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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tony Levin - Waters of Eden – Over the last half dozen years, King Crimson bassist Tony Levin has produced a small but impressive body of work on his own Papa Bear Records, including World Diary (1995), a collection of...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues