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Current Music from Germany

Rock, pop, hiphop, electro: at the beginning of every month we shine our search beacon into the nation’s studios and clubs from Kiel up north to Weilheim way down south. Together with Zündfunk, Bavarian Radio’s scene magazine, we showcase the latest music by riveting off-the-charts bands. Pop made in Germany can also be downloaded here.

Gaddafi GalsPhoto (detail): Gaddafi Gals © Marcel Moos

Current Issue

This Month with music by:

Chuckamuck | bretford records
Die Nerven | Glitterhouse Records
Gaddafi Gals | 3-Headed Monster Posse
Lucrecia Dalt | RVNG
Mädness | Mädness
Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon
Speaker Female Voice-Overs (English): Louise Hollamby Kühr

Die Nerven Die Nerven | © Lucia Berlanga Stuttgart noise group Die Nerven (one of the best band names ever – it means "The Nerves" and "They're getting on one's nerves" at the same time) returns with their version of a black album, their fifth. The cover is adorned with a black sheepdog on a black background, and things are similarly dark musically. It's an angry and uncomfortable work about a rapidly changing world in which one's privilege is recognized as finite and guilt-inducing. The band's singer and guitarist, master producer Max Rieger (All Diese Gewalt, Obstler) recorded the entire album live and without metronome to create the intensity appropriate to the seriousness of the world situation. It was released on the band's parent label, the great Glitterhouse Records, organizer of the Orange Blossom Festival, which one can only heartily advise German travelers to visit.
© Die Nerven/Glitterhouse
Gaddafi Gals Gaddafi Gals | © Marcel Moos And another trio in the November Popcast of the Goethe-Institut: Slimgirl Fat, Ebow and Walter p99 arke$tra are the funny named Gaddafi Gals. They've always been cool, but on Romeo Must Die, their new album , they've perfected their blend of R&B and rap. The result is an update of the sound of the 90s - soul, trip hop, rap in elegant futuristic disguise. In particular, the dominant vocals of Nalan Karacagil aka Slimgirl Fat reach a whole new level on Romeo Must Die. The sky is the limit for the Gals.
© RVNG Intl.

Lucrecia Dalt Lucrecia Dalt | © Erin Lang Colombian artist Lucrecia Dalt, a Berlin resident for ages, calls her album ¡Ay! a "space cast in clay: smoky, dimly lit, seductive and vaguely menacing". On her last album, at the time also featured on the Popcast, the beautiful Anticlines, electronic music still dominated. On ¡Ay!, however, there is a shift into more abstract, experimental music. Drums, trumpets, double bass and a very inventive selection of atmospheric samples accompany their ghostly interpretations of Latin American folklore. "Lounge music for the afterlife" is aptly stated on Apple Music.

Ein Gespräch gib’s vorher und
Ein Gespräch dann nochmal hinterher
Es geht um’s Tägliche
Doch das Tägliche fällt uns schwer

[A conversation before and
A conversation then again afterwards
It's about the daily
But the daily is difficult for us]
Chuckamuck, “UV Index”

Chuckamuck Chuckamuck | © Frederike Wetzels If Jacques Brel and Steven Malkmus were to give birth to triplets in Berlin, the result would be Chuckamuck. The eclectic garage-pop trio maintains a skillful balance of punk attitude and artful lo-fi folk, just as their "fathers" would have liked. On their new album with the enigmatic name beatles, the trio create coarsely crafted, free-spirited art in a world of their own, where there are only old apartments at 1970 prices and all dogs are at least 16 years old. Just like the band.
© Marco Döll
Mädness Mädness | © Robert Winter Marco Döll aka Mädness is the best kept secret of the German rap underground. Crime is not his thing, Mädness belongs to the down-to-earth, technically skilled German rappers whose timeless style has given the genre its own identity, far from imported trends. On Maggo lebt, the new EP, popcast listeners will find familiar features from Fatoni and the congenial Amewu.


Previous issues

Popcast October 2022

This Month with music by:

The Düsseldorf Düsterboys | Staatsakt
Jens Friebe | Staatsakt
Oberst & Buchner | Heimlich
1000 Robota | Tapete Records
Ströme | Compost Records
Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Oberst & Buchner Oberst & Buchner | © Josef Pfeiffer The Viennese label Heimlich has taken up the cause of cross-border downbeats. Part of this collective is also the German-Austrian Dj and remixer duo Oberst & Buchner, who deliver a beautiful work with Marble Arch, whose synthesizer pads and elegant arpeggios are always consistently placed in the service of the composition. The result is a warm, timeless synthpop whose strongest moments happen in the instrumental tracks.

Ströme Ströme live | © Ströme Ströme work in a similar vein, although they rely entirely on analog technology and boast that they do not use computers at live performances. On their second album, the duo works with Franz Ferdinand founding member Nick MacCarthy on some tracks. However, this album also shows its strengths especially in the instrumental pieces.

Was kommt nach höher schneller weiter
Nichts mehr was noch Spaß macht

[What comes after higher faster further
Nothing more that is still fun]
1000 Robota "SCHMA"

1000 Robota 1000 Robota | © Tom Otte There was a huge hype around the Hamburg band 1000 Robota in the late nineties. The rough postpunk of the then teenagers (Hamburg Brennt) hit the nerve of the time, but after two albums it was enough, the band members pursued other plans. With their new album 3/3 the trio now suddenly reports back after more than 10 years, well matured and a bit calmer. The creative power has been preserved and as in the old days the spun lyrics are almost always performed by two voices, but the arrangements have become richer. If you like, you can order the vinyl from the label - the first 500 copies have been individually packaged by the band. Each cover art is unique.

Jens Friebe Jens Friebe | © Max Zerrahn The great Jens Friebe’s breezy pop numbers brighten up any gloomy moods.  Am Ende Aller Feiern (At The End of All Parties) there is no sullenness with Jens Friebe, but mischievous reflection of not always easy times, which were nevertheless worth living. Packed into an arrangement, whose complexity is only revealed to those who take the effort to listen closely.

There’s a gangster on my bed
With a hoodie on her head
She’s looking good
She’s looking fine

The Düsseldorf Düsterboys, "Gangster"

The Düsseldorf Düsterboys The Düsseldorf Düsterboys | © Katharina Geling In the same way as Jens Friebe is looking behind himself to assess the damage the Düsseldorf Düsterboys say of themselves that they make "music for the party after the party". In the spinnoff project of the hard-to-google International Music, Peter Rubel and Pedro Goncalves Crescenti celebrate the sound of the 1960s with ironic seriousness. Opulence, with noble acoustic guitars, sparingly woody percussion and airy flutes is what they do well. Who would have thought that the forgotten folk sound would be revived in the not exactly cosmopolitan city of Essen.


Popcast September 2022

with music by:

Andrra | 970042 Records DK 
Gebrüder Teichmann | Noland
Local Suicide | Iptamenos Discos
Pantha du Prince | Modern Recordings
Popkornzone | Popkornzone Records
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon 
Speaker Female Voice-Overs (English): Louise Hollamby Kühr

High buildings
Low Morals
Full wallets
Empty hearts
Please take good care of your children

Local Suicide, High Buildings

Local Suicide Local Suicide | © Tibor Bozi Gloomy electro sound is back in high demand. Vamparela and Brax Moody, currently also represented in the playlists of Miss Kittin fans with their side project Dina Summer, are taking advantage of this for their project Local Suicide. The efficient blend of new wave and techno disco provides Generation Z with new material made from old twang. But it's easy to dismiss the Greek-Berlin musician and DJ duo as a retro phenomenon, but it doesn't really take hold. Their stylistic confidence protects them from too harsh criticism. Every wrinkle fits, no sound is too much. And the sound is fun anyway.
Iptamenos Discos! © Video by Zaher Jr.
Andrra Andrra | © Halime Gashi Fatime Kosumi aka Andrra with Kosovar roots, tells stories from her homeland in Kosovar Albanian, often with setting of traditional texts to music. They are about the role of women and their oppression in the traditional social structure of Kosovo, but also about issues of emigration and identity. A cutting-edge work with roots in the country's history and a picture of the trauma that runs through the lives of so many Kosovar women, men, girls and boys.  Produced in Berlin, Andrra has assembled a fine team of musicians who skillfully use acoustic as well as electronic means to lift the traditional sound into the present.

Popkornzone Popkornzone | © Anasol Michael The Popkornzone around the artist and singer Ferdinand Dölberg delivers brilliant silliness. For those who are versed in German music or enjoy googling and getting their bearings, we recommend the young Andreas Dorau and Tom Schilling as references. Edgy pop-punk with dadaistic lyrics awaits the fans of the Berlin hipster quintet, which despite these classic ingredients sounds quite unique and thoughtful.
© Popkornzone
Gebrüder Teichmann Gebrüder Teichmann | © Andi & Hannes The Gebrüder (brothers) Teichmann, also brothers in real life (Andi and Hannes, musicians, DJs, label makers and cultural activists), have long been an integral part of the Berlin techno scene. They have "experienced Berlin's transformation from a subcultural oasis to a global brand," but have never bowed to the mainstream. Nor did they have to.  Rather, they have traveled extensively, including at the invitation of the Goethe-Institut, and have always curiously sought out the interfaces with other cultures and music makers. Their latest project, Time Bends, which is based in new music, was created in collaboration with percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, who is currently active at the Berliner Festspiele

Pantha du Prince Pantha du Prince | © Fréderic Boudin There is probably no one in the world who feels anything but adoration for Hendrik Weber aka Pantha du Prince. Gentle pads and conciliatory chimes have been his trademark since his masterpiece Black Noise, released back in 2010. Since then, it been nothing but the finest quality. His new album Garden Gaia also continues this tradition. In the silence lies the power. However, on the single to the album, Heaven Is Where You Are (Bendik HK Edit), a moving midtempo breakbeat number, there is even singing this time.
Video directed by Til Obladen and Aiste Tamosiunaite

Popcast August 2022

with music by:

Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen | Tapete Records 
Ezé Wendtoin | Trikont
Frau Kraushaar | Staatsakt
Ralph Heidel | Kryptox
Shed | Edition Dur
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon
Speaker Female Voice-Overs (English): Louise Hollamby Kühr

Die Liga der Gewöhnlichen Gentlemen Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen | © DLDGG Hamburg is the music capital of Germany. Of course, musicians from Berlin don't like to hear that, but there is some evidence that simply cannot be denied. One of them was undoubtedly the band Superpunk. Their pointed Northern Soul influenced garage punk with witty socialist lyrics was a revelation. After the band broke up, two of the band members decided to continue with the same concept and similar musical direction: Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen, which conveniently features the record company boss on guitar, continues the Superpunk tradition without fail. Pure bliss!


Ezé Wendtoin Ezé Wendtoin | © Warc-en-ciel Ezé Wendtoin from Burkina Faso delivers a quite curious mixture of German-language party song and African tradition for the Popcast of the Month for August. But the sunny and cheerful party sound is deceptive, because Ezé not only shuttles musically between his worlds, but also physically, within the framework of several aid projects initiated by him, the goal of which is to improve school education in his African homeland.

Alles ist voll Scheiße
Die Welt ist so gemein
Ich finde alles zum kotzen
Und leg mich ins Selbstmitleid rein

Everything is shit
The world is so mean
I think everything sucks
And I feel sorry for myself

Frau Kraushaar "Lamentierendes Schwein" (Bella Utopia, 2022)

Frau Kraushaar Frau Kraushaar | © Vera Tammen/Staatsakt Another classic from the Hamburg scene is the long-standing musician and artist Frau Kraushaar. With Bella Utopia, she has delivered an excellent electronic folk album peppered with dadaistic lyrics, sometimes dealing with the little things in life (a found object at the flea market, for example), but sometimes also with basic attitudes to life (as here above in Lamentierendes Schwein).


Ralph Heidel Ralph Heidel | © Michael Ullrich Modern Life, the new album by saxophonist and producer Ralph Heidel, was created in collaboration with what is currently perhaps Germany's best-known producer, Max Rieger. The work is characterized by great experimentation, but its roots are in jazz and chamber music. Striking, besides some mini-percussion instruments, is the use of a very old wall piano, and of course again and again the alto saxophone of the maestro himself.

Shed Shed | © Birgit Kaulfuss Rene Pawlowitz aka Shed reflects in his introspective new album Odenbruch themes of his old home in the East of Germany. It's about these small places, local gas station, the view on the water, musicm that penetrates from cars driving towards Berlin, rural avenues, weeping willows and abandoned factories where once industry flourished. A landscape to leave and return to, a pastoral work full of seriousness, released in the catalog of Ostgut Ton, the record label affiliated with the legendary Berghain.


Popcast July 2022

with music by:

Brezel Göring | Stereo Total Records / Flirt 99
Finna | Audiolith
Magnetic Ghost Orchestra | Fun in the Church
Perel | Kompakt
Raison | Buback
Author: Angie Portmann 
Speaker (English): David Creedon 
Speaker Female Voice-Overs (English): Louise Hollamby Kühr

Brezel Göring Brezel Göring | © Tina Linster Since the nineties, Brezel Göring and Françoise Cactus have packed German-French friendship into crazy sounds with their Berlin band Stereo Total. Françoise Cactus, whose deliberately exaggerated French accent was the band's trademark, passed away in early 2021. A good year later, Brezel Göring now releases Psychoanalyse (Volume 2), his first solo album since the end of Stereo Total. The album shows Brezel Göring from his vulnerable side and is marked by the loss of his band partner and life companion.

Mache den Rap wieder soft und zart
Fühl mal Gefühle und komm drauf klar
Mach nicht auf Boss und fühl dich hart
Denn jede Emotion macht uns stark

[Make rap soft and tender again
Feel feelings and get along with it
Don't act like a boss and feel tough
Cause every emotion makes us strong]
Finna "Zartcore"

Finna Finna | © Katja Ruge Hip hop is only for tough guys? Not at all, thinks the Hamburg rapper Finna. Her performance includes not only heavy beats and clear statements, but also pink outfits and a pinch of glitter. Finna has given her current debut album the name Zartcore. Under this motto, she wants to bring the soft and delicate into the direct, often aggressive world of hip-hop and make more diversity possible in the genre.


Magnetic Ghost Orchestra Magnetic Ghost Orchestra | © Benjakon Compared to the many solo artists on July's Popcast of the Month, Magnetic Ghost Orchestra seems to be going the opposite way. The jazz group around composer and guitarist Moritz Sembritzki consists of 17 members, who especially appreciate the bombastic sound of this band size. This is what the band is presenting on their first album Sand.

Perel Perel | © Helen Perez For the eponymous track of their second album, electro musician Perel has brought in reinforcements from Montreal. Jesus Was an Alien features the voice of Montreal's Marie Davidson. In keeping with the title, Perel's mixture of minimal, house and eighties new wave repeatedly incorporates synthesizer sounds that could have come straight from the UFO of a scifi film.


Raison Raison | © Stephanie von Beauvais The question of who all should hear Raison's debut album can be answered quite simply in the words of their album: as many people as possible. Raison is the project of three musicians Schorsch Kamerun, PC Nackt and Mense Reents, who live in Berlin and Hamburg. Similar to Brezel Göring, the three are not newcomers. Schorsch Kamerun and Mense Reents were already active with the Hamburg band Die Goldenen Zitronen since the eighties. As Raison they work mainly with a minimal instrumentation of keyboard instruments, few drums and thoughtful vocals.

Text: Sonka Hinders

Popcast June 2022

with music by:

The Kings of Dubrock | Staatsakt
The Plastik Beatniks  | Alien Transistor
Kat Frankie | Grönland Records
Erdmöbel | Jippie! Industrie
Roman Flügel | Sister Midnight
Author: Angie Portmann 
Speaker (English): David Creedon

  The Kings of Dubrock The Kings of Dubrock | © Dorle Bahlburg Hamburg's music scene occupies a special place in the German musical landscape; compared to other cities, it stands out for its great independence, humour and diversity. The collaboration of producer Victor Marek (Knarf Rellöm), choreographer Rica Blunck, who is also based in London, and humorist Jacques Palminger (Fraktus) is one of these phenomena blessed by madness. Their project The Kings of Dubrock cultivates an idiosyncratic blend of Wild West, dub reggae and summer pop. Jacques Palminger speaks, Rica Blunck sings, the strangest words rhyme (for example, the German terms for toolbox and landing strip), you must come up with that first. However, this crazy, fantastic record, Dubbies on Top, probably wouldn't fit so well into the winter landscape.

Let the voices of dead poets
Ring louder in your ears
Than the screechings mouthed
In mildewed editorials.
Listen to the music of centuries,
Rising above the mushroom time.

Bob Kaufman Believe, believe

Bob Kaufman Bob Kaufman | © Mark Green Another collaboration comes from the stable of the Notwist brothers Markus and Micha Acher, who, with radio playwright Andy Ammer, have produced a tribute to the beat poet Bob Kaufman. The poet, who died in 1996, left behind a considerable body of work that has not yet received the attention it deserves. The Plastik Beatniks and their label Alien Transistor now want to change this. On the album All Those Streets I Must Find Cities For, illustrious guests such as Patti Smith and Moor Mother recite poems by the "Black American Rimbaud," as Kaufmann is also known.

Kat Frankie Kat Frankie | © Elina Kechicheva A straighter path is taken by Kat Frankie, an Australian who has long been based in Berlin. Her album offers perfectly produced, opulent chamber pop that sometimes deals with ephemeral consumer goods, sometimes with immortal hope. Shiny Things is the apt name for her work, which might have a hard time holding its own against international competition such as Florence K.

Roman Flügel Roman Flügel | © Nadine Fraczkowski Roman Flügel is one of Germany's most respected techno producers, but is better known internationally as a DJ. Only with Alter Ego, his joint project with Jörg Elling Wuttke, was he able to land a veritable club hit in 2004 with Rocker. His first solo album Ro70 from 1995, on the other hand, is not known to most fans, as it was only released in a limited edition at the time. So, the decision was made to re-release the album, which is suitable for living rooms in the best sense of the word, now on his own label.


Das Universum ist meine
Große Liebe
Und die Physik
Verehre ich wie
Meine Mutter

[The universe is my
Great Love
And physics
I adore like
my mother]
Erdmöbel Das Vakuum

Erdmöbel Erdmöbel | © Matthias Sandmann To close this month's popcast, there is once again a great discovery to be made, long-hidden to people outside of Germany. For several decades now, the Cologne-based band Erdmöbel has been a guarantor of lyrical pop full of clever influences ranging from classical guitar pop to bossa nova. They're just somehow too good for this world, so they'll remain our shared secret, and that feels right, too. Guten Morgen, Ragazzi is the name of the new album full of enigmatic gems, among which is the song Bernoulli Effekt presented here.


Popcast May 2022

with music by:

Chilly Gonzales & Plastikman | Turbo Recordings
Ferge x Fisherman | Ferge x Fisherman Records
Freundliche Kreisel | Stroom Records
JakoJako | Bigamo Musik
Toechter | Edition Dur
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Plastikman x Chilly Gonzales Plastikman x Chilly Gonzales | © Camille Blake The popcast of the beautiful month of May shows a calm and relaxed facet of the German music landscape. Leading the way is a release that one could locate in Canada. Berlin resident Plastikman aka Richie Hawtin and Chilly Gonzales, an unrecognized genius on the keys who shuttles between the two countries, have set to work on a reinterpretation of Plastikman’s (aka Richie Hawtin) 1998 album Consumed. Celebrated to this day as a pioneer of minimal techno, the masterpiece has lost none of its power in Consumed in Key, this piano-accompanied remix version, produced by none other than Montreal’s Tiga.

Ferge x Fisherman Ferge x Fisherman | © Gregor Seifert Reminiscent of the early 90s, the sound of the Ferge x Fisherman project is an amazingly coherent blend of jazz and hip-hop. Peppered with international guests like Detroit’s Black Milk, the enormously talented Munich-based Victoryaz, and South African singer Hunter Rose, the Nuremberg duo delivers the perfect sound for warm summer nights.

Schläfst du denn schon?

(Are you asleep already?)
Freundliche Kreisel

Freundliche Kreisel Freundliche Kreisel | © Claire Dorweiler Sympathetically spun, humorous, experimental, but also somewhat uncompromising, Freundliche Kreisel follows their ideas on their debut album. A bunch of electronic and acoustic instruments accompany the dreamy, often spoken lyrics. If you want more, look for Baldruin and Brannten Schnüre, the band members’ other projects, which are also well worth a listen and provide insight into the diversity of influences of this incomparable band.

JakoJako JakoJako | © Katja Ruge
JakoJako takes a different, straighter path. The Berghain resident DJ predominantly uses modular systems in her minimal tracks, whose smooth, straight sequence loops she enhances with an enormous amount of reverb. The album Metamorphose develops its fascinating power through a tangible calmness. Here is an album produced with patience. JakoJako, whose real name is Sibel Koçer, works, appropriately enough, in a modular synthesizer store.


toechter toechter | © Sophie Krische Toechter is a playground, an open laboratory for new sounds and experiments, the group says in the interview. The trio, consisting of Katrine Grarup Elbo, Marie-Claire Schlameus and Lisa Marie Vogel, uses only string instruments (violin, viola, cello) with a few short vocal passages on their album Zephyr, which they process, distort and loop with a considerable arsenal of effects pedals. The result is a beautiful, but strangely enraptured album between chamber music and cinematic drama.


Popcast April 2022

with music by:

Chris Imler | Fun in the Church
Future Kult | Action Wolf Records
Get Well Soon | Virgin Music
Mittekill | Weltgast
Painting | World and Sound/Anytime
Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon 

Get Well Soon Get Well Soon | © Clemens Fantur Get Well Soon, the project of Konstantin Gropper from tiny Biberach in southern Germany, sounds like great pop made for an international audience with its opulent arrangements full of strings and brass. His debut album from 2008 was already released internationally by the British label Nude (in Germany on City Slang), and he hasn't slowed down since. The graduate of the Popakademie Mannheim, a kind of cadre school for Germany's young pop talent, presents his new album on April's Popcast, and once again he doesn't have to hide from the competition. With its brilliant songwriting and wonderfully polished production, the album has what it takes to become a classic.

I’ve been to Hidalgo
Where the corn grows
And the wind blows
I get around

Future Kult "Hildalgo"

Future Kult Future Kult | © Future Kult Future Kult, consisting of musicians Sion Trefor and Benjamin Zombori from Cardiff and Berlin, went on a self-organized residency in the Mexican countryside for 3 months last year. The world seemed tragic, contradictory, cruel and desperate to them, and this had to be processed into a musical project. Benjamin already knew his way around Mexico, and so the choice fell on the remote town of Hidalgo. In the seclusion, a gloomy work of dystopian impression was created. A unique project.

Chris Imler Chris Imler | © Chris Galya Feiermann Street dandy, dubious magician and prophet with a background as a drummer (The Golden Showers, Oum Shatt, Die Türen), Chris Imler has been considered a grand seigneur of the Berlin underground for decades. Now he has recorded a new, well, beautiful album: Operation Schönheit. With clanking, jingling and sawtooth synths, however, Imler remains rooted in the tradition of electronic post-punk in which he and his grooves stand.


Some time ago, Popcast featured the project Hotel Kali, a Goethe-Institut-sponsored residency in India by Berlin-based musician Theresa Stroetges and some local musicians. In this month's Popcast, the multi-instrumentalist also known as Golden Diskó Ship, together with Christian Hohenbild and Sophia Trollmann, presents a new project, the band Painting and the album Painting is Dead, part of an interdisciplinary art project they called Painting in 3D. Presented here the canonical Symmetrical Patterns.

Ich steh´ an der Fleischtheke - man behandelt mich nicht nett.
Die Lüge schreit: ‚Ich bin die Wahrheit‘ - doch es ist Tourette.
Das sind die Leute aus dem Internet.

I'm standing at the meat counter - they don't treat me nice.
The lie screams, 'I am the truth!' - but it's Tourette's.
These are the people from the Internet.
- Mittekill

Mittekill Mittekill | © Martin Gottschalk Friedrich Greiling and Jan Hohmann have been Mittekill since 2007, transporting the Neue Deutsche Welle (new German wave) into the age of techno. Their new album Phantom Club is a rather dark, stripped-back story that suits them extremely well. The single Die Leute aus dem Internet, a sparkling midtempo number, addresses the relationship between reality and the Internet, which not surprisingly evokes positive associations for hardly anyone, but was implemented with the band's typical humour and some cleverness.


Popcast March 2022

with music by:

Anne  | Grzegorzki Records
AYKU  | Trikont
Kreidler  | Bureau B
Master Of All Four Elements | Master Of All Four Elements
Tocotronic  | Vertigo/Universal
Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Jesper Munk Jesper Munk | © Dhanesh Jayaselan Jesper Munk calls his new, fourth album Taped Heart Sounds an embrace. It features cover versions of songs by his musical heroes-including Etta James, Tom Waits and Jacques Brel. Relaxed, always in the mid-tempo range, and blithely drawing from folk, blues, soul, and everything in between, Jesper Munk makes the songs entirely his own, as evidenced by the love song Baby, originally by Donnie & Joe Emerson, presented here. The unusual recording technique with multi-track cassettes, Jesper Munk explains in the interview of our March Popcast.

The Knarf Rellöm Arkestra is one of the Knarf Rellöm Knarf Rellöm | © Stefan Malzkorn many projects of, well, Knarf Rellöm, a veteran of the German music scene little known outside the German-speaking world. His always clever and mischievous songs have little mainstream appeal, though on the new album Kritik der Leistungsgesellschaft (A critique of the meritocracy, a typical Rellöm title), he manages many a snappy bouncer in collaboration with his partner of long time DJ Pattex and Tillamandaso, such as the song Say It Loud, du hast Scheiß gebaut presented here

Maya Shenfeld has succeeded in creating Maya Shenfeld Maya Shenfeld | © Tobias Tzielony a stunning debut album. On In Free Fall, the Berlin native from Israel experiments with minimalist synth lines and arpeggios that develop a meditative, enchanted magic through their repetitive simplicity. The classically trained guitarist leaves her main instrument almost entirely aside on the album but draws on her experience in the compositions. The featured piece Body, Electric is a classical-like meditation with a ghostly intensity.

Denn ich definiere mich darüber wer ich bin
Nicht was ich habe, haben werde oder hatte
Und es bleibt die ewige Frage: Haben oder Sein?

For I define myself by who I am
Not what I have, will have or had
And the eternal question remains: to have or to be?
Amewu, "Haben oder Sein"

Amewu, German-Ghanaian from Berlin, has been around the hip-hop scene for Amewu Amewu | © Janick Zebrowski some time. His new album Haben oder Sein (Have or Be) is a stripped back, mature rap album that is an experience not only lyrically but musically as well. In the opener Amewuga presented here, which is about Amewu's life as an outsider between cultures, one even discovers a sample of early Depeche Mode.

The March Popcast closes with one of the Ebow Ebow | © Marko Mestrovic Gaddafi Gals, Ebru Düzgün aka Ebow, whose new album Canê is situated between German trap and soulful R&B, seamlessly following its predecessor K4L. In the interview she talks about the album, the time of the pandemic and also about her new label Alvozay (Turkish for "girlfriends"), which specializes in promoting BPOC artists, who are still heavily underrepresented on the German music market. To be heard in closing: Her ballad Trouble.

Popcast February 2022

with music by:

Anne  | Grzegorzki Records
AYKU  | Trikont
Kreidler  | Bureau B
Master Of All Four Elements | Master Of All Four Elements
Tocotronic  | Vertigo/Universal

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Entschuldigung, du weißt, ich muss jetzt gehen
Ich kann nur eine Viertelstunde
im Schlund überstehen

(Sorry, you know I have to go now
I can only last fifteen minutes
in the maw)
Tocotronic "Ich tauche auf"

Tocotronic Tocotronic | © Goria Endres de Oliveira For many German music fans, the band Tocotronic is emblematic of the second renaissance of alternative German-language music after the Neue Deutsche Welle. Coinciding with the American lo-fi of bands like Pavement and Sebadoh, the so-called Hamburg School came on the scene in the mid-'90s, and Tocotronic was one of its most important representatives with slogan-like song titles like Ich möchte Teil einer Jugendbewegung sein ("I want to be part of a youth movement"). Many years later, Nie Wieder Krieg, their 14th studio album, is released, a musically and otherwise mature work of serene beauty. The song presented here, Ich tauche auf, is a duet with the wonderful Austrian singer Soap&Skin. The interview features Arne Zank and Jan Müller, Songs Of Gastarbeiter 2 Songs Of Gastarbeiter 2 | © Trikont the band's drummer and bassist.

A typical German affair is the compilation Songs of Gastarbeiter Vol. 2. Starting in the mid-1950s, the German economy suffered from a labour shortage, and many foreign workers came to the country through a corresponding program of the German government, the so-called "guest workers." A musical subculture emerged that was largely unknown to the German public until it was portrayed eight years ago in the first installment of the compilation presented here.  This time, however, the focus is on the second generation of guest workers. We present here Los Binkis with Ayer tuve un sueno. An important contemporary document that draws from a huge spectrum of influences and styles.

Ich fliege über die Felder
Ohne Namen, ohne Geld

(I fly over the fields
Without a name, without money)
Anne "Die Felder"

Anne Anne | © Wilfried Petzi Anne, a quartet from Munich, makes dreamy pop between art rock and singer/songwriter. Attentive Popcast listeners will know their drummer from her band Candelilla. Learn more about the adverse circumstances of the recording of the drums on the album and the connection between music and painting in the interview.

Old heroes, part 2: Instrumental, atmospheric, restless and sometimes threatening, that's how Kreidler has sounded for many years. And they did not change on their new album Spells and daubs. The Kreidler Kreidler | © Heinz Emigholz compositions are minimal and repetitive, interspersed with field recordings and hard-to-recognize samples. Highly interesting is the choice of producer Peter Walsh (Scott Walker, Heaven 17), under whose direction another dubby masterpiece of the Düsseldorfers was created. In the interview, they also talk about the connection between their music and fine arts.

Master Of All Elements Master Of All Elements | © Master Of All Elements With their pleasant retro pop sound, the Augsburg duo Master of all Four Elements is a worthy conclusion to February's Popcast. In the interview, they rejoice about the benefits of the pandemic and their new shared apartment. We rejoice with them and the masterful Rat Love from the new album Flesh Faker.

Popcast January 2022

with music by:

Fazer | City Slang
JASSS | Ostgut Ton
Laura Lee & The Jettes | Duchess Box Records
Nalan | Mansions & Millions
Sissi Rada | Kryptox
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon


Hope will fly
And they take off
to the past and present skies

Laura Lee & The Jettes "Caterpillar"

Laura Lee & The Jettes Laura Lee & The Jettes | © Suzanne Caroline de Carrasco It is the 15th year for Goethe-Institut Popcast already, and we wish all listeners a happy and also musically excellent New Year. This time, we start with Laura Gertken aka Laura Lee, who at the end of last year has created a small pop masterpiece. Wasteland, the album of one half of the now-disbanded duo GURR, contains 11 short snappy shoegaze pop anthems, of which we present the song Caterpillar. In the interview Laura talks about her career. She will also visit the American continent this year – the slot at SXSW is already booked!

Sissi Rada is a harpist with Greek roots. On her album Nano Diamond, she goes in search of primitive sounds of old instruments, weaving them with minimal electronics into a beautiful tapestry of sound. The album sports big-name collaborations with, among others, Brian Eno and Andi Toma from Mouse on Mars.

I’m in my favorite place on earth
Me, my blanket and my favorite scores
I wrote my own episode
I’m good 4 sure

Nalan "I’m Good"

Nalan Nalan | © Nusa Hernavs
Nalan Karacgil, formerly part of the Gaddafi Gals and known to some as Slimgirl Fat, has produced an album in the first lockdown that uses a wide variety of influences from the last two decades and shines with international level songwriting. On I'm Good. The Crying Tape she reflects on her youth and the changing moods in isolation, as she explains in more detail in the interview.


Fazer Fazer | © Michael Wong
from Munich doesn't want to be considered a jazz band; the influences they mention are too diverse on their third album Plex. Postrock, Afrobeat, experimental pop, dub techno are equally important components of their music for this quintet's music. In their interview, they tell us about their new connection to the renowned Berlin label City Slang.


Spanish-born, Berlin-based JASSS JASSS JASSS | © Matt Lambert also wanders between worlds, albeit in electronic realms. Exuberant synth stabs can be found on A World Of Service as well as dark dub experiments and excursions into trip hop, as in the title track presented here.

is nowhere to be found
Inside this world of service

JASSS „A World of Service“

Popcast December 2021

with music by:

Abu Ama | Accidental Meetings
Die Cigaretten | Audiolith
KARL HECTOR presents JOHNNY | Now- Again
ROBERT GÖRL & DAF | Grönland
Vaovao | Staatsakt

Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Karl Hector presents JOHNNY! Karl Hector presents JOHNNY! | © Now Again Munich-based guitarist and producer Jan Weissenfeldt is one of the most exciting personalities on the German music scene. For many years he has been creating raw, unpolished funk, for example with his Project Poets of Rhythm or the Whitefield Brothers. And now, under the new pseudonym Karl Hector, he presents his new, international Afro-rock project Johnny, based on rock from Zambia. In the interview, he explains how rock and Afro-beat could merge into this fantastic genre.
Vaovao Vaovao | © Anna Jaissle
Also somehow fused and graced with African roots is the project Vaovao of Cologne musicians Hanitra Wagner and Oliver Bersing. Hanitra Wagner is also part of Die Heiterkeit, through which she is certainly already a household name to many. In Vaovao, diverse influences come to the fore, electronic instruments of all kinds prevail and overall the mood remains calm and controlled.

Abu Ama Abu Ama | © Abu Ama The same can be said of the mysterious Abu Ama from Bielefeld, whose analog dub sound radiates such an intense calm that you can literally see the smoke billowing through your living room when you listen to it. In the interview, he explains how his productions can be compared to carpets — if they exist at all. Because if, as it has been claimed, the city of Bielefeld is in fact a deception, perhaps Abu Ama would also be an illusion. That would also fit well with his sound.

It's helpful at this point that the band with the very Die Cigaretten Die Cigaretten | © Katja Ruge concrete name Die Cigaretten brings us safely back to reality. Like good therapy, their new album Emotional Eater reflects the band’s collective feelings, which, according to them, magically turn into compositions. It will be released on the ingenious Hamburg label Audiolith, which regular Popcast listeners are surely familiar with. In this context, we would like to recommend the captivating portrait Wildes Herz, which is about the band Feine Sahne Fischfilet, labelmates on Audiolith. You can watch it for free in our film series Im Zeichen des Widerstands on Goethe on Demand.
Robert Görl Robert Görl | © Rick Burger
It has become a tradition to present a revived classic as the last Popcast contribution, but this time it’s about the new music of a classic act. Robert Görl, founding member of DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) returns with what is presumably his last work under this name after the passing of his bandmate Gaby Delgado-Lopez. The work consists in large parts of tracks already produced years ago, from which Görl has now made with Nur Noch Einer the swan song to an important chapter of German music history.

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