Gothtober 2017 – 7th of October / Wolfsheim – The Sparrows And The Nightingales.

This is s seminal song for the German Synthpop/Futurepop scene.
Not only did it get major radio and TV play when it was new, it continues to be one of the few songs that’s not inside the mainstream but still gets regular play when you listen to the radio after 20:00. At least around here.

But then, the area I live in in Germany (The Rhine-Ruhr Megaplex, as I lovingly call it.) seems to have a slightly more loving relationship with certain forms of alternative music than is the norm. It was not uncommon for me to catch some Deine Lakaien on the radio in the 90s and early 2000s. There were regular post-WGT specials that would dedicate an entire night’s worth of programming to Goth programming. And even now there are regular shows that play off-beat alternative music, both on request and at the DJs discretion.

And so… Wolfsheim and Peter Heppner. Who never gave up the throne when it came to being the Masters of Synthpop up until the whole genre more or less… Sunk. You’ve still get a few Synthpop releases here and there, and Mesh continue to be around, but the heydays Wolfsheim, De/Vision, Melotron and Beborn Beton are gone. Even inside the Goth Club Music umbrella.

The classics still get play, but you very rarely hear something new Synthpoppy on the dancefloor.

This might be related to the small wrinkle that many newer Synthpop artists like, say, Ashbury Heights and Frozen plasma, sound like bad Aqua clones who can’t copy Westbam’s oldest tricks correctly and with much less engaging and much more stupid lyrics (“Your Body is my Wonderland, let me guide you with my hand.” … Go fuck yourself you stupid idiot!). … Yeah, I might have biases.



It was hard to chose a track, as there are so many wonderful ones: Sparrows, Once in a Lifetime, Künstliche Welten, Find You’re Here/Gone, Heroin She Said… Even Kein Zurück. Even though that song STILL hurts when I listen to it, as it came out just after a really hard break-up and during a deeply uncomfortable phase in said break-up. One of the very few songs that managed to make me tear up and/or violently switch the station whenever it came on the radio.

So, up until the very end of the band, they managed to evoke, summon and kindle emotions.

And that’s one of the strongest compliments I can give a musical act.

With this, I’ll submit a picture of that kind of moment that will always have deeply romantic connotations for me: An autumn night, windy, dry, crisply cool but not too cold. Empty streets. Wavering trees. Shimmering lights. Muffled sounds in the distance.

The perfect moment to savour good music.

Gelsenkirchen Erle, very early morning, 7th of October 2017

Gelsenkirchen Erle, very early morning, 7th of October 2017