Du Bist So Symmetrisch by Klaus Johann GrobeRelease date: October 26, 2018
Label: Trouble In Mind Records
There are two ways you can approach today’s electro/dance music – stick to the well-trodden paths and those often overused formulas that will get you into the clubs and on charts, or try to add more variation to the formula and come up with something that could also be listened to even if you are sitting down.
As far as their second album Du Bist So Symmetrich is concerned, it seems that the Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe is going in the direction of the likes of French electro masters Phoenix, Air, or maybe Hot Chip or M83. Essentially, taking the moves from the electronic Krautrock strain with all your Kraftwerk’s and NEU!’s, this time with an added dose of the seventies jazzy/funk, a bit less Miles Davis, a bit more Lonnie ‘Liston’ Smith in his not so languid moments.
What KJG do is try to keep the formula as simple as possible – straightforward, seemingly ‘simple’ melodies, and very complex rhythmic patterns, all covered with German-language vocals (for good measure, ‘Out Of Reach’ is in English). Now the usual quality test for music with non-native speakers, or to be more precise, non-speakers is how well the music and the whole concept stands in a situation when you can pick up only a word here and there from the vocals.
Having that in mind, KJG pass that test with flying colours. They have obviously done their studies of electro Krautrock quite thoroughly and were able to pick up exactly the elements that lift their songs from the pure copycat or ‘full dull’ spheres with ease. And yes, you can listen to this stuff sitting down, but then the question remains, why would you want to?
Du bist so symmetrisch translates into you are so symmetrical. The question is what are KJG so symmetrical to? The answer is – to both danceable and listenable electro. At the same time. The ‘mystery’ of artistic symmetry answered I guess.