BB 307CD BB 307CD

One of the greatest things about pop music is that rules can be summarily ignored. Ninety-nine times out a hundred, however, there is a tendency to stick to those very same rules, failing to break the chains of market forces or stem the tide of expectations. Whatever. Station 17 are not amongst those who follow well-trodden paths. This band, all too often referred to as a "project", can look back on a richer history than most, amassed over thirty years. To mark this anniversary, a new album entitled Ausblick is set to appear alongside a retrospective, Werkschau (BB 315CD/LP). The new record is a twin of sorts to Blick (BB 285CD/LP, BB 298LTD-LP, 2018): a collection of exciting collaborations. Created in a remote studio in the tranquil environs of Niebüll, northern Germany. From kraut legends such as Günter Schickert and faUSt to the friendly countenances of electronically inclined musicians like Schneider TM and Ulrich Schnauss, all the players have one thing in common: they have seamlessly aligned themselves with the production and composition techniques of Station 17, embracing the spontaneity of the situation here and now rather than seeking to impose their own methodology on proceedings. "The town is a blur before your eyes" ("Die Stadt verschwimmt vor dem Gesicht") is one line on "The Midday Sun Freezes" ("Die Mittagssonne Friert") and it is astounding to note how similar the images evoked by the music are to the images painted in the supremely intelligent lyrics, bordering on the wise. Directness is at the heart of Ausblick, a light-hearted obfuscation of distance which works equally well in doped up dubs and out-there krautish electro tracks. The inobtrusive sounds never feel forced. Everything flows, yet every song stands on its own -- as an agent of experimentation and pop, of aimlessness and barely articulable precision. Only a band who know exactly what they are doing are capable of such feats. Ausblick features Pyrolator, Günter Schickert & Schneider TM, faUSt, Datashock, Harald Grosskopf & Eberhard Kranemann, Andreas Dorau, Andreas Spechtl, Ulrich Schnauss, and Günter Schickert.