I have so much druidic affection for them right now that I think I just started menstruating.
RØSENKØPF live, photo by the hyper-talented Nikki Sneakers.
RØSENKØPF’s new album is the greatest human achievement created in the last 5,000 years of the earth’s existence. Maybe second greatest, but I’m trying to not be negative on the Internet. I was going to interview them, but I decided against it, mainly because interviews are incredibly boring. They’re like eavesdropping on an AA meeting for A&R reps. Everyone’s waiting to talk and everyone is lying. Also, if I interviewed RØSENKØPF, I’d have to meet them. I know enough people. Fuck an interview.
With an admirably nonexistent press packet and an album good enough to deserve more than a glibly clever puff piece, I was, against my general “principles” forced to send the band a request for a brief overview of their backgrounds and belief system(s). They sent me a bio for each member that was so painfully sincere and earnest that I had qualms about every single life decision I’ve ever made. They made me want to vote in a non-predetermined by the Illuminati election. They made me want a baby. But I all I got was an exclusive download of their new track, "Heed," and the premiere of their new video for "Light The Way."
You can download "Heed" right here. If you live in New York, check out their record release show at Home Sweet Home tonight - here's the info, and here's the premiere of the "Light The Way" video, directed by Sofia Zamosi:
So let's get to know these guys. The drummer, Emil Bognar Nasdor, sings in one of those Bands-I-Love-But-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Lest-The-Wrath-Of-The-Punks-Is-Again-Incurred. He does experimental dance with his wife, Raquel. I almost don’t want to mention that last part because I don’t want him or anyone in the band mocked. I could just not mention it, but dude clearly thinks it’s important. So here’s the thing, this guy clearly has zero self-consciousness, and he’s a force behind two of the best bands in NYC right now, so I’m going to side with the powers of experimental dance on this one.
Bass player, Saira Huff, was in Detestation, is still in crust/punk/excellent but annoying-to-Google outfit Question. She’s also a designer and tailor of clothing that looks neat to me but clothing design is something that I know even less about than the other stuff that I know very little about.
The guitarist, Soren, was born and raised in the city. Someone told me his parents were punks, so I like to think they were both in Nausea and he was conceived at a Missing Foundation show. I like my parents just fine (actually, let’s be real; I fucking love them), but they’d never have let me come down from the hills of Massachusetts to riot in Tompkins Square Park. I know that it’s not really squatter etiquette to ask one’s folks if it’s cool to take over an abandoned building, but in my fantasy world, if Soren asked, his parents would have just pointed in the direction of Umbrella House and said “go forth.” Point being, I think all three members of RØSENKØPF are “cool.”
My high opinion was validated when, after I asked for info, Soren sent me a really quite lovely encapsulation of the RØSENKØPF ethos. It was a celebration of spirituality without the baggage that’s attached to it by flakes and Nazis. It was a conspiracy theory only in that there were villains, but the heroes were believable and I’d pretty much watch whatever spin-off to the series they were thrown in. I’ll only quote the summery but, as a call for gnosis, it was refreshingly free of neo-pagan self satisfaction. I dig a belief system that stinks of effort and hope.
Photo by zincink.
“I guess to sum everything up, my point is that by rejecting spirituality and a sense of higher powers, we are feeding into exactly what they want us to feed in to. We are allowing them to de-spiritualize us so that they can keep us powerless. what most of the youth sees as rebellion and freedom from fascist ideas, is actually them just allowing themselves to be led into a spiritual ghetto where we are watched and laughed at as we play useless folly and think that we are free. We can’t allow things to be made so black and white for us. We have to start blurring lines and ideas of religion, god and spirituality, turn black and white into yin and yang.”
RØSENKØPF aren’t blog Goths, RØSENKØPF are space Goths, which is a genre that I’m totally OK with exploding—seriously, Williamsburg neophytes, if you want to dive headfirst into Hawkwind, Roxy Music, Skinny Puppy, and Wax Trax… and then combine it with ecstatic world embracement of Fall of Efrafra fans, I’m with you. I’ll buy your confusing t-shirt and shout your name out to the maybe not empty sky.
Through their philosophy and influences, the three members of RØSENKØPF have managed to make an album that genuinely doesn’t sound like anything else out there. With its exploratory, driving songs, held together by live drumming and programmed beats and loops, it’s what I wanted Future Sounds of London to sound like when I first heard of them. RØSENKØPF is informed by blackened prog, crust, Pan, Sabers of Paradise, Sun Ra AND all the mean political shit Nina Simone talked about Sun Ra. It sounds like the woods and the moon and the city, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since the drow over at Wierd Records sent it to me. If my old Hellblazer comics hadn’t taught me that lay lines were patriarchy magic, I’d say follow them to a RØSENKØPF show. I’ll instead strongly suggest you use the egalitarian magik of the interweb to order their album. Dark times allow for compromise, for now.