Datashock-Kräuter der Provinz.

Label: Bureau B. 

Release Date: ‘25th’ of May 2018.

Ever since Datashock was founded in the city Saarlouis, in Southwestern Germany in 2003, the neo-hippie-spook-folk collective’s lineup has been fluid, with members leaving and joining the group over the last fifteen years. By the time Datashock entered the studio to record the followup to 2014s Keine Oase In Sicht, there were now eight members of the collective, as they began recording Kräuter der Provinz, which will be released by Bureau B on the ‘25th’ of May 2018. The release of Kräuter der Provinz is a new chapter in the story of Datashock, who have been making music in their own way for fifteen years.

After Pascal Hector founded Datashock in 2003, the nascent musical collective began to hone and establish their own unique and inimitable sound. This was heavily influenced by psychedelia as Datashock improvised and fused Krautrock, modern electronic music and dronescapes as they created multilayered soundscapes by deploying a myriad of electronics, effects pedals and DIY tape experiments. All this played a part in Datashock establishing their sound during the early years of their career.

By September 2004, Datashock had already released their debut single Die Frage Ist Wann Es Absurd Wird on the Meudiademorte label which was owned and operated by Pascal Hector. This was the start of a Datashock’s recording career, and during 2006 and 2007 they released collaborations with Shivers, Wether and also Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff. These were ambitious, genre-melting releases where Datashock’s sound started to take shape.

In March 2008, Datashock released their debut LP Untitled Symbol, which was followed five months later with their cassette album Rambo Wikinger in August 2008. By then, Datashock’s music was already starting to find a wider audience.

Buoyed by the success of the previous year, Datashock released another two albums during 2009, which were both collaborations. This included Datashock and Pretty Lighting’s album Collaboration, which was released in January 2009. Two months later, Datashock and Time Life’s Alle In Einem Bus was released in March 2009. The two albums featured Datashock’s unique, genre-melting sound as they continued to push musical boundaries to their limits.

Following the release of the two collaborations in 2009, Datashock returned in 2010 with two limited edition cassette albums, Taramöpskäsefuss and Para Dieswärts Dull. While both albums showcased an exacting and innovative group, when Datashock returned with the double album Pyramiden Von Gießen in April 2011, it was one of their finest offerings. It was as if Datashock had been working towards Pyramiden Von Gießen.

Despite releasing what many critics regarded as their finest hour, nearly two years passed before Datashock returned with a new release. This was LiveLoveData$, which was released in January 2013, and was another limited edition cassette album. The two tracks had been recorded live in late 2009, and were a snapshot in time and where Datashock were musically nearly four years ago. Much had changed since then, and Datashock’s star was in the ascendancy.

Proof of that was Datashock’s double album Keine Oase In Sicht, which was released in May 2014. It was a carefully crafted fusion of psychedelia, Krautrock, drone, electronica and experimental music was a fitting followup to Pyramiden Von Gießen, and was also one of the finest albums of Datashock’s career. The followup to Keine Oase In Sicht was eagerly awaited by Datashock’s growing fanbase.

Kräuter der Provinz.

Little did they realise that it would be four years before Datashock returned with the much-anticipated follow to Keine Oase In Sicht, Kräuter der Provinz. It will be released by Hamburg based label Bureau B and features a slightly different lineup of Datashock. 

By the time Datashock entered the studio to record Kräuter der Provinz, they were now an eight piece band. The lineup featured Christian Berghoff, Jan Stütz, Jan Werner, Pascal Hector, Ronnie Oliveras, Ruth-Maria Adam, Sebastian Haas and Ulf Schütte. They’re constantly busy with various projects and life in general, so trying to get an eight piece band in the studio together could’ve been a logistical nightmare. 

Fortunately, it wasn’t, and when a date was agreed for the recording of Kräuter der Provinz, the eight members of Datashock made themselves available and arrived from all over Germany. Before long, there was a carnival atmosphere in the studio as beers were cracked open and the band shared takeaway pizza, while they caught up with each other. However, having exchanged pleasantries, it was time for Datashock to get their game head on, and get down to the important thing, making music.

To make this music, a myriad of electronics and effects were setup alongside the array of instruments that ranged from the rhythm section and guitars to a violin and clarinet. Datashock were about to put these instruments to good use as they recorded nine new improvised soundscapes. 

This includes the album opener Hullu Gullu, wir liefern Shizz, which is an almost flawless fusion of psychedelic Krautrock, neo-folk and electronica where Datashock delay effects and sci-fi sound to create a hard rocking, mesmeric and memorable track. It sets the bar high for the rest of Kräuter der Provinz.

Very different is Wenn alle wollen, will uch auch! where Datashock improvise and experiment, creating a dreamy, lysergic and genre-melting meditative soundscape. By comparison, Im Zuchtstall der Existenzhengste has a much more understated cinematic sound, which veers between dark and dramatic to menacing and atmospheric as Datashock paint pictures with music. The cinematic sound continues on Spirituelle Enthaltsamkeit im Sandwichverfahren which is eerie and otherworldly and sounds as if it belongs in a modern-day horror film. Datashock’s cinematic sound continues on Schönster Gurkenschwan which is rich in imagery, dubby and full of darkness and drama. It’s a captivating fusion of avant-garde, dub, electronic, experimental music and improv, where Datashock deploy effects and futuristic sounds effectively. 

There’s no let-up in the drama during Marodierende Sachbearbeiter aus Teilzeit, where sci-fi and celestial sounds are added to this carefully crafted soundscape. Sometimes it’s sonically reminiscent to some of the music on Leftfield’s genre classic Leftism. Straight away, Datashock send out a hypnotic warning that there’s danger ahead, as the thirteen minute epic Halb-Halb, wie ein guter Kloß gradually reveals its secrets. The music is understated, and veers between ethereal to experimental as Datashock continue to improvise, and in doing so, create futuristic, otherworldly and lysergic music that is also mesmeric and later, dramatic. It seems that Datashock have kept one of the best until last on Kräuter der Provinz. 

For Datashock’s many fans who have waited four years for the release of Kräuter der Provinz, it’s been worth the wait and is a career defining album. Every album and collaboration that Datashock have released since 2003 has been working towards Kräuter der Provinz, which will be released by Bureau B on  ‘25th’ of May 2018. Kräuter der Provinz is a groundbreaking and genre-melting album from musical pioneers Datashock.

The neo-hippie-spook-folk collective Datashock improvised and combined elements of psychedelia, Krautrock, modern electronic music and dronescapes with avant-garde, dub and experimental music on Kräuter der Provinz. Datashock also deployed a myriad of electronics, effects pedals and sci-fi sounds on Kräuter der Provinz, and briefly reference Ennio Morricone and Leftfield during a carefully crafted cinematic album that is finest of their career. 

Kräuter der Provinz is a cinematic album that is rich in imagery, and sometimes, it sounds like the soundtrack to a film that has yet to be made. Datashock leave the listener to supply the script as the music veers between atmospheric, dreamy, lysergic and meditative to dark, dramatic, eerie and menacing to dubby, futuristic and otherworldly during what’s without doubt the finest album of the neo-hippie-spook-folk collective’s fifteen year career.

Datashock-Kräuter der Provinz.

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