Have you heard Wolfgang Tillmans’ house record?
The five-track record includes work from the 1980s and a track sampling his favourite printing press!
Despite the occasional checked shirt, no one would mistake Wolfgang Tillmans for a country and western fan. The 47 year-old German Turner Prize winner began his career photographing dancers in nightclubs; one of his earliest fine-art photography series, Chemistry Squares, took its name from a short-lived London house and techno night. And more recently he has exhibited a series of works at Berlin’s Panorama bar, provided the cover image for the 2015 German dance music compilation, Ostgut Ton Zehn, and installed a fine-art style playback room in his Between Bridges gallery in Berlin, inviting visitors to listen and reflect on the work of the great Eighties electronica act Colourbox with a degree of reverence usually reserved for the visual arts.
So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Tillmans has just released a house single. However, what is surprising about the five-track 12” release, 2016 / 1986, is that it includes some recordings he made as a teenager in 1986 with collaborator, Bert Lessmann: Fascinating This Time, Stranger, Time Flows All Over. The release also has two songs Tillmans recorded last year: Make It Up As You Go Along and Triangle / Gong / What.
Tillmans says, of the early pieces, his favourite is Time Flows All Over. But, ardent fans of the photographer (and obsessives like us) might want to pay close attention to one of the newer tracks, since Make It Up As You Go Along includes sampled sounds of a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL printing press, which the photographer has used in the past to produce his abstract works and fine-art books.
You can listen to Tillmans’ new track and watch the printing press in action, in the video, above. Meanwhile, for greater insight into Tillmans’ work, from night clubs to galleries, order our Wolfgang Tillmans book.