ABOUT

Outsider Music doesn’t get much better than Horst Possling. They certainly are social outsiders, some of them even have severe psychological conditions. So how can their music and polymedial performances NOT reflect this state of affairs in its bizarre, stark disregard – you might even say, ignorance of - mainstream trends. What do they DO (these 3 Horsts and a Helmut)? WHO ARE THEY? Well, they’ve been producing albums for the past 15 years but have NEVER appeared live. If you try to find them, you’ll be disappointed. They record exclusively for the label “Possling Prints”, which lists a P.O. Box in Lubbock, Texas as its address. It’s not that they’re shy. They just don’t like press. Certain guerrilla actions have been attributed to them over the years – actions which have been turning up with increasing frequency on the international stage - but these have been virtually impossible to prove. VIRTUAL is the key word here.

Their first album “She Woke Up” sounded like a blues band cum gamelan orchestra sick on fermented marmalade with a bit of Karlheinz You-Know-Who thrown in for good measure; “Scelsi Morning” clearly demonstrated that they are no faux intellectual’s fool and, in fact, much smarter than they look. It’s still not clear how many Horsts there are – some albums sound like the work of a duo, some a larger ensemble, many tracks feature multiple male and female vocals. There is usually a drummer pounding aimlessly around. Unless he has something better to do. And that accordion! You’ve never heard fingers moving and bellows churning as fast as Helmut’s. Or is it? The photos accompanying the albums are also fuzzy – it’s not really clear if these people are Horsts or actors who just look like them.

Some people think Horst Possling is just a joke – but it’s hard to imagine a joke being maintained for over 15 years of recording and releasing, and the more recent cyber-obsessions, hyper-live streaming, polymedial performances that are terrifyingly ugly yet sweet at the same time. In February 2005, Horst Possling performed an unannounced live set on the Isle of Wight (in Brighton). Since then, they have been playing a string of dates on both sides of the Atlantic with completely new material for each show, sometimes just letting the material pile up in an additive kind of way. (Concerts sell out in a matter of minutes from just word-of-mouth publicity.) The abundance of Z-related sets in a non-generative sound field is everywhere to be heard in Horst Posslings music, if you are brave (or foolish) enough to look for it. But if you find yourself a bit distracted by the gigabytes of sheer webcam quality sound, you can always console yourself with the most distinctive feature in all of this unique experience: the single high notes alternating with low ones.

Laura Harz