AUSTRIAN MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS #4


Since the Covid-19 crisis has forced international festivals to either postpone or cancel their 2020 edition, and clubs have had to shut down throughout Europe – and will not be authorized to re-open in Austria before the end of August at the earliest – acts are simply not currently able to perform live. That doesn’t, however, mean that musical life comes to a stop, so our highlight section this month is dedicated to the latest releases. Some of them have been pushed back to autumn, but some of them have still seen the light of day in the last few weeks, or will in the next. Let’s take a glance at what to expect:


Laurie “Scientist of Man” (polkov rec)

Following the demise of his renowned indie band Polkov, band-leader Laurenz Jandl has decided to initiate his solo-project. As Laurie he just released his debut album “Scientist Of Man“, offering wistful and nostalgic numbers resembling Coldplay, R.E.M. or Dinausaur Jr. The retro-vibe is noticeable throughout the album, brimming with straightforward and sincere lyrics, elegantly-crafted ballads.


Purple is the Color – “Unmasked” (Sessionwork Rec)

Pianist and composer Simon Raab’s new project Purple is the Color has released its second album. Together with his partners Štěpán Flagar, Martin Kocian, and Michał Wierzgoń he crafts classical and virtuous jazz numbers, combining composition and improvisation. Bandleader Raab is aiming high, predicting them to soon turn into “the Beatles of jazz”. Their beautiful melodic tunes, soft and tender vibes, and hypnotic grooves form the backbone of these numbers, proving musicians’ ongoing exploration of the limits of instruments without digital abbreviations.


Drahthaus – “drahthaus” (Monkey)

Drahthaus is a collective of creative founded in 2015, whose proclaimed agenda is to question old structures. Ludwig Ascher, Valentin Martins, Simon Öggl, Hans Zoderer are using more than 20 acoustic instruments, digital instruments, and everyday objects to perform electronic music that smoothly moves beyond genre-restrictions, including jazz elements as well as atmospheric electronica tunes.


Bulbul – “Kodak Dream” (Siluh)

Bulbul – a band that does what it pleases, 100%. The eighth album from the relentless trio is offering us an exciting sound cosmos. With Manfred Engelmayr, Roland Raithmair and Dieter Kern three experienced musicians are proving once again what it means to combine indie and krautrock, electronics and experiment with a seductive amalgam that oscillates between pop and rebellion. For their eighth album, the trio joined forces again to spark feel-good-vibes, a healthy amount of musical adventurousness, the obligatory coolness, and vocals that have fun deconstructing language


b. Visible – “Palmen 808”

B. Visible – Viennese producer B.Visible is pushing his craft forward. His music is mutating organically as each project brings novelty but always while blending sharp electronic components with dusty acoustic layers. For his fresh EP “Palmen 808” he’s experimenting with the infamous Roland-808 drum machine. The results are light-footed, sparkling and playful tracks; three numbers for the dancefloor that feature bass-heavy breaks combined with quirky synth sounds.


Catastrophe & Cure – “Somewhere down the line” (toechtersoehne rec)

The band has been around for almost a decade, managing the fusion of guitar-heavy back-to-roots sounds with unique electronic elements, setting the distinctive character of each song to music. In 2020, Catastrophe & Cure are back with their new album “Somewhere Down the Line”. The quintet has rekindled its old love for guitar-driven songwriting, seemingly heading back to their roots, but nonetheless arriving at something completely different. Powerful driving drums meet melancholic vocals and grungy electric guitars while wavering synths bring just the right hint of lo-fi flavour –the work of a band that has found a new confidence and serenity after years of experimentation.


Jung An Tagen launches new label “Etat”

Experimental electronic producer Jung An Tagen has just launched his label “ETAT” with a new release. “Emergent Properties” investigates the neuroscientific qualities of synthetic sound with musical means. The form chosen: deconstructed, fractured, and mathematically inspired. Offering an acoustic tour-de-force, an overstimulated exploration of perceptive processes, Jung An Tagen has chosen a radical experiential approach. He concentrates on the sensory qualities of sound, testing strategies of physical disorientation and forceful sonic phenomena.


United We STream

Vienna’s club culture is facing the biggest challenge in its history. As solidarity is much needed, the transnational initiative United We Stream Vienna streams DJ sets, live music and performances from clubs into your living room in cooperation with ARTE Concert and raises money for the closed venues at the same time via Startnext. The first two Austrian editions that were organized by the Vienna Club Commission have already taken place, a third session is happening on April, 25, starting at 15:00, featuring Patrick Pulsinger, Annika Stein, Gerald VDH and Joyce Muniz.