Landwerk No. 2 is a second volume of compositions built around samples from 78-rpm phonograph records—in this case, two klezmer sides, one Yiddish folk song, and one tune by a Slovak miners’ orchestra from Northeastern Pennsylvania, home of six generations of Salsburgs. While the first volume just happened to coincide with the first months of 2020’s problematic peculiarity, No. 2 was undertaken in the depths of the late summer and early fall, when political/social/existential despair hung at their heaviest.
These are musical attempts to translate the past into the present, or to redeem the present through the past, or to discover, in Michael Löwy’s formulation (in Chris Turner’s translation), a “critical constellation formed by a particular fragment of the past with a particular moment of the present.”