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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cream - Disraeli Gears - Deluxe Edition – What comes to mind when you think of psychedelic blues rock? For me, it’s Cream. They were the most important UK rock band out of the 60s besides the Beatles and the Stones. Eric Clapton, Jack...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues