Following the release of their excellent new album Under Pressure on Bureau B earlier in the year, Von Spar come to HAU this November for a special concert where they will be joined by Eiko Ishibashi and Marker Starling, both of whom guested on the record.
“It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about”, David Bowie sang in 1981, backed by Queen. He performed the remarkable feat of taking a song with such lyrics and creating a hit. Von Spar’s “Under Pressure” also knows what this world is about, with its intimidatory posturing, acute social competition and the fight for survival as we enter an age of surveillance capitalism. The music’s inherent urgency is in evidence from the very first beat, yet it still appears to float freely, creating space for reflection and self-interrogation.
What others call a “band”, Von Spar see as a modular system. The creative community of Sebastian Blume, Jan Philipp Janzen, Christopher Marquez and Phillip Tielsch is in a state of constant flux. Von Spar is an interface, providing access to rediscovery and fresh experience of, to all intents and purposes, the familiar.
“Under Pressure” is their fifth album, not counting their homage to Can (recorded live with Stephen Malkmus). 15 years have passed since their debut “Die uneingeschränkte Freiheit der privaten Initiative”, five since the “Streetlife” album. On closer examination, there is a somewhat chameleonesque quality to Von Spar’s discography. Their records are the result of continuous metamorphosis, opening wormholes to post punk, krautrock and 80s art pop. The constants: rhythmic refinement and harmonic quantum leaps, swirling synthesizer arpeggios, backwards guitars with no hint of retrogradation.
Eiko Ishibashi (石橋英子 Ishibashi Eiko) is a Japanese singer-songwriter and musician. She has frequently worked with Jim O’Rourke, with O’Rourke producing several of her albums and Ishibashi playing on his album Simple Songs. Together with Tatsuhisa Yamamoto they formed the band Kafka’s Ibiki. In 2016, she released the album Kouen Kyoudai, a collaboration with the Japanese noise musician Masami Akita (better known as Merzbow)
Von Spar, Eiko Ishibashi and Marker Starling
Saturday, 2nd November 2019 | Starts 19:30 CET
HAU2 | Hallesches Ufer 32 | 10963 Berlin
Image credit: von spar