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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 25 - 11/04/98

Joachim Witt
Bayreuth I
Zeitbombe/Strange Ways/Sony Music

Now that's what I call a comeback! Joachim Witt had a big hit in the German new wave ("Neue Deutsche Welle", or NDW for short) more than 15 years ago. The track was called Der Goldene Reiter and it still can be heard at many parties and can be found on various compilations which try to revive the spirit of the early Eighties. He also had some smaller hits like the Dadaist song Tri-Tra-Trullala around the same time, but afterwards only devoted fans knew what Joachim Witt had done. Most people didn't even know (or care) that he was still around.

Until his new song Die Flut hit the airwaves. The song was written and sung together with Peter Heppner, singer of the dark pop band Wolfsheim. This move has put new life into the career of Joachim Witt. It was quite a departure from his lighter and poppier past, a more electro Gothic track. In the slipstream of Rammstein's success Joachim Witt is one of the new alternative German acts, even though he is not new to the rock scene at all.

And Witt keeps the promise to the full extent. On most tracks he even lowers his voice several octaves to keep in line with the now popular Rammstein style. But contrary to their hard metallic music, Joachim Witt's music is much closer to a dark brand of electro pop, and probably more acceptable to the mainstream. But honestly, it's not fair to compare Joachim Witt to the currently most popular German rock band because he's playing in a completely different league.

The pathos in his instrumental backing was already announced in the title of the album: Bayreuth, the city of Richard Wagner, the most pathetic German composer of all times. Lyrically Witt's songs are very ambitious, but he sometimes fails miserably and becomes laughable for those who understand his outpourings.

In an attempt to cash in on the once more rising popularity of Joachim Witt the record company issued several editions of the album with different bonus tracks. There are several mixes of the follow-up hit single to Die Flut called Und ... ich lauf. The most interesting one is the energized mix under assistance of members of the Slovenian industrial band Laibach which transforms the comparatively soft track with whistling accompaniment into a dynamic drum'n'bass orgy. If you're interested in these additional mixes the best advice would be to get the vinyl (double LP) version which offers four different mixes on the fourth LP-side whereas CD special editions have only one of these mixes at best.

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