AY CD 14
Produced by Shantel
Electronic, brass band, pop, reggae, dub, downtempo grooves, swinging jazz textures and straight tech-house beats – all of that in just 11 songs. Some of the earlier listeners to this production were asking wether he’s going to be the Austrian Beck or Manu Chao. Well, it’s up to you to decide on this.
For a while, the most hyped line-ups and projects on the Austrian music scene had names such as Kruder & Dorfmeister, Dzihan & Kamien, Pulsinger & Tunakan. These were simply the names of the movers and shakers who put the Vienna Sound on the music map in the 90s and came to represent a whole new pop/electronic image. So when the name Binder & Krieglstein appeared, it was bound to make you think that this was just another similar act jumping on the bandwagon. Far from it: the very name itself encapsulates the wit and self-irony of Rainer Binder-Krieglstein from Graz (capital of Austria’s south-eastern province of Styria). It may sound like a ‘duo’, but there’s only one person behind it.
“Punky Lo-Fi with attitude, trashy electronic sounds and a generous smattering of humour” is how the Austrian radio station FM4 described his debut album International in which the drummer who had previously played with Fetish 69, Sans Secours and various jazz bands, showed what he was made of. Samples, loops and sounds all held together by the drumming and musical vision of Binder-Krieglstein. It is important for Rainer to make music with people he likes – no matter what the style. As long as the chemistry is right, anything goes: electronic, brass band or pop. Pure eclecticism? A streetwise lust for life, more like. Minimalism to the max. An urge to capture atmospheres, attitudes and moods and serve them up in distilled form to a surprised and delighted audience. Binder&Krieglstein – live: with room for everything from quirky folk guitar and idiosyncratic double bass to moody downtempo grooves, swinging jazz textures and straight tech-house beats.
The new album Alles Verloren, produced by Shantel for Essay Recordings, has the title Alles Verloren… which, in German, means All is Lost. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all gloom and doom. Rainer Binder-Krieglstein doesn’t take the concept of losing too seriously. It’s just a question of style, as he would say. And if anybody knows a thing or two about style, he does. Binder & Krieglstein combine local German (pop) with various influences from Hip Hop and Reggae to Polka, creating a unique style with lyrics in German and English. Listeners might be reminded a little of Manu Chao or Beck. In his own words “I like putting things together that don’t really belong together. Which means, in this case, being able to translate the very crude mix of my productions into a sound that bears the hallmark of DJ Shantel. It also means finding points of contact with other genres. My vocalist Makki, for instance, is actually an artist (she studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna) and that makes the work incredibly exciting, because it means you are constantly negotiating different approaches. There are also contributions from Eva Jantschitsch, Uwe Bubik, Rainer von Vielen, Sasha Prolic and Kurt Bauer, which are musically very different from one another. Of course, the thing about the title, Alles Verloren, is that it isn’t just ironic. Because there’s enormous creative potential in drifting and getting lost. In that respect, I am striving for a certain equanimity, because loss also creates space. The fact that my own family history fits in so well is the reason for the cover. The crest, by the way, is real.”
But where does Binder get his class, his cool, his nonchalance? One glance at the cover and we think we may have the answer: why, he’s an aristocrat! The lands and fortune may be lost, but Binder couldn’t care less. He makes music as if there were no tomorrow. Trashy sounds with a razor-sharp edge, wild melodies with a touch of sophistication. His ancestors came from Alsace, he says. Which is, of course, the place where sauerkraut meets champagne. Not that we have to believe everything Binder says, but he certainly has a thing about unlikely combinations. And so it was that he left his Austrian retreat in search of some felicitous combinations for his new album. He found what he was looking for in Frankfurt, with label-founder and club culture iconoclast Shantel (Bucovina Club / BBC Award winner). Yes, he has always had a talent for mixing and blending. As indeed has Shantel. He also has a very laid-back approach to the seemingly incompatible. We shouldn’t underestimate the influence of his background here. The Binders and the Krieglsteins, after all, have always been involved in both the finer and the coarser things of life. Wine-coopers, engineers, farmers, goldsmiths, cultural bureaucrats. Itinerant musicians, too, according to family history. And also according to the wearers of rose-tinted specs, like Bruno, who wrote a nostalgic Old-Austrian memoir entitled Jugenderinnerungen eines alt-österreichischen Salonlöwen. And what about Binder himself? Well, let’s put it this way: he’s a man of independent means. A sophisticated cosmopolitan, but one with an outside toilet. A man of exquisite tailoring who sports a tattoo of the family crest underneath his fine suiting. In short, a real bloke. Even when all is lost.
02. Alles verloren feat. Rainer von Vielen (voc)
03. Piraten feat. Eva Jantschitsch (voc)
04. Drink All Day feat. Makki (voc)
05. Daddy feat. Makki (voc)
06. Spit feat. Makki & Uwe Bubik (voc)
07. Monkey-Disco feat. Sasha Prolic (voc)
08. Wir Wissen Nicht feat. Uwe Bubik & Marc (voc)
09. Pietons feat. Makki (voc)
10. Smile feat. Makki (voc)
11. Without Me feat. Uwe Bubik & Makki (voc)
ABOUT BINDER & KRIEGLSTEIN
Following Falco and Kruder & Dorfmeister Binder&Krieglstein put Austria again on world map of contemporary pop. For a while, the most hyped line-ups and projects on the Austrian music scene had names such as Kruder & Dorfmeister, Dzihan & Kamien, Pulsinger & Tunakan. These were simply the names of the movers and shakers who put the Vienna Sound on the music map in the 90s and came to represent a whole new pop/electronic image. So when the name Binder & Krieglstein appeared, it was bound to make you think that this was just another similar act jumping on the bandwagon. But whereas the Vienna Sound hides itself behind cold sound-design, Binder&Krieglstein shows us that he is a pirate of sounds combining catchy hooklines and wild melodies to real songs. This cosmopolitan attitude reminds us of Manu Chao and Beck rather than on representatives of Vienna Sound. This Shantel production joins electronic, bras madness and pop, reggae and hip-hop beats with smart German and English lyrics. The very name of Binder&Krieglstein itself encapsulates the wit and self-irony of Rainer Binder-Krieglstein from Graz (capital of Austria's south-eastern province of Styria). It may sound like a 'duo', but there's only one person behind it.
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