MR MUTT Records

Skip navigation.


Extracts from three live performances recorded in:

Sound material on the Nagoya live extract taken from Fonica Rusl remix. All music produced & performed by Jürgen Heckel.

The geometric grids of Japanese farmland were blurs through the window of the shinkansen. Moments of speed, and distance travelled, time and space framed into a movie, unwinding as we gazed through the glass. The bullet train wasn't as fast as I had imagined (not bullet-enough, I suppose), which was just as well, because, like the photographs I had taken through those windows, there were many moments during our travels in Japan where I wish time would have stood still. Back and forth across half the country four times in four days, we were three Gaijin happily poking away at our breakfast bentos of eel, salmon, and rice, constructing private jokes and sharing software secrets. The shinkansen was our daily reality, as were our live performances. I have only heard these Sogar recordings once, in its original state, being performed live by Jürgen throughout Japan. An experience, like the shinkansen, of abstracted time and place. Jürgen's work sums up much of what I aim to produce in my own; music that is at the same time fragile, fragmented, engaging, and multi-dimensional. But the music here is more than just sound, there are, inevitably, untold stories behind every recording produced; adventures and mistakes, emotions. For Jürgen, Richard Chartier, myself, and the friends we made during our travels, this cd serves not only as a captivating sound-work, but an archive of the memories of an unusually warm week in January, feeling at home in a world that has become unusually small, blurred, like the windows. Taylor Deupree


In the second release in their new live CDR series, Mr. Mutt unveils a minimally frenetic set by Sogar (Jürgen Hechel, formerly heard on 12K). The label is run by Italian composers Tu m' whose first release on the label was Scanner's eclectically charged 'Publicphono'. This set contains excerpts recorded in three Japanese cities: Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo. A slice of futuristic noise/sound art this is a completely digital recording that has a medicated theme park feel to it. It is playful yet embodies lives of robots running on low battery power. That's not to say the sound isn't fully alive, it just captures dreamy Coney Island-like sequences in the flash of cotton candy swirl. Crispy rotations like those of old-fashioned telephones coil sumptiously. I hear guitars, or are they cans, or is it water on some type of flexible surface? These three tracks run at about 45 minutes and Heckel seems to use every second in a way that avoids electro-filler. From sine waves to gurgling bass, 'Eel and Coffee' seems to find good measure in the balance of taking its minimalist chances to maximum advantage. If you amplified the sounds of a music box ballerina, reversed it and subtracted every other note you may be dining with Sogar. — TJ Norris, Vital Weekly

The second edition in Mr. Mutt's CDR Live Series brings us extracts from three concerts by Sogar, aka Jürgen Heckel. The three concerts took place in Japan (Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo, respectively), in January 2003. Sogar's work to date has already exemplified his broad interpretations of the microsound genre, moving freely from melodic to more abrasive passages, from rhythmic structures to utter abstraction. Here he continues to balance a fine line between these dichotomies, and he does it very well, employing not only the sounds and impressions we have come to recognize as being integral to this genre, but in incorporating processed samples of acoustic instrumentation as well. Each of the three long pieces presented here has its own trajectory, and some are better defined than others. Loops, droning harmonics, a brief melodic phrase, a further abstraction, re-abstraction, sustained tones and other, more restless ones. At times it seems as if Sogar lost sight of where certain sections were leading, or how they might unfold, getting stuck in a loop and considering the various ways of breaking from it and finding a new combination, although these moments are admittedly few. At others, it's me who becomes lost, the arrangements becoming strangely bewitching, mesmerising even. Is it possible for the artist to become lost in his own creation? Perhaps Daedalus himself, while building the labyrinth for Minos and his grotesque progeny, would occasionally drop the thread and lose himself in the maze of his own design, wandering the corridors, encountering blind alleys and dizzying turns, alone, nearly forgotten. But now it's us who are wandering these passages, and Sogar is always sure to give us his skein of thread, which we unravel as we move from passage to passage, never entirely forgotten, and guided along the way. — Richard di Santo, Incursion

Eel and Coffee est la deuxième session du label Mr Mutt créé par le duo italien de TU M' qui n'édite que des lives et à seulement 200 exemplaires (collectors garantis !); le 01 était Scanner, donc…collectors! Sogar, c'est Jurgen Heckel, un Franco-allemand qui vit à Paris depuis 10 ans. Il signe depuis 2000, sous ce pseudo, des comptines sonores minimalistes sur divers labels (12k, List, Beau Rivage…). Ce CDr, à la pochette bleu, présente trois lives qu'il a donné au pays du soleil levant en 2003. Trois oeuvres digitales aussi sensuelles dans le son que complexe dans leur structure. Cristallin est certainement l'adjectif qui caractérise le mieux ce Eel and Coffee. Sogar redonne les lettres de noblesse à ce mot: cristal ! Entre nappes à base de grésillements retravaillées sur Laptop, ritournelles qui parfois tournent à la perfection (plus qu'un beat dessus et il retournerait toute la scène minimale Allemande!!) et bribes de guitare créant de micro-mélodies, ce CDr est à posséder et à écouter, de préférence sur casque, pour profiter de toute sa saveur. Sachant qu'il est assez difficile à trouver, Check It le site de TU M'. —


Jürgen Heckel, also known as Sogar, was born in Nuremberg in 1970 and has been living in Paris for 10 years. He started playing music when he was 19 and became part of several groups as a guitarist. He then got interested in creating and processing sound in unconventional ways. Thus Jürgen manipulates accidental sounds to create light and fragile melodic textures. The sources of these arrangements are guitars as well as sounds from mixing consoles, amplifiers, cables or other aural finds. These sounds are then reworked on a computer to become a music made of cracklings, creakings and rich melodic oscillations exploring the extremes of the sound spectrum by associating acoustic technique and software. The result of this work was his first album Basal on the New-York based label 12k in 2001. He adopted the name Sogar which means even if in German. After the great critic success of Basal, Jürgen Heckel had the opportunity to record two new albums, Stengel on the French label List and again on 12k Apikal.Blend, as Sogar. Besides numerous concerts, Sogar has also taken part to the Acces-s festival in Pau and the sounding of the gallery 40mCube in Rennes as part of the Electroni[k] festival. The track Aiuto Mathausen (taken from the compilation Minima-list) has been selected by Sonic Process, an exhibition about new sounds shown at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and in the majors contemporary art centres of Barcelona, Berlin and Porto. The year 2003 started with the 12k label tour in Japan, to which Sogar participated alongside with Taylor Deupree and Richard Chartier. Some of his live performances there have been documented on the recordings released by the Italian label Mr Mutt.