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Schlammpeitziger – Damenbartblick Auf Pregnant Hill

Bureau B

Damenbartblick Auf Pregnant HillReleasing records on and off since 1993, Jo Zimmerman has found another new home on the eternal home for musical explorers Bureau B. His first Schlammpeitziger album since 2014’s What’s Fruit? finds him in less of a disco place, with the beats a little slower — but the vibe still as deliciously idiosyncratic and strangely surreal as ever.

Opener “Ekirlu Kong” finds him heaping praise upon one lucky lady, possibly, but his way with a compliment had me smiling all day; at one point he describes his love’s hair as “like a hazelnut helmet” and later mentions that “your farts smell like the breath of a rainbow unicorn”(!). He draws attention to her eating habits as we are seduced by a cocktail of ’80s synth sounds dressed up with jungle bird noises, monkey sounds with everything sitting atop an eccentric yet leaden beat. There is a romantic feel to the breezey background sounds and ,really, all of this squeezed into the opening track is quite ridiculous.

There is something positive and upbeat about “Bock Bounceburg”, and why wouldn’t it be with a title like that? There is a childlike wonder to some of the sounds, and the constant beat brings to mind a surreal keep-fit soundtrack for twelve-year-olds. The sort of thing that would be on the television at six o’clock in the morning to keep hyperactive nippers out of trouble. “Damenbartblick” continues in a similar vein, but the synthetic whining sounds add a strangely yearning kind of air to the track.

Interestingly, only three of the eight tracks here have vocals and the deadpan delivery of “Angerrestbay” brings to mind David Byrne‘s spoken word piece “Seen And Not Seen” from Remain In Light. Here the protagonist is suggesting that you should be able to “change your colour when you smile”, and how this might benefit your social interactions. The slightly eerie monotone delivery sits at odds to the clipped, trebley guitar riff, which lends a new wave kind of feel.

Elsewhere, the Kraftwerkian “Smooth Motion Kaukraut” is relentless in its drive, while the brash electropop parps and factory rhythm of “Kandierter Tammerlochlappen” enclose a joyful and childlike glee. In the closer “What I Got” we learn that “What I got is what you need and what you need is what I want”. Whether the subject of this track is the unicorn’s breath farter we don’t know, but it is a relaxed and gentle way to end an album full of sensory delights. There is an air of warm sunset to this final track; an Ibiza chill-out slowed to a crawl, sepulchral organ notes hanging in the air like the final heat haze of the day. Watch as the golden sun drifts into the mildly swelling ocean, a smooth drink resting beside you as you soak up the last of the day’s rays.

Once again, Schlammpeitziger has summoned the coolest of vibes and the dreamiest of surreal landscapes from a series of wheezing keyboards and toytown instruments. His deft use of vocals adds humour and an extra layer of joy to the already vibrant soundscapes. Its’ been three years since the last one, but well worth the wait.

-Mr Olivetti-

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