alga marghen proudly present “Underground Altena”, two visionary long-form works by Anima Sound, the radically freedom-pursuing Paul & Limpe Fuchs duo.
1973 represented a peak for Anima sonic explorations into sculptural sound at the crossing of Kraut Rock, free jazz and experimental music. As Limpe recalls. “It was the wildest time of my life. Many German artists wanted to join the Freedom they got to know from the US.”
Limpe Fuchs studied piano, vioin and percussion in Munich, but all changed in the late 1960s when she met sculptor Paul Fuchs and discovered there was much more space to experiment and discover her own way as in this sculptural environment she had the chance to work directly with materials. Paul first built a horn as a sculpture (the famous Fuchshorn) and started experimenting with its sounds. Then he built a pedal kettledrum adding things to it like woodblocks and welded a steel ring to the hi-hat stand that was strung up with several strings which Limpe played with her toes, or using a saw blade and a shovel. Even if in the beginning Paul and Limpe were more interested in experimental film, there were other communities like Amon Düül and Tangerine Dream and Anima started touring with them as well as with Popol Vuh or Xhol and very quickly became well known within this Kraut Rock scene.
After they were engaged in the Underground Explosion Tour 1969 and had made the Tractor Tour at 19 km/h between Munich and Rotterdam in 1971, came Friedrich Gulda who joined them in the early 70s. He was very fond of the duo and he especially liked Limpe singing and their way of just improvising. He was a famous arranger, but wanted to play in an improvising group. In this radical noise and sounds he felt free from the limits of classical music. And also the fast dynamics of Limpe drumming fascinated him. Later on Anima were included in the infamous “Nurse With Wound List” and came the connection to Steven Stapleton who included them in the “An Afflicted Man Musica Box” anthology together with Jac Berrocal, Amm, Operating Theatre.
Even if Anima was in fact part of the Kraut Rock scene, they had a very distinct sound which was a result of the confluence of Paul “visionary” sculptural world and Limpe aural universe. Playing on self-built instruments also had a major role in building their specific sound which became more and more unique in the early 1970s as the Fuchhorn, the Fuchzither, the Fuchsbass and other sound sculptures were created.
Heavily guided by Limpe’s unique approach to percussion playing and vocals, with Paul delivering a striking arsenal of tonal interventions on his invented instruments, “Underground” and “Altena” plays like the outer reaches of free jazz dropped in an alien landscape. Howling and clattering, entirely free and spontaneous, while never losing the sense of deep consciousness, purpose and control. Limpe wrote “In this time we had to fight on stage – and we liked it! We had followers and enemies – and they very clearly showed it in this very free time”.