ZIMMERMÄNNER - Fortpflanzungssupermarkt
Die Zimmermänner were formed in 1980 and are considered the pioneers of the Neue Deutsche Welle movement, even if they never obtained the commercial success of bands like Nena, UKW, Tom Schilling and others. Between 1980 and 1984, they released one EP and three full-length LPs before they split, although every Christmas, they performed a show in a small club in Hamburg.
Twenty-three years later, it’s time for a comeback. The two musicians behind Die Zimmermänner are still Timo Blunck (bass, vocals) who used to be a member of Palais Schaumburg and Detlef Diederichsen (guitar, vocals) who made a solo career during the NDW era and pursued a lot of different cultural activities. The album Fortpflanzungssupermarkt was produced by Christopher Kayser who used to be the bass player in the Hamburg pop band Jeremy Days. His work was to transport the band’s musical concept into contemporary times.
The final result is difficult to describe. What’s for certain is that Fortpflanzungssupermarkt is no album that can be classified as easy-listening. The duo has rather individual and unusual ideas about songwriting, and you need several takes before getting understanding their concept.
The album starts with an older track called Levitenlesen in A-Dur with a rather retro flair. The next track Christiane Paul, a groovy pop chanson, is the album’s single. Warum schmust du nie mit meinem Gehirn? is another strange loungy pop tune that could be used as an intro for a daily soap. Mama, Baby, Joe is soul music with spoken lyrics and reminds me of Lou Reed. Zuckermann is more Jamiroquai-like, Nirwana uses the kind of vocal effects like Air do, Letzter Tango in Bad Ems has Timo Blunck’s sister as a guest singer.
The album is not trendy at all and even if you discover single parts that are sounding somehow familiar, Fortpflanzungssupermarkt is nevertheless a unique piece of musical art. Unfortunately the album is a bit too long and there are some tracks that can’t keep the high level. Regenschirm im Regen has no exciting elements and is the album’s least fascinating track. The last two pieces Tiefs (a bit boring) and Gute Nachtfreunde (little inspired club music) would better have been left aside. 11:3 is a good result in favour of Die Zimmermänner and this clear victory justifies their comeback. Strange music and cynical lyrics will probably be admired by a more mature audience.