30 Days: 30 Albums | Andreas Dorau – Ärger Mit Der Unsterblichkeit

30-days-30-albums-header

Andreas Dorau was probably around 30 years of age when he recorded this solo album, originally released in 1992. I’ve heard his music that he had recorded as a teen and liked it. What would Doreau bring to the music as an adult? Well, the title translates to “Annoyance With Immortality” according to my translator widget. If anything, his sense of humor was intact.

Bureau B | GER | CD | 2012 | BB114

Bureau B | GER | CD | 2012 | BB114

#19 • Andreas Dorau: Ärger Mit Der Unsterblichkeit GER CD RM [2012]

  1. Warten
  2. Es Dreht Sich Die Welt
  3. Geträumt Von Dir
  4. Einsam
  5. Die Trottellumme
  6. Stoned Faces Don’t Lie
  7. Die Schande Kommt
  8. Tiere Im Regen
  9. Menschenschicksale
  10. Das Ist Das Wirkliche Leben
  11. Der Wasserfloh
  12. Die Schande Kommt (Dub-Version)
  13. Stoned Faces Don’t Lie (Gitarrenversion)

The album starts out with “Warten” [“Wait”] what can only be described as a Philly Soul number complete with Sigma Sound string section! It actually resembles nothing so much as Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day!” Amusing! I couldn’t help but notice that the track has lots of tape hiss throughout… except for the middle eight, where the backing dropped out to highlight the synth bass – which was crystal clear. What ‘th…?! But what else awaited me on this disc? I can’t imagine Andreas Doreau committing to his equivalent of “Young Americans!” I quickly got my answer when “Es Dreht Sich Die Welt” [“It Turns The World”] got underway as a quirky electropop song featuring that verdammt shuffle beat that all pop songs in 1992 had to have.

I quickly twigged to the fact that most of this album was constructed from samples juxtaposed for their ironic if not downright comic effect. “Geträumt Von Dir” features sound effects not heard since the heyday of Three Stooges shorts, or Tex Avery cartoons. Yet the music has a haunting quality in spite of the sometimes ludicrous noises in the mix.

I’m guessing that by this time Dorau must have heard “Paul’s Boutique” and wanted to get him some of that. Fine by me! That he ended up with nothing like the Beastie Boys is a testament to his innate sense of self. The cover is a hilarious composite of ironic “scientific” images with a “candid” shot of Dorau pointing authoritatively but the back cover is perhaps more instructive.

andreas-dorau---arger-BIt depicts the pegboard tool rack of a workbench; revealing that this is not scientific research, but craftsmanship. It’s nothing too different from a hobbyist tinkering in his garage, though it’s a far cry from “garage rock!” I invoked “Paul’s Boutique” earlier, but what this music really recalls, is the type of goofy sample-centric sound to be found on the Martini Ranch album “Holy Cow.” The track “Hot Dog,” in particular. The only tracks that approach the ironically hip sample appropriations of The Beastie Boys would be “Warten” and the track named for the Sir Douglas Quintet sound bite that provided its titular sample, “Stoned Faces Don’t Lie.” Most of what’s here is moving in a different direction entirely.

“Die Trottellumme” begins like a late 70s Residents track before it quickly runs off of the rails thanks to a dizzyingly shameless parade of daffy cartoon noise samples. “Menschenshicksale” proffers a propulsive, boppy, technopop groove while its title roughly translates to “The Fate Of Humans.” Through it all Dorau remains his non-plussed self; his singing appealingly modest against the winsome melodies that are rather sophisticated, given that they are constructed from hundreds of carefully arranged samples. He shouldn’t be a pop star, but the fact that he is, is testament to the lowering of the guard that the Post-Punk era ushered in where the young Dorau was in the right place at the right time with the talent and chutzpah to pull it all off anyway.

CONCLUSION: enjoy

– 30 –

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7 Responses to 30 Days: 30 Albums | Andreas Dorau – Ärger Mit Der Unsterblichkeit

  1. stellaVista says:

    In 1992 Ata Tak released a fake label compilation “City Space”, which was actually made up mostly by Andreas Dorau and Andi Eckert (who is the collaborator on “Trouble with immortality” as I would translate it) and members of Der Plan under (hilarious) pseudonyms such as “Ghetto Twins”, “Schreibmaschin” and “Kitschfinger”. It´s sonically very similar to that Dorau album…lots of bleep inspired, “ready-made”-sample tracks that create this “faux/ersatz”-house sound that would never be played in any club outside the Ata Tak fantasy world that is evoked in Moritz Rrr´s fantastic paintings. There´s also loads of low-fi tape hiss. I always wondered if this was actually done on purpose to take the piss out of the “clean digital sound”.

    My favourite has got to be the best Kraftwerk-cover ever: “Autobahn” by Kernkraftwerk (lol). It is made out of a slow ragga-riddim (like in “Das ist das wirkliche Leben”) and the “Paid in full”-drum loop! Parts of the melody are played by a fragile, stuttering flute-sample (you can clearly hear the “loop-points”) and some random swooshing sound f/x. The breakdown or middle-eight will have you gagging: Dorau in his best “young man who is too smart for his own good”-voice mumbles “Wir fahr´n, fahr´n, fahr´n auf der Autobahn” as if he has just tried to nick dad´s car keyes but only managed to crash his goKart in the back-yard. It´s so bizarre.

    Another interesting track, Rhymes to Kill by “Tiny Sexy People”, uses a pitched rap (“Never ran, never will) by the great forgotten female rapper Sparky D as it´s centerpiece. The rap is chopped up and put on top a smooth, groovy beat to create a refrain/chorus-structure complete with cheesy 60´s orchestra samples. The result is a very strange rap/pop hybrid that totally inhabits its own tiny, sexy world.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      stellaVista – I must buy this album! This sounds brilliant! The fact that they used the band name of “Schriebmaschin” makes me wonder of they ever saw the infamous “Dieter’s Dance Party” episode of “Sprockets” from Saturday Night Live many years ago in the 80s. Oh, how I loved Sprockets satire of bourgeois American perceptions of German kultur. And they certainly mined Kraftwerk for laughs. The funny thing was, “Schreibmaschin” was one of the band names used on the sketch, which was a parody of “American Bandstand” and the song “Weird Nun” could almost pass muster as a real track if it were not lyrically reflecting Dieter’s obsession with the madonna/whore complex. If all if this sounds crazy, I’m sure it’s on youtube. Search for “Dieter’s Dance Party” and all will be revealed.

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  2. stellaVista says:

    By chance I happened to see this one episode of SNL on MTV in the late 80s and recorded it on my Video2000 tape (vich vas ze vastly superior wideo kassette system of zem all, because you could use ze tapes on both sides). I showed it to all my (2) friends and we were obsessed with this sketch! (I never saw the other ones…and Dance Party is not on Youtube, which is a shame!)

    In fact when I saw the City Space album, “Schreibmaschin” was the first to catch my eye and it was a no-brainer to buy it on the spot.
    I am very sure that the culturally connected Ata Tak clan knew those episodes too.

    The cover is lovely too: it uses the public transport map of Hamburg and turns it into a global map by replacing the original station names with global cities. I actually was living in Hamburg back then and according to City Space I was in Brasilia, had to change in Freetown to get to my office in Djakarta…but I digress.
    I guess you can buy it on Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=249964

    In 1993 Ata Tak released City Space 2 with pretty much the same concept but I never got around to buy and listen to it.

    Ata Tak was SUCH an amazing label and arguably the best Germany had to offer.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      stellaVista – Incroyable! What are the odds that you might have seen the one Sprockets sketch with the Schreibmaschin gag?! And to have recorded it on the Euromarginal V2000 format?! Dieter himself would have approved [as do I]! Like yourself, I would have also snapped up any music release that listed a band with that name. Ata-Tak were obviously self-aware of projected German stereotypes and immediately picked up on “Sprockets.” My Japanese copy of Der Plan’s “Perlen” has a photo of them smiling in lederhosen hoisting schnitzel on cooking forks among the other, more Dada performance pictures. The other Sprockets sketches, by the way, were also classics. Each one ended with “Now is the time on ‘Sprockets’ ven ve danse!’ Where black clad Kraftwerk clones would appear and join Dieter in dancing Die Roboter. Sigh.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      stellaVista – By the way, I hate to pick favorites, but I will. This is my favorite comment thread in four years of blogging PPM! Thanks so much for contributing it.

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  3. stellaVista says:

    Oh, the pleasure is all mine! You can´t guess how delightful (and bizarre) it is for me to chat about Andreas Dorau and NDW in 2014 with an american fan (who probably knows more about the subject than me!)

    Dorau is not exactly in the public eye (or ear) since 1981. He certainly has a dedicated fan base but it´s pretty small. I have to admit that I would not consider myself a fan of most of his work. Sometimes his grade-school voice is really grating. But when he´s good, he´s great!

    Are you aware that his single “Girls in Love” hit the number one spot in France in 1997?

    So in case you are up for a very exotic sunday in your monastry (wherever it is?) here is the film he made for his final exam at the munich school of film: Schlag dein Tier (Beat your animal) which is a spoof on stupid tv-shows in which he also performs some of his songs.

    And here is a 40 minute program from around 1982 that dealt with Dorau, Der Plan, Palais Schaumburg and some others…it´s great, but there is lots of German spoken, duh!

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      stellaVista – Thanks for the TV but I am extremely busy and have no time for watching video on the computer [I was building websites yesterday and wrestling with a mailform that was not behaving]. Secondly, I boycott all Google services [for political reasons], so no YouTube for me. But if anyone else wants’ to watch them, thanks for the embeds! I suspect chasinvictoria will be interested after I opened his ears to Andreas last year.

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