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KONRAD GRÜBELBACH returns with second album ROCK DOTS
Release: Nov 25, 2022
First Single ROCK DOTS (Release: Sep 16, 2022)
Listen to the single ROCK DOTS – HERE / Watch the VIDEO – HERE
Aug 26, 2022 (Potsdam) — Konrad Grübelbach will release his second album ROCK DOTS [GrübelSound] on Nov 25, 2022. It follows BROTESTSONGS (2020), sung and murmured in German. The prelude to the album ROCK DOTS is made by the single with the same title ROCK DOTS on Sep 16, 2022. Listen in advance to the single ROCK DOTS – HERE. You are welcome to watch the music video – HERE. Pre-order/Pre-save album ROCK DOTS – HERE.
“The ROCK DOTS are highly necessary from my point of view – in a border area of music history and my own biography. After all, the Ü in my last name puts me under the spell of the Rock Dots or also Röck Döts, which came up in 1967. What bands like Blue Öyster Cult or Motörhead have in common is that they turned a feature of German written language into radical chic. In typography, Rock Dots are the mark of Cain of the evil German. The fact that I’m switching to English for this (and probably some following) has a conceptual reason here: that we’re seeing Anglicization in general, culturally and economically. Every German-language music release is already interrelated to an overall Americanized environment. I take the two points, the trema of one of the German umlauts that international heavy metal has claimed for itself, as loopholes leading into my own play with the English language. And, of course, a musical vocabulary that is never so clear genre-wise with me. The first album BROTESTSONGS was certainly something singer-songwriter-like with little excursions into electric guitar rock, Latin and a bit of jazz. ROCK DOTS has more electric guitar and synth sounds, with styles from the rock, jazz rock and electronica spectrum.The level of lyrics and music videos for several songs again opens up several perspectives on the international motherland of pop. I’m talking about pop culture in general as well as the horror genre in particular, or carrying on the voice of media theorist Marshall McLuhan, who was as profound as he was funny.”
The opener, the single ROCK DOTS, greets the listener with a half-slinky, half-velvety acoustic guitar sound composed of three sound tracks. Grübelbach himself can no longer recall how these three were mixed up altogether. At any rate, he had never heard anything like it himself. Among other things, it was thought that it could be an acoustic sound close to the distorted electric guitar. The use of the classical guitar with nylon strings was a conscious decision for the song, which is supposed to form a smirking opposition to what primarily determines the electric guitar: the ubiquitous English-language rock music of Anglo-American production.
With the song lyrics, on the one hand, a dialogue is opened with the listeners, in whose own written language the double umlaut dots almost do not exist and who are now confronted with Grübelbach. On the other hand, the history of the “rock dots” is rolled up, which began in 1967 with the band Blue Öyster Cult. The singer of Motörhead Lemmi Kilmister (1945-2015) is directly addressed because of his predicate for the un-English Ö in his band name: “I thought it looked mean.”
This welcoming gesture to the non-German-speaking world on the part of Grübelbach opens up various approaches to the English speaking pop world for the following nine other songs on the album ROCK DOTS.
With the second single SPRAY (release: Oct 7, 2022) Grübelbach is probing a terrain somewhere between dubstep, deep techno and progressive house and is pumping quite decent beats. The whole thing is an ode to the sprayed something itself in its various manifestations. The song is accompanied by its own music video and the short documentary “Inventing 🔋 SPRAY | The ➗ ROCK DOTS Papers 1/3” on the GrübelSound YouTube channel.
OUT OF ORDER verbally targets a certain “Mickey Mouse”, who is accompanied by a bird. The experience of the fragile and precarious that characterize recent times of crisis are echoed in this song (originally written in 2019). The press organ CHARTS INSIDER, which is close to GrübelSound, remarks on the song: “an audio-mix like a shower-cubicle-turned-rubber-cell”.
As the third single EASIER TO SAY will be released on Oct 28, 2022 – the most reduced to acoustic guitar track of the album. The audio mix brings the sound of the strings and the voice very close to the ear – corresponding to the intimate insight into the consciousness of a lyrical subject, who is confronted with messages and perceptions of the outside world and reflects on accessibility and inaccessibility.
With the album release on Nov 25, 2022, the song SIGN OF THE PAGAN is pitched as the fourth single. To some trap patter of a hi-hat, Grübelbach first conjures up a gloomy metropolitan world in which the sprayer captures his sensation of being “sick of it all” on the wall. The further verses switch to other modes of communication and expression – in business discourse and in esoterically grounded poetry. Song title and refrain knot these motifs into abstract formulations about zero points of semiotics and meaning as commonplace and the rhetorical figure of the oxymoron, which unites diametrical opposites.
Also highlighted by a music video is MARSHALL ft. MetalEd. This is one of two songs on the album whose lyrical layer is collaged only from existing material – in this case, a 1967 film interview with media theorist Marshall McLuhan (1911–1980). In the selected passages, McLuhan rolls out a few of his basic ideas about media effects and the embedding of media systems in a larger whole. The musical form maybe classified as deep house, even if the guitar sound remains somewhat more faithful to the analog era and exhibits the pleasant psychedelia that surrounded McLuhan in his day. In this case, the song and music video are accompanied by another video satire on YouTube: “Meeting 👁🗨 MARSHALL McLuhan | The ➗ ROCK DOTS Papers 2/3”.
With THE KING TURNS UP, a conspiratorially tuned electric organ first sounds in the twilight, from which further meander some other synth sounds. The electric guitar joins in only for a few interventions – in a subdued timbre that somewhat bluesily evokes the classic rock era again, but here at the same time mildly deconstructs alongside a few deliberately echoing pathetic moments.
SILENT NIGHT is the other song with music video, the second from found footage – in this case the horror feature film SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (USA 1972, directed by Theodore Gershuny). As a commercial film in the public domain, it is well suited to re-use in an abbreviated form that may accentuate the original film, condensing and re-perspectivizing it, focusing on meaningful and ambiguous dialogue sentences.
These clips are combined in the music video with a second movie: The children’s film SANTA CLAUS VS. THE DEVIL (MEX 1959, directed by René Cardona). The slasher horror of the first film is contrasted with a farcical fairy-tale landscape with a few technical-futuristic gimmicks.
The dialogue of several voices in the song derives exclusively from SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT. The music video turns the – in Grübelbach’s selection – rather enigmatical creep of Gershuny’s film into a level of reality, which is juxtaposed with the personified struggle of good and evil with Santa Claus and the Devil as film characters of the older flick. The spacial structures of both films are interlaced to form a spooky unity.
The last two songs, TIME DILATION and THE GREEN, are both very rhythmic variants with energetic-rock electric guitar in soloing mode. The former flatters the concept of time from the Relativity Theory, the latter lyrically takes into a vague natural landscape of the pure color green.
The album is accompanied by an unprecedented, more than slightly satirical social media campaign with the centerpiece of memes on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/gruebelbach.music), which also repeatedly refer to music and sketch videos via YouTube.
1. Rock Dots
2. Out of Order
3. Sign of the Pagan
4. Easier to Say
5. Marshall ft. MetalEd
6. The King Turns Up
8. Silent Night
9. Time Dilation
10. The Green
About KONRAD GRÜBELBACH:
The biography of Konrad Grübelbach runs diagonally to the dimensions of space and time by virtue of certain quantum procedures. Due to the expectations of a bourgeois environment, he first became a rock’n’roll advisor under German Bundespräsident (Ä!) Walter Scheel, followed by some unsteady years as a freelancing publisher’s editor and interpreter from Kyrgyz. For the sake of his first wife, the soubrette Hilda von Pufenkofen, Grübelbach spent four years in Madras (now Chennai), India. However, Grübelbach used his stay in India less as an educational trip than to write the first version of a novel with the working title “Komet und Schweif” (Comet and Tail). However, he discarded this completely after returning home.
After earlier reserves had been depleted by the costly divorce from the von Pufenkofen, Grübelbach, who was still playing the piano at the time, took a five-year job as a copywriter and manager with hypno-coach Wahnfried Weller-Ziss. Through him, Grübelbach met H. P. Weller-Ziss, the editor-in-chief of the music magazine 🐮 HÖRMU. Supplied by H. P. with three discarded guitars and an electric bass, Grübelbach defected to the stringed instrument. For a longer time he navigated as a guitarist in purely informal circles.
For several years now, Grübelbach has been making appearances on the Internet, in addition to his contributions to film history and a purely associative quantum theory. The first album BROTESTSONGS (2020) was described by Grübelbach as a “self respecting success”. H. P. Weller-Ziss qualified it as a “master hogwash”, but also as “baking mania”. The released songs are flanked by memes via Instagram as well as all kinds of finds on Twitter and Facebook (besides Grübelbach’s personal site also the #gruebelfind Music Tips).
Photos and illustrations via Flickr
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