Wrong Places

Lok Musik lok 021-cd
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Introducing..... Noël
by Rike Schuberty (Contriva)
Noël came to Eastberlin sometime in the early 90s. I remember to have met him for the first time at a birthday party of a mutual friend. Shortly after he joined "Mina Drugstore", which became the band Mina later, as a drummer. It was a neigbourhood band, playing live at backyard parties in Berlin-Mitte. Masha Qrella still played saxophone and the band had a beautiful, orange Robur as a tourbus which unfortunately hasn't taken them further than Mecklenburg, just outside of Berlin.
Every once in a while, Noël used to sing along to his own songs already. Most of the time, he did so on his own, thinking noone would hear him. In 1998 he went to Paris as part of his studies of history. But he didn't speak French and consequently he has rarely been seen at Sorbonne university. Instead he called me in Berlin and invited me for a visit. On that occasion he also asked me to bring a guitar and a four track recorder. The following months he spent recording his songs to tapes he then sent to Berlin as a kind of diary. Pretty nice stuff, sounding like early Beatles demos sung in harmony.
Anyway, those early Noël tapes made the rounds among friends for a while. At this early stage, Jens Alder, who released our first Contriva album on his Lok-Musik imprint at that time, expressed serious interest in Noël's music already. But nothing happened for a few years apart from Noël finishing his studies with an MA. His inability to finish an album became some sort of running gag: "Hey Noël, 'I thought you wanted to release your record in the century of The Beatles?" (Norman Nietzsche [nmfarner/mina])
But in the last year, he finally got his act together somehow. To a huge extent, this is due to the help of Sören Schrader who plays the vibraphone in Gaston. Knowing how to play even more instruments, Sören arranged and recorded the songs with Noël. Furthermore, the girls and boys from Contriva, for whom Noël played the drums last year, contributed bits and pieces here and there.
A while ago, Noël and Sören played their songs live to a crowd at a friends' party. I remember Erlend Oye being there as well. He was particularly into the song "Marvin Greselda Reads" and he suggested Noël and Sören should name their band "Echoes of Alaska". But this never happended...
After all, the record which is called "Wrong Places" is finished. Finally, Noël lets his baby go and he does so reluctantly. I am pretty moved listening to these songs ,of which I've known some for a very long time already, pressed to vinyl. With all of my heart I wish Noël and his music nothing but the best.

Noël: Wrong Places

At The Fair Noël 2'54''
Love Surrender Noël 4'05''
Marvin Greselda Reads Noël 3'53''
Jackie Brown Noël 4'50''
Beggar And Thief Noël 3'13''
Safari Noël 2'41''
Rahel Says Noël 3'52''
Wrong Places Noël 4'29''
When The Hangmen Play Chess Noël 3'43''
Motel Love Noël 3'05''
Blyton Noël 3'50''

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