In a year of the moon, Kreidler have produced the album SPELLS AND DAUBS. In a year of the moon – and in a year with 13 moons. Such years are known for not being the most comfortable.

In September 2020 the band met for exploratory sessions and initial recordings in Düsseldorf, in the familiar settings of the Kabawil Theater. That already has a certain tradition. The impetus this time was a solitary gig in the conspicuously spacious surroundings of the (former) Philipshalle. In a year that threw everyone back on themselves. Over the winter Kreidler worked remotely, sifting through the material, arranging the pieces, adding textures and contours. They met again in the spring of 2021 for further recordings at the Uhrwerk Orange studio in Hilden, near Düsseldorf. That, too, has a certain tradition. From fifteen pieces they filtered out ten, and thus held an album in their hands. Then – and this is new – they took it to London, to Peter Walsh, so that he could mix the tracks.

Daubs are in no doubt here. This is a tenfold of colourful-blotches-thrown-onto-canvas. Then a stepping back, contemplating, remixing paint, layering, overlaying, scraping free again elsewhere. And these spells are not devastating curses, rather they are enchanting incantations, a calling forth a spring without having to ban winter in a somber masks. SPELLS AND DAUBS is a melodious interplay. Not that Kreidler neglect the rhythmic; their characteristic drive runs through all the pieces on SPELLS AND DAUBS. Perhaps it's like this: The beat is musicalised, the melody rhythmitised.

SPELLS AND DAUBS is like a collection of short stories. Its ten pieces explore the same space drawn together by an overlaying arc. All of them have the length of a single, and each one has the potential of a single in the way the arrangements are laid out – so enticing is the melodic line and the beat. This succinctness was perhaps last heard on the 2000 eponymous Kreidler album.

The drums are powerful with a light swing. The bass alternates beyond its functionality and its indicator just of the low frequency, swoops up and takes over the melodic lead. Perhaps most beautiful in the irresistible pop gems Arena, Unframed Drawings, and Revery. Aptly Alex Paulick moved to the fretless Bass – conjuring the spirit of Mick Karn.

The album opens with Tantrum. It’s a quick fit, nothing too violent, more a play at throwing things about. Sway your hips. To mark a mark. Beat it down on a typewriter, roll the toms. Angelic upstairs singing. Toys I Never Sell takes it down a notch, a poetic exploration of the room. Demonstrative cymbals and a bass line suggesting dub meet strange animals from outer space. Dirty Laundry depicts an empty city with fading footsteps, though not aimless, a sort of a cold wave funk, a certain eeriness, a brief threat like an espionage story: the hi-hat knows more than it wants to reveal! The field recordings tie in into Freundchen and Music Follows Suit. In the former once more a saxophone expands the Kreidler sound palette, leading us out of the city into a meadow of sharp cutting grass, glistening sun, better keep your boots on. In the latter, a band of thirds blows-by, a magic snap of your fingers like a staple gun tries to hold it in place, a bass steps in, the drums pirouette. A puzzle dissolves, and the ribbon hovers up into a dazzling play of clouds. In Revery a synth sequence chases forward, with an enchanted melody on co-driver's seat. The rhythm section in no hurry goes for the half time. One of the most enticing songs on the album, this feels already like a classic. Unframed Drawings breezes a somewhat bluer note, think of layered memories, slightly blurred, faded, ushering back and forth looking for a new formation, a new narration, a fresh start, combining longing with comfort. In Arise Above, Tantrum's secret cousin, a soaring synthesiser starts the drum beat, the bass kicks in, and the rhythmic framework is ensnared by a netting of insidious melodies. The ha-ha-ha of a synthetic voice accompanies us through a song, which ends in an Eve Future like theme on the piano. Arena is a melancholic urge, the song runs into a delay, its theme turns over, tumbles, falls into itself, finding itself in itself, and takes itself up again. Greetings from Dave starts with the telephone call, a postcard from Paris, Then the snare surges ahead, and a recorder-like, and a bagpipe-like push the boat out, for a celebration in the final grooves of the album, big fuss, turn the record over!

For all of their Krautrock attributions, Kreidler never tire of reminding us that their musical development stemed form a love of British pop music. So you might say the co-op with Peter Walsh is a match made in heaven. His illustrious mixing and production skills have lifted works from Shalamar or Lynx to Heaven 17 to Scott Walker, Pulp or FKA Twigs into other spheres. Kreidler had previously collaborated with him in 2013 for two tracks (Snowblind, Escaped, BB169). On SPELLS AND DAUBS, Walsh's methods and magic are especially audible in the spatial production, with his hallmark blend of depth and punch.

SPELLS AND DAUBS is wrapped up in an enigmatic black-and-white drawing by prolific artist and filmmaker Heinz Emigholz from his Basis of Make-Up series (more on Their ongoing collaboration feels like a constant now. The mutual interference of Heinz Emigholz's and Kreidler's universes started about ten years ago, when he expanded the album DEN (BB115) with seven videos.

(V. Luxemburgo)

Read the info sheet (PDF) in German
Read the info sheet (PDF): English
Download press kit here






European Song





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Click for Hi-Res version (Credit: Kreidler)

Click for Hi-Res version (Credit: Kreidler)

Click for Hi-Res version (Credit: Kreidler)

Click for Hi-Res version (Credit: Kreidler)

Click for Hi-Res version (Credit: Kreidler)