The duo SANKT OTTEN from Osnabrueck (Germany), founded in 1999 and consisting of Stephan Otten and Oliver Klemm, releases music on Denovali since 2009. After Männerfreundschaften und Metaphysik (2016), a collaboration record with experimental guitarist „N“, Sankt Otten finally release their first new album since Engtanz Depression (2015).
Their new record starts with Das endgültige Scheitern der Melancholie (en.: the final failure of melancholy), which seems to be unfamiliar due to its euphoric mood, but also shows that Sankt Otten consequently develop their music in a sovereign way. The title track Zwischen Demut und Disco (en.: Between humility and disco) then particularly brings to the fore the duo’s admiration of analog synthesizers - timeless instrumental music without nostalgic flashbacks to the past. Warm electronica, human being and machine hand in hand, infused by an almost danceable beat who induces head-nodding.
On their LP Messias Maschine (2013) Sankt Otten already released three tracks with drum-legend JAKI LIEBEZEIT (CAN) who meanwhile passed away. While sifting old recordings an unreleased drum-recording by Liebezeit emerged. Based on that hypnotic rhythm the melancholic but driving track Wir sind die Guten (en.: we are the good ones) came into existence. Shedding some tears is surely appropriate and allowed. Sad music can make you happy.
But also friends of the more pad-oriented compositions of Sankt Otten get their money's worth. Die Ballade vom salonfähigen Zynismus (en.: the ballad on the presentable cynicism) and Ein bisschen Mitschuld bringt dich nicht gleich um (en.: a bit of complicity won't kill you) both are sugar-sweet and snuggling, but at the same time almost threatening. The album closes with the more than 14-minute long Der Abend ist gelaufen (en.: the evening is all over), where the particularly powerful but always minimal-repetitive drumplay by Stephan Otten stands out, while Oliver Klemm's typical ebow-guitar-drones bring the track to float.
The lovingly chosen track-titles are again located in aphorism, sarcasm and pun, while the musical quality of the tracks is also absolutely homogen. It’s not easy to highlight particular tracks but one could fall in love with each of them. Altogether a jewel for admirers of the 80’s sounds and German electronic music. Zwischen Demut und Disco (en.: Between humility and disco) is the holy trinity of krautrock, ambient and contemporary electronics, but always stylistically confident and unmistakeably Sankt Otten.
released May 25, 2018
RECORDED AT ROTER SALON, OSNABRÜCK/GERMANY, NOVEMBER 2015 - JUNE 2017
DRUMS ON 'WIR SIND DIE GUTEN' BY JAKI LIEBEZEIT, RECORDED IN COLOGNE/GERMANY, MARCH 2013
MASTERED AT CALYX, BERLIN/GERMANY BY BO KOLDREN
supported by 9 fans who also own “ZWISCHEN DEMUT UND DISCO”
In 1986 I ran over on old gypsy woman who, with her dying breath, cursed me with a love of sequencers and a burning hatred of mellotrons. Every day, I give thanks to Cosmic Ground without whom, my life would not be worth living. MATTHEW PAYNE