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Felix Kubin mit Mitch & Mitch – Bakterien & Batterien

Lado ABC (CD)/Gagarin (LP)

Felix Kubin mit Mitch & Mitch - Bakterien & BatterienAmbitious as can be, mercurial music manipulator Felix Kubin joins Mitch & Mitch to generate ten tracks of modern big band electronic library music. Firmly placing tongue in cheek and putting on their stern faces, the mischievous collaborators offer up glockenspiel-friendly, brass-bound bacchanalia to jive the hepcats off their seats and into a swirl of ra-ra randomisers and stereophonic soundtrack swing, hopping and skipping gleefully from eras to ears.

What it is, dig; what it is, is rad, cool, smooth with a lightly-concealed spikiness, lively with an edge. This album suggests a sharp zoot suit or arm-length gloves and an electronic cigarette in a long, long holder should be worn and puffed ostentatiously while listening to the album; diamond jewellery is optional: zero G-grown zirconium is better. Cross-dressing may ensue, if muted horns and rubbery synthesis on the still-more old-school cabaret scene have anything to do with it. Bakterien & Batterien offers a soundtrack to the kind of activities of which authoritarian tendencies across the ages it skims from have always disapproved and would grimly wipe from history – like sashaying ’til the dawn in a cross-pollinated crowd to the sound of a rugged filter opening to mockingly martial drums, elektronisch Weimar style. And while Bakterien & Batterien is impressive enough on record, the gang also took the show on the road through the end of 2013 and continue into 2014 – now that would be a scene to have seen and to see, with a ten-piece band and all giving the circulating library an airing out across Europe. Chouette (Schwet).

Like, say, Barry Adamson, Kubin and Ko. know where it’s at and where it’s been, where it came from and where to take it to the bridge. And it? It’s it, the real shit, kosmik daddio-o! It’s what’s down on the streets and up on all night on the tiles; it’s where aristocats set up their sequencers and give it their electronic all and the panthers are playing rose-tinted electric organ in wraparound shades in the shade. It’s an Alte-Neue Deutche Welle ride into a retro-futurist space-jazz klangscape – like they say at the end, there’s sometimes “Too Much Light, Too Many Suns,” shining on the slightly-crumbly Bauhaus concert hall and filtering through to the radiophonic laboratory inside.

-Linus Tossio-

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