Album: SANKT OTTEN – Morgen Wieder Lustig (Hidden Shoal HSR055 2009)

Morgen wieder lustig Front Cover Art

Sankt Otten are a duo from Osnabrück in Germany who apparently were once dubbed the German Portishead. How that works, I can’t quite fathom. Morgen Wieder Lustig is eleven tracks of widescreen, lush instrumental electronic pop, steeped in the influence of the likes of Kraftwerk, Ashra, Eno and Michael Rother.

Some of the tracks, such as the opener “Ein Himmel voller Galgen” are beatless blends of soaring synthesiser and guitar. Others, like the single “Lustig, lustig, demain encore lustig” are sparkling little electro-pop nuggets. At first, I wondered whether the glossy sheen was overdone, but subsequent listens have revealed that this isn’t just all shine and no substance.

Cinematic is an over-used adjective (and I’m as guilty as anyone), but it’s difficult to think of any word more apt to describe something like “Mein Freund aus Köln” which conjours up the grimy rain and neon of Vangelis’s Blade Runner soundtrack. “Fromme Lügen” has a jazz sensibility beneath the swathes of guitar and synths. And “Ich bin dann mal oben” provides a fitting closure with the guitar finally abandoning its soaring Fripp-ery and engaging in a crunching rumble of feedback to fade out.

There is definitely a late seventies feel about the album with its free application of electronics and rock structures. Using a combination of live drums and robotic programmed beats it creates a synthetic-organic hybrid that was largely abandoned in the eighties in favour of purely synthesized sounds. It’s actually a terrific listen. It’s out on September 22nd.

Tracks
1. Ein Himmel voller Galgen 3:30
2. Mutter, Jazz und der Heilige Geist 4:50
3. Mit Popcorn und Champagner 3:41
4. Lustig, lustig, demain encore lustig 4:19
5. Fromme Lügen 3:22
6. Das bezahlte Lob 4:42
7. Mein Freund aus Köln 6:32
8. Unser Mann für das Happy End 4:47
9. X für U 4:00
10. Wenn die Rechnung nicht aufgeht 5:12
11. Ich bin dann mal oben 3:25

Websites
music.hiddenshoal.com/artists/sankt-otten/
www.myspace.com/sanktotten

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