Exposé Online banner

Katzenjammer Kabarett — Grand Guignol & Variétés
(Projekt 220, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01

Grand Guignol & Variétés Cover artTheir name is German, they sing in English, but they are indeed French. I must have missed this band's 2006 debut, but I guess it's never too late to discover a good thing, and this four-piece definitely delivers something different and unusual. Their sound is an affected mix of gothic rock, dark macabre theatricality, cabaret, art punk, and fragmentary bits of chamber and electronic styles, all woven into an accessible whole with surreal lyricism, and fronted by a powerful female vocalist. The music they make, in song-length pieces, covers a lot of ground yet maintains some kind of conceptual thread throughout, and after the twelve cuts have finished it all makes sense. After several plays it makes even more sense. It's downright addictive. And did I mention this singer is great? This sounds like a band that would be great to see on stage; all these dynamic changes, theatrical musings, and the imaginative mix of styles happening at once in a live setting must be one wild ride – so our French readers may want to make a note of that. Inspired lunacy meets artistic frenzy at its finest. Instrumentation includes guitars, synth-bass, piano, cello, electronics, and drums (both real and programmed). For the adventurous listener, this is definitely worthy of investigation.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Katzenjammer Kabarett

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Banda Elástica - Los Awakates de Nepantla – I haven't much music coming from across the border recently. However, we are very lucky that Banda Elástica managed to record their third album before the peso crashed. Los Awakates...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover

Exclusive Premier of a New Cheer-Accident Track

Cheer-Accident adSKiN GRAFT Records’ Mark Fischer states that “The Chicago vs New York compilation is an album in its own right… and not just some sort of a label sampler. Most of the songs on the compilation are exclusive to it." Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident says of "War Is a Warrior," " It’s definitely not going to be on the next Cheerax album.”

We'll have a review of Chicago vs New York in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.



Print issues