Von Spar and Marker Starling Gretchen Berlin / Friday, 03.04.2015

After a 2 year break Von Spar are back with a brand new album Street Life on Italic and will play a live concert this Easter at Gretchen.

Von Spar is a four-piece band based and founded in Cologne (GER), consisting of Sebastian Blume, Jan Philipp Janzen, Christopher Marquez and Phillip Tielsch. Since 2003 they have released four albums and numerous 12″s on labels like L’Age D’Or, Tomlab, Italic, Areal and Irr (along with remixes by Prins Thomas, Prince Language, ADA, John Tejada).

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Von Spar’s music appeared on compilations and mixes by Innervisions, Fact Magazine, Output and many others.In their studio (Dumbo Studios Cologne) and on stage the band collaborated with such acclaimed artists like Marker Starling, Stephen Malkmus, Scout Niblett, R. Steevie Moore, Kuniyuki feat. Henrik Schwarz, ADA, Damo Suzuki, Popnoname, Barnt…

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Precarious bon vivants, gifted musicians, radical guys – VON SPAR are many things, but above all, they are one of the most amazing bands in the realms that the British music press once baptized as Krautrock.

Sebastian Blume, Jan Philipp Janzen, Christopher Marquez and Phillip Tielsch have in past been praised even more than the revenants of the genre (in 2012, together with Stephen Malkmus, before the watering eyes of CAN founding members Irmin Schmidt and Jaki Liebezeit, they provided a reinterpretation of the album “Ege Bamyasi” at the Cologne Weekend Festival) – even if the four were inspired equally by techno, synthpop, noise, post-punk and new music.


“The concept of the collective VON SPAR seems to be to torpedo listeners’ expectations from album to album,” wrote the German newspaper TAZ about their last album “Foreigner”. And once again, much is new on “Streetlife”. Four of the eight pieces were recorded with the Canadian singer Chris Cummings, aka Marker Starling (formerly Mantler), whose fragile voice at moments recalls that of the great communist and musician Robert Wyatt.

Other pieces feature the voice of Ada (Pampa Records) and of Scout Niblett (Drag City), for whom Jan Philipp Janzen has played drums on various tours (as he has for the likes of Owen Pallett and The Field).


“Streetlife” has emerged as a heterogeneous album ranging from melodic piano disco (“Chain Of Command”), to tripped out soundscapes (“Hearts Fear”), to grandiose soft rock (“Try Though We Might”). One might call it music for a better world, if that didn’t sound so lofty. Yet VON SPAR are not at all lofty, they are wide awake. This is not escapism, but life in the streets. And that’s how they live it.

This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.

Von Spar and Marker Starling LIVE

Friday, 3rd April 2015 | 19:00 CET
Gretchen | Obentrautstr. 19-21 | 10963 Berlin/Kreuzberg

italic.de | vonspar.net | gretchen-club.de

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