Tim Linghaus

About B. by Tim Linghaus by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Blake Parker

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About B. by Tim Linghaus is a captivating collection of reprises, fleeting ideas, and musings which accumulated during the recording of Linghaus’ most recent album memory Sketches, (which piano and coffee had the pleasure of reviewing upon its release in April of last year). Now, on January 18th, Linghaus has presented this unique smattering of tracks, none longer than three minutes and 37 seconds and many at or under the one minute mark, as a culmination of “B-sides” from the previous album.

The album is playful in its arrangement, leading with two tracks roughly 30 seconds long that paint brief but vivid images spurred by their evocative titles. Almost all of these songs sit on a full-bellied bed of electronic fluttering and arpeggiated trills, giving the music an otherworldly feel. As listeners sink their teeth into the later and longer tracks, acoustic instruments become present, primarily including Linghaus’ piano melodies, but also accented with cello by Jean-Marie Bø and Sebastian Selke, and later with saxophone by Leon Sebastian Haecker and violin also by Jean-Marie Bø. These instruments ground the listener in what would otherwise be a syrupy dreamscape with little if any auditory landmarks to track one’s progress throughout, beautiful in its own merit. Linghaus, however, gives distinct impressions with these acoustic points just like a photograph finds focus in a singular field of view while the rest of the image fades in blur.

And this album is very much like leafing through a box of old photographs, unearthed perhaps accidentally, but entirely irresistible to keep from diving into. Former piano and coffee reviews of Linghaus harp on the intense visual imagery he creates in his music – a feat at once perplexing and entirely central to the potency of his musical abilities. It is without any apology that the album About B. utilizes this very effect in the style of flipping through photo after photo, and briefly yet wholly reliving the distinct emotional atmosphere that surrounded and imbued that past. The titles of the tracks themselves could just as easily be written on the space at the bottom of a polaroid: “Crossing Bornholmer,” “Snow at Franz – Mehring – Platz,” “Empty House,” “Chased By Two Idiots,” etcetera.

Also greatly akin to self-recorded visual memory like family photo albums, these tracks are often dappled with abstract yet familiar background noise. The rustling of papers, the creaking of wood, movement as if from the next room over. These give off an attractive feeling of wear-and-tear to the songs that physical keepsakes often accumulate, making the analogy between track and photograph even clearer.

Linghaus has breathed life wonderfully into songs that in other circumstances often never see the light of day. About B. is a testament to the value of what is personal, and what can inspire memories of what is personal in others. Whether or not you choose to dig up your own set of nostalgia while listening to this album, expect the same feeling to result. One of drifting, sweetly reminiscing, and wandering from the ‘now’ slowly backward into the ‘what was.’



Memory Sketches by Tim Linghaus by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Björk Óskarsdóttir


Tim Linghaus offers a rare peek at someone's private memories. As a whole, well-rounded artwork, Linghaus achieves well his aim of painting aural images of his past, the way he lived it.

Memory Sketches was released on March 30 on Schole Records and 1631 Recordings. It is the composer's first album since his EP, Vhoir, released in 2016 on Moderna Records. Tim Linghaus has been very vocal about the concept behind the album. Such detailed descriptions might be more common for visual arts exhibitions, but in this case, it's the listener who does receive a lot of information on this project. One can't help but notice how the concept is immensely important to the composer – understandably.

The tracks' titles are generally as straight-forward as the title of the album itself – there is not much ambiguity in the music's presentation. The album is divided into four chapters: disappear, before, icarius and regret, which brings out a narrative.

Growing up in East-Germany during the 1980's, Linghaus puts some specific memories into tones, but rather than pushing fragments into simple categories of unsubtle or too “literal” moods, he allows the listener to take the position of an observer. The images spring to mind naturally, we are taken along the revisit of events without being forced to a conclusion on what to make of them. Nonetheless, it's clear that we are presented with crossroads, historical oddities, death and other unavoidable subjects of human life.

The combination of instruments is one known to the genre, but the impression is that Linghaus mostly chooses his tools for sounds carefully, with the aim of creating his aural images exactly as he imagines them and making them fit his memories. The piano plays the main role, there are strings, synths, and a lot of extra noise adding up to somewhat of an ambient, dream-pop effect. A warm cello sound, recorded by Sebastian Selke for some of the tracks, adds a nice touch. Some beats and synth-arpeggios are notable as a direct reference to the 1980s scenario, while most of the tracks carry an air of tranquil or sombre simplicity.

Most artists undoubtedly draw inspiration from their memories in some form, openly or not. Linghaus, on the other hand, has chosen to make a study of them and to invite the world to tag along with him on an interesting field trip to the subjective and intangible. As Linghaus mentions himself in an accompanying video on his site, the album is therapeutic, a dialogue with the former self, and an attempt to preserve his past.

While simplicity can be tricky to manage, Linghaus carries it well through an interesting, well thought out and beautifully honest first album.


P&C interview: Tim Linghaus by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Amanda Nordqvist

Drawing inspiration from his childhood, Tim Linghaus puts his memories and feelings into stunning works of art, creating pieces that ring with emotion and a deep sense of solemn awareness. Though teaching at a local school in the peaceful coastal town of Cuxhaven, Germany, Tim still found the time to pour his soul into what has now become his debut EP, Vhoir.

Could you tell me about your introduction to music? When did you start creating your own?

I guess I was introduced to music and to the possibility of making it by my father, who played in bands and owned a couple of instruments. I remember jamming with him along Nirvana songs on a very heavy black electric guitar in his office. In my memories this thing is way bigger and heavier than me. I also remember sitting on an old upright piano in a blurred living room at some family party. My mom tried to get the piano for me but they wanted to keep it as some kind of furniture. Anyway, two key moments in my life.

Would you describe your creating process for me?

Normally I start playing the piano until I find a melody or chords that suddenly seem to have a meaning to me. I record tons of sketches on my phone, listen to them wherever I can, erase the ones I don’t like, get back to the piano and revise the good ones, record again, erase, revise, until I am happy. Then I go to Ableton and add different instruments or record noise. I don’t write music on paper. Apart from some lousy note reading skills I remember from school I can’t read music. I just listen and try to memorize keys. However, sometimes I start with synthesizer drones or just some noise. I never start with strings actually. I don’t really know why.

What or who is your biggest inspiration when composing? Do you have a dream collaboration?

My biggest inspiration next to other music is my own past. I do take a lot of motivation from pictures and memories. I was born in the GDR and the Berlin Wall fell when I was seven. There are a lot of things I remember about my youth and later life that I like to give another language than words. Music is perfect for it. I reckon it’s very common to do so. Everything you do and every melody you write is autobiographic.

A dream collaboration? That’s a very good question. I have never thought about it. Well, I would like to write a piece with my father. Unfortunately, it’s impossible. But I would love to.

Recently I was asked to become part of a collaboration project called ‘The Exquisite Corpse’, which is initiated by English label Bigo & Twigetti in conjunction with Moderna Records. I will be one of twelve artists forming sort of a file sharing chain in order to create individual pieces from original sources. This seems to be a great collaboration and I am so looking forward to receiving the files I can work with.

What can you tell me about Vhoir?

Vhoir derived from a personal crisis to be honest. I came to a point where I asked myself whether I should go on making music or not. I’ve been writing so many songs since I was a teenager and one year ago I suddenly thought that I wasn’t able to write one proper song. I mean, I have written and collected hundreds of songs and fragments on a couple of hard-drives over the years and I couldn’t name a single song I like from the first note to the last. I was on the brink of throwing everything away. But there was this grand piano in our assembly hall at school. It got me. I played it whenever I had a bit of time between lessons. I started recording sketches on my phone and slowly found my way back.

In a nutshell, I didn’t stop making music but ended up writing Vhoir. After I had finished the tracks I looked for a mastering studio. Emil Thomsen jumped into my interest and I wrote an e-mail explaining my situation. He was very kind and interested right from the start and he felt like the perfect choice. When the master got here I was thrilled. I totally love the warm analogue sound he put on every piece. After a few weeks I thought that more people than my family and my friends should listen to it. So I decided to look for some labels on the web and found Moderna Records. It was the only label I wrote to. I really liked their collection of artists and their aesthetic approach. I sent three tracks to Évolène and Nick and they liked them. We exchanged some more e-mails and here I am chewing nails awaiting the EP’s release.

How does it feel to be releasing your debut EP? What were your thoughts and expectations throughout the whole process?

It feels really good. I am so happy with Moderna Records and the way they work with me and Vhoir. Of course I am a little bit curious about what people think about the record. You know, the process of producing a recording, from the first sketch to the final track, is something I absolutely love. Now that the EP is finished I can’t do anything about its shape anymore. It’s done. I have to let go and see what happens. I believe Vhoir is a record that takes some time to grow on the listener. In consequence, I hope people take some time to listen and maybe find some meaning in it.

Lastly, do you have any advice for young artists out there?

I don’t know if I’m the right person to give advice on this but I would say try out and do something. Take an instrument and do something. Just do something. And if you don’t love it, you shouldn’t carry on. Grab another one and another one and try again until you do something you love with instruments or tools you love.

Take some time to listen to Tim’s fantastic debut EP Vhoir at Moderna Records’ Bandcamp, and don’t forget to show your support on his Facebook