Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt
Aufnahme + Wiedergabe
Die Selektion’s self-titled 2011 debut seemed to be at the crest of a particular historical wave at the time, but history’s found it to have a lot of contemporary currency as well. Mixing warbling electro programming with tight post-punk aggression, it wasn’t hard to trace connections between the young Germans and, say, Lebanon Hanover or even The Vanishing; acts who were infusing coldwave and darkwave with new aggression and seemed to embrace a wide range of instrumentation. Sure, the debut sounded rough, but that was part of its charm, and as it aged the band’s debts to the likes of DAF would only serve to portray them in a brighter light. As acts like Nightmare Fortress, Forever Grey, and Veil Of Light began presenting more dramatic forms of coldwave, often bootstrapped to modern instrumentation, Die Selektion tunes like “Steine auf dein Haupt” and “Du rennst” began to sound like premonitions of what was to come, both tensely minimal and violently propulsive.
I note all this to underscore both how primed for new Die Selektion modern audiences likely are, and how conspicuous their absence has felt. As it turns out, the interim time hasn’t gone to waste. Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt differs from its predecessor chiefly in mood and delivery rather than in pure sound or genre influence, but the distinction between the two records couldn’t be more striking. While Deine Stimme definitely sounds like Die Selektion, it also sounds like an iteration of that band whose confidence and production know-how has grown immensely, and who are more than capable of putting that wisdom to use, even (and perhaps especially) when that calls for some modicum of restraint.
Time and again, Deine Stimme smooths out the rougher edges of Die Selektion’s early work, blending cleanly executed synth and bass lines into Luca Gillian’s vocals which remain bold but have forsaken his impetuous yelps for a commanding and even tone which brings long-standing masters of futurepop to mind. The brass instrumentation which set the band apart from their peers early on remains, but is woven so evenly and subtly into the programming its appeal is harmonic and textural now, rather than simply striking or novel. On a related note, I can’t tell if the actual amount of live bass has been reduced on Deine Stimme but its role has certainly been diminished: programming and rhythms now feel rigidly executed, but with the aim of communicating ease and mastery rather than panic. Dig mid-album highlight “Der Himmel Explodiert”, which starts with a Jan Yammer style bassline but soon evolves into a forceful yet grandiose and well-paced epic, with horns and backing vocals all arranged to sell the chorus. Even when they’re leaving such ambitions aside and heading straight to the dancefloor, as they do on “Der Augenblick”, the amount of work that’s gone into letting the basslines rise and fall is palpable, as is the craft with which drum fills and breathy vocals are woven in and out.
Whether its smoother delivery is an incidental byproduct of the band’s time away or whether said time was needed to get the band to the point of being able to turn something like Deine Stimme in an angels on the head of a pin question. The passion and excitement which drove the band’s music was always apparent, but having those forces marshaled in a more coherent and elegant fashion ends up underlining their impact rather than diminishing it. Recommended.