Achtung!

August 10, 2006 at 5:16 am | Posted in New Music | 1 Comment

blumfeld.jpg

You may have heard of Blumfeld. They come from Hamburg, Deutchland and have been around for quite a while. They emerged as leaders of the Hamburger Schule, which was a scene in Hamburg in the 90’s that consisted of bands that sang in German and were socially conscious, and post-modern in their thinking. I first heard them back in 1995 when L’etat et moi was released in the States on the Big Cat label. L’etat was their second record and at the time it was compared to Pavement, I guess because everything indie back in 1995 was compared to Pavement. I really doubt Pavement was ever an influence, especially to these Germanophiles. Trying to find info about this band that is written in English is next to impossible. It seems they dropped off the face of the (English speaking) earth after releasing L’etat in the States.

Well, they didn’t. It’s really too bad that nobody in the States really listens to music that is not sung in English. Blumfeld have been steadily putting out great records for the last 11 years, with the exception of the follow up to L’etat et moi, Old Nobody which was a bit of a miss step. Verbotene Früchte is their new record and I must say it is their best to date. They’ve found a way to combine their garage rock tendencies with their Europop influcences to create a record that has a depth that will make you forget you’re listening to music in a foreign language. Strobohobo rocks like nobody’s business, with Jochen singing in Germany, but throwing in a couple English words here and there. Der Apfelmann has a Fall like feel, until Jochen starts to sing. He’s got a strong, smooth voice that’s got a warmth to it, yet he can make it sound threatening at the same time…or maybe it’s those glottal german words he’s singing, I don’t know. To be honest I have no idea what the heck he’s saying, but the melodies and music are so catchy. Atem und Fleisch could have been written by Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy. From the Fall to Divine Comedy, this album has got that much breadth.

You can listen to clips from the album here.

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  1. I had thought they broke up after Old Nobody and lost track of them for a while, then something made me think of them and one Google search later I found out they’d made, like, three more albums since then. I got my hands on the new one but haven’t really given it a full listen. But after your recommendation, I will do so tonight.

    As for Pavement comparisons, also remember that they were on the same label in the UK (Big Cat) which is where I’m sure at least some of that talk spawned. To me they were (at least on L’Etat Et Moi) more like a mix of New Order and Sonic Youth.


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