Mieke Miami - Montecarlo Magic
Catalogue No.: FUN17LP
Release Date: 9th July 2021
3 The Ambassador of Love
4 Cry Baby Cry
6 Way Out West
9 Uh Baby Baby
10 Golden Ships
LP FORMAT DETAILS: 135g black vinyl LP in gatefold packaging.
“What a curious feeling!“ said Alice; „I must be shutting up like a telescope.“ ***
Mieke Miami's "Montecarlo Magic", the follow- up to her debut album "In the Forest", (2016, Sonar Kollektiv) may no longer darken through the forest, but there is truly no compulsion to light either. It is more of a special, positive swing that radiates inwards and outwards, a state that seems to be an inner retreat and a journey at the same time: Florida, California and Brandenburg all nestle very close together here. Perhaps there is a river rattling through the picture and surely there are magicians playing with things hidden somewhere: bessoted, dreamy and certainly easy to find. Because in this world, no one is supposed to look around for anything. „Find what you want“, says Mieke.
The very opener "Californio" makes me think of a stay in Los Angeles, an envisioned Los Angeles, more imagined than real. Absurd: I was only invited there in February 2020. Silver Lake, in the first light of a new day. Walking along a spring morning, I hear this chorus wafting from the garden of a hippie commune across the street, bright bell piano, space echoes and a fine chorus. "Californio ...". Is this really getting to me? Very. I would like to go back to where this music is playing and I start to realise that it is happening just as much there, in that distant LA at a certain time, as it is here and now inside of me. Beautifully displaced simultaneity.
The single "Horse", pre-released at the end of 2020, tells me quite a lot about it: bass clarinet and the constant rustling, loose, casuallyplayed. An atmosphere built of voices, instruments, delays, more painted than planned, the picture of a (in itself) polyphonic world.
Unison differently: bridges and choirs slipping from front to back, sometimes singing lead and sometimes back. Themes, verses and choruses generously overlap to form song worlds. „Which you can listen to one way or the other“, says the artist. They all melt into each other, effortlessly and with a lustful opacity: Montecarlo Magic.
A confession: I immediately thought: "'Californio' = Los Angeles, garden, world, music, and this hidden yet tangible new modesty, hippie-USA." I thought all that. But then Mieke tells me about ghost ships, talks of souls and wanderings and danger? Fair enough. Every dream is true, yes and no, A and not-A become one: "So many out- of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible." '***
Soon after, a cover version of The Beatles (!) comes in the picture. Who would do that? "Cry Baby Cry". Perhaps the Fab Four in their Los Angeles days? Wiki says India. White album, Lennon on the Peak. Supposedly he didn‘t like the song that much later, here it fits. And Mieke Miami becomes, so to speak, for a very brief moment, the world's most humble John Lennon and then dreams on, and the band, which is actually herself, dreams itself along.
A record like a garden: "The king was in the garden Picking flowers for a friend who came to play." '**. So nice to hear John Lennon again. Thank you, Mieke.
And while I am still reminiscing Los Angeles and India, the record now takes me - via bumper cars and Abbey Road - over London to San Francisco: Swimming Pool. A Streets-of-San-Francisco feeling with guitars and more choirs - and soulful grooves that are just as dense as they are distintctly pleasant. No urban soul, though, but country road soul that triggers a crazy wanderlust right now (and far beyond the present). And at the same time dissolves it - and one understands: Brandenburg, Florida, California: It's all here. This yearning likes to drift away in the pollen of the places and regions of our desire. More than ever.
The last song: "Golden Ships" is actually my favourite, because then I can start all over again with this magic music. Mieke Miami - Montecarlo Magic will be released in the second Corona summer on Fun in the Church. Dit fits
A word about the album cover: the photo shows Mieke's uncle Bernd Dreyer at a performance of Don Quixote, Berlin State Ballet, 1969, courtesy of the Berlin State Archives.
** quoting Lennon/Mc Cartney - Cry Baby Cry
*** quoting Lewis Caroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
OTHER ACTIVITY: https://www.funinthechurch.com/
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