A German Soft Machine

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Ah um.

While we’re at it, following on from the previous posts, I have some Swiss-German krautrock tracks to share too.

Klaus Johann Grobe

Having done a quick post on these two chaps before Psychfest, I bought the new album – Im Sinne Der Zeit – and did some proper homework on them. It’s a pretty good record, full of clumpy beats and melodramatic organ swirls – a German Soft Machine if you will…

Last set on the oddly shaped Blade corner-stage, with Besnard Lakes on the one main stage and the dazzling, wonderful Suuns on another, I’d imagined there’d not be so many around for this one, but I was of course wrong. The small area filled up quickly and soon get very warm indeed. In truth, what seemed like a very long wait while the three members fiddled around with leads and sounds, made more than a few punters a little irritable (by the end of the weekend, I was heartily fed up of the sight of earnest young musos pointing to the ceiling and mouthing “more, more, turn it up!” to the sound desk).

Anyway, eventually they got it sorted and kicked off into a marvellously gloopy, occasionally menacing, occasionally funky set, dominated by the syrupy electric organ of Sevi Landolt. The extra third member of the group was a bassist and he managed to drive the proceedings along with pace and purpose.

The two strongest tracks from the record – “Kothek” and “Between the Buttons” – made early appearances which launched a sweaty bunch of punters off straight away but did mean the set tailed off a little.

Again, quite a lot of “atmosphere” in the recordings but well worth a little listen:

Raus

Between the Buttons

Aufstand

The usual stuff: love, personal struggles, society’s stupidness, nonsense…

klausjohanngrobe_1Standing in The Shed, glimmering floodlights ushering in the start of the Gloucester-Exeter game is probably not the first place that would occur to you to receive a bit of a “hot tip” about Kosmische sounds to catch at Psychfest. Actually, I’ve certainly had stranger conversations waiting for the rugby to start (“Krautrock” turns up more often than you might think…) and the bearer of said hot tip, my mate Steve, has been known to come up with some diamonds…

Klaus Johann Grobe

It’s not clear quite whether Steve is operating from a position of exhaustive research, having studied the Klaus Johann Grobe catalogue, read all the relevant Quietus articles and rifled through the Internet for obscure German blogs, or whether in best Partly Porpoise fashion he has been drawn moth-like to the pretty blue flame that a name like Klaus Johann Grobe clearly conjures up. (I’m saying nothing… although I clearly owe him a drink…)

 

My own exhaustive research has revealed that KJG are actually a duo (neither of whom are called Klaus or indeed Johann); are not German but Swiss, based in Zurich and signed to good ole Trouble in Mind and are a little more Daft Punk and a little less Neu than the name suggests. (You want more? C’mon? You never heard of Pitchfork?)

This clip suggests it’s going to be a great weekend…