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Though more well-known for his work as Pluramon, German artist Markus Schmickler also released a solo album in 1997 as Wabi Sabi on A-Musik. A member of the thriving Cologne experimental music scene associated with Mouse on Mars, Nonplace Urban Field, Air Liquide, Mike Ink, and the A-Music, Electro Bunker, and Karaoke Kalk labels, Schmickler is one of the more "composerly" contributors to that conglomerate's growing renown. A formal student of electronic composition, Schmickler -- along with schoolmates Carsten Shulz (aka C-Shulz), Frank Dommert, and Georg Odijk -- was a member of late-'80s performance ensembles Pol and Kontakta, two freewheeling experimental/improv groups following in the footsteps of Cologne's most notorious musical lab technicians, Can. Schmickler has since released a growing number of critically acclaimed electro-acoustic recordings of various levels of abstractness through Mille Plateaux (as Pluramon) and former bandmate Odijk's A-Musik label (as Wabi Sabi). Schmickler's Kaspar-Hauser studios (named in reference to the early 19th century tabula rasa child, memorialized by Werner Herzog in his 1974 film, The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser) are located in a disused warehouse space at the outskirts of the city, and provide something of a window on Schmickler's musical conception: vague constructions of random and apparently inert sonic matter re-formed into fascinating environments of ambient and electro-acoustic, occasionally beat-oriented electronica. [See Also: Pluramon] ~ Sean Cooper & Jason Birchmeier