It was originally intended to be an entirely different album; Kreidler had already completed a new LP prior to recording European Song. Initial sessions in Mexico City in early 2016 evolved into a record that was in many ways, lighter, more minimalist, and certainly more playful than the band’s work of recent years. Then came the brutal shock of the US election. It seemed to solidify everything that was going wrong with the world. The times of uncertainty, violence, and xenophobisms had attained a new quality. A cartoon villain, the evil corporate manipulator disguised as a refreshing amateur, a “man of the people”, lured the masses with unconditional hate speech and now enters the world-political arena. In their 23 years of existence, Kreidler have often made music that might be described as “dystopian”. And faced with the likelihood of these nightmare scenarios becoming excruciatingly real, suddenly, Kreidler’s previously intended new album felt wrong for this universe. Kreidler quickly reconvened in order to record a brand new set of tracks. Circumstances provided no lack of inspiration. Fortunately, the group had just completed a short run of concerts and were in top playing form. The songs were captured live in the studio as spontaneous improvisational takes. There wasn’t much in the way of overdubs or additional production, just some editing for conciseness. The mixes add cohesion and impact without smoothing off the rough edges of the session. The stringent drumming of Thomas Klein meshes with Detlef Weinrich’s edgy electronic sequences, the brutalist opulence of Andreas Reihse’s synthetic soundscapes are complemented by Alexander Paulick’s restrained flourishes and rhythmic guitar and bass work. As usual, there are no actual “vocals” on European Song. Yet abstract, voice-like sounds often occur, suggesting a terrified crowd or a choir of hooligans. Repetition and modulation are the yin and yang in the band’s hybrid of un-kraut, no-tech, dark pop, bunker. The hallmark interplay between man and machine results from a combination of collective experience and blind trust in the moment. It’s a group thing, on purpose. Listening to European Song, the validity of Kreidler’s approach is apparent from the first bars. There is an immediacy, an alertness, a readiness for action. The album title refers to the history of a continent that has previously surpassed all others in self-destruction. Cover art by Rosemarie Trockel.