They say that Holgar Czukay was obsessed with short wave radio. He probably still is for that matter. He would spend his time dialing around. Fishing through the obscure frequencies that invisibly collide in the air and recorded whatever he Encountered . This was way before it became fashionable. In fact he was one of the pioneers of the concept of sampling.
This 1969 piece entitled ‘boat woman song’ is one of the first instances of the use of samples in the modern sense. Vietnamese singers caught off the wire of a short wave broadcast are placed on magnetic tape and then spliced by hand. Chanting from closer to home is also spliced, painstakingly into a pioneering musical loop. humility and strength transmuted by transmission and magnetism, the effect is rather heartbreaking.
Boatwoman song, off the album “Canaxis”.
On Holger’s own site a visitor by the name of Takis Mouratidis signs his guest book telling him that they had spoken years earlier at which time he had asked Holger what the words in the song meant. Holger had confessed that he did not know. Finding out the meaning became something of an obsession for Takis, who wrote back 8 years later with his findings:
The following are translations of three of the four songs used, the strange cryptography is obviously some kind of translational glitch (one even seems to be a coordinate system) nonetheless they are presented here as Takis wrote them.
(I rock you in order that you could sleep profoundly
So that I can go to the market to buy chalk and betel leaves
I buy chalk at the Qu&no.7843;ng and C&no.7847;u markets
I buy bitter-nut at Nam Ph&no.7893; and buy Betel at Dinh market
(My love travels, either to &no.272;&no.7841;i L&no.432;&no.7907;c,
or on the opposite way to Kim Long,
This place is the intersection of inner feelings,
Meet each others here, [we] forget the way back to the wharf.)
Love is like the stick to measure rice in container.
Then depart, only God knows this pain.
Why God bring me to this world?
He’s like a perfect piece of rice, and me an unformed piece.
Less than an unformed piece of rice.
He’s like a gecko cut off by the tail