Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Review: Prinzhorn Dance School

I hadn't heard of this band until a couple of months ago when my man had J. and I listen to this, recommending we'd go to the upcoming show. I obliged and was not disappointed.

Minimalism can be interpreted in many ways and more often than not it's with an electronic element. Prinzhorn Dance School give the word a new meaning. Minimalism here means bass lines, with just the smallest amount of a melody played on guitar and a steady drum beat that, in theory, could be played with one drum stick. Basically, you get the least and the most out of your instrument at the same time. It's intelligent music, one that challenges you, but at the same time it's highly accessible and simple.

Live, this makes for a great performance. They are not your crazy dancing, engaging band. It wouldn't suit them or their music. But you want to be their friend. They have obviously listened to a lot of Crass over the years and turned this into something more pop and wavey. But the look (all black), the lyrics, the spoken word elements - it all reminded me so much of Crass and other politically active groups of the late 70s and early 80s. And I like that style. A lot. The highly rhythmic element to their music won't let you stand still either. I like even more. A lot.

Given they haven't really made a name for themselves in Germany yet and given that it was a Sunday night, the gig not only had to be moved from Festsaal to Berghain Kantine, but it was far from full, maybe a third filled. Somehow it didn't matter - because people that are into this band, are really into this band. The audience was into it. The atomsphere was good. And I am guessing the merch sales were satisfactory, too, because we queued unusually long to purchase a vinyl version of the record, which came with a free CD. 

I braved illness to go see this and I am ever so glad I did. Sure, they will come back. And sure, they should have played at West Germany in the first place, to a packed room. But what a great band to see, what a great thing to do on a Sunday night. May they return soon!

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