanders embrace death as a end of a long celebration. I embrace death as a celebration and stick it upsidedown into life." If there is any music that could really make a person want to die, it would be his next release "Evil Madness" which will have a simple chimp or baby controlling a sound generator for the beginning of the cd, and by the end a complete "symphony of extinction". If you are not depressed or horrified by the end of the cd, you have ceased your life function already. It's now time for the rest of the world to hit an audio "vacuum point".

bonnie banks
Brutalsfx San Francisco

I met Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson because of a ship. Thanks to a citation from Ed Pinsent in the Sound Projector, I had assumed that this ship was the abandoned hull of a World War II cruiser that was still beached somewhere along the Nordic coastlines. With Mr. Sigmarsson's connection to Leif Elggren, it seemed possible that the ship in question might have been the one that the Elggren and the Sons of God amplified through "analogue telephony with regard to electromagnetism and its effect on matter."

I was mistaken, as is often the case for my initial interpretations of Sigmarsson's work. Sigmarsson's ship was not a grim, frozen shell that lay dormant in a winter landscape waiting for a couple of aural researchers to unlock its Gnostic mysteries. No. Sigmarsson's ship is a memory from his youth back in Iceland, where I imagine him floating all alone in a small rowboat upon the gentle harbor outside of Reyjkavik... just daydreaming.

Sigmarsson had contacted me to thank me for something I had written about his debut album, Ship. After many ridiculous conversations punctuated with citations of Elvis, the memoirs of drunken festivities under wintry skies, and onomatopoeia messages such as UUUHHHAHAHAHAHAHHHAAUUHHHHRRRMMM!!!!!!!!!, I not only discovered that I was woefully incorrect in my assessment of Ship, but I also became acquainted with the more contemplative (but hardly sensible) facets of this Icelander whose public drunkenness had been the stuff of urban legend.

Sigmarsson may be best known as one of the founding members of Stilluppsteypa, the outfit of Icelandic electronic madness that celebrated a semiotic short-circuitry exacerbated by their legendary thirst for alcohol. Along with fellow Stilluppsteypans Heimir Bjorgulffsson and Helgi Thorsson, Sigtryggur left Iceland in 1997 for the Royal Conservatory at Den Haag in The Netherlands to study sonology. During this time, Stilluppsteypa developed from an crude punk band with absurdist tendencies and into a volatile crucible of mixed metaphor and monochromatism. Stilluppsteypa became a Stockhausen that you could also dance to.
With rupturing rhythms and screaming drones firmly planted as the signature for Stilluppstyepa, I found it hard to believe that Ship (1999) the debut recording from Sigmarsson would be a pinnacle for minimalist subtly and immersive sound. Despite the endorsement from uber-minimalist Bernhard Günter in publishing Ship, I fully expected an electronic rage against the sky from Mr. Sigmarsson. But like I mentioned earlier, Sigmarsson has a way of confounding even his friends.

The delicate shifts of extended chord organ drones and distant metallophone resonance found within his Ship reflect the placid currents of the Gulf Stream lapping at the ancient volcanic rock that situates itself right in the middle of the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Those currents become the foundation to Sigmarsson's daydreams as the midnight sun approaches during the summer months. As to the content of his dreams, Sigmarsson is smart enough to keep those to himself, for such sentimentality could be nauseating. However, what he does provide is context within a shimmering set of harmonic overtones. The personal nature of this music is nevertheless self-evident, making it a rare gem that both teases with the notions of self-expressivity and maintains a profound rendering of formalism.

A Little Lost (2002), Sigmarsson's fourth solo album, opens with a 20 minute reprise of his debut. "My Treasure Ship" revisits the sustained, radiant tones of his electronically treated organ, resembling the eternal sonorities found in the best work from Charlemagne Palestine. Here as is often the case for his work in Stilluppsteypa, Sigmarsson can't leave this gaping minimalism alone, as a smoldering static lies just underneath the surface and digital jump-cuts quietly riddle the interlaced delicacies of those saddened organ drones. The following composition "The Day Microphones Came To Life..." is a magnificent opus, culled from a live performance in Rotterdam. Again, those maritime organ drones introduce his work, but Sigmarsson offers numerous transitions and detours out of the once minimalist twinkling of sound. Sigmarsson organizes sound in a convoluted narrative through the contextualization of electro-acoustic phrasings that bristle with radioactivity. In taking the track's title literally, these repeated crackles and electric buzzings appear as a mimesis of the formation of an ur-language, which in fact coalesces into actual syllabic utterances in German. Before Sigmarsson completes a Hafler Trio like allegory on the techgnostic principles of sound and language, he gradually turns up the volume, density, speed, and complexity culminatating with a magnificent piece of electro-bombast. After rapid fire juxtapositions of digitally constructed Metal riffs, gabba-glitch parataxis, and the babble of Jaap Blonk-esque sound poetry, Sigmarsson concludes this piece's semiotic disintegration with a semi-parodic big finish of apocalyptic techno.

Given the improbability to differentiate between Sigmarrson's flights of fancy and his artful administration of cranky Dadaist obtusion, A Little Lost -- like the bulk of his work -- would never claim to hold a profound epistemology. Rather, Sigmarsson unhinges meaning in a compelling spectacle of semantic dispersion, self-effacing contradiction, and phenomenological tension.

Jim Haynes
december 2004