The Breath of the Hydra


A three way collaboration between the Germany based THE OVAL LANGUAGE, the Catalan TIBETAN RED and DAS SYNTHETISCHE MISCHGEWEBE living in Rennes, France. In an on and off exchange since end of 2016, a continuous exchange of audio material, ideas and suggestions. Salvador Francesch and Guido Hübner meet again after long years at

the occasion of a concert of the latter one at the LEM festival in Barcelona. Since then working together became evident as was the choice of including Klaus-Peter John with whom several collaborations had already seen the light of day through the years, most notably the homage to the late Carlfriedrich Claus ‘sprechzimmern’ with RLW as well as a 2x CD collection of collaborations on the notorious Monochrome Vison label in Moscow.
The association of their different sound worlds and even more specifically their extremely particular fashions of creating them was meant to merge and melt in a whole able to blur clear distinctions with only an occasional sneaking out of a head and a hissing tongue amongst many that takes the scent and direction respectively in the brooding heat that forges shape and carves direction.

TIBETAN RED Salvador Francesch is a catalan-canadian painter, sculptor and sound explorer who lives in La Garrotxa, Girona. He has released 5 CDs in his Tibetan Red project. His work pursues experimentation with sounds that seek to convey some aspects of his interest in Eastern rituals and ceremonial art.

THE OVAL LANGUAGE Klaus-Peter John is from Leipzig, the project started as a trio in the early 80’s working to turn into his solo project with sound, noise works in open spaces, photography, installations and land-art informed projects in which mainly the voice is put center stage.

DAS SYNTHETISCHE MISCHGEWEBE started in the early 80’s in Berlin with cassette production and performative concerts, exhibitions and installations to which a D.I.Y. approach of a lot of customized equipment became inherent accompanying an interest in several areas of science and technology. Moved to Barcelona then France, producing many recordings and performance works.

ACU 1029

factory-pressed CD in Digipack

Released in 2021

limited to 300 copies

price: 13.00 EUR (excl. postage)

Also available here:



Das Werk von Guido Hübner verfolgen wir immer mit Interesse. Fortdauernd fasziniert uns die Musikalität, die Das Synthetsiche Mischgewebe Alltagsgegenständen wie Eierkochern, Mixern, Metallstäben und Drähten aller Art immer wieder entlocken können. In der kollaborativen Arbeit mit Tibetan Red (inzwischen ist Victor Nubla ja leider verstorben) und The Oval Language fügt sich das geräuschhafte Agieren in eine große Form, in langgestreckte Klangflächen von ambienter Natur. Das ist die dominierende Bewegung auf The Breath Of The Hydra – eine große schwebende Woge, ein langsames Ausströhmen von Sound. Darin erscheinen knisternde Sounds, entlegene Stimmen und polternde Noises als Klangereignisse in einem unbeirrbaren Strom. Es entstehen sogar überraschende Harmonien, wie mir scheint. Eine erdige, sehr dichte Platte.



It’s been a while since I heard a record by Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, notwithstanding the recent arrival of the cassette Nisip Noaptea in which he had a hand – yet for a few years we were positively beset with DSM records and related projects, often finding them very challenging listens, and even after publishing an interview with main man Guido Huebner in TSP 22, I wasn’t much wiser. Today however we have an unusual release called The Breath Of The Hydra (ATTENUATION CIRCUIT ACU 1029).

Released on the excellent German label Attenuation Circuit, it’s a rare collaborative effort with Tibetan Red, who is the singular Catalan creator Salvador Francesch (a fellow who was instrumental in securing for us the interview with Victor Nubla, a man now sadly passed). Also joining the party is The Oval Language, who is Klaus-Peter John from Leipzig. From the notes here, I get the impression that Guido and Salvador have a connection dating back to 2016 if not earlier, and have been exchanging epistles (and probably sound files too) during these years. This particular record may have come about after a face-to-face meeting at the LEM Festival in Barcelona. Beyond that, I’m fairly clueless as to how the record got made, and am baffled as to what might be going down on the grooves of this hour-long (59:10) platter.

Broadly, DSM and Tibetan Red could be characterised as electroacoustic composers, though both have followed their own pathways and have taken themselves to pretty extreme places. Tibetan Red has a deep spiritual component to his work that can’t be separated from his sound, and sometimes he makes explicit his interest in rites and ceremonies from religions around the world. He can arrive at very serene, minimal drones, all extraneous materials filtered out; even his use of field recordings is spare and lean. DSM, conversely, is all about performance with physical objects and the unusual sounds they make – at least, I think that’s the case. He too can arrive at very minimal sounds, but the sources are obscured, muffled and disguised, to create events that are so perplexing that to listen to an hour-long CD is like undergoing some form of mental experiment. He has made a very large number of records, Tibetan Red only 5 or 6 in his whole career. As to The Oval Language, I only heard them once on Tapes Singles and Remixes from Monochrome Vision, but they too have collaborated with DSM, and are likewise interested in mysterious aural puzzles.

None of this background info however has quite prepared me for the disconnected jumble we hear on The Breath Of The Hydra. At one level, we can just about hear some signature sounds emerging which allows us to identify individual creators, but on another level the combined effect of the three has – amazingly – produced something quite new, which I assume was the desired result (and hence the title, referring to that many-headed serpent monster from Greek mythology). Restless, surprising, absurd, sometimes even a little violent; the whole work is a series of strange episodes, strung together with a logic which we cannot possibly fathom, a collage where the joins are not visible and a coded message where we cannot decipher the original text. Given that all three are presumably quite strong personalities, and that they certainly have their own hard-won and cherished personal method of working which might be quite far from the approaches of the other two, then this record amounts to something of a heroic feat of endeavour. This isn’t to say it’s especially accessible or easy to listen to, but once you can get past the very extreme abstraction, you are very likely to find a lot of exciting events, textures, and dynamics in this seething cauldron of sound.



Hodinová porce prekvapivé souhry trí experimentálne elektronických projektu.

Hlavním impulzem k napsání této recenze bylo mé pražské setkání s nemeckou manželskou dvojicí Katji a Petera Johnových, cleny projektu The Oval Language. Vypráveli jsme si o hudbe, nových deskách a hlavne o jejich nejnovejším pocinu. Koreny jejich zvukového experimentování sahají do poloviny osmdesátých let, ale nahrávky zacal John aktivne vydávat až od roku 2000. Dlouhodobá symbióza s projektem Das Synthetische Mischgewebe Guida Hübnera je znát na první pohled. Zacátky jejich dlouholetého prátelství sahají jeste pred pád Berlínské zdi, kdy si spolecne vymenovali audiokazety s experimentální hudbou. Ta byla v té dobe velmi težko k sehnaní a je prirozene zajímalo, co se tvorí na druhé strane železné opony. Pozdeji se zacali setkávat na stejných pódiích, až zacali spolecne i hrát. Pripomenme napríklad jejich desku Sprechzimmern z roku 2015, na níž úcinkoval i Ralf Wehowsky (vyšlo na Scrotum Records).

Nyní se ale tandem rozhodl spolecné nahrávání obohatit navíc o úcast též po léta sprízneného Salvadora Francesche, Kanadana katalánského puvodu tvorícím pod jménem Tibetan Red. Jím si byl Hübner jist, že i když jsou hudebne i technicky velmi odlišní, muže od neho ocekávat širokou zvukovou paletu, která bude ve výsledku výborne korespondovat s vokály Peter Johna. Smysl spolupráce tu nikdo nevidel v jakémkoli souperení, kdo bude obsahove nebo jinak dominovat, ale predevším ve výsledku odlišném od sólové tvorby každého z aktéru.

Jejich album The Breath of the Hydra je zámerne komponované jako jediný hodinový kus. Guido (DSM), který dodal celé “Hydre” smer, mix a zároven toto nekolikahlavé uskupení stvoril, mi prozradil, že hlavním duvodem pro takovou formu bylo, aby posluchaci nepreskakovali po cástech, ale vyslechli si opravdu celou kompozici. Osobne bych chtel zejména vyzdvihnout dva momenty: temný úvodní part do momentu, než se rozezní vysoké chrastivé tóny, a taktéž záverecnou cást po ctyricáté minute. V ní se strojová rytmická pulzace a ze stran pricházející dýchání prolnou s plíživým temným dronem, jenž se svým rustem prinese též hlasy volající zdaleka i kricící zblízka. Tato cást pak graduje až do velkého finále. Celý materiál je brilantne smíchaný, až pusobí jako príbeh o nekolika kapitolách. Výsledná hodina je skvele kompaktní.

The Breath of the Hydra vnímám jako kreativní a vyspelé experimentální dílo, na nemz se prirozene a s lehkostí prechází mezi drony, field recordings a ambientem. Po celou hodinu tu lze objevovat stále nové a nové rozlicne barevné zvukové krajiny.



German Attenuation Circuit label run by Sascha aka EMERGE, has released a new album in which three sound artists of electronic experimental music collaborate: German artist The Oval Language, Catalan Tibetan Red and Das Synthetische Mischgewebe who lives in Rennes, France.
"The Breath of the Hydra" is the result of exchanging audio files since the end of 2016.
Salvador Francesch is a Catalan-Canadian painter, sculptor and sound explorer who lives in La Garrotxa, Girona. He has published five CD's with his Tibetan Red project.
Klaus-Peter John aka The Oval Language is from Leipzig and works in noise, open space, photography, installations and informed land-art projects where the voice takes center stage. Guido Hübner aka Das Synthetische Mischgewebe started in the early 80's in Berlin with the production of cassettes and performance concerts, exhibitions and installations.
This album consists of a single track of almost 52 minutes long which unfurls two faces. One, the sound is almost imperceptible and silence plays a relevant role. In the other, drones and noises are the background of a proposal with a strong organic character and consequently, gasping and buried voices are barely heard and spit out an indecipherable language. The clicks near the middle of the track look like whips that are followed by screams which are in the distance. All this takes place in a dark ambience that well represents the history of the Hydra.



Voor het bij Attenuation Circuit verschenen ‘The Breath of the Hydra’ bundelden Tibetan Red, het alias van Salvador Francesch, The Oval Language, het project van Klaus-Peter John en Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, tegenwoordig het soloproject van Guido Hübner hun krachten. Francesch en Hübner kennen elkaar al langer, iets dat ook geldt voor Hübner en John, maar met z’n drieëen maakten ze niet eerder een album. Sinds 2016 werkten ze aan dit project dat onlangs, met bijna een uur aan muziek, het licht zag.

De drie zijn zeker geen debutanten. Salvador Francesch is een beeldend kunstenaar en geluidskunstenaar uit Calalonië, momenteel woonachtig in La Garrotxa, Girona. Met Tibetan Red bracht hij inmiddels vijf albums uit, waaruit zijn belangstelling blijkt voor oosterse rituelen en ceremoniële kunst. Klaus-Peter John komt uit Leipzig en begon met The Oval Language in de begin jaren ’80. Was het toen nog een trio, op dit moment werkt John solo en net als Francesch overigens ook als beeldend kunstenaar. Das Synthetsiche Mischgewebe gaat ook terug naar begin jaren ’80 en ontstond in Berlijn. Via Barcelona kwam Hübner uiteindelijk in Rennes terecht waar hij nog steeds woonachtig is en naast uitvoerend musicus werkzaam is als producent.

Die ervaring betaalt zich uit in een bijzonder geluidskunstwerk. Het geknetter van het vuur dat de hoes siert, daar begint het album mee. Spannende noise klanken, zorgvuldig geconstrueerd. En het gaat er allemaal zeer subtiel aan toe, wat het beluisteren van dit stuk met een hoofdtelefoon eigenlijk noodzakelijk maakt. Die subtiliteit en de zorgvuldige wijze waarop de geluiden hier worden gedoseerd zorgen beiden voor een bijna ondragelijke spanning, rechtdoend aan die Hydra, de mythische, meerkoppige slang uit de Griekse mythologie. Gaandeweg loopt de spanning op, goed verklankt middels aardse, duistere klanken. En dan horen we de strijd tussen Hercules en dit monster, de kreten waar dit mee gepaard gaat, al doet het soms ook wel wat denken aan een werkplaats, een smidse in de onderwereld. Bijvoorbeeld die van Loge in Richard Wagners ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’, waar Siegfried, de Duitse Hercules opgroeide.



This is a three-way collaboration between old friends. Klaus Peter-John, the man behind The Oval Language and Guido Hübner, Das Synthestische Mischgewebe, have an ongoing collaboration for many years; I think I saw them in concert in the late 90s. There was also a double CD by them for Monochrome Vision; not sure if that was reviewed here. Hübner and Salvador Francesch, also known as Tibetan Red, met years ago and recently again, and then decided t work on a collaboration. The great thing is that the cover doesn't give any clues as to who did the final mix; if at all one was responsible for that. The voices we hear, both processed and unprocessed, are courtesy of John, as he's known for that in his work. Whatever else is going is not as easy to trace to individual contributions. Some of the more drone-based, processed field recordings, I would think are by Tibetan Red, which, again so I assume, means that the more collage-like approach to the sound material is by Hübner. The final sixteen or so minutes would be exemplary of this collaboration; the voice of Peter processed Francesch style and slowly getting chopped up, Hübner area of expertise. All of this with the usual disclaimer: I might be all wrong. Another approach could have been that there are various sections here and that each worked on a section, which was later, stuck together into this one-hour long piece of music. The section that starts around ten minutes would be a perfect Hübner concept: cutting in and out sounds, processed voices, and drones/feedback to provide a backbone. All three composers here share a love for the methods of musique concrète; cutting and pasting with sound to tell a story and that is what they do best here. Regardless of who did what, they go for the result and that is something that is a top product. They work their way through all the material at a careful pace, not fast, not slow. There is very little that overstays its welcome or feels rushed. There is some great flair used in creating this music and altogether a great collaboration, free of ego! (FdW)



The Breath of the Hydra (ACU 1029), da weißt man ja, es sind drei Köpfe. So auch hier: TIBETAN RED + THE OVAL LANGUAGE + DAS SYNTHETISCHE MISCHGEWEBE. Ersterer, Salvador Francesch in La Garrotxa in den katalonischen Pyrenäen, hat dem mit Todo entretenimiento es una anticipación del infierno auch das Motto vorangestellt. Der Dichter José Bergamin soll das gesagt haben, als Vorstand der Alianza de Intelectuales Antifascistas der kulturelle Kopf der Spanischen Republik, der Picasso den Auftrag zu "Guernica" gegeben hat. Francesch teilt mit Bergamins Rechtfertigung des 'Roten Terrors' allemal die Vorliebe für Rot und offenbar auch die Vorfreude auf die Hölle. Blödsinn, natürlich die Abneigung gegen Amusement. Er ist mit seinem Debut 1985 auf Freedom in a Vacuum nicht ganz so lange dabei wie Guido Hübner, der ab 1981 sich der Cassette- & Soundculture einschrieb. Bei "Sprechzimmern" (2015), einer Hommage an den konkreten Lautpoeten Carlfriedrich Claus, und zehn Jahre zuvor bei 'Papillon Schizophone' war er dabei auch schon mit Peter John zusammengekommen. Der Leipziger, der in den 80ern als Sänger bei Neu Rot (!) anfing, hat sich nach "Hibernation" & "Waldkonzerte" auf Edition Telemark zuletzt mit "Hexen Hexer" gegen Denunziation und Hexenjagden positioniert, auch wenn heute dabei, anders als im Spanischen Bürgerkrieg und beim Hydraschlachten, seltener Blut fließt. Ich kann mir eine 'Melancholie des Widerstands', wie sie Hübner von László Krasznahorkai aufgegriffen hat, als das Verbindende zwischen den dreien vorstellen bei ihrem alchemistischen Procedere mit brodeligem Köcheln und Sieden, das einher geht mit kratzigen und schleifenden Impulsen und hohleren, quasi perkussiven Anmutungen, die das überwölben. Dazu vexieren zirpige, halbwegs natürliche Klänge mit einem leisen, hauchzarten 'Schreiben' mit metallischem Griffel, über das motorische, zischende, sirrend oszillierende Attacken hinweggehen und einen industrialen Dominator installieren, der impulsiv oder gedämpft rumort und infernalische Stimmen nur ahnen lässt. Der Griffel schreibt weiter in einer opaken Nichtstille und hat dabei etwas von einem Keuchen oder Röcheln an sich. Martialische Wellen mischen das auf, und zischende Ventile machen das zu einem Tauchgang in die Schinderwerkstätten der Schlotbarone. Trappeliges Toben, abgerissene Kürzel und tatsächlich der Kehle entrissene Laute verunklaren dabei die Differenz von Mensch-Maschine, Organisch-Anorganisch, Außen-Innen, Hart-Weich, Makro-Mikro. Immer wieder leise als bruitistische Audiographie aus winzigen, halb wie gehauchten Krakeln vor einer nun dröhnend bebenden Klangwand. Wenn nur das Schreien nicht wäre, das infernalische, kaum zu hören, aber doch nicht zu leugnen. Ganz in der Nähe - Folterkeller, Höllen. Die satanischen Mühlen mahlen als zerrende Tonbandspuren, weiß der Teufel, was sich hinter verschlossenen Türen alles abspielt. Scharrt da wer an Metall? Was sind das für unheimliche Heimlichkeiten?

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