Klaus Johann Grobe continue to avoid easy classification with “Spagat der Liebe”, the follow-up to their mind-scrambling 2013 debut album “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 USA & abroad. In between numerous European festival tours & opening slots for Temples, Moon Duo & 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” & 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 & pull love can have on a person, not unlike the way a great DJ can make you feel ecstasy & romance all under an umbrella of glittering lights.
Tunes like album opener “Ein Guter Tag” & 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”) & 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 & 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, ecstacy, melancholy, desire & affection in a nimble balance.