Klaus Johann Grobe Spagat Der Liebe on LP
Second Album from German-Speaking/Swiss Band
Klaus Johann Grobe continue to avoid easy classification with Spagat der Liebe, the follow-up to their mind-scrambling 2013 debut Im Sinne der Zeit. Said debut was an easy to love, but hard to pin down fusion of krautrock, disco, Tropicalia, post-punk and experimental music that garnered rave reviews both in the U.S. and abroad. In between numerous European festival tours and opening slots for Temples, Moon Duo and the Growlers, the band holed up in their Swiss studio compound to record Spagat der Liebe in the autumn of 2015.
The sinister, late-night grooves present of their debut have been tempered a bit, in favor of somewhat sunnier dispositions, calling to mind an ecstatic party somewhere in sunny Ibiza. The albums title translates to "balancing act of love" and many of the tunes on Spagat der Liebe feel like love songs, either to a significant other, a mood, a feeling, or the dance floor - whichever you choose. The overall vibe of the album acknowledges the tenuous push and pull love can have on a person, not unlike the way a great DJ can make you feel ecstasy and romance all under an umbrella of glittering lights.
Tunes like album opener "Ein Guter Tag" and first single "Wo Sind" feel like a warm up, preparing the listener for the four-on-the-floor propulsion of "Rosen des Abschieds" - a song tailor-made to sweat to. Elsewhere the fragile "Heut Abend nur" ("Tonight Only") and the synth-tickled "Ohne Mich" - which is closest the band has come to an honest to goodness pop tune - guides the listener by the hand towards floor fillers like "Geschichten aus erster Hand" and the absolutely devastating groove of "Liebe am Strand," which is anchored by a rubbery bass groove and a killer flute solo that takes it over the event horizon.
Spagat der Liebe finds the band continuing to challenge listener's expectations, eschewing overt stylistic tropes in favor of a feeling; keeping love, passion, ecstasy, melancholy, desire and affection in a nimble balance. Spagat der Liebe is issued on vinyl, with full-color inner sleeve (with lyrics) and artwork co-designed by band member Sevi Landolt.