The other LP I picked up in the That Special Record black Friday sale was Brannten Schnüre – Sommer Im Pfirsichhain. Before I say anything more, I have to point out that all lyrics are in German, which I don’t understand, but don’t have a problem with. I was listening to Xmal Deutschland back in the late 80’s and had no idea what they were singing about either, but it didn’t really matter to me. I also had a great love for a track by Barbara Morgenstern, ‘Die Liebe (R. Lippok: Schneekristall Mix)’ which was on the album ‘Rough Trade – Electronic Volume 1’. So this Brannten Schnüre album being in German is absolutely fine with m, sometimes it’s better not to know.
Back when the Eurovision song contest wasn’t almost entirely sung in English I used to watch it just to put the subtitles on and see the translations of the lyrics, some of them were hilarious. Take the 2001 Bosnia & Herzegovina entry ‘ Hano’:
Even if the sun came out promptly at half past two
Even if from a clear sky thunderbolt struck me
You wouldn’t care, you wouldn’t wink
Much less when I call you, turn you head
Not picking on this song in particular, there are loads with terrible lyrics, it’s just the first one I found that I though mildly amusing. Here it is (I think) in all it’s glory ** WARNING – Catchy Chorus, you have been warned **
I’ve now wandered miles off track, so let’s get back on topic. The album was released in 2015 on Aguirre Records and is listed as Genre: Electronic, Folk, World, & Country – Style: Experimental, Drone, Folk. Can’t really argue with that, it does sometimes reminds me of a German Cocorosie. The album was a limited run of 300, which brings me to another topic, which is valuable albums of the future. There are a number of mail order vinyl companies in existence now that create album versions specific to them or supply the lions share of limited runs and it is these that are predicted to be the albums that will carry the most value in the future, but more on that another time, I’m drifting off again.
The record label, which you can find here, had this to say about the album and the group:
Brannten Schnüre is an experimental dark folk group out of Würzburg, Germany. Christian Schoppik composed and played all the music, Katie Rich whispers, recites and sings. Together they make astoundingly beautiful folk with a rich instrumentation leaning towards the atonal spectrum. Instrumental wanderings stand alongside Nico-esque poetry tales. Christian plays the accordion and in some songs guitar and flute. Inspired by hierophants like Nový Svět and David Jackman, solemn song fragments (a lot of old greek rembetiko-recordings) are modified and looped, with additional instruments and voices being integrated later on. His music has been described as “surreal folkcollage” and “german hauntology”.
With the emergence of Schoppik’s second project, a dada cabaret called Agnes Beil in 2010, Brannten Schnüre moved closer to the song structures of its frivolous sibling. The songs of Schoppik’s latest creation Sommer im Pfirsichhain are further accompanied by a female singing voice, lending the pieces the voluptuous quality of a stickily tense midsummer. Sommer Im Pfirsichhain (Summer In The Peachgrove) is the second part of a quartet of releases. The first being Aprilnacht which got released on Sic Sic Tapes last year. Part three Geträumt hab’ ich vom Martinszug and part four will follow later.
Reference points are bands like Winter Family and Twinsistermoon. Music etched on folkloric, ritual elements transferred into the 21th century. Also worth mentioning is the hand-drawn artwork which is made by artist Gwénola Carrère.
It does have a childlike quality at times, although more on the darker side of childhood, possibly because of the atonal German it is sung/recited in but also the music itself is sparse. It’s a strange mix at times, ambient, folky, electronic, drony and, as with ‘Lichter Am Wehiher’, looped, on this occasion a looped backwards vocal that merges into a monk like chant.
To give you some idea, below are three tracks from the album. I like it’s quirkiness, it’s strangeness. This music isn’t going to go shooting up any charts, it’s not going to be super popular, but, in some ways, that enhances its value as it exists far outside popular culture in a place where few wander, but it is very much worth the discovery.
|A1||Vom Baum Im Hof||02:23|
|A3||Urwald Auf Verkehrsinseln||03:58|
|A5||Lichter Am Weiher||03:32|
|A6||Auf Dem Hohen Meissner||02:21|
|B2||Die Verwunschene Quelle||02:25|
|B3||Mithra Im Jardin Botanique||05:37|
|B4||Brüderchen und Schwesterchen||03:01|