Thursday, 18 July 2019
Anton Barbeau - Berliner Grotesk
I've been a fan of Anton Barbeau for more years than I'd care to remember and those who have known me for a while will know exactly why. The musical spectrum that he covers coincides with my own tastes. Despite all the jangling chords here, my true love is Psych, particularly of the pop variety.
Barbeau is from Sacremento, but lives in Berlin and you can tell that in the songs present here. The Pop is bursting to get out. yet the undercurrent is more mechanical, dripping with Psych. A great example is Baby Can I Hold You, a pop masterpiece in the making.
His connections show both his range and his influence. Colin Moulding, Kimberley Rew, The Bevis Frond and Scott Miller. His 2006 album with the latter, What If It Works? is a masterpiece. He also produced Allyson Second's splendid Little World. You can read that review here.
Then there is the associations with the likes of Mystery Lawn Music, You Are The Cosmos and Big Stir. You get the full scope of his variety on Berliner Grotesk. The chaotic Love Song that is the title track, with it's fairground darkness to the Beatle-esque closer that is Boxcat Blues.
There are a thousand ideas here , all fashioning up bizarre visions with the lyrical excellence. Then there is the fantastic, don'tforgettogetyourfingerwet, one of the best songs that I've heard all year, hints of Robyn Hitchcock in a Chinn And Chapman frame.
Here, more than any other Anton Barbeau album, the base is great Pop. There are the usual fine Psych journeys. but it's the melody that springs out. 11 songs in a magical half hour, this a cracking listen and highly recommended to all.
You can listen to and buy the album here. You can find out more about Anton Barbeau here.