Weird Beauty

Edition #33 • Schattenmusik, De Staat, BARON.E, Robert Görl (DAF), Prix Garanti

🕒 This newsletter is 410 words, a 5-minute read.

Some songs are beautiful. Others are weird. And then, some songs are both because there's a beauty in weirdness.

Today's selection features songs that probably fall in all of those three categories. It feels a bit like life: full of wonders and strangeness, where light and darkness collide—packed with doubt and confidence. Some tracks are loud; others celebrate silence.

All the best,

Schattenmusik – Tote Tauben

Sinister brilliance, dark poetry—it's the unreal yet highly graspable world of Schattenmusik. Rote Wangen is the first EP of two brothers, and Tote Tauben their entry into today's edition.

Tote Tauben is nothing more than an obscure piano piece, laced with conspirational vocal harmonies. It sounds so simple when you write it down. But listening to this song… man, it's an otherworldly experience. The melody swings back and forth between a child's innocence and an old man's regret.

Words cannot entirely capture the feeling that Tote Tauben evokes. It's a deep sadness but mixed with a strange kind of calm about it. Just stunning.

De Staat – Numbers Up

Dutch outfit De Staat announce a unique project: With (red) (yellow) (blue), they will release a collection of new tracks. And each colour represents the moods of the songs.

Numbers Up has the colour yellow. It's not entirely clear what yellow represents. But if Numbers Up is the first indicator, it's going to be disruptive. The influence of the 80's funk resides in the playful bassline; the intonation of Torre Florim reminds of the Talking Heads.

The key to success is more success!

Despite the groovy vintage vibe, De Staat's song feels aggressive. Numbers Up questions society's obsessions with numbers. Likes, followers tend to make us addicted.

BARON.E – COMME RÊVE

Swiss electro-pop duo BARON.E released their latest EP, CRÉATURE, on the 4th of November. They seem to see significant success in France, yet the artists are still considered newcomers in Switzerland.

COMME RÊVE, one of the EP's five tracks, demonstrates a unique approach to the genre. Although the song is inherently electro-pop, the feeling tends more towards the acoustic sound. BARON.E frictionlessly blend synthetic elements with analogue bits like the piano or the guitar. 

However, the in-depth analysis is pretty pointless. What counts is that COMME RÊVE comes with a flow that hooks body and soul.

Robert Görl (DAF) – Kunststoff

It's a deep bow before Gabi Delgado-López, singer of the highly influential duo Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF). They shaped Electronic Body Music, industrial music, and punk alike. Unfortunately, Delgado-López passed away last year, only 61 years old.

His companion in DAF, Robert Görl, will release a tribute album to his late co-creator. Kunststoff, the latest single release, is like a time machine back to the earliest stages of DAF. A song that feels like Der Mussolini, their biggest hit. Repetitive, suggestive lyrics, fast-paced beat. It's the essence of their sound.

Dein Leben ist künstlich, weil du ein Künstler bist.

But the truly astounding thing: It still sounds unique, highly provocative, unblushingly uncompromising. Alles ist Kunst!

Prix Garanti – Hardlife Bern

It's, without a doubt, the weirdest of today's selection: Hardlife Bern by Prix Garanti. The Swiss outfit describes itself as a "third-degree failure". A dose of Hardlife Bern, and you will ask yourself: What the fuck did I just witness?!

An utterly trash Eurodance foundation makes Hardlife Bern an instantly forgettable (maybe even detestable) track. But suddenly, there's this plaintive voice, speaking almost in tears. Ecstasy versus despair.

It's hard to decide whether Hardlife Bern is a wretched spawn of bad taste or an ingenious art child. For the sake of my conscience, I'll say: It's the latter.