briefviews / konkrit / Musik

briefviews #4: John Lemke – Walizka Digital EP (Denovali)

John Lemke - WalitzkaJohn Lemke is a guy who actually left the (alleged) world’s epicentre of hipness (no, not Williamsburg!) to move to the city where Belle & Sebastian, Aereogramme and Mogwai started their careers. A bold statement, isn’t it?

According to Discogs, Lemke has previously released only one song, exclusively available in digital format. You can download it for freeLemke‘s label also had made the three songs from his new Walizka EP available for free download, but apparently it’s 4€ for the whole EP now. Maybe they want to buy Lemke a Kompass so that he can Drift back to his native city? The weather is pretty good over here for once, John!

When de:bug premiered the video for Walizka, they stressed the fact that Lemke has made music for television and documentaries, thus highlighting his audiovisual approach. They didn’t use the adjective “cinematic” to describe his music though and we should all be grateful for this. The top 3 tags on are “instrumental”, “electronic” and “denovali”. The first two are rather generic (yet sort of appropriate), the last one nails it (but on the other hand, it doesn’t – although it does exactly that).

Maybe Walizka was named after some guy with a similar name who played soccer and had both a neat handwriting and a winning smile. What he has got to do with Lemke’s music, I don’t know. It doesn’t really sound like soccer. In fact, if you ever give this record to a friend you will explicitely tell him or her that this is not music for sporty people but rather those who like to sit down. Maybe while reading a book or drinking cognac or red wine, preferably in the Provence or an armchair, maybe a chaise longue. You will then talk about certain similarities to Greg Haines‘ latest album and definitely about Hauschka, especially that remix series on Fat Cat. Even your dad might like it, because, you know “that techno stuff has been growing on him lately” and Lemke has some “nice melodies”. Don’t try to argue with him, it’s your dad and he paid for your lousy education.

There are rather questionable moments on this EP that will make you think about sobbing sailors or farmers, especially in the title track. But the bassline in Kompass totally makes up for that, I mean, come on! It’s like watching good mood dancing with an elf. You probably will think you’ve heard the main theme of Drift before, which can be rather annoying. If anyone finds out, give me a call. Seriously, please. Walizka will matter to you if you’ve always thought that the OST of Amélie was a tad cliché but still secretly use sepia filters on those photos you sometimes take on summer evenings when you’re strolling through the countryside. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, we’ve all been there.

Overall, I give this digital EP two sips of Crémant, one tomatoe salad and a fresh baguette. This also serves as an invitation to all of you to join me for dinner later on, in a park of your choice.

Walizka was released by Denovali and is available from their mp3 store. Lemke‘s debut album People Do will be released in July by Denovali as well.

Check it out:


About briefviews (it’s a pun, by the way – a horrible one):

As I don’t have the time for thorough record reviews like those I wrote for the ] konkrit ] series, I decided it was time for new, less time consuming format. The concept of briefviews is to provide some general and/or random information and insights without taking up too much of your time. Short, but not to the point. Call it shallow or arbitrary or incoherent, there’s a chance you’re right.

Before on briefviews:

briefviews #3: Vulgar Fashion – s/t 10″

briefviews #2: Jacob Kirkegaard – Conversion 12″

briefviews #1: Vowels – Chained 7″


One thought on “briefviews #4: John Lemke – Walizka Digital EP (Denovali)

  1. Pingback: briefviews #5: Naked Lights – Chime Grove 12″ (Adagio830) | konkrit

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