There are genres in the musical continuum that seem to exist only to irritate with noisy sonic madness, giving jaded, over-intellectual men a final refuge of snobbery not likely to be penetrated by the average music lover. The more extreme forms of IDM (intelligent dance music) could be considered one such genre. Also, the grinding guitars, tape loop whooshes, extreme feedback and primal screams associated with noise rock. These genres fight against accessibility with tooth and nail. They are a kind of sonic rebellion where the nerd in the sweater vest and the S&M rocker can meet in peace and commune with one another. Both defy definition and often the listener by continuing to listen, leading fans to develop convoluted patterns of reasoning around the beeps, clicks, whirrs and grinding metal.
T. Raumschmiere exists somewhere between inaccessibility and pure pop. His first album seemed to cater to the noise/laptop crowd – music thick with crunch and hum. But as he has continued to release albums they have drifted steadily toward the dance floor. With Blitzkrieg Pop, Raumschmiere has split the album distinctly between his influences. The first track is a short blip of IDM that moves the listener into the incredibly hard driving guitar of “Sick Like Me,” in which Raumschmiere has largely discarded the IDM/dance aspects to focus largely on rock. Raumschmiere, aka Marco Haas, reveals his punk influences by singing on the track.
The album then moves into the equally heavy shuffle beat of “All Systems Go.” Something particularly pleasing about Blitzkrieg Pop and Raumschmiere’s music is the heavy and often head-cracking bass that enters your body through every orifice. This bass comes to the fore in “Diving In Whiskey,” which features electronica diva Ellen Allien on vocals.
Blitzkrieg Pop fails in the pop sections, which I assume were meant to be the most accessible parts of the album. Songs like “A Very Loud Lullaby,” featuring the vocals of Sandra Nasic, fall very flat in their attempt to capture the pop flavor. Instead there seems to be a syrupy ooze that does not blend well with the roughness of Raumschmiere’s beats. Save for these few tracks, Blitzkrieg Pop is a pleasurable diversion and a nice place to rest between your laptop and your crackling Marshall Stacks.