donderdag 27 augustus 2009

review: Johanna Liebhart's early works 1978-1980 - Damals...


Johanna Liebhart might not ring a bell by many people. She is a well kept secret in the world of electronic music and I think this record will not change this in any way. Do not get me wrong I like this record... a lot... it is just most likely that the music itself and this edition will find it's way only to the few people who really want to find it...

Anyway... released on 10 inch in an edition of 277 hand numbered copies with nice inserts you get an overview of the early works of Johanna Liebhart, also known as Anna. This musician was active from the late 1970's to 2000 and has released some music on the Advertance Editions label and the Gigabrosaurus Recs label besides her own Neo Muzik label. All very obscure labels and only for the true music archeologists among us. She was found dead in 2000 with 66 stab wounds.

Her music is romantic new wave, meaning slow and tranquil synth wave that can go into ambient territory but mostly stays on the synth side of the balance due to the nice melancholy synthesizer lines in the tracks. She has been called The New Wave Goddess, and why not?! Her sound is majestic and done with style and has an unearthy feeling at times.

Some of her work has been used as basis for tracks by Wermut and Ich Wollte, Ich Konnte (IWIK). As the musicians behind these projects run the Gigabrosaurus Recs label and the Treue um Treue label it is no surprise they have now released this hommage to Johanna Liebhart, or Anna if you please.

On this 10 inch are seven pieces among which the tracks IWIK and Wermut used for tracks of their own. The track 'Ich Wollte, Ich Konnte' is a beautiful sad piece that has the feeling of classical music but has this lo-fi electronic charm over it. The IWIK version is more spiced maybe but this orginal is simply excellent nighttime music.

'Nicole' was released as an uptempo elektro wave track by Wermut on the "Hoera! Een Hex Voor Thuis!"compilation on my Hex Grammofoonplaten/Enfant Terrible label. The version on this 10 inch is very different. It is down tempo and without a rhythm. The synth lines are pulsating but there is no beat. It is very interesting to hear this original or proto version.

Another highlight is the more ambient like '1 000 000 Worter'. Also closing piece 'Heut' Nacht' is more ambient orientated. It is a long track which comes over you like a slow wave of warm water. It is a sad piece but also beautiful with its melancholy mood all over it.

These seven instrumental tracks are the perfect soundtrack for a lonely night and will produce flashback of the past for sure. The title 'Damals...' refers to the slogan of Johanna Liebhart: "Damals war alles besser". And you may question that saying but listening to this music that makes you remember the past... at least for that moment all listeners will feel this way.

You can get this record at the Enfant Terrible webshop and of course at the Treue um Treue webshop.

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