Brannten Schnüre – Muschelsammlung LP
When Brannten Schnüre initially released their second vinyl record four years ago on Dutch label Vrystaete in a micro-edition of 150 copies the Franconian duo’s music was still considered a hidden gem.
In the years since they built up a solid international underground following and with that attention grew the demand for a re-release of the long sold-out and sought after “Muschelsammlung”.
The new established label Milder Wahn now offer a 2nd pressing of the album in an edition of 300 copies with a brand-new silkscreened cover artwork and two silkscreened inserts, available in 5 differently coloured versions. LP, Milder Wahn, ltd.num.300 Vinyl reissue (originally released by Vrystaete in 2017) with silkscreened cover and inserts, available in 5 different colour editions.
A violin squeaks confidently close to the note, and a dulcimer drifts through a short musical sketch, which – enriched by all sorts of unidentifiable noises – remains in the ear like a dream fragment that accompanies you into the day and speaks again and again In it, a young woman sings enigmatic, dreamy-melancholy lyrics with an almost toneless voice or in the way that children’s songs are sung. Much could go wrong within the framework of the aesthetic program that Burning Cords pursue. Inspired by romantic, surreal and expressionist literature and musically just as flowery (mainly ambient and folk music collages), one could imagine the duo from Würzburg with both feet in kitsch. In addition, they have the nerve to set Nietzsche’s poem “Ecce Homo” to music, and the name of the album is to be taken literally, as the titles of the twelve songs on “Muschelsammlung” actually go back to nicknames, the naturalists in the 18th century mussels that they found particularly beautiful. Doesn’t that sound too thought out, too constructed or too exaggerated and therefore definitely not good? No, not at all! In the combination of historical role models, Katie Rich and Christian Schoppik surprisingly do not misrepresent each other, and so Nietzsche’s already mentioned, pathetic self-testimony appears as a nursery rhyme, accompanied by recorder and bell: “I am certainly flame” – but more like the tealight in the Martinszuglaterne. Well-calculated breaks, shifts in meaning and accentuation keep the musical project from falling into ridicule or the nerdism of the top primans who have gone wild. It is – to prevent possible misunderstandings – 100 percent irony-free to the point. Simple distancing gestures are not just a thing of the past. Full of devotion – to a certain extent “Beyond good and evil” – one’s own inclinations and preferences are honored here – and as a listener it is wise to surrender to this equally sentimental and abysmal world of sound without reservation. The descent into the dark and hermetic soul landscape is worthwhile; it reveals itself in employment and thus gradually reveals at least a few secrets: traces of Leyland Kirby’s The Caretaker can be found in it, as well as memories of Guy Maddin’s “Avalanches over Tölzbad” and fragments from Theweleit’s “male fantasies” – set pieces from his own biography repeating formative moments. This is the dialectical trick: Listening to burning strings tempts you to listen to yourself (again). The “shell collection”, no matter how historically charged or even burdened by models, references and quotations, is particularly suitable as a projection surface for one’s own subjectively experienced past. Whether the return is due to fear of the future, a lack of interest in the present and / or due to self-confident determination of the position (up to here and how further?), That may be an open question and must be clarified in conscientious self-exploration. Here is the soundtrack to it. (Holger Adam)