SH | Here are three recent releases of the post-krautrock type from the Bureau B label.
It is possible to identify a spectrum of innovation across them, and it goes: 1) Schneider TM’s album takes the sounds of gentrification, literally a working class district in Berlin being ‘prepared’ for privileged occupation, and makes art out of it. In this, it plugs into the industrial grid of the late 70s and early 80s, into Faust’s interest in the drill, the piledriver, and the Wümme toolshed is clearly referenced, as is Einstürzende Neubauten’s Kalte Sterne work, which is another old bridge along that regenerated line. But track titles such as ‘Container Redux’ mean this is contemporary and about music history, at the same time; 2) Kreidler’s album mixes heavy beat and motorik sounds in a lush almost funky monologue – Thomas Klein’s drumming is just exquisite – although the work as a whole is much less original than Schneider TM’s, much less about ideas and politics, but much more enjoyable, a place you might want to live, in fact, a CD which may end up in the flats of those moving to the Prenzlauer Berg which Schneider TM critique, a CD which may even arrive there via container shipping, and; 3) Camera are facsimilekraut, the problem, neither art nor life. This, in many ways, is odd, because Camera have played with Rother and Moebius, but perhaps feeling touched by the hand of innovation, they see little need to actually undertake it. ‘What is the difference?’ I felt the need to ask, ‘between this and a bad package tour of Merseybeat has-beens, recycling a once-new aesthetic which has now been entirely emptied of its significance?’
However, it is quite possible that others may want to simply invert this hierarchy of mine, and put it in reverse order. This would read, roughly: Camera = Fun, Kreidler = less fun and Schneider TM = no fun. In many ways I find this reading just as acceptable as my initial one.
The final analysis though, for me, is that I already know I’m going to listen to the Kreidler album all winter, and the others will stay silent forever, art or otherwise.