Mikka Blank – Dogon Dip Tank

Photo by Florian Waitzbauer, Artwork by me

Well, so it’s my first proper release – some weeks ago anyway, but still …  under my own name – a nickname coming into existence when i started to write about music at www.wellbuilt.net – a precursor for the magazines The Gap and TBA, for both i contributed later too. Anyway,with Dogon Dip Tank i tried to express that i tend to see music always in context. And that context not only being other music but the artists influences, likes, dislikes, etc – be it movies, literature, science, whatever. The title derives from an eye-opening article in an old issue of National Geographic that contemplated an interesting issue within the archaeoloic community. In the 1930ies several missions to the Dogon people in Mali claimed that they have found proof that these people have extremely advanced astronomical knowledge, including being able to locate stars invisible to to the naked eye, such as the companions of Sirius, the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter. Reading this at the age of 13 it gave me the creeps – at this time i so much wanted to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life and that there would be proof of it somewhere, not only in the writings of Erich von Däniken. Teenage escapism at it’s best. But coming back to the Dogon, who else but a party of ancient astronauts from another planet could have told the Dogon about those things? And finally, in the early 90ies, interest for the Dogon amongst scientists rose again, maybe just to silence all those half-baked theories about them and their assumed contact with beings from outer space. And as it turned out, the missions from the 1930ies used suggestive questioning and the Dogon couldn’t really find anything in the dark of night. I was disappointed, of course. Science has somehow always been an ersatz-religion to me, with my parents’ catholizism being way to pompous for my taste. But, same as priests,  scientists are human, obviously. They have to feed their families, pay the rent and other things. So who is to blame if a scientist makes something up, something of a sensational nature in order to gain interest, a better job, better pay? Even if his findings are disproved – hey, at least he or she got some publicity. As of this moment, i finally choose to being a little bit more critical on information served. The Dogon still are a highly interesting ethnic group and due to the nature of how life sprang into existence on earth, we really are all made out stars, anyway. Pardon my truism, thank you But the context of this track reaches a bit further – being a fan of 23 Skidoo i always loved their way of integrating traditional african music in their work – usually i could never really get into the tempo, harmonies and instruments of africa, but when it has been tuned for my taste – like with 23 Skidoos’ or some of Bill Laswells’ work – i absolutely loved it. So the track is basically a hommage to 23 Skidoo, although it maybe cannot be heard to a full extent. I just let myself be inspired by their work contrary to just copying or sampling from them. So you have a rumbling, semi-disco-beat, processed guitars and a lot of effectsy clonks thrown in. Maybe i also just wanted to express that we are living on a planet where we have the possibility of space travel next to tribes roaming the rain forest, stone-age-style. Call it a truism again, i find it fascinating.

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