Cuh! Those crazy Germans. The year 2000 saw a remarkable run of releases
from labels operating from Cologne, Munich and Berlin, with the likes of Chicks On Speed and Gonzales churning out deranged avant-garde absurdity like the underground was going out of fashion. Here in Blighty, forced-fed on a diet of acoustic ploddery and assembly-line chart-pop, it was comforting to think that this eclectic freak show was somehow for our benefit.
Meet Matthias Schron – Berliner, fruitcake, and the sole electronic tinkerer masquerading as schizophrenic electro-pop psychedelicist Estompen. His ‘Moitorweltrar’ LP is the seventh release from the eccentric stable of Angelika Koehlermann, and it’s as unhinged as you could possibly hope; a good three-quarters of it consists of numbered explosions
in sound called ‘Estompe’, which mostly sound like the Pizzicato Five covering Nine Inch Nails.
The other quarter, meanwhile, consists of some quite wonderful proper songs – see ‘Walkman’ and ‘Strand’ – which make like a German-language synth-pop Flaming Lips, all wobbly vocals and glitter-strewn end-of-next-century ambience.
Splendid stuff, but if you’re thinking that this lunatic German new-wave are here to save us, well, you’re wrong. It takes a record of this calibre of brilliant madness to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the Deutsch contingent are making this music for themselves, and themselves only.