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Anton Barbeau — Morgenmusik​ / ​Nachtschlager
(Bandcamp Think Like a Key TLAK, 2023, 2CD / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2024-05-09

Morgenmusik​ / ​Nachtschlager Cover art

Anton Barbeau, pop psych musician extraordinaire, has a long musical journey from Sacramento to London to Berlin and back to Sacramento. After a string of cassette releases starting 1985 and several CD albums, Fruits de Mer Records discovered Anton’s love of pop psych and Krautrock in 2012, which led to a wider audience. Now Think Like a Key has released a new double CD of 31 original songs, Morgenmusik / Nachtschlager. This massive set of quirky power pop showcases Anton’s love of the decades-spanning genre. Interspersed throughout the two discs are a number of seconds-long spoken word vignettes and fictional ads, much like The Who Sell Out. Sometimes sounding like David Bowie or Bob Dylan, Anton’s nasal vocals and the music take you on a trippy acid-drenched journey through his psychedelic mynde. Morgenmusik is subdivided into four song groupings: “Waiting on the Radio” and “Bop”; Milk Suite (“Milksnake,” “Maa,” “Mothership Projection,” and “Gambit”); Clean Suite (“Greasy,” “Blacklight Clean,” and “Coming Clean”); and the songs “Dog Go Zombie,” “Gabay d’Lito,” “I Demand a Dream,” “Circustime Train,” and “Hindi Morgen.” There is just so much music to digest here, ranging from the jangle pop of the “Waiting on the Radio” to the Dylan-esque “Mothership Projection” that reminds me of “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” to the Carnatic singing on “Maa” to the trippy “Gabay d’Lito” and “I Demand a Dream.” Nachtschlager then shows Anton merging Prince, 60s British psych, and Krautrock across an additional 17 songs. The Bowie influence appears again in “Dumb Thumbing” with its homage to the Bowie / Iggy Pop tune “Nightclubbing.” Anton even integrates Buddy Holly and Rockabilly into “Come Back.” Each song is unique, but listening to all 31 tracks can be overwhelming. But when you make it to the final track, “Help Yourself to a Biscuit,” you will be rewarded to an excellent mixture of New Wave, pop psych, and experimental studio trickery, including children’s voices. This eclectic mix of varying styles that tie together is quite an achievement and well worth your attention.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Anton Barbeau, Custard Flux (Gregory Curvey)

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