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> Stefan Sullivan

> Claus Bühler

Memory Mound
A Sullivan/Bühler collaboration

When the pianist/philosopher Stefan Sullivan tracked down Tiger Lillies sound designer, Claus Buehler, at his basement studio in the Black Forest, he had only A PILE OF POEMS and two acoustic songs in his head: a frothy dance number about depression,  and  a jaunty ballad on after-hours ebony love. Always nice to lay down a few tracks, but could there be an album here? Hmmm.  Happy beats/jaundiced text, infectious riffs/twisted lyrics, intricate soundwalls/morally toxic set pieces…all bathed in booze in a pre-dawn haze. Yeah. They decided an album could and should come from this. And they would name the project, Happy Clinic.
Drawn from his years and nights in  D.C., Moscow, London, Bangkok and Paris, Sullivan`s songs catalogue a pedal to the medal, freakshow of late-night depravity :  internet chess addicts,  predatory dwarves, trust fund Lolitas, ebony temptresses, fat sex tourists and public masturbators all parade on through... a circus of characters brought to life and made to dance by beatmeister Buehler`s streetwise arrangements, playful percussion and multi-instrumental chops.

In Lokomotiv, a galloping drum and bass blend with Russian folk motifs, and a blur of images from Sullivan`s vocal attack; 64 Squares mixes a cascading clubland groove with the operatic warblings of Argentine mezzosoprano, Cecilia Colombo; and, in Belly X 2, a soulful piano ballad gives way to some deep-fried southern techno boogie (with guest solo by Mississippi harmonica man, Scott Albert Johnson).

All in all, the product is a “songification” of Mondo Bizarro vignettes, an eclectic Memory Mound, an introspective last hurrah to reckless youth. And, yes, introspective because, ultimately, beneath all the comic bravado lurks a heartfelt, cautionary tale…
As Sullivan sings in the carefree chorus to Chickity Black:  

It goes without saying: the operative word here –
                  and we will leave you on this  - is If. And only If.

Stefan Sullivan:
Lyrics, Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Sampled Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Claus Bühler:
Beats, Bass-Lines, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, E-Guitar
Engineered Mixed and Mastered by: Claus Bühler
Arrangement: Bühler and Sullivan
Produced at: Studio Claus B, Emmendingen, Germany