Aus der Bibliotheque
Many musicians dedicate their albums to a person who is close to them (a so-called "muse," often female) who has inspired or is said to have inspired the artist. Or a mysterious, mythical place. In rare and unusual cases, a record is sometimes dedicated to a person who is now estranged from the artist. So far, so boring. Until now, of course. Andreas Dorau, in contrast, has dedicated his new album to a completely different place, a completely different muse: the public libraries of Hamburg. To be precise, the main library on a street called "Hühnerposten." Dorau has spent much of his free time here in recent years. "The library is the little internet for haptic people," said Dorau. "And why should I spend money on books, music or DVDs, if they just gather dust?" Thus, he found the subject matter for this new album: the section for Hamburg History, where he found a passage on the horrific serial killer Fritz Honka ("Tannenduft"); in the science department, on the equally essential and popular element hydrogen ("Wasserstoff"); or simply pondering while gazing out the window ("Bienen am Fenster"). Even the journey there was enough to merit a potential hit ("Faul und bequem"). Taking a taxi to the lending library -- now that's style. The lending library can also lend a helping hand when it comes to music. It costs (almost) nothing. CDs, sheet music, it's all there. So instead of hunting for curios at flea markets or researching in the rather non-sensual Internet, Dorau ended his trips to the library by filling his designer plastic bags with CDs. And at random: "greatest hits" of long-forgotten American beard-bands, recent releases from the ghastly field of "indie rock," top ten atrocities from five years ago, etc. But why that? Dorau: "I wanted to find the good moment on each CD, perhaps a certain harmony, analyze it, and then, well, maybe 'borrow' it for my own songs." So basically the meta-level of the lending library. Or maybe it's rather the realization of the old alchemist's dream of using filth in order to produce gold? Aus der Bibliothèque is the first album Dorau has recorded with a band since 1987. "On my last album Todesmelodien from 2011, I was already experimenting with the idea of a band sound. I wanted to amplify that on this record and create my 'own' band sound." The band sound was provided by Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen, brothers in spirit and, incidentally, also friends of the lending library. Dorau's version of a singing and sounding library was created in the studio of the gewöhnliche Gentleman Zwanie Johnson using banjos, saxophones, guitars, drum machines, an old piano, a Höfner violin bass and a great deal more. The result: poppy Krautrock, Beatles-esque sunshine-pop, soft-rock and electronics.