Boomkat Product Review:
Karaoke Kalk was established as a record label with no pre-set ideas or trajectories to follow. it released it’s first music all the way back in 1997, a series of minimal raster-prototype 12”s by Jens Massel’s Kandis and Senking alter ego’s, soon followed by the debut album from Jörg Follert (now better known as Weschel Garland) called “Wunder”. This album became one of the most important and popular artefacts of Germany’s burgeoning ecclectic scene back at the tail-end of the 90’s, fusing a host of Blues samples with fractured electronics, strings and strangely unplaceable musical instruments, a record that is considered by some to be the true precursor to the folk-tinged and gently plunderphonic scene that has dominated the home-listening market since. Karaoke Kalk marked itself apart from its contemporaries and became known for its ecclectic musical policy - confidently releasing minimal Cologne techno and Saccharine pop music within the same breath at a time when record labels rarely dared to deviate from what was expected of them. These 16 tracks and one videoclip display the label’s broad spread of interest perfectly. 10 of the tracks included here are brand new and exclusive to this release, opening up with Roman's elegantly formulated pop and a preview of his sooncome second album.Hauschka's lyrical miniature on a manipulated piano acts as a tantalising forward to the imminent release of the lovely “prepared piano” album while Le Rok's odd beats and gentle harmonies take us to another place altogether once again. Takagi Masakatsu produces lilting song-excursions infused with introspective Japanese melancholy as the handsomely sweet, mathew herbert endorsed Donna Regina offer up the title track from their soon to be released “slow killer” album.It's the particular treatment of forms that may best describe the sound of Karaoke Kalk : be it techno-structures, Beach Boys-harmonies, abstract electronica, minimal music or pop-experiments, it stems from a special kind of energetic space that champions good music regardless of where exactly it happens to be pigeon-holed and why. In this current climate of record labels and industry heads scrambling to nurture and cultivate new music of every kind, it’s time to take a closer look at a label that has done so ferverently for almost a decade.