A. J. Kaufmann is back with a second KSE chap, the 35th entry in our Sound Library Series, called EAST-WEST TRAIN (KSE 106), inspired by the seminal Kraftwerk album TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS. It’s a wild ride beginning in Paris and ending in Prypiat, Ukraine, the abandoned city near the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Kaufmann’s work grows out of the visionary side of Beat poetry, but he’s a total original.
(Bill Shute, July 22, 2008)
A.J. Kaufmann East-West Train: Sound Library Series, Vol. 35 (Kendra Steiner Editions #106, 7/08)
“… departing as scheduled luggage racks empty unfilled w/ your rain & your rain… how it adds to the morning…”
I believe I have said this before, but I really enjoy KSE’s Sound Library series. I know many of you out there can not listen to music while you read, but I suggest you listen to the song or album first and then read the poems. The subject for this chap, A.J. Kaufmann’s second KSE release, is the wonderful album Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk. I don’t want to delve to far into the album itself, but if you can recall Trans-Europe is such an airy and epic journey that seems to glide along the hillsides and meadows, towns and villas, with songs like “Franz Schubert” and “Endless Endless” and of course the title track. Yet for all their beauty there was that disconnect, the electronic coldness that loomed in the distance. Kaufmann’s poems have that same feel as he rides through Paris, Vienna, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, and Prypiat, looking at the world through glass. In a world of synthetic coffee, showroom dummies (or mannequins) dance and the train moves on to new discoveries. A.J. does not only relive the album, but adds an even stranger view as he translates the music into words. It really is magical.
(Jason Behrends, September 9, 2008)