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A torch bearer for avant-garde music, the enigmatic Jarboe was an integral part of Swans for years. "Illusory" - her 33rd solo album - is a truly engaging record, where the textures of the music interact with Jarboe's haunting vocals in a remarkable way.
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Dorau, Andreas
Das Wesentliche

7 Jun 19

Andreas Dorau's love affair with pop music blossomed early. Long before he had his first top ten hit at the tender age of sixteen, before he became one of a select few German artists to sign to Mute Records and before he hit the French charts with 'Girls in Love' (its rise halting at #2, alas), little Andreas retreated to his bedroom with a handful of singles - Sparks, T-Rex, Beatles, Tina Charles or whoever else was hot in his childhood years - and listened to these discs over and over again. There he sat, enthralled by the sounds coming out of his Dual-1224 record player, yet however much he loved 'Sugar Baby Love', 'Yellow Submarine' and 'Hot Love', the youthful, slightly eccentric (even then) Dorau could not help thinking why didn't they get straight to the point? Why not skip "In the town where I was born ..." for example and launch straight into "We all live in a yellow submarine"? Nice and simple, short and sweet. If music were a sandwich, Dorau would toss the bread and just eat the filling. Who needs verses, anyway? To the detriment of the fragile vinyls, not to mention the displeasure of his sister (they were her records, after all), he would lift the needle and drop it onto his favoured grooves (the chorus). To this day, Andreas Dorau's aversion to verses is as strong as ever. Should one point out to him that his own albums actually contain more than a few verses, the artist is wont to reply: "The record company made me!" The sheer nerve of it! Fortunately, he has now arrived at Tapete Records, a label renowned for giving free rein to libertine spirits. The songs on 'Das Wesentliche' feel all the more opulent for having left so much out. And they are wonderfully brief - a brilliant move in this internet age of shrinking attention spans. It is a stroke of genius to remove anything and everything which may run the risk of being boring or annoying. Not so easily done in real life, but anything goes in art, as proven by this album's impressive results. Andreas Dorau produced 'Das Wesentliche' together with top producer Zwanie Jonson. When Jonson enthusiastically hits the record button, he's liable to cry "Off we go on another wild ride" and "Das Wesentliche" is as wild as they come. Bubblegum, dance, HI-NRG, leftfield electronica, junk shop glam and yacht rock are all signposted along the way. Dorau is supported by friends like the Marinas, Carsten Erobique Meyer and Gunther Buskies in his daring endeavours to strip away unnecessary ballast from the music. May his confreres follow his visionary example in the future!
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