John Watermann was one of the truely underground sound and visual artists.
In the late eighties his name surfaced out of knowhere, when a double CD was released by Walter Ulbricht in Germany. Starting out in Berlin, Germany, where he was born, as a filmmaker and photographer, he found out that he needed soundtracks for his films. He started composing music in the mid sixties and moved to Australia in the early seventies. Although he was collecting sound equipment, his first releases do not surface until the late 80s. In the nineties his music was released on CD’s by ND, Dark Vinyl, Walter Ulbricht and Raum 312. He also recorded a collaborative work with Merzbow. One of his last big projects was a CDRom “A Rose Is A Rose”, which he released himself and has his visual work and music.
Much of his work incorporated field recordings, which were heavily treated by electronics, resulting in highly rhythmic music, through the extensive use of cut ups. Although in the later part of the nineties he was less actively involved in producing music (mainly due to his illness), his output will not be forgotten.
(Frans de Waard)