Tuesday, August 07, 2007


The Von Südenfed album was in today's mail. There are three main reasons why people will buy this album: one, because they like Mark E. Smith; two, because they like Mouse On Mars; and three, because they like umlauts. Those who happen to like Smith and Mouse on Mars and umlauts will be especially well served by Tromatic Reflexxions; the rest of humanity will have their usual diverse response, some liking it, others preferring the sound of stubbled surfer types with acoustic guitars, still others not even bothering to listen to it owing to their lack of stereo and/or functioning eardrums. Funny old world, innit.

The reviewer meme for this album is either to mention how strange a collaboration Von Südenfed is or to mention how strange it is that other reviewers keep mentioning how strange a collaboration Von Südenfed is. I'm going to run with the latter because it allows me to mention, as examples of precursors to the Von Südenfed project, such iconic-rocker-meets-electronic-group collaborations as David Byrne and X-Press 2's "Lazy", John Lydon and Leftfield's "Open Up", and that song Iggy Pop did with Death In Vegas. Readers are invited to provide their own examples. I promise to be awed by your erudition.

The album's first four songs seem to be representative of its overall sound. "Fledermaus Can't Get It" sounds not unlike LCD Sound System as fronted by somebody's drunk war veteran uncle. "The Rhinohead" is a surprise, being a pretty straightforward pop-rock tune with Smith actually singing for the first time since I don't know when. "Flooded" is great mid-tempo bleep-and-squelch, while "Family Feud" is a real triumph of ultra-precise programming and general Smith insanity. "I am the great MES" the great MES mutters again and again. Good to see the collaborative environment held his ego in check.

I've only had a cursory listen to the rest of the album but it appears to be of consistently good quality. So, you know, do yourself a favour.

1 comment:

genevieve said...

The list of titles itself gives quite a bit away, doesn't it:
Self Help
Gift of Rain
The gathering
What Was Lost

Not to mention a fundamentalist who is 'reluctant'. All very beigely suggestive. I have just read Gail Jones Sorry and am scratching my head a bit, wondering about the blandness of it all.
Like your review, Tim, thanks for putting it up.