ein Raum voller Sofa


For "fon" Scheffner developed something like a soundtrack without a film. Over and over modified soundscapes and acoustic "accidents", recorded and re-arranged in analog and digital technology, have been created as a subtle drama structure, which the six different tracks follow without narrating a clear story. Comfortably situated in the elctronic home after a while a certain restlessness is noticed by the inhabitant. The attempt to contact the outside becomes a journey through either waves and wires and gets stuck between beats and loops. A real outside world seems more and more unlikely to exist. The cinemascope-version of the story could be totallly different: A catastropy has happened in a small town, USA. A single survivor is sitting in his detached family house, seeking desperately for signs of life. In this version the hero would probably leave the city at last. Close Up. It is raining. Long fade out.


Artist Philip Scheffner
Mastering Rashad Becker
Cover-Photo Jayce Salloum
Format CD, 6 tracks, 26:30 minutes, 500 copies
Year of release 2001
ContaCt scheffner(at)pong-berlin.de


  • reviews

    The Wire #218 / april 2002 (UK)
    Like many a dud album before it, this first release from new berlin based label pong is "a soundtrack without a film". But wait, this time the concept is not just an excuse for yet another aimless Ambient excursion. There`s actually the sense of a subtle, if mainly instrumental, abstract narrative evolving over these six short tracks. "There isn`t anything that can occur in the region that isn`t out of reach," claims the first of a serious of broadcasters in the dial-flipping weather forecast of the opener. Dial tones jitter over bleeps 'n' clicks after a dark, paranoid interlude. Things get increasingly fidgety and disconnected as the album progresses. "teltaal#" is nervous curtain twitching and distant, indecipherable voices, building to an edgy climax. (Jerome Maunsell)

    incursion (CAN)
    This is the debut release for the new Berlin-based label Pong, co-founded by Merle Kröger and Philip Sheffner. For this EP Sheffner has created a series of tracks that are charged with sonic activity; rhythms, beats, tones, clicks, bleeps, samples, voices and all manner of found and electronic sounds are all packed into these six tracks with a total run time of just over 26 minutes. The first track starts things off with a frantic rhythm and cut-and-paste clippings from news broadcasts; something is sweeping over the world and its influence is unstoppable. Of course, it turns out that these are just weather reports pasted together, and it really is amazing how weather reports can sound like an outbreak of war. Track two is a short drone piece, answered by a more energetic rhythm in track 3. Dial tones, found sounds and bass tones are structured into a complex rhythm which then gives way to a fragmented drum 'n' bass interlude. The remaining three tracks each build slowly and take somesurprising turns, ranging from quiet sections of abstract tones and tex tures to all manner of found sounds and field recordings (an aeroplane passes overhead, birds singing in the garden, rainfall, or the hum of a crowd of people). All of this with all manner of interference (electronic or otherwise). Even some rhythms creep in from time to time, found in the most unlikely of places. With all of its twists and turns, it's a wonder that Fon didn't become a full-length release. But herein lies its strength. Philip Sheffner has confirmed once more the strengths of an effective EP; the time may be limited but the wealth of ideas is endless. Nice work. [Richard di Santo]

    Remote induction
    Fon is a 6 track CD release by Philip Scheffner, released on Pong. The first track is Forecast, which mixes a rough rhythm with a series of vocal samples from weather forecasts. After that is Zu Hause (technisch), where rustling fractured sounds mix with a diffuse tonal drone, a little metallic creaking heard in there as well. Pulses and tones mix together in the phone network rhythm of Teltaal, joining at one point to offer melody against a growing bass wave. As these elements expand there is a sudden spurt of break beat and a babble of sampled voices from phone companies. Pulsing to a cut up conclusion that trips to Teltaal#. Flickering pulses and strokes start Teltaal#, giving a subdued chromatic edge. A background piece, that mixes bird sounds and airplanes, casually restrained. With time a piece of film dialogue and dramatic music to go with it comes up, which triggers a rise in sound and impression. This sees a more pronounced electronic section, beats and notes mixing, pitter-patter and a little glitch rhythm. Mobile is a little bad environment, a little down pour of rain backed by a hum and chatter of voices from people who we can hear doing things. The distracting detail melts away leaving a more minimal structure with just the sigh of the bass hum, though it starts to build back up as it fluctuates to the backing of a passing plane and general environmental sounds. Little pulses and catches start the last track, Q, suggestion of something else a passing sigh in the background. The growth is gradual, pulses becoming purrs, and the two effects layering with a more rounded glitch catch. Vaguely hypnotic, in its own way. This minimal sequence stutters to life, a gabble of static structured beats forming as the sighing continues building in the contrasts of the sounds - pops, sighs, clicks and bursts. Fading down to a more clearly rain influenced section.

    Fon has all the qualities required for being the soundtrack of a nightmarish film. Disturbing loops, sounds of every day machines (the telephone being in the center of this universe), all repeated obsessively. And by sampling common noises and making music out of it (adding rhythms and arranging the sequences), Scheffner creates a weird atmosphere: from the chaos of modern sounds (TV, radio, means of transportation) he composed a home automation symphony. Whether it could be used for an adaptation of Ray Bradbury, especially the short story in The Martian Chronicles where there is the house "living" on its own, or for a new soundtrack for Terry Gilliam's Brazil, it would do fine. Many things come to mind listening to the disc; so fertile, Fon is a soil for imagination. A special note for "Forecast," which is a patchwork of weather forecasts -- a crazy song introducing in a crazy world, the world of Fon. (Romain Guillou)

    This short CD (six tracks for 26 minutes and 26 seconds) is both strange and rather easy to listen to, focusing on samples that are not really treated, but assembled together to form coherent tracks. The first one, "Forecast", is a good example of this approach, putting together a lot of voice samples recorded during weather forecasts. The result is fun and hallucinated, absurd but well done. Past this comes a very ambient track that didn't really seduce me. But "Teltaal" and the two tracks that follows it are a very nice piece, in which tiny excerpts from field recordings or home noises (for example bips from answering machines) are looped, run through some effects (but stay close to their initial tone), to form calm and very clear tracks. Generally speaking, "Fon" sounds surprisingly electronic for a CD that is so much made of samples, and I admire Philip Scheffner's ability to forge tracks in which these varied elements merge so easily. Calm and subtle, this is a CD that I enjoyed listening. It is rather short and straightforward, and I am not sure I will play it often, but it has really nice moments (most of all the first and last tracks) that are really nice examples of art done with samples. Nicolas, June 22, 2001


fon track 01

fon track 02

fon track 03

fon track 04

fon track 05

fon track 06