Köhn is one of the few Dutch words I know.
The word became part of my vocabulary in the late 90’s when I ordered a copy of the 10″ split Wio Vs Köhn from a record shop in Rome.
Köhn is one of Jürgen De Blonde’s monikers.
I finally got my hands on a copy of Köhn’s first record, released in 1998 for (K-raa-k)³ and reissued on double vinyl in 2019 by Cortizona.
I got the CD, and used copy, two very important details.
I inserted the CD into the player after removing it from the cardboard cover that encloses it. I hit play and it was panic, the CD was skipping. I pressed the eject button, removed the cd, turned it over to see if it was scratched or dirty, but nothing the surface was perfect. I gave it a clean anyway, so I put it back in the player. The CD kept skipping, so I went ahead with listening to see if I had received a rip-off and instead the magic began because Karohte uses the sampling of a jumping CD, Köhn is a genius, that annoying sound is the basis of this piece that becomes music. The magic repeats at every time I play the track. Unbelievable. The cd also contains a leaflet with notes where Köhn reveals the mystery. Well that I read it after having listened to the song, because the surprise effect is really alienating.
The second piece that strikes my imagination is Wortel. Very different from the opening track. I don’t know if a term has been coined for the typical sound of the Belgian scene of the 90s, of those musicians who revolved around cult labels such as Studio Muscle, Toothpick, (K-raa-k)³ and Zoologic, because this song could be one of the manifesto of the scene. IDM, Minimalism, Electronic are the most common words used to describe Köhn’s music and I agree, electronic rules in this record, a modern classic.
Köhnepoht is another of my favorite songs, characterized by oriental atmospheres it projects me in Japan every time I listen to it.
The Belgian artist deceives the listener again in Köhn Met Pruimen, or rather, deceives me. I listened to this CD blaring as I drew and painted covers in a room away from the CD player. The song contains the sampling of telephone ringtones. I had to leave the drawing convinced that the analog telephone I still have at home was ringing. But not, it was yet another Köhn’s joke. And I found myself suddenly thinking of Beckett and Waiting For Godot. What if Godot was on the other end of the phone? Vladimir and Estragon are still there waiting. Maybe Godot was trying to call them but had jotted down the wrong number on a piece of paper. Another missed appointment.
Listen to Köhn here.