Friday, October 9, 2009

Ursonate

Dadaist poet Kurt Schwitters accomplished much during his lifetime. He was a visual artist, poet, and visionary. Kurt is probably best remembered for publishing a periodical called Merz (today this would be called a zine or a blog.) Schwitters also invented the concept of installation art, starting a conceptual piece/space called Merzbau (the inspiration for the Japanese noise artist Merzbow.) But the focus of this post is his role as the very first freestyle rapper. Schwitters could often be found in the cafes of Berlin, spitting dope lyrics that may have sounded like a barrage of nonsense words and sounds to the brutish, uncultured ear. These "poems" were part of a larger body of work called The Ursonate. Over a period of ten years Schwitters painstakingly worked and reworked The Ursonate into a finalized version. Whinemeal, The Nazis came along and made Berlin a decidedly unfun place to live, and make weird art, so Schwitters hightailed it to Norway. It was there that he was able to make some recordings of The Ursonate for future generations to listen to and scratch their heads at.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the soundtrack to my psychosis.

gamefaced said...

interesting. thnks for this.

ido said...

Bad ass.

Ryan said...

I could see Ultra Eczema releasing this

socialism and/or barbarism said...

Fantastic. Aesop, do you know the Sub Rosa series, An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music? Some of it rather esoteric and boring, but largely a goldmine, particularly. (It's pretty sprawling, but if you're interested and don't have this, I could make you some copies.)

robert said...

Thanks for this. I love the shift from King Diamond to Dada. Always has been one of my favorite sites....

said...

Dadaist poet Kurt Schwitters,"the first freestyle rapper...spitt'n dope lyrics..soun'n lika b'rrage a nonsens sounz...2 da bruttish, uncult'rd ear" I'm diggin' your rappin' & dl'ing his. Thanks A

William said...

Oh my god I have not heard this in over 10 years! I used to make fucked up tape mixes to listen to while messed up on robotussin. I had this guy on one, from some weird radio program on KFAI in Minneapolis.

Baywatch said...

i concure with robert. many thx.

Anonymous said...

Jaap Blonk, an abstract vocalist re-recorded the ursonate in 2003, with an interesting personal touch.


Altough im a huge fan of kurt schwitters, and grateful for all of his contributions to art and culture even to this day, I'd suggest to have a little listen to Jaap's version as well. It is absolutely amazing and performs the ursonate quite fast (He does it in 10 minutes less, astounding)

Anonymous said...

If anyone IS interested in Jaap Blonk's other work, he made an insane recording together with Dylan Nyoukis
called 'dubbeltwee'. It features some beautifully weird and mood-setting dutch monologues (if you understand dutch). Pure 'waanzin'.

Dylan Nyoukis & Jaap Blonk - Dubbeltwee