wolfgang tillmans drops a surprise ep thirty years in the making

After a quarter century pause in making music, the artist returned to it last year and is now releasing five tracks digitally and on vinyl.

by Felix Petty
Jul 6 2016, 2:08pm

Fresh from leading the fight for Britain to remain in the European Union — making the case more eloquently and powerfully than many politicians — and his new exhibition at London's Maureen Paley gallery, Wolfgang Tillmans has dropped a surprise EP of music he's been working on. Announcing on Instagram, the photographer said "In January 2015 after a 26 year pause I started making music again." The results of which are being released as 2016/1986, featuring two tracks he made this year and three from 1986.

The record cements Tillmans' lifelong artistic involvement in music; he began his career as a photographer capturing the nascent European house and techno scene for i-D. The tracks recorded in 2016 featuring a kicking deep house stomper called "Make It Up As You Go Along," made from samples recorded at a printing press, and an experimental abstract piece called "Triangle / Gong / What."

On the B-side, though, things get grittier, with three pieces of energetic post-punk cold wave nihilism the photographer originally recorded to cassette in his hometown with Bert Lessman, and which he revisited earlier this year. Creating a new mix of his original vocals, and Bert's synth, as well as new instruments.


Text Felix Petty

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make it up as you go along