Boomkat Product Review:
Hamburg-based Love-Songs' newest output Nicht Nicht continues the band's striving to mesh defined grids with improvisatory snapshots to create their very own take on organic electronic music. Since 2012, the electro-acoustic trio were able to explore the possibilities of their free-flowing interplay through the course of several EPs and the mini-album 'Inselbegabung', which was released on Kame House. Now they are ready to submit their debut album Nicht Nicht on Bureau B.
"Meandering through its seven tracks Nicht Nicht contains the Trios most aerially shimmering tracks to date flanked by tribal bouncers. Form, deform and somewhere in between. ÑDas Labyrinth in dem allesóallesóalles verschwimmt.ì (Das Labyrinth) The record begins with a live recording of the band. The transparent and crisp 'Proxy I' almost sculpturally rotates through the space it occupies.
Sublime ripples. Meditative clusters of Chinese cymbals define the percussion, delayed waves of bass break, as gently pulsating synths weave their way through the sonosphere. 'Selbstauflˆser Teil II' and 'Das Labyrinth' are percussive bouncers and serve a contemporary club appeal that has always been a feature in the bandís oeuvre. Love-Songs have found their way into the setlists of DJs such as Phuong Dan and John Talabot and also live their music works in clubby situations. The reprise 'Nicht Nicht' takes the intensity level down a notch, nervously, restlessly lurching towards the A-sideís runout groove. 'Tisch mit drei Weinen' is the pop song on the record. Staccato bass, pumping arpeggios and, again, Chinese cymbals, but this time processed and treated, roll out a canvas for Thomas Korf¥s lyrics.
The lyrics are often described as dada and surrealist and function beyond their literal meaning. Somewhere between instrument and narrative Korf, with his dark timbre, plays with language and shifts perspectives, sometimes humorous, sometimes odd but always serious. ÑDu bist ein Krug und schenkst mir ein, ich bin ein Glas und voll mit Wein.ì (Tisch mit 3 Weinen) 'Proxy II' begins with dotted, open jazz drums before unraveling in a meditative rumble. Frothing up without losing its pulse, the track ends abruptly in a shimmering clangour. Synthetic choirs at the end evoke the processed, outernational sounds of so called ìfourth world musicî, an influence that can also be ascertained on the final track, the dubby 'OG'.
An organic groove runs through the albumís closer, switching up to an atmospheric, jazzy vibe. Woodwind instruments swell beneath the surface as Nicht Nicht ends with a tribal, percussive rattle behind frosted glass. The album is more permeable, but at the same time concrete than the bandís previous output. With the work on Nicht Nicht, Love-Songs continue to place more emphasis on the studio itself as an instrument. The foundations are still based on a tried and trusted combination of bass, percussion, electronics and vocals, but less readily identifiable as the tracks oscillate between the lines. Ideas continue to be elicited from live improvisations, then processed and arranged on the computer, not infrequently translated back into an intimate interplay of instruments and yet the individual elements display a disciplined awareness of the whole: the bass earths the tracks stoically, ascetically, percussion is in the realm of man and machine, the vocals serve the songs primarily as an instrument without surrendering their expressive imagery.
Electronics assume dual roles in terms of structure and ornamentation: rendering form and embellishing with melody and noise. Ultimately, it is the sum of these parts and the production thereof, which allow Nicht Nicht to shimmer and foam, jangle and roll, billow and rattle. Jetzt wo ich unbegreiflich bin, macht die Selbstauflˆsung Sinn.ì (Selbstauflˆser Teil 2) TheeLove-Songs line-up has been a constant since their inception: Thomas Korf (electronics,
vocals), Sebastian Kokus (bass) and Manuel Chittka (drums, percussion). The band recorded and produced Nicht Nicht in their Elbkrautstudios in Hamburg. Mastering was taken care of by Fabian Tormin/Plaetlin Mastering. As always, the bandís own design studio Total Eclipse Of The Heart came up with the visuals."