Music Montag: Hans Sølo & Streichmetall

by James Glazebrook

Hans Sølo & Streichmetall

Truly unique artists are a music writer’s worst nightmare. Going into this, I knew I wouldn’t be able to describe Hans Sølo without referencing things that I either don’t fully understand or know don’t really apply – folk, chamber music, Anthony and the Johnsons, Sigur Rós. That’s why this Bavarian based in Neukölln refers to his sound simply as “chamber pop”. A large part of what makes me love this music that, on paper, I shouldn’t, is the backing of the string quartet (plus drums) Streichmetall. Have a listen to the beautiful “Sleep” below, and catch the  collective at Verlängertes Wohnzimmer this Friday, 1st February.

Music Montag: Hasta la otra México!

by James Glazebrook

Can you believe this was filmed an hour north of Berlin? The sweet new video from Hasta la otra México! has got us longing *hard* for summer, and a little depressed that we’re months away from decent lake weather. Described as “Sigur Rós with a French accent”, Hasta… is the former solo project of Ansgar Rudolf, started in Berlin in 2007, that has since grown into something bigger and more collaborative. While you’re here, check out their former Vimeo Staff Pick, a time lapse video that was chosen by NASA as “Astronomy Picture of the Day”. Cosmic.

túrána hott kurdís by hasta la otra méxico! from Till Credner on Vimeo.

Playlist: Best of the Berlin Festival 2012

by James Glazebrook

Is it too early to get excited about the Berlin Festival? Butbutbut… the line-up this year is actually pretty good! Gone are the Britpop hasbeens of 2011, and in their place are the hottest young indie-dance crossover bands, cutting-edge electronica, and a clutch of homegrown talent. The German scene is well-represented this year, by The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble, Digitalism, Raop (Rap + Pop) group Cro, and new blood Frittenbude and Etnik – as well as Berlin’s own Modeselektor, Dumme Jungs, I Heart Sharks and Paul Kalkbrenner.

All of that, plus Little Dragon, Grimes, SBTRKT, Orbital AND MORE will make for some difficult choices, but you will definitely find me front-and-centre when Sigur Rós hit the Tempelhof stage, with tears streaming down my stupid emo face. In order to get you as prematurely excited as I am, I’ve compiled a Spotify Playlist: Best of the Berlin Festival 2012 containing some of the guaranteed highlights. Click to listen or grab the link – and GET YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!

Berlin Festival 2012
7th – 8th September
Flughafen Tempelhof, Berlin