Do The Boats Dream Of Electric Fritz Pfleumer?

by The Boats

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Do The Boats Dream Of Electric Fritz Pfleumer?

We were asked to make an album for the Slaapwel label/project. The concept is to create “music that soundtracks the thin border between being asleep and lying awake”. This was a bigger challenge than expected. Our first attempts didn’t really achieve the results we wanted and were a little too exciting to induce slumber. A new method of looking at this project was needed and it took us a little time to curate the ideas to form a working method.

The most private moments in everyone’s existence are their dreams, as there is no one else who witnesses these experiences. This led us to talk about the function of dreams and the many theories that exist attempting to explain them. One such theory is that dreams act as a way for the brain to discard or use up ideas that were not fully formed in waking life, so that the brain space can be used up the next day for new ideas. It was our aim to convey this theory within music.

Cassette tape loops have been a big part of our solo works, (The Humble Bee and Tape Loop Orchestra) and new ways to create loops is a regular discussion topic between the two of us. Both of us had been playing around with looping cassette tape through multiple recorders to create a rudimentry tape delay unit. Alongside these experiments, we would also remove the erase heads on cassette recorders, the result of which is that you can record sound on sound, each layer pushes the previous one back so it becomes fainter until it disappears. The combination of these two methods seemed to fit the sound we were reaching for with this piece.

As a side note the album would not have been possible without Fritz Pfleumer who invented the process of attaching iron oxide powder to paper thus creating the first magnetic tape! At the time of recording, we were unaware the synth pallet used was similar to that of Greek hero Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou but feel it is valid and hence the title.

Thanks to Wim Maesschalck for the invite to contribute to this wonderful series.


released December 11, 2011

Recorded Live 29/12/2010 Prestwich
Edited 30/12/2010 Burnley

The Boats Electronics, Acoustics, Tapes and Effects


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Slaapwel Records Belgium

Slaapwel Records is a small record label specialized in music to fall asleep to.

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Track Name: Do The Boats Dream Of Electric Fritz Pfleumer?
This is for those who lay awake at night.

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