Klezcore / Hackenbeisser

Amateur punk. An oxymoron if there ever was one Klezcore / Hackenbeisser
Web: www.klezcore.de (includes samples)

If the Dead Kennedys played klezmer, is this what they would sound like? If so, maybe this wasn't as necessary an experiment as I once surmised. With a throbbing hardcore beat and sinuous oboe, accompanying unintelligible syllables, this isn't hardcore, isn't klezmer, and but for its existence, I would have claimed that this was not an inevitable fusion. Klezmer is recontextualized not as dance music where people dance for hours at a time together in circles, but instead as fodder for two minute thrashes in the mosh pit.

Still, I kind of like that the attempt was made, even if I don't know to whom this speaks (not to me, as it turns out). Like Chicago's Shloinke, Klezcore is pursuing a cacaphonous, subversive soundvision. I appreciate the diversity without appreciating the specific. In many ways this is the ultimate appropriation—klezmer music married to music associated with both extreme anarchists (sometimes to the good) and white power turkeys (not so good). (I am told that in Germany, to be hardcore is to be inherently on the left, as opposed to the skinheads, mere punks, who I think of as "white power turkeys", so defining this as hardcore is claim for a specific political context.)

I think I would find it easier to enjoy, say, von Bülow's rhythmic oboe without the vocals which, by deconstructing language to something that I hear as angry grunts, makes the whole thing sound like an exercise in ape-hood. The vocals are my biggest problem with the album. Sounding as though you are returning an excess of drink out the way it came is not sufficient cred for interesting music. Here, it's a loud distraction, absent only on the last cut, "Hecke" an, um, reworking of "Los Bilbilicos" ending in an angry clash that is in many ways the most interesting part of the album.

[Disclaimer: In the late 1980s I tried hard to get the local Santa Cruz band, Hotzeplotz, to engage me to sing punk Yiddish lyrics to their sometimes avant garde music. Unfortunately, the band was demonstrably more interesting without my participation.]

As someone who still has fond memories of the DKs and Flipper and my own, aforementioned aspirations, I am disappointed. Even the more adventuous fusions, as with the lovely traditional (if necessarily speeded up) "An einen kleinen Zigarettenautomaten" become radically less interesting once the vocalist comes in and the sum becomes more a slightly exotic throbbing and puking than something truly interesting. People who are still into (or who simply are into) hardcore may find this album more interesting. Certainly, I want to spread the word that it exists. And it should be more interesting, I think. (I also was convinced for about a dozen albums that Throbbing Gristle was going to make an insanely great recording. I was wrong.) For most of us, this may not be the necessary recording of the season.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 7/2/04

Personnel this recording:

Christine v. Bülow: oboe
Martin Quetsche: accordion
Harry Teske: e-bass
Robin Romanski: roar
Frank Bang: percussion, voice in 7, 13

Fabian Tuschy: garagentor (1, 15)


  1. Lebn un lebn lasn (trad./Klezcore) 2:00
  2. Safari (Klezcore) 2:01
  3. RackZackZack (trad./Klezcore) 2:10
  4. Galeere (trad./Klezcore) 1:51
  5. Heisse Wolga (trad./Klezcore) 1:42
  6. anschliessend Kulturpreis (trad./Klezcore) 1:21
  7. Drogen op de Alm (Klezcore) 1:28
  8. Fümwer (Quetsche/Klezcore) 2:21
  9. An einen kleinen Zigarettenautomaten (trad./Klezcore) 2:35
  10. Dojna (Klezcore) 1:08
  11. Kamtschatka (Klezcore) 1:18
  12. Das fliegende Nudelholz (trad./Klezcore) 1:52
  13. Bullenfrosch (trad./Klezcore) 3:32
  14. Pferdeporno (trad./Klezcore) 1:59
  15. Hecke (trad./Klezcore) 1:22

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