In the eclectic, often inscrutable world of avant-garde music, Berlin’s own Lolita Terrorist Sounds stands out with the kind of name that would make even the most seasoned literary aficionado raise an eyebrow. Founded by Maurizio Vitale, the band’s moniker is a daring mashup à la William Burroughs’ cut-up technique, combining Nabokov’s controversial Lolita with the starkly contrasting “terrorist,” and topping it off with Sounds – a word as straightforward as their music is complex.
Their latest studio offering, St. Lola, features the lap-steel stylings of Swans’ Kristof Hahn and the late, great avant-garde icon Bob Rutman. Lolita Terrorist Sounds leap over boundaries, drawing from a hodgepodge of influences that range from Nine Inch Nails to Einstürzende Neubauten, with a side of early Nick Cave’s dark poetry.
Mind the Gap, the crown jewel of the album, transcends the conventional boundaries of a song, transforming into a melodic dialogue between London and Berlin. The track is accompanied by a striking 8mm video, steeped in the reminiscent charm of Jean-Luc Godard’s cinematographic style. This retro-futuristic visual narrative is centered around a genderfluid protagonist, who is much more than a mere character in the video. They personify the essence of the track, embodying its deep and multifaceted message. This fusion of music and visuals in Mind the Gap offers a profound, albeit enigmatic, reflection on the complexities of the human experience.
The songs featured on St. Lola came together in a former East Berlin haunted building used by the secret services during the Wall era. Band leader Maurizio Vitale recorded and produced the studio debut at this very special place adopting an esoteric approach towards music: “I used a limited amount of old microphones and analogue gear to capture and preserve the instinctive roughness of the music,” he says. “It was more about capturing the magic of the moment and the historical place where the songs were conceived rather than making a polished record.”
Vitale’s past and present collaborations include work with members of acclaimed bands such as Einstürzende Neubauten, Swans, Iggy Pop, Thåström, PJ Harvey, and Faust. His talent was at the service of the legendary Sabar percussionist Doudou N’Diaye Rose (SN), and he has played with German singer Andrea Schroeder both in the studio and live. In support of their previous release, ‘Shaved Girl,’ Lolita Terrorist Sounds has opened for the Swedish artist Anna von Hausswolff, done numerous live dates, and has played an exclusive acoustic show on the national German Radio Eins.
The mixing prowess of Thomas Stern, known for his work with luminaries such as Nick Cave, Einstürzende Neubauten, Swans, and Crime and the City Solution, has played a pivotal role in shaping the band’s debut album. His touch infused the album with a palpable raw energy. The presence of Swans’ guitar virtuoso Kristof Hahn, who graces almost the entire album with his lap-steel guitar expertise, and the contributions of avant-garde legend Bob Rutman, add an extra layer of magic to this remarkable debut.
The debut is now available on all major digital platforms and special limited editions.
Order here, and listen below:
During the global lockdown, Lolita Terrorist Sounds ingeniously pivoted their artistic expression to create “Lolita Kitchen Sounds,” a groundbreaking live-streaming cooking show that fused the passion for music with culinary expertise. Blending delectable dishes with live music performances, the show became a virtual feast for the senses, gaining a devoted following and making waves in the digital entertainment landscape.
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