Inside The Ships

BB 085CD BB 085CD

This is the eleventh studio album by Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok aka Tarwater. On board are eleven songs that reflect the different facets of the Tarwater sound cosmos: dense soundscapes created by skillfully interweaving electronic and analog sounds. When the duo began working on the album, they initially intended to create a "Space Opera." That was not to be, but the resulting visions of the future, fictional knowledge and the distant and unknown served as the inspiration for these songs. Yet despite titles like "Inside The Ships," "Radio War" Or "Do The Oz," this is not a concept album. Tarwater have always befuddled the fanatics of stringent categorization among pop analysts. The synesthesia produced upon hearing the new album -- seeing alien worlds by means of acoustic stimuli -- is deftly created by Jestram and Lippok in their own special way. They have dispensed with coldness and overtly technoid sounds. Science-fiction folklore remains sidelined. The "otherness" is produced, for example, through the use of brass (tuba, saxophone, horn, trumpet and trombone) and other instruments that are otherwise used far from the pop-context -- such as the cimbalom. Even with these unusual elements, Tarwater's sound cosmos remains an organic whole and is immediately captivating on first listen. "Sato Sato" marks the first time that German lyrics appear on a Tarwater album. The text is taken from a track by Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft (DAF) on their 1981 album Alles Ist Gut. However, it's not really a cover: The phonetics of the lyrics serve primarily as another instrument with which Tarwater forms the song. Only the text is used, embedded within a new composition. This also applies for "Do The Oz" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. While Jestram and Lippok's work includes composing and performing music for film and theater, this album served as the model for the short film The Eagle Is Gone by Mario Mentrup and Volker Sattel. The film is set at night, in Berlin, at Alexanderplatz. The unique black and white aesthetic blurs the boundaries between the late Expressionism of the '20s, the cool charm of the '80s, and the present. The whole thing is supported by Tarwater's songs, which were not written for the images, but rather provided the inspiration for the visuals, and thus actually generated the images. In this respect, the album becomes a form of dialogical introspection. Making a guest appearance on the record is Detlef Pegelow, a Klezmer musician who also performed as a guest in Tarwater's predecessor formation Ornament & Verbrechen (1980-1983). Inside The Ships also works as a metaphor for the "inside," whether within a ship or construed metaphysically. The song "Palace At 5 AM" is based on a poem by Charles Baudelaire that paraphrases the images and emotions induced by the rush of intoxication. Setting off with Tarwater means discovering something new and intensifying the familiar.