German kraut-rockers Von Spar have been making waves from their base in Cologne with their sun-bleached and slick take on electronic music. It’s the type of bright, pulsating stuff that wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack of Miami Vice or Tron. They’ve been kicking around since 2003 and have released four studio albums, but now it seems they’re finally getting more recognition outside of Germany. In the past, they’ve collaborated with a multitude of brilliant artists like Stephen Malkimus of Pavement, R. Stevie Moore and Marker Starling.
We’re pleased to have their song, V.S.O.P, featuring Scout Niblett on vocals, from their upcoming album ‘Streetlife’ (out on 29th April) as our track of the day today, so take a listen below.
How did Von Spar come about? How did you all meet?
Most of us are from a small city called Siegen and moved from there to Cologne. We’ve known each other for a ridiculously long time and it feels like we have been doing music together for ever.
Before Von Spar we focused very much on a jam-session based and unideological musical approach. Von Spar is the attempt to emancipate from this very free, but time consuming, way of working and put more weight on the process of production.
Your music is often described as ‘Krautrock-influenced’ – do you feel like you were influenced by that genre, or do you think you only get that label because of where you’re from?
Labelling is a way for people to find music they are looking for without the need of big marketing budgets. There is no problem with that and it always feels a bit pretentious when artists reclaim exclusivity in musical attitude for themselves. Besides the negligible fact that bands filed under Krautrock tend to come from Germany, the big similarity is unpredictability and a disposition for excessive song structures. We love that and are very happy to be seen in this tradition.
Scout Niblett features on your track V.S.O.P, how did you end up working with her?
We always loved her music and Philipp Von Spar played drums on two European tours with her. Obvious that we asked her for a collaboration!
You’re from Cologne, what’s the music scene like there?
Cologne is very much connected to electronic music. Besides the grand dame Kompakt, you find excellent labels like Magazine or Comeme and flamboyant artists like Jens Uwe Beyer, Wolfgang & Reinhard Voigt, Lena Willikens Jörg Burger, Roosevelt, Marcus Schmickler, Barnt and Jennifer Cardini just to name a few. People know and like each other. There’s plenty of room for interesting collaborations and having one or two beers together.