Current Music from Germany
Popcast

Toechter Photo (detail): Toechter © Sophie Krische

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.

Current Issue

This Month 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.


 

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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

Fazer
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.
 

Pleasure
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.
 

Popcast November 2021

With music by:

Gewalt | Clouds Hill
Isolation Berlin | Staatsakt
Maria Portugal | Fun in the Church
Niklas Wandt | Bureau B
Sam Shackleton | Woe To The Septic Heart

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon
November's Popcast once again features news from the German music scene, with lots of music and
Isolation Berlin
Isolation Berlin | © Noel Richter
interviews in which music makers have their say. One of the most interesting new releases of the month is the third album of Isolation Berlin, Geheimnis. Singer Tobias Bamborschke goes on an introspective journey as the album deals with personal crises and mental health issues. What sets the album the title track apart from the competition are the clever lyrics, in which imaginary figures represent individual aspects of a person. More about this in the interview.

Ich werd' mich ändern, werd' mich ändern, irgendwann

(I'll change, I'll change, someday)
Tobias Bamborschke, Isolation Berlin


A world apart is also the drummer, percussionist, producer, radio journalist and DJ Niklas Wandt, who is also
Niklas Wandt
Niklas Wandt | © Harriet Meyer
known from his band Stabil Elite. His new album Solar Müsli is an exciting, partly challenging mix of synthesizers, acoustic instruments and various samples. But the basis is always the rhythm, Niklas Wandt's safe place. He explains in an interview how his electronic project and the jazz scene fit together.

Introspective, meditative, and multi-layered — these attributes fit Sam
Sam Shackleton
Sam Shackleton | © Sam Shackleton
Shackelton
's psychoactive sound collages ("ritual trance" is what he calls it, which is a quite fitting description). Pleasant memories of the gloomy dub of the 90s come to mind. Definitely music for the after hour.

Not suitable for chilling, however, is the rumbling sound of Gewalt (not to be confused with All Diese Gewalt). The central figure of the
Gewalt
Gewalt | © Magnus Winter
project is Berlin scene veteran, singer and guitarist Patrick Wagner, whose self-confidence is on full display in the interview. Musically, Gewalt are brutal but disciplined. There is not one unnecessary note, everything is well thought out and precise. For several years now Gewalt have already built up a sworn fan base at countless shows, so that with the upcoming debut album Paradies one can speak without exaggeration of a long-awaited release.

Ein Klang, ein Bett und eine Armee

(A sound, a bed and an army)
Patrick Wagner, Gewalt

María Portugal
María Portugal | © Kristina Zalesskaya

Finally, we introduce the Brazilian experimental musician Mariá Portugal, who now lives in Germany. She was invited last year to the great Moers Festival, which is surely known to some from ourdossier on music festivalsin Germany. Moers is also the birthplace of her new album Erosão — an exciting, inventive and challenging work that can best be classified under jazz, with much more to discover.
 

Popcast October 2021

With music by:

Glasgow Coma Scale | Tonzonen Records
Gudrun Gut und Mabe Fratti | Umor Rex Records
Keshavara | Papercup Records
Faust | Bureau B
Thala | Duchess Box

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Keshavara
Keshavara | © Niclas Weber
Keshavara, a Cologne duo previously known only to insiders, take it easy. Their Manjula Mantra, featured in our October Popcast, skillfully meanders between cultures, eras and styles. But the best thing about the daring but coherent mix is a certain ever-present funkyness. The lyrics, especially when performed in German, are another factor that draws attention. Is this Dada? A truly fascinating piece of music, which the two musicians explain in more detail in the interview. The current album Kabinett der Phantasie was just released if you would like to hear more.

Unter den Palmen liegt ein Geheimnis

(Under the palms lies a secret)
Keshavara

Music from Germany has never especially been characterized by relaxedness, so it is all the more amazing to have another dreamy piece of music in this
Thala
Thala | © Celestecall
month’s selection. Thala, whose concept album Adolescence is about the process of growing up, reminds in its best moments of Angel Olsen. In the interview she tells the slightly hippiesque story of her artistic development.

The Frankfurt trio Glasgow Coma Scale also
Glasgow Coma Scale
Glasgow Coma Scale | © GCS
doesn't exactly fit into the German music landscape. At the very least, it's certainly the first time instrumental stoner rock has been featured on the Popcast. Their irrepressible energy and the technical perfectionism on display in their track Magik, are, as you will hear, a good reason to take a close listen.
 

I contemplate my life into pieces every day

Thala


Back in more familiar territory, we meet again the genius of Gudrun Gut, co-founder of Malaria!, Mania D and Monika Enterprises, who is back with an exciting collaboration with Gualtemalan experimental musician Mabe
Gudrun Gut & Mabe Fratti
Gudrun Gut & Mabe Fratti | © Daniel Castrejón
Fratti
. Together they crafted a multi-layered and brooding album about the climate with Let's Talk About the Weather. Mabe Fratti’s cello meets snippet recordings of (their?) conversations, field recordings, electronic manipulations. An impressionist collage of sounds resulting in an eerie dystopia. It is not without pride that we point out that the two met during a project of the Goethe-Institut. More about this in the interview.
 
And finally, once again a first in the current Popcast: the presentation of a reissue. Faust, the legendary Krautrock-band that never came to stardom in their home country, are releasing their first four albums from the early 1970’s in a luxurious 8 CD (or 7 vinyl) box set including a never released album and countless unissued studio tracks.

Popcast September 2021

With music by:

Breezy | Breezy
Henning Hans | Stargazerrecords
Die Radierer | Blitzkrieg Pop Records
Moritz von Oswald Trio | Modern Recordings
Nene H | Incienso

Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon
Moritz von Oswald Trio
Moritz von Oswald Trio | © Charlotte Duale
The Moritz von Oswald Trio returns to the Popcast in this Sepetember edition - with the meditative piece Chapter Four from the album Dissent, which this time shows more influences of jazz and dub. Morith von Oswald is supported by American experimental musician Laurel Halo and jazz drummer Heinrich Köbberling, whose tireless work gives the album its direction.
 

Ich will jede Menge Spass
Ich will ins Gute Laune Land

[I want to have a lot of fun / I want to go to Good Mood Land]
Die Radierer

With a lot of soul, but also blues, the Berliner-by-choice Breezy tackles hip hop. Since 2019 she has been
Breezy
Breezy | © Rhys Anderson
living in the German capital, with which, as she explains in the interview, she has a love-hate relationship. Her talent for combining African-American styles has shaped her music, but she is also skilled in collaborations. In 2020, she released the multilingual Savage Rap with Haszcara, Alice Dee, Cupid and others, and is now presenting her album Schwarzfahren, which also features some exciting guests, including Australian slam poet Arielle Cottingham, whose poem The Berlin Poem she set to music and which is presented here.
 
But the Popcast draws even wider geographical circles: Europe too, both
Henning Hans
Henning Hans | © Henning Hans
the continent and the idea are negotiated in the Popcast. The hitherto unknown musician Henning Hans has single-handedly recorded his album Ich hatte mein Handy hätte man mich gebraucht, which also features the Europe song Ode an die Freude, which we present in this edition of the Popcast, so named in ironic reference to Friedrich Schiller's poem. A very interesting discovery.
 
Bone dry bass, hysterical vocals and good humor come from Germany's oldest post punk band Die Radierer. Contemporaries of such illustrious
Die Radierer
Die Radierer | © Die Radierer
colleagues as Fehlfarben or Palais Schaumburg, they've been around in the music scene for over 40 years now, and here they present a song that has been unfinished for 40 years. Sometimes it just takes a little longer, but the wait was worth it. At least they haven't lost any energy.
 

Kann ich bitte endlich gehen

[Can I please go now]
Nene H

Nene H
Nene H | © Paul Krause
One of the world's most exciting new acts in electronic music is Turkish-born Nene H, who is best known in Germany for her ground breaking performances at CTM Festival and Berlin Atonal and is based in Berlin and Copenhagen. Trained in classical music, the artist draws on her diverse talents and multicultural experiences to create her dark and genre-bending tracks full of atmosphere and emotional density. The German press has been overflowing with praise ever since. Here we present her introspective track Reue from the just released debut album Ali, named after her late father.

Popcast August 2021

with music by:

Anika | INVADA Records
Hotel Kali | Antime Records
KMRU | Injazero Records
Peter Muffin Trio | Glitterhouse 
Zouj | City Slang
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Variety is the watchword of the August edition of the Popcast. We start with former
Anika
Anika | © Sven Gutjahr
journalist Anika, who became famous through her collaboration with Portishead's Geoff Barrow. She used to be fondly compared to the immortal Nico, and there's no denying the vocal resemblance today, but by now the radical lo-fi aesthetic has given way to a minimal elegance that's just as hypnotic and austere, but much more cohesive than the song sketches on the debut solo album released on Stones Throw Records more than 10 years ago

The pandemic was like a magnifying glass for all the problems.

Anika

Zouj, we'll quote the Berlin-based record label City Slang's info sheet here, is "all about
Zouj
Zouj | © jamal Cazare
finding the soul in synthetic sounds: 'I try to make my machines sound human by emulating mistakes, randomness and tempo fluctuations, while doing my best as a human to sound like a machine.'" This is evidenced on Leipzig-based artist Zouj's short mixtape Tagat, out now and featured here. The track F100te, which can be heard here, is a bass track reduced to the extreme, whose narrow shape is enriched with small melodies from the Arabic cultural area. A very interesting discovery.

Each track reflects an event, a space or a place.

KMRU

KMRU
KMRU | © Thukia
Hailing from Nairobi, Berlin-based all-round artist KMRU loves the sound of the city. His ambient album Logue, enriched with field recordings from walks in Berlin and Nairobi, is a good example of how complexity can work even in simple structures. Besides the sparse use of a few synthesizers, the percussion arrangements originating from East African culture is particularly striking. A beautiful, haunting work by a multidimensional artist who, despite his young age (he's only 24), can already look back on a remarkably large and wide-ranging body of work

Disco for me, Disco for you, Disco for all!

Hotel Kali

Hotel Kali also have a real multicultural background, but this time it's Berlin-based
Hotel Kali
Hotel Kali | © Arhan Sett
musician and composer Theresa Stroetges (Golden Diskó Ship) who created the project (you can learn the funny story about the origin of the name in the interview) during an artist residency in Calcutta. The resulting Indian Krautrock has such density that one wonders why this cosmic mix wasn't attempted before. Like Stereolab gone mad on Sunday morning.

Is it always like this? Yes, it's always like this!

Peter Muffin Trio

Peter Muffin Trio
Peter Muffin Trio | © Marina Buneta
Of course, no one of the Peter Muffin Trio is actually named Peter Muffin. The trio, made up of members of Stuttgart's pop bohemia, named its album of gnarly guitar rock hits after the controversial Stuttgart 2021 train station project (which, of course, could not be completed this year as planned). It was released on sympathetic label Glitterhouse Records from the Weser mountain region, organizer of the annual boutique festival Orange Blossom Special, part of our new dossier on music festivals in Germany, which might be of interest to some Popcast listeners.

Popcast July 2021

with music by:

Fehler Kuti | Alien Transistor
Maulgruppe | Major Label
Sophia Kennedy | City Slang
Stimming | Stimming Recordings
Tuvaband | Passions Flames

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon
 

Red flying kites in the sky
What a perfect day for us to spеnd outside
Like a ghost in a suit
I'm floatin' down the boulеvard

Sophia Kennedy „Orange Tic Tac“

In our July Popcast, we are happy to present Sophia Kennedy from Hamburg, who
Sophia Kennedy
Sophia Kennedy | © Benjakon
has delivered a fantastic pop album together with her partner in crime Mense Reents. Some will surely know him from his work with Die Goldenen Zitronen and Egoexpress. On their new album Monsters Sophia Kennedy demonstrates an incredible versatility, which she always puts at the service of the pursuit of the perfect tune. In the interview, she explains how this collaboration came about, and how the division of labor between the two works.

Out of the Notwist universe, and released on their own label Alien Transistor, Fehler Kuti has his say. His playful loops of kraut-ey analog electronics revolve around themes like the importance of getting involved in the discussion about solidarity with minorities and
Fehler Kuti
Fehler Kuti | © Andreas Neumeister
actively opposing racist structures and identity-political currents.
 

Ein Fehler kann doch jedem mal passieren.

[Mistakes can happen to anyone]
Fehler Kuti "Professional People"

Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser, on the other hand, is all about introspection in her project, the somewhat awkwardly named Tuvaband. She has created her album Growing Pains & Pleasures largely solo in her home studio during the lockdown. The Berlin native with Norwegian roots explores personal themes like the effects of isolation triggered
Maulgruppe
Maulgruppe | © Tamer Fawzy
by the pandemic in her elfin alternative pop. Her airy sound, carried by gentle keyboards and jangling guitars, is a beautiful companion in lonely hours.
 
Jens Rachut will probably not be known to too many people on this side of the Atlantic, yet he is one of the most important figures of German punk. The now almost seventy-year-old veteran of the scene adds another project to his considerable life's work - his bands bear names like Angeschissen, Dackelblut or the unforgotten Blumen am Arsch der Hölle - the Maulgruppe. The piece presented here also
Stimming
Stimming | © Randy Rocket
features a reunion with the recently deceased Françoise Cactus of Stereo Total. The piece Kakteen verblühen nie tells of how the two met in Burgundy and became lifelong friends.
 
You will remember Hamburg's Stimming for his collaboration with Solomun and a minimal but extremely consistent club sound. Today, on his new album Ludwig he shows his experimental side. He still employs his trademark lovingly collected field recordings, but musically he has turned a corner to a very multi-layered experience that occasionally even ventures into classical realms. Stimming explains in an interview where his closeness to nature comes from and how it became an influence on his music.

Anniversary concert: 150th edition of Popcast

On the occasion of this anniversary, a special live edition would be streamed from the Habibi Kiosk at the Münchner Kammerspiele on Friday, 09.07.2021 – with concerts as well as a talk with Ralf Summer, one of the two faces behind the Popcast voice! Together with the musicians, he looked back on the 13-year history of the Popcast. 

We look forward to the next 150 editions!
Video on YouTube - Anniveräry-Concert 150th Edition POPCAST (07/2021)

Popcast June 2021

with music by:

Der Plan | Bureau B
Fred Red x Maura | Sichtexot
Haiyti | Haiyti Records
Mine | Virgin Music
Skee Mask | Ilian tape

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon


Fanuks auf der Bühne
The Fanuks on stage (very rare image!) | © Der Plan/Bureau B
The discussion about automated art processes is far-reaching and more often than not touches on the concept of art itself and specifically the question of whether a machine can be creative at all. The electronic anarcho-Dadaists of the Düsseldorf group Der Plan did not ask themselves this question in the mid-1980s when they invented the Fanuks; robots that were supposed to make them immortal. However, the project was not completed by the time the group disbanded. It was only when sifting through old tapes that these recordings came to light again, and so in 2021 we are happy to hear new tracks from Der Plan aka Fanuks. However – it is not clear at this point whether the band itself was involved at all, or whether the robots created in their image have completely replaced them in the meantime. But would that make a difference?

 

Uin Uin Mun Kona Bap Uin

Der Plan "Uin Uin Mun Kona Bap Uin"

Fred Red x Maura
Relaxed: Fred Red x Maura | © Matthias Erhardt
From a completely different planet come Fred Red x Maura. Here you feel neither fear of transience nor the need for dehumanization - on the contrary, the duo's harshly sampled breakbeat so elegantly circumnavigates the harmonies of their relaxed hip-hop soul that it warms the soul. A strong contrast. 
 

Du magst Scheiße, doch es ist schon okay
Es ist so okay, es tut niemandem weh

Mine "Audiot"

Orange: Mine
Orange-ly suddenly: Mine | © Simon Hegenberg
Jasmin Stocker, known under her stage name Mine, presents her sixth album. The naturally relaxed singer-songwriter with roots in hip-hop has become an orange-coloured art figure. The extraordinary collaborations and rhymed street lyric remain, but musically the production has clearly landed in the mainstream, which is impressively evident on the Popcast.

 

Mich tröstet der Nieselregen
Was für ein mieses Leben

Haiyti "Mieses Leben"

Gangster? Haiyti!
Gangster? Haiyti! | © Tim Bruening
The always breathless Hamburg native Haiyti, Germany's queen of trap, released her new album Mieses Leben without any announcement in mid-April, a wicked masterpiece without which this month's Popcast would not be complete.  Thematically, of course, she remains faithful to the gangster genre, but the album also allows moments of self-doubt.

 
Camera-shy Skee Mask, one of Germany's most versatile and exciting
Kontaktlinse verloren: Skee Mask
Looking for a contact lens: Skee Mask | © Ilian Tape
producers, released his album Pool in May. The 18-track work straddling ambient surfaces and wild jungle have earned him the reputation of the 'German Aphex Twin'. On Popcast, he represents the country's electronic underground, which is extremely experimental and still far from striving for commercial compromise.

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