How can we ever thank this thoroughly modern country for its monumental strides in music? From Kraftwerk to Can to Zedd, Deutschland has led the charge in numerous genres. Here are five bands and artists from the European country that are furthering their nation’s instrumental revolution.
These hard rockers have relied on Luck for their Arctic Monkeys-leaning sound. Their EPs—2014’s Lucky Six and 2017’s Lucky Seven—complement each other with swagger and perspiration, tackling “Corruption and Lies” and “Fake Friends.” The double helix of guitars from front man Andreas and ax swinger Michael elevate the sturdy undercurrent from bassist Torsten and drummer Berri. The Polluters are fighting social toxicity one song at a time.
The EDM subgenre “witch house” might not have had much staying power in the United States, but it’s going strong in Germany. Semicolon is among the projects powering on with the unique alchemy—a bubbling cauldron of gothic and trance beats. The darkness enraptures on tracks like “Tribe,” and will permeate your veins with the Stella Perish collaboration, Human Form. This is sonic sorcery.
Scuzzy and raw, Wichswut (“Fury” in English) live up to their name. They’re the alternate-world supergroup in which Iggy Pop fronts the Strokes. Nervous energy radiates from the incessantly alluring bass of Lucian Buses and from the rattling drums of Lars Deutrich. Throw in the doomy guitars of Sascha Niemann and the rabid squalls of singer/keyboardist Eddie Chebbi, and you’ve got the recipe for a beautiful, dangerous maelstrom. Wichswut’s self-titled EP is out now.
Hamburg-based siblings Philipp and Eva Milner combine EDM with a sensual cool perpetuated by stateside bands such as Phantogram. Their style is silky, ethereal and mystifying. Their 2016 album, Wilderness (Embassy of Music), melds synths with theatrical ambition, defying the electronic trope of hiding behind machinery and leaving it to the lights to entertain. No, Hundreds pack the power of 200, not 2, people. These Wonder Twins will activate the deepest impulses of your psyche. (Thank you to TonSpion for the recommendation!)
Industrial punk meets artful noise in the guise of SAFI. Penning screeds since 2007, this three-piece featuring the commanding woman of the same name gained notoriety in 2015 with the feral album Janus. They’ve teamed with the Refused on tour, making for a wonderfully volatile gig. SAFI is the soundtrack for uncivil disobedience and fighting oppression—in a time when we need it most.
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