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Net Feature/ Das Gritli Moser: "Cha-Cha-Cha with the Devil"

img  Tobias

Herwig Holzmann always seemed such a nice guy! Operating under the photophob banner, his music occupied the duopole between melancholic Ambient and polypercussive semi-organic instrumental electronica and in his more recent output, he even came close to a cinematic kind of attentive listening. The fact that most of his releases were distributed freely on the web only added to the charm of his oeuvre. With just one release of his sideproject „Das Grittli Moser“ (good luck in pronouncing that as a non-Austrian!) this picture now seems blown to pieces.

For „Cha-Cha-Cha With The Devil“ Holzmann has undergone a sort of inverted facelifting, a deliberate botox overdose so to speak. All elements of his music are consciously carricatured out of all proportions or reduced to a primitively raw state: His electronically clattering beats now serve as mere intros to digital hiphop, gabba bassdrums come welling up from industrial distortion, oldschool elecro is looped into a frenzied funk which would have Kraftwerk screaming for help and horror movie samples of grindcore-fame run through paranoic noise erruptions.

Operating from his new homebases of „Hell and the Vatican“, Holzmann has included irony and humour, vocoder messages and orchestral strings to arrive at a disturbing collage-like style. The stuttering breaks and heavenly choirs of „Haey6cmä (Demons, Spirits, Ghosts)“ send beckoning signs of invitation from one end of the spectrum, the technoid trance of „Kr1yllZnAdräsh (A Deeper Dark Than Dark)“ awaits careless visitors at the end of the tunnel, where the light has long gone out.

On the other hand, it would be wrong to characterise „Cha-Cha-Cha With The Devil“ as an in-joke and Das Grittli Moser as a prank to exorcise teenage fantasies. Informed observers will have noticed the small winks in the photophob catalogue before and as hillarious as the album may be, it is never cheesy. Instead, Holzmann has used the occasion to bring his more experimental side to the fore and extend his reach to adjacent genres. Quite a few of these tracks are almost idylically close to Drum n Bass, combining old school minimalism with a musical repertoire that bulges with fun and frivolity.

With track titles hinting at a hidden story, „Cha-Cha-Cha With The Devil“ is almost a sort of Breakcore Opera at the verge of a nervous breakdown. Photophob fans have understood the message perfectly. „Very powerful“, someone remarked, while a listener by the name of rs232 stated: „I especially like the „Schwumm“ in track 4! Please give us more „Schwumm!“ The fact that Herwig Holzmann is always willing to give his audience more „Schwumm“ makes him a nice guy after all.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Herwig Holzmann/photophob
Homepage: Laridae Netlabel

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