Moody opera singer Feline Lang and angry metal cellist Christoph Klemke release their new opus – for the first time, all lyrics are in German. (Bonus titles in English available). Pent up energy and rage from two years of being stuck condense into an artful and bouncy concept album ranging from elektropunk to true baroque opera.
11 Songs (including a suite in three movements, featuring a choir and historical instruments) about the pandemic, life, art, and all that shit. But still the songs are valid and meaningful way beyond the present. F&S´s usual split between biting sarcasm and deep human tragic have the potential to inspire generations.
In particular, the title single “Kunst fordert Opfer” made some waves, and the accompanying blog post by Feline was reprinted several times.
The series of singles culminates shortly before the album release on Foxy records with the monumental opus REQUIEM, a 20-minute suite featuring about 30 guest musicians.
THE STORY BEHIND THE ALBUM
And then, Corona. Feline manages to transform the release party for TRIGGER WARNING, no, the 2-day festival STEAMBALL funded by musicboard Berlin, into the STrEAMBALL in only three weeks, as the first ever full online festival in a specially invented streaming format, which has often been copied since then.
After the STrEAMBALL Feline also creates the “Darkstreamfestival” together with other artists to be broadcast in place of the Wave Gotik Treffen to a five-digit number of spectators. After this, the band gets not one but two label offers. What luck that Feline had already started to write YET ANOTHER album.
KUNST FORDERT OPFER (Art demands Sacrifice) will be released in Autumn 2022; four more successful singles have already been released. For the first time, all lyrics are in German, but most of the songs are recorded in English too and published separately. More aggressive and provocative than before, KfOis for the first time putting the perspective of freelance artists in the foreground – do you wonder why?
In 2021 the book “Ich brauche eine Genie” by Kerstin and Sandra Grether is published, presenting lyrics and female personalities from the German pop and punk scene, including Gudrun Gut, Lena Stöhrfaktor, and of course: Feline Lang with two song lyrics.
KfO contains bitingly sarcastic electroclash, but also desperate ballads, including a fourteen-minute funeral song to all of western civilization, in which several dozen guest musicians of friends are participating, including bands from the “Steampunk Musik Kollektiv”, which was founded in 2020 as the umbrella organization for steampunk bands from German-speaking countries and has already released a sampler and an in-house production in just one year. f&s are represented with songs on both and on the third album now in production.
Press reviews on the first singles:
“This is a wonky, smeared lipstick, dishevelled outfit of a song as imagined by someone stumbling home from the last office party to the prospect of spending Christmas Day alone and Boxing Day with family that you don’t want to see the rest of the year. Pleasingly bleak.” (Monger)
“you should invite these cabaret weirdos for your turkey diner, so you can all have a go at Santa. Feline and Strange will take care of the Xmas tree music with their new traditional-sounding carol Nolidays. An angelic beauty that will melt your hearts with its fuck off Santa message. That shameless imposter works for American, money-greedy chain-store Toys R Us since Christ was born. No mercy folks, kick Kriss Kringle in his jingle bells. Party time!” (Turn up the Volume)
“about the exploitation of musicians by the big business elements of the music industry” (Loud women)
“Dabei führte es nach dem melancholischen ersten Song zum wütenden “Kunst fordert Opfer” über den Tanz(verbots-)Song “Hypfen (Jetzt.)” und eine zynische Ballade zum Grundeinkommen bis hin zur punkigen Anti-Aluhut-Nummer. Diese Achterbahnfahrt wird von “Keinachten” vervollständigt, das gewohnt zynisch daherkommt, jedoch auch mit der richtigen Menge Emotion und überraschend tröstend.” (Sonic Seducer)
Das “Kunst fordert Opfer” Statement in voller Länge auf Kulturnews
Title song KUNST FORDERT OPFER: The song for the crisis. As a freelance artist I am used to be exploited, deceived, criminalised and seen as the scum of society, while at the same time working 16 hours a day or longer. I don´t even mind much. Sleeping in would be nice though. But while paying more taxes and insurance than others we are, of course, just pursuing our expensive hobby while others are doing “the real work”. And of course, getting the “exposure” out of streaming. Or was it playing free show to get exposure so people stream our stuff more, for free of course? – The song is electro punk. What else would it be.
SUBVERSIV. In your face. Pandemic, war, apocalypse. Who bothers about the artists? Well, the artists, for a start. Feline makes Music for Musicians, and Art for Artists. That doesn´t exclude anyone, but it explains, why the band doesn´t control every chart list yet despite their utterly loyal fan base and lots and lots of publications. Musicians are poor, by definition, and don´t buy CDs. Neckbreaking High-Speed-Bach from exceptional cello player Christoph Klemke many will recognise – but what else is hidden for the inaugurated behind the opera coloraturas and the stomping freaked out bass?
Everything that annoys musicians (and hasn´t been shouted out in KUNST FORDERT OPFER single already) is put upon the table – and for the first time ever, the band says: WE ENDANGER YOU. – At least, your comfort zone.
DER ARBEIT – SONG / THE WORK – SONG #HowCanArtNotBePolitical? Feline & Strange have asked since 2017. With relentless, gloomy or sarcastic statements against sexism and for climate protection, the band has not only created devoted fans, but also bitter enemies. But does that shut them up? Not even remotely! Instead, this time opera singer Feline Lang uses the style stock of the supreme idol of political art, Bertolt Brecht, for the “WORK SONG or THE GOLDEN CALF” – hinting also in the title at Brechtian traditions – in the good old agitprop manner on the subject of the world of work. The band openly denounces the senseless “bullshit work” (a term borrowed from the books of the sociologists David Graeber and Rutger Bregman, which describes work only for the sake of work, without any productive results, whether physical or psychical) and the false rewards promises by society: “If you want to create, create a tax loophole”.
With the help of the British band birdeatsbaby (horns, mix), the Berlin act Dirty Feetz (trumpets) and her own mother Brigitte Langnickel-Koehler (concert harp), Feline creates a 7-minute opus magnum reminiscent of the Threepenny Opera or the soundtrack of “Babylon Berlin”. Office sounds and choir voices create a delusional intoxication between workaholism and idolatry. Because don’t we all serve the god(dess) Mammon?
Feline filmed the opulent video for the German version of this song with her Swedish camera magician Damón Zurawski, who has already created masterpieces with her on “Cassandra’s Twin”, “The Train”, and “City by the Sea”. Exuberantly and cynically, the film combines allusions to classics of the dystopian and political genre, from “Citizen Kane” to “Brazil”, from “Kuhle Wampe” to “1984”, everything outshone by Feline’s hypnotic portrayal of the almighty magnate who is a victim of their own greed .The revolution devours its children, oh yes, but also the capital.
HYPFEN! (jetzt.) This is a song that could only have born during a streaming festival – in the chat! Because it is based on the spelling joke omnipresent in the Gothic scene to replace suitable (or not so suitable) letters with less used ones to make the word look ancient or mysterious (and to make googling it easier). During the 1st Darkstreamfestival, Feline joked in the chat that one day we´d have a black bouncy castle at the biggest of all gothic festivals, the WGT, to make all goths bounce, “hüpfen”. And because we´re goths, we spell it: HYPFEN (BOVNCE). And Feline being Feline she promised to write the hymn for this action. Now the WGT happened for the first time since the pandemic after a 2-year hiatus. And here´s the hymn. Enjoy. And bovnce.
KEINACHTEN: There will be NOLIDAYS. Again. 2021 should have seen new lyrics for the re-release of this biting Holidays-with-Aunt-Corona-Song…but there hasn´t changed that much. Still, the world is hapharzedly fighting the pandemic while worrying about money. Still, online shopping peaks, despite shortages. Still, those who are running society do not get appreciation. But the consume machinery is derailing audibly in times of Brexit. And #howcanartnotbepolitical, as the band keeps asking since 2016? Feline´s British fans are waiting for this, in hope of their return for Raising Steam Festival in 2022! (Let´s hope the band will still get a visa after this release.) So, let´s sing a carol, like in the good old times. Get the flutes out, tune the harpsichord, and make the choir drunk. All them feels please! Because what else is left of these Nolidays? – And what else did ever really matter?
DAS NEUE NORMAL. The new normal. Can there be a more precise description of the loneliness of the city dweller during the first lockdown than this city symphony from your own heartbeat, ticking clocks, single street and neighbour noises? Yes – this shy piano ballad.
(Video in Vorbereitung) (Remix by Pyrolator aka Kurt Dahlke/Der Plan, Fehlfarben out January 2023)
LOS GEH DIE WELT RETTEN! Go save the world! Let´s fight the apocalypse, all together? Nope. There´s always those who refuse to adapt to change for the sake of their comfort zone – even in danger of life. How did mankind survive until now?! Only punk helps in this situation. – Supported by Admiral Jack (The Nerves) on bass.
What can you say about the looming end of everything? Not much. But you might want to sing a song about how art died in the service of power.
A song? No. A 15 minute suite in three movements, a mourning funeral march for western civilisation and art – and for all those who cling to it, pretending everything outside of this bubble would not exist. With over 20 musicians plus 20 actors including a choir, and historical instruments. Involving The Steampunk Musik Kollektiv from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, birdeatsbaby from UK, the Berlin based “Hard Chor” Stimmgewalt, baroque and experimental specialists Lambda and Feline´s own mother Brigitte Langnickel-Köhler. A a poem that started this project. “My stories have starved…” And a heartbreaking video or rather, short film, involving more than 30 more artists, released in November 2022, funded by Initiative Musik gGmbH/Neustart Kultur.
Join the Requiem for Society. (Steven C. Davis, Autor, Festivalveranstalter, UK)
This is hella good! (Unwoman, Musikerin, US)
Epic! (Hana Piranha, Musikerin, UK)
Grosses Format, grosses Kino, grosse Geste – einfach grossartig. (Bruno Kramm/Das Ich, Musiker)
Ich muss es gleich nochmal anschauen. Da ist soo viel drin…. Wahnsinn! (Ina Klein, Musikpromoterin)
Damn, that is an AMBITIOUS song … and it works so very well. Congrats! (Brian Hodges, Musiker)
Wow! Amazing work! Brava! (Janet Bressler (Musikerin)
Simply WOW!!! What a song , what a video! (Witches Are Back, DJ Kollektiv)
Ich bin geflasht. Großartig! Wirklich großartig. Ich ziehe meinen Hut vor Dir, vor allen. (Amandara Schulzke, Autorin)
Klasse gemacht und gesungen!! Daumen hoch 🙂 (Upzet, DJ, Clubbetreiber)