Alles Verloren

AY 014CD AY 014CD

This is the debut album by Austrian artist Binder & Krieglstein on Essay after two previous albums on Austria's own Zeiger Records. For a while, the most hyped line-ups and projects on the Austrian music scene had names such as Kruder & Dorfmeister, Dzihan & Kamien, Pulsinger & Tunakan. These were simply the names of the movers and shakers who put the Vienna Sound on the music map in the '90s and came to represent a whole new pop/electronic image. So when the name Binder & Krieglstein appeared, it was bound to make you think that this was just another similar act jumping on the bandwagon. Far from it: the very name itself encapsulates the wit and self-irony of Rainer Binder-Krieglstein from Graz. It may sound like a duo, but there's only one person behind it. "Punky lo-fi with attitude, trashy electronic sounds and a generous smattering of humor," is how the Austrian radio station FM4 described his debut album International. Samples, loops and sounds all held together by the drumming and musical vision of Binder-Krieglstein. Anything goes: electronic, brass band or pop. Pure eclecticism? A streetwise lust for life, more like. Minimalism to the max. An urge to capture atmospheres, attitudes and moods and serve them up in distilled form to a surprised and delighted audience. Binder & Krieglstein leaves room for everything from quirky folk guitar and idiosyncratic double bass to moody downtempo grooves, swinging jazz textures and straight tech-house beats. The new album produced by Shantel for Essay Recordings, has the title Alles Verloren, which, in German, means "all is lost." But don't be fooled into thinking it's all gloom and doom. Binder & Krieglstein combine local German pop with various influences from hip-hop and reggae to polka, creating a unique style with lyrics in German and English. Listeners might be reminded a little of Manu Chao or Beck.