Ich Schwitze Nie German

Billige Flaggen translates as "Cheap Flags", though I wouldn´t be surprised if it had some more specific harbourside connotation because Ich Schwitze Nie´s work (the name means "I don´t sweat") exists in a strange twilight zone of sailor´s songs reborn as art cabarer - a kind of trash lumpen pathos that recalls Tom Waits, Kurt Weill and Enrico Moricone.
Although this album is more upbeat and polished than their last - more synthesizer and simple poppiness here, instead of their former ramshackle rock skiffle expressionism - they retain the format of a small, lightfooted combo, a taught vehicle for Lars Rudolph´s mannerist delivery of lullabies, chansons and streetsongs. Backed by Hanno Leichtmann on drums and Nicholas Bussmann on cello and electric bass, and with additional notes of theremin, trumpet and piano, Rudolph´s lisping and seductively ugly voice is the centerpiece.
The whole bellows in and out, of focus between something you might overhear in the foyer of an East European hotel restaurant - all tatty postcards and sentimental Muzak - and something more huskily perverse. The more Rudolph keens about broken hearts, kisses and songs heard on the wind, the more unfamiliar the terrain becomes "Voulez-vous couchez avec mo?" he rasps at one point, like a cross between Peter Lorre and a alley cat, I preferred the earlier album´s scattergun approach to genre - the brief quoting of Techno here seems out of place - but this is still a great mixture of the punchy and the slinky, deadpan and slush, with ist own siding swagger. [Details]
(The Wire)
Ich Schwitze nie
Billige Flaggen
last updated: 11.05.2000 | top