März – Wir Sind Hier | Karaoke Kalk CD 29 / LP 40
Wir Sind Hier
CD / LP
Kalk CD 29
Kalk LP 40 - SOLD OUT -
Wir Sind Hier (‘We Are Here’) is MÄRZ’s follow-up to their 2002 début Love Streams on Karaoke Kalk. Eleven new songs by Albrecht Kunze and Ekkehard Ehlers, two having already made an appearance on the 10” limited edition The River / Blaue Fäden (‘Blue Threads’) in June of this year. I have been entrusted with the responsibility of describing this album. My choice of the first person for an info blurb is both an entirely novel and conscious act on my part, because I feel that the we in the title is speaking to me to me both directly and personally; for a we invariably contains an I.
Of course, it’s a fact that whenever one is writing about music, one is also writing about oneself. Music is something uniquely personal, both for the people who make it as well as for those who listen to it, precisely because it can help to place one in the here and now and in so doing, emotions are constantly being set free, though not necessarily those inherent in the music (and ones which may be dependent upon our own respective mood and/or location).
Representations of the world, like the world itself, are the works of humankind; humankind describes them from its point of view, which it then confuses with the absolute truth, as Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex. Even though the original context might have been different, this idea can be transferred to the contemplation of music and indeed, proves itself to be beneficial when addressing the central theme, the central message that is of MÄRZ’s new album Wir Sind Hier.
It’s all about positioning, i.e. the question of where you / I / we are standing now and here and in this particular moment; and MÄRZ’s songs describe the Here from their own personal perspective. It would seem to be the aspect of someone looking out from a park, if the titles März Im Park (‘Park in March’) and Oktober Im Park (‘Park in October’) are anything to go by; and yet it remains uncertain as to whether the fenced-off area of a park, with its circumscribed freedom–simultaneously including and excluding–is a place of relaxed tranquility, (deceptive) security or indeed a place of pacification. Places both conceivable and inconceivable superimpose themselves upon one another, and what remains is a feeling of uncertainty as to whether one should like to stay here or not.
MÄRZ seem to value the tension, which such unclear positions generate; or, put another way, they seem to want to endure it, for in the manner of a counter-design to this uncertainty, Wir Sind Hier evinces them continuing to fashion their inviting and seductive landscapes out of folk, pop and club influences: explicit, prodigal, subtly differentiated, but also displaying a greater desire to take risks than on Love Streams, so much so that only an idiot would chose not to tarry here a while. Tarry in the interstices of their world, between song and track, guitars and glockenspiel, banjos and bass drums, hounds and Hawaiian guitars, plug-ins and trombones . . .
A musical world however, which does not try to emulate the park itself–a separate, enclosed area; and yet is aware of the danger of being fenced-off and occupied, which is why MÄRZ keeps the borders open, both musically and lyrically and provides enough space for typically hymnal offerings, such as Biber & Enten (‘Beavers & Ducks’) (which moreover considerably augment their arsenal of strange and self-generated sounds) as well as space enough for improvisation and songs, which proclaim: was uns verändert / holt uns am Ende ein / was uns verändert / könnte ein Anfang sein.
(the things that change us / will catch up with us in the end / the things that change us / could be just a beginning)
Songs, which, for all the self-evident guise of High Pop, perpetually pose the question about positions, about themselves, itself, and thereby about me as well; songs, which circle around the question of position, of place and the quality of that place and thereby circle and encircle me until at some point or other (and almost automatically so), their question is my question: where am I – here?
Wir Sind Hier is an album, which talks to me. Also because in marked contrast to the previous one, it is more song-oriented, which in turn makes you listen more intently (to what is being sung about) and furthermore: because this Wir Sind Hier, which seems to be so sure that it thinks it doesn’t need to name where it’s at, is conversely continually questioning itself throughout the course of the record . . .
. . . which talks to me, not in a clever-cloggs, know-it-all kind of way, but in an inviting manner . . .
. . . which circles with me around itself, around you, me and us and around the question of where we are actually standing; and the only handicap with this (imagined) circling being not to return to the point of departure.
The beauty of Wir Sind Hier–and that includes each and every song–is the fact that I don’t perceive this circling to be a pressure, but rather as a possibility to reassess my own take on things, in order to formulate my unique, personal vision, perhaps even my own personal truth.
A truth that can withstand being asked its own questions of itself by itself.