Current Music from Germany
Popcast

Fred Red x Maura Photo (detail): Fred Red x Maura © Fred Red x Maura

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:

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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Previous issues

Popcast May 2021

with music by:

Die P | 365xx
Irakli | Dial Records
Ja, Panik | Bureau B
Messer & Toto Belmont | Turnland
Servicio Al Cliente | Imara
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon


The May Popcast begins on an optimistic note with Juliana Martinez' Servicio Al Cliente. Her gentle electro-pop, now released on a sublabel of the Cologne-based Kompakt empire, was created in Berlin, the
Ja, Panik
Ja, Panik | © Max Zerrahn
Colombian's new home. Kindness is the irrefutable first impression of this minimalist electro distillate of Latin American cool.

Ja, Panik have called their new album Die Gruppe (the group), on which they impress with an elegant mixture
Toto Belmont
Toto Belmont | © Iiri Poteri
of German and English and sprawling, polished pop. Panic however is the last thing that comes to mind; according to the interview, the pieces produced in the transformed pigsty of one of the band’s members mother seem mature and detached. This is probably also due to the long creative hiatus, in which the band was able to mature. But listen to learn more about their development as a, well, group.
Irakli
Irakli | © Robert Kulisek

The Hamburg label Dial brings us the debut album of a veteran of the Berlin techno scene. Irakli Kiziria leaves space between sounds and tracks, his multi-layered album, and also the track Surface presented here, is perfectly staged listening, just like you are used to from Dial and its regular artists like Lawrence and Efdemin.

But as Irakli also points out, it's important to engage with the unplanned as well, which leads directly to the
Messer
Messer | © Moritz Hagedorn
band Messer. One of Germany's best post-post-punk bands has teamed up with Finnish artist Toto Belmont to release an entire dub album. A certain reggae affinity could always be heard in the quartet, but this takes it to another level completely! And so No Future Days, which was released last year, became No Future Dubs without further ado, of which Popcast presents their favorite song Versiegelter Dub II. In the interview they explain how it all came about.

We are especially happy to introduce Die P. The musician from tiny Bonn, the former capital city, has finally released her debut album six years after the release of her first track. A raw, multi-layered and thoroughly
Die P
Die P | © Tristan Barkowski
honest hip-hop masterpiece that will finally establish Die P in the German music scene. Also interesting is her new label, which exclusively signs female musicians. Read more in the interview on Popcast!

The April Popcast of the Goethe-Institut is a pleasant thing. After a year of pandemic, music listening, but also

Modeselektor
Modeselektor in the forest | © Birgit Kaulfuss
music making, has changed, adapted. Apart from dubious attempts to simulate club nights via Zoom, one of the most annoying (and shortest) hypes of the 80s - cocooning - is now reality. Traveling is now a virtual affair and the past before the pandemic has become a distant memory. Stories, like the one Sofia Kourtesis tells in her beguiling track La Perla, in which she encourages her dying father, become our own experiences in an environment so barren of external stimuli. One just hasn't quite gotten accustomed to social isolation yet.
 

With music by:

Anna Erhard | Radicalis
Driftmachine | Umor Rex Records
Modeselektor feat. Paul St. Hilaire | Monkeytown Records
Sofia Kourtesis | Technicolour/Ninjatune
Triorität x Lukas Lehmann | Kryptox

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon


The lucky ones among the confined, in this case electro-celebrities Modeselektor, had the chance
Triorität
Triorität discover photography | © Triorität
to look back and forward together. In times of unlimited horizons, the duo found the necessary peace to reach far for a new mixtape. The track presented in our Popcast features dub legend Paul St. Hilaire aka Tikiman, known for many years as one of the voices of Berlin's Rhythm & Sound. A galaxy away, also somehow a long time ago, Mathias Modica's imprint Gomma has dedicated itself to modern jazz. He has stayed the course, as the collection Kraut Jazz Futurism, now already Vol. 2 can prove. It is musically represented by Triorität x Lukas Lehmann. But of course, the maestro himself has his say as well in the interview.


Anna Erhard
Trespassing: Anna Erhard | © Greta Attinger
Pleasant is also the world of Anna Erhard, who some years ago followed friends to Berlin to devote herself to the arts. Listening to her beautiful escapist anthem Trick Myself, the preference to listen in solitude becomes clear. After all, that's what it's about. And finally, there is a great joy in discovering Driftmachine, whose new work Spume & Recollection reminds of the aforementioned Rhythm & Sound. A hypnotic, introverted, loveable gem that the term 'dubtechno' only inadequately describes. I wonder if Amazon has it. If not, maybe it was just a long, quiet dream.

Our March Popcast is the best testament to the diversity of the German music landscape. This edition begins

Masha Qrella
Masha Qrella | © Diana Naecke
with Masha Qrella, who usually sings in English and musically oscillates between pop and electronic. She is now releasing her first German-language album, "Woanders." In our interview, the East Berlin native explains the reasons for this change of heart and where the lyrics come from.

20 years ago, a strange song appeared on German radio stations. The singer was gone, he was on the "Sonnendeck” (Sun deck). The artist, a young man named Meinrad Jungblut, began a charmingly modest career with it under the name PeterLicht, who has given the German pop
Mouse On Mars
Mouse On Mars | © Valentin Paster
landscape quite a few fantastic albums filled with clever poetry.  We present the new album "Beton und Ibuprofen".

Also around for a while, but blessed with an incomparably greater international profile, are the fantastic Mouse On Mars, whose new album AAI is about artificial intelligence - and not only about it, but was also created using it. Learn more in the interview.

with music by:

Deadbeat meets the Mole | BLKRTZ 
Emeka Ogboh | Ostgut
Masha Qrella | Staatsakt
Mouse on Mars | Thrill Jockey
PeterLicht | Tapete Records

Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon


Deadbeat and The Mole
Deadbeat and The Mole | © Cherie
The Montreal-Berlin circle closes with the presentation of two musicians who are well known here - Deadbeat and The Mole, who have both emigrated to Berlin years ago and have meanwhile started families there. Their joint album "Deadbeat meets the Mole" is not their first collaboration - but their first recording together. In the interview they tell us more about their new life, the Panorama Bar, playgrounds and Neukölln.

And finally we get to know the fascinating universe of Nigerian sound
Emeka Ogboh
Emeka Ogboh | © Marco Krüger
artist Emeka Ogboh, who releases his exciting sound collage based on field samples from his hometown Lagos, on the sublabel A-Ton of the famous Berghain label Ostgut Tonträger.

Popcast February 2021

With music by:

Albertine Sarges | Moshi Moshi Music
Grandbrothers | City Slang
Invisible Temple | Permanent Vacation
The Notwist | Morr Music
The Waves| Yoyaku Agancy

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon
 

Yes, you're free today!
And you don't shake hands
With the people that you don't like

Albertine Sarges

The February Popcast starts with the presentation of one of the (probable) highlights of the year - the new album by Weilheim superstars The Notwist. Now without keyboardist Martin Gretschmann aka Console aka Acid Pauli, brothers Markus and Micha Acher and Cico Beck have invited a number of guests. In the interview they explain why their new album sounds so warm and inviting. But the best testimony to that is the song featured here, "Al Sur," which they recorded with the wonderful Juana Molina.

A wonderful new discovery is the debut album by Berlin-based Albertine Sargas, just released on British superlabel Moshi Moshi (Hot Chip, Au Revoir Simone). Presented here is her good-humored manifesto for greater personal freedom "Free Today," a delightful blend of gospel and new wave: she also has her say in the interview, talking about her counter-strategies in an unstable world where madness increasingly seems to reign.
  • Notwist im Wald © Johannes Maria Haslinger

    The Notwist doing occult stuff.

  • Notwist im Wald © Johannes Maria Haslinger

    Didn't want to hold still for the photographer The Notwist

  • Albertine Sarges © Christian Mamoun

    Albertine Sarges at home

  • Albertine Sarges © Steffi Rettinger

    Albertine Sarges at work

  • Grandbrothers stehen und schauen © Toby Coulson

    Grandbrothers thinking of the piano again

  • The Waves © Marie Staggat

    Steps out of the shadows: Maayan Nidam aka The Waves

  • Benjamin Fröhlich und Bostro Pesopeo © Invisible Temple

    Saddle fast in dub and Phtoshop: Invisible Temple's Benjamin Fröhlich and Bostro Pesopeo

The axis of the good, Zurich-Wuppertal-Berlin-Bochum, is the life path of the duo Grandbrothers, who present an excellent third album with "All The Unknown" on City Slang. They talk about their exciting technique of making a grand piano the central instrument for more than just piano sounds, and how the pandemic has changed their approach to production.

For "Maya," the new album of Berlin-based DJ Maayan Nidam, she not only took her old stage name The Waves out of mothballs, but she also even founded a label specifically for its release. She can't quite turn her back on club music as her musical home, but the tracks on the album are more in the realm of dark pop, as can be clearly seen in "I'm Still Here" which is presented here.

Who still remembers the great Munich label Permanent Vacation, named after a summer dream that unfortunately became truth last year. But Invisible Temple don't despair - label founder Benjamin Fröhlich his partner-in-crime Florian Peter aka Bostro Pesopeo dare to travel back in time to the 90s and hypnotize themselves and their fans with dubby electronics from the Digidub era, generously quoting from King Tubby and Adrian Sherwood.

#PopcastLive - 27 February 2021: Concert with Albertine Sarges and Band
Highlights-Video on Instagram (02/2021)

Popcast January 2021

with music by:

Bernadette La Hengst &
Banda Internationale | Trikont
JISR | enja & yellowbird records
Lydia Daher | Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten
Rocket Freudental | Treibender Teppich Records
Salomea | enja & yellowbird records

Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon


Welcome to 2021!  
Salomea
Salomea | © Karl F. Degenhardt
The first Popcast of the new year presents a colorful musical mix from the German music scene. Singer Rebekka Salomea Ziegler from Herbolzheim talks to us about the many influences on her newly released sophomore album Bathing in Flowers, which rests on a solid jazz foundation but confidently incorporates elements of electronic music and rock. "Nu-jazz" is what the press calls it. In any case, it is a good start into the New Year.
 
Mohcine Ramdan
Mohcine Ramdan | © F. Schweizer
Similarly multi-layered and influenced by jazz is the musical approach of Mohcine Ramdan, a Munich native with Moroccan roots whose JISR Ensemble has a clear mission to build cultural bridges. Influences on the new EP Too Far Away span the entire Mediterranean region, which is also reflected in the multilingual vocals.
 

Bernadette LaHengst & Banda Internationale
Bernadette LaHengst & Banda Internationale | © Stanislaw Fotografie
In 2018, as part of her commitment to protecting culture against the influence of right-wing politics, Hamburg icon Bernadette La Hengst wrote the song Wir sind die Vielen, which she has re-recorded in an orchestral version with the Dresden orchestra Banda Internationale during the Augsburg Brecht Festival, to be found on the newly released album Banda, Bernadette & Brecht.

 

Wir haben tausend Möglichkeiten, aber nichts in der Hand

(We have a thousand possibilities, but nothing in our hands ) Lydia Daher

With lyrical pop, less concrete but just as topical, the Berlin poet and singer Lydia Daher moves through
Lydia Daher
Lydia Daher | © Gerald von Foris
“obtrusive reality” on her new EP, Penetrante Realität. In the interview, she reflects on whether the pandemic renders artistic creation futile.
 
And finally, Rocket/Freudental complain about the inflationary
Rocket Freudental
Rocket Freudental | © Thorsten Puttenat
emergence of yoga teachers and why we actually still need to talk about homeopathy. Musically, the drum/vocal duo is rather minimalist, with the biting lyrics in the foreground.

#PopcastLive - 29 January 2021: Concert with „Salomea“
Highlights-Video on Instagram (01/2021)

Popcast December 2020

The last popcast of the year begins with a rising star of the German music scene: Max Rieger. After establishing himself as the singer of Die Nerven a few years ago, he turned to producing. Drangsal,

Max Rieger
Max Rieger | © Bettina Theuerkauf
Jungstötter and Ilgen-Nur are just a few of the names of artists he has since produced. But he is also tireless as a solo artist: We present here Andere, already the second album of his monumental project All Diese Gewalt.

A very interesting intercontinental collaboration is the Neosoul project Seba Kaapstad, which was founded by the award-winning bassist Sebastian Schuster from Stuttgart and the South African singer Zoe Modiga. How exactly this came to be, can be heard in the current issue of the Popcast.

The sampler 15 Years of Man Recordings from Daniel Haaksman's label of the same name features Brazilian MC Gringo, who radiates his good-humored Rio Baile Funk like a modern version of Señor Coconut. By the way, the track is a good introduction to a fascinating label that is
Call Super
Joseph Richmond-Seaton aka Call Super | © Kasia Zacharko
dedicated to the often-overlooked music scene of the southern hemisphere of our planet.

The new album of the British Berliner-by-choice, Call Super, combines elements of glitch with broken up house music. The album and the title track Every Mouth Teeth Missing presented here, is a testimony to the fact that producing on the computer itself has become an art form not to be underestimated. The technical competence with which Joseph Richmond-Seaton aka Call Super glues together hundreds of sound snippets to create pieces of deep atmospheric coherence is impressive.

And finally, we present the Berlin Jazzduo Training. Max Andrzejewski (drums) and Johannes Schleiermacher (saxophone) are  proof that the German jazz scene is good for some surprises. Their new *x EP is a
Training
Max Andrzejewski and Johannes Schleiermacher are Training | © Johannes Schleiermacher
collection of improvisations that explore the limits and possibilities of traditional jazz.

with music by:

All diese Gewalt | Glitterhouse Records
Call Super | Incienso
Daniel Haaksman | Man Recordings
Seba Kaapstad | Mello Music Group
Training | Fun in the Church

Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Popcast November 2020

Urlaub in Polen Photo (detail): Urlaub in Polen © Frederike Wetzels
A reunion with old acquaintances opens the Popcast for the month of November: The wonderful Urlaub in Polen, which had announced their dissolution approximately nine years ago, suddenly emerge again on Hamburg’s traditional label Tapete. As influences they name West Coast Pop, Rhenish Techhouse and the chronically underestimated and unjustly horned early Dire Straits (the first three albums). It sounds wilder than it actually is – their album All is a well thought-out late work, composed with maximum effort and lots of wit by two exceptional artists.

On their own label Ilian (Surgeon, Skee Mask), the Zenker Brothers spread their good vibes in a cosmic journey through a dense sound fog, to finally arrive in their typical harsh breakbeat techno (on their site you can read about destructive delirium).

Orphea is the project of actress Lilith Stangenberg and Filipino musician, poet and filmmaker Khavn, who earlier this year celebrated the premiere at the Berlinale of an anarchic remake of the classic story of Orpheus and Eurydice directed by Alexander Kluge. Produced by Brezel Göring (Stereo Total), they recorded a hypnotic album somewhere between Edith Piaf and Liz Phair, which we can only recommend you check out.
  • Urlaub in Polen © Frederike Wetzels

    On the ride: Urlaub in Polen

  • Unbite © Ann Seifert

    They bite: Unbite

  • Golf © Daniela Milosovic

    Sporty: Golf

  • Orphea © Robert Huibonoha

    Traveling: Orphea

Golf, the ultimate pop band of the Staatsakt imprint (Die Türen) call in sick for Angst vor der Liebe (fear of love), but survive because of their happy moods. Funky Pop, Tropicalismo (sounds about right) and Cosmic Disco help the band to get over their grief. Berlin's talented producer Tom Hessler (photos), who paid attention to "club suitability in the mix", has certainly helped.

And finally, last but not least, we bow to Stuttgart's Unbite, whose partly desolate noise rock is a lot of fun, thanks to the outstanding vocals of bassist Daniela Schübel, even for the more gentle souls, and also fits really well into these times, when irony and/or patience have run out. Unbite sound a little bit like Sonic Youth, a little bit like NoMeansNo, and always like the guy who pokes up the street in front of your door at 7 in the morning.
 
Have fun listening and exploring!

with music by:

Urlaub in Polen | Tapete Records
Zenker Brothers | Ilian Tape
Orphea | Fun in the Church
Golf | Staatsakt
Unbite | Antena Krzyku

Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon

Popcast October 2020

Erregung öffentlicher Erregung Photo (detail): Erregung öffentlicher Erregung © Rosanna Graf
In the early 80s, Germany saw the emergence of the “Neue Deutsche Welle” (New German Wave), a local version of the then brand-new post-punk movement. With Dadaist lyrics and little respect for musical rules, West German youth for a time agreed on their preferences. The music of Erregung öffentlicher Erregung, the opener of this month's popcast, is reminiscent of the music from that time. But their recently released album also deals with unusual topics in terms of content – find out more about them and what they’re about in the Popcast.  Then there is news from the to some surely already well-known, bustling electronic musicians Acid Pauli (Notwist, Console) and Toulouse Low Trax (Kreidler, Salon des Amateurs), and brand new discoveries are two Berliners-by-choice – the Swedish Jazz musician Otis Sandsjös and the Chinese electro-pop icon-in-the-making Rui Ho.

With music by: 

Erregung öffentlicher Erregung | Schlappvogel Records/ Euphorie
Otis Sandsjö | We Jazz Records
Acid Pauli | Ouïe Music
Rui Ho | Planet Mu
Tolouse Low Trax | Bureau B
Author: Angie Portmann
Speaker (English): David Creedon

#PopcastLive - 28 Ocober 2020: Concert with Erregung öffentlicher Erregung
Highlights-Video on Instagram (10/2020)

Popcast September 2020

PIRX Photo (detail): PIRX © Moritz Gamperl
In September we offer an eclectic program in our monthly Popcast. This month, we learn of Pirx, a Munich quartet named after the pilot from a story by Stanislaw Lem. In their song Hot Cell they deal with the consequences of nuclear power, sluggish and gloomy, like an echo of the series Dark (Netflix). In contrast, Hamburg's Ashraf Sharif Khan and Viktor Marek aka Sufi Dub Brothers invent the "Sufistep". It's hard to describe it - just take a listen. It's great! There is also music from Berlin - the Argentinean Catnapp is a real new discovery and is known to attentive TV viewers for her cameo in the series Unorthodox. The Ukrainian-German trio Tvii Son reminds us of good old Electroclash times and finally there is news from the HipHop veterans Zugezogen Maskulin.

With music by: 

Ashraf Sharif Khan & Viktor Marek | Fun in the Church
Catnapp | Monkeytown Records
PIRX | Kommando-84
TVII SON | MIC
Zugezogen Maskulin | Four Music
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon

#PopcastLive - 18 September 2020: Concert with PIRX
Highlights-Video on Instagram (09/2020)

Popcast August 2020

Rosaceae Photo (detail): Rosaceae © Katja Ruge

With music by: 

Haiyti | Warner Music
Deadbeat & Paul St. Hilaire | Another Moon
Skwirl | Space Hardware
Lyra Pramuk | Bedroom Community
Rosaceae | Pudel Produkte
Author: Ralf Summer
Speaker (English): David Creedon

#PopcastLive - 26 August 2020: Concert with Rosaceae
Highlights-Video on Instagram (08/2020)

Popcast July 2020

PC Nackt Photo (detail): PC Nackt © 7K!

With music by: 

Inga | Trikont
KUF | Macro Recordings
Minor Science | Whities
Paar | Grzegorzki Records
PC Nackt | 7K!
Author: Angie Portmann 
Speaker (English): David Creedon

#PopcastLive - 11 July 2020: Concert with Inga
Highlights-Video on Instagram (07/2020)

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