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Lokomotive Kreuzberg - Kollege Klatt CD (album) cover


Lokomotive Kreuzberg



2.19 | 7 ratings

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2 stars Broccoli at McDonalds

Krautrock is many different things besides unhinged space rock, instant composition and motorik laden grooves akin to pre-punk. It also sported a fair few politically charged groups, that much like the times surrounding them, grew increasingly tired of the way things were panning out - both domestically and internationally. Remember these were indeed revolutionary times - even if most of the people fighting for whatever red fraction of socialistic movements never really knew who they were supporting - nor where the money they collected ended up, but that is another story altogether...

I guess the long haired freaks of the late sixties eventually had their pipe dreams crushed - and a new and more snarling generation had begun to seek change elsewhere. The infinite wisdom of love had failed, and now it was about the efficiency of collected souls against the corporate pigs and the great big money machine - holding us all prisoner. Power to the people and all that.

There's a lot of that stuff in here. Lokomotive Kreuzberg are without a doubt conveyors of a new world order - with the truth neatly stuffed down their ruck-sag, they scatter the message with huge confidence throughout this album. Starting out with lots of atmosphere and occult instrumentation - lurking simmering synths, rumbling drums, smoldering guitar and violin, I originally thought I was in for a real treat. Man this is going to be the coolest record ever! - I remember thinking to myself...

Then the vocals suddenly start, and while you giggle a few times along the way, especially if you understand German, it wears thin pretty quickly. The feel of this reciting archaic man - relegating small stories about bar-room chit chatter, a man walking down the road leaving his trusty work at the factory - you know small time stories about working class heroes who've suddenly turned around and flipped the system the bird. Carelessly tuned into a whole new life of freedom and social change and yadda yadda yadda... -Like I said, it gets old - quicker than a speeding cheetah can do the cha-cha. Twice.

Personally I find it pretty hilarious and naive, even if I partly share a lot of the same sentiments as these guys, but man it just gets a bit too teenage rebel fist in the air-like, and frankly, I dropped that attitude years ago - along with my kilt and Doc. Martens boots. All in all, the vocals are actually what brings this venture waaaaaaaaay down for me. Just like a couple of other German releases from around the same time, which also flirted around with the narrative lead music - this bombs big time. Witthuser & Westrupp did this with their Jesuspilz album and it killed the flow of the thing - just as Neuschwanstein made a demented version of Alice in Wonderland that also due to the insistent narratives were on the brink of un-listenable. Kollege Klatt fits the bill, - sadly I might add, because the music hiding comfortably in the back, and occasionally up front, is really tasty. It feels like a wormy and slightly more psychedelic version of the hard rock that fuelled Jethro Tull's Aqualung. Vibrant hard edged guitars, big booming drums and then comfortably spiced up with some deliciously played synths.

Though, at one point during this rather lovable affair(disregarding the narratives), we are lead through a noisy bar scene with those never ending vocals, and boom! we're suddenly in down-town Mississippi with delta blues slide guitar, harmonica and de-de-de-de-de-de-de-de-dah-duh-duh rhythms and Crawling King Snake atmospheres shooting out the speakers like it was going out of fashion... Mad, pasted on, loco(motive) and other such adjectives all sprang to mind, when I first heard this, and they still do actually. We do get lead back to that same old Jetro Tull groove by way of swamps and alligator shortcuts, but it feels a tad weird with that blues segment sticking out in the middle - like a piece of broccoli at McDonalds. Out of place - yet kind of funny. Woops that sounds like a verdict right there.

Guldbamsen | 2/5 |


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