The Ümlauts

Sehr gut art rock krautrock satirists 

Who they?

All hail the art school band. The art school in question is Wimbledon, and the four art scamps responsible are songwriters Alfred Leer and Oliver Offord, and co-conspirators Annabelle Mödlinger and Maria Vittoria Faldini who met while studying, cementing a pan-European identity for a band inspired by the music of the northern European electronic/experimental corridor of the 1970s. They clearly share the same fascination with the era’s non-rock ’n’ roll, non-US/UK experimentation that attracted Eno and Bowie back in 1976, but mediated through nearly four decades of mutation and celebration.

Why The Ümlauts?

When the standout track of your debut EP is a sprightly six minutes of motorik electronics, cheesy 70s organ and moaned Nico-esque vocals called ‘Boiler Suits & Combat Boots’, you’re certainly making quite a statement. It’s clearly a reference to the very magnificent La Düsseldorf, the band Klaus Dinger formed when Neu! dissolved. You can also discern scraps of Faust, Kraftwerk, Kleenex, Delta Five and The Raincoats in their make up, while they ’fess up to The Fall, X-Ray Spex, Björk and The Knife.

Tell us more…

‘Um Politik’ and ‘Energy Plan’ share the post-punk, Neue Deutsche Welle spirit, the latter exploding under microwaved pressure. ‘Der Fuchs’ is a severe dark dancefloor banger in the tradition of early acid house and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, mostly instrumental but slashed with savage spoken word. They’re at their most exciting when Mödlinger and Faldini are intoning with their magnificent indifference. The pair cite Joesph Beuys as a hero, in case you needed any further context. You can hear all this on their ‘Ü’ EP over on their Bandcamp, which you should explore immediately.

‘Ü’ is out on PRAH Recordings

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A Canadian girl with a smart synthpop sound, a strong DIY ethos, and a nod and a wink to Rimmel London