Monday, 2 October 2017
Hirsche Nichts Aufs Sofa - Melchior (Aufmarsch Der Schlampen) (1986)
With a subtitle that now feels oddly prescient of 2010s sexual politics - but who knows what it meant to HNAS in 1986, if anything - Melchior was the result. The first side of the album featured four tracks that mostly ran into each other, so can effectively be taken as one suite (albeit one of mind-boggling variety) much the same way as the 22-minute piece that filled side two. The English translations of the track titles, respectively Roast me on an open fire, In summer there's no food, Without hesitation the goose won the cigarette, Cattle without socks and Heavyweight in evening dress, give an indication of the HNAS bizarre humour, and their music.
Starting with a jerky, echoey campfire singalong (Brate Mich auf offenem Feuer), a stomping, single-chord rock groove with a nice little keyboard figure is up next (Im Sommer gibt's nix zu Essen), and irresistible chaos ensues. Whenever something resembling an actual song gets going, HNAS can be relied on to pull it apart at the first opportunity, descending into jokey hollerings of the track title, tape-manipulated electronic smears and out-of-focus clanks, rattles and piano plinking. Even a drum-machine track complete with 'handclap' function gets chucked in, before being derailed with more gleeful taunting, brass-instrument samples and synth buzzes.
The aforementioned side-long Tonnenschwer im Abendkleid saves the best for last, IMO. A queasy, echoing loop (perhaps a bell or suchlike) establishes itself, filled out by foggy smears of brass a la Cosey Fanni Tutti circa 1980. Eventually this is blown away by a chaotic, very NWW-like middle section, until the entry of the distorted bass note and drums that take us towards the end. A phenomenal epic track to cap off a fascinating, memorable record.
Previously posted at SGTG: Im Schatten Der Möhre