Following the release of their new record L’infini, l’univers et les mondes on Karaoke Kalk earlier in the year, French pop act Astrobal come to Berlin for a live concert at Acud this October. Support comes from Kalk labelmates Donna Regina.
Emmanuel Mario keeps moving. The further he travels, the more he sounds like someone who has finally arrived where he has always been supposed to be. After collaborations with artists like Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier or the group Holden, his last album as Astrobal took the French composer and drummer to »Australasie« in 2016. On his second LP for the Berlin-based Karaoke Kalk, he ventures even further, eventually heading for »L’infini, l’Univers et les Mondes« – infinity, the universe and the worlds. Leaving behind the more krautrock-inspired approach he followed on »Australasie«, Astrobal focuses on a way of storytelling that takes conventional pop songwriting as a point of departure, yet arrives in previously unknown places.
Over the course of eleven songs, the multi-instrumentalist further perfects his craft of life-affirming, funk-infused synth pop. Drawing on the work of pioneers like Brian Eno or Yellow Magic Orchestra, 80s electronic funk music and blue-eyed soul, shoegaze and the rich tradition of progressive music and kosmische in his native France, »L’infini, l’Univers et les Mondes« indicates a major development in Mario’s futuristic and decidedly cosmic approach to songwriting.
As Donna Regina, Regina and Günther Janssen have been a fixture in the German indie pop and electronic scene ever since their first release in 1990. From 1999 on, they have released seven LPs and a slew of EPs on Karaoke Kalk. After a collection of cover versions of their songs by fellow artists and bands called »Dis Cover – Donna Regina As Recorded By« in 2015, »Transient« sees the wife and husband duo both musically and lyrically pick up where they left off with 2014’s »Holding the Mirror For Sophia Loren«. Even after 28 years and 13 full-length releases, Donna Regina still have much to say and on their first proper studio album in four years express it in more languages than ever.
Between the English-language opener »Royal Blue« and the final German track »Lass uns so tun«, Regina Janssen also explores French (»Quatre septembres«, written by Bertrand Burgalat’s lyricist Pascal Mounet), Spanish (»Mí globo de nieve«) and, newly so, Japanese (the Ayako Akashiba-penned »Melancholy Dragon«) as languages to convey complex truths with only few and simple words. Simple would be one word with which to describe the music on »Transient«, although maybe that would be a premature judgement. Even though the Janssens’ music, on this album only supported by the Danish guitarist Rolf Hansen on »Quatre septembres«, seems more minimalistic or perhaps even quieter than before, it is still brimming with details and the occasional moment of ecstasy.
Astrobal & Donna Regina
Tuesday, 15th October 2019 | 20:00 CET
ACUD | Veteranenstraße 21 | 10119