Blumfeld

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Blumfeld
Distelmeyer Blumfeld 2007.jpg
Singer Jochen Distelmeyer performing with Blumfeld in 2007
Background information
Origin Hamburg, Germany
Genres Indie-pop, early: Noise Rock, Diskurspop
Years active 1990–2007
Labels ZickZack, Big Cat
Website www.blumfeld.de
Members Jochen Distelmeyer
André Rattay
Lars Precht
Vredeber Albrecht
Past members Eike Bohlken
Peter Thiessen
Michael Mühlhaus

Blumfeld (German pronunciation: [ˈbluːmfɛlt]) was an indie-pop band from Hamburg, Germany, formed by singer and songwriter Jochen Distelmeyer. The name of the band was coined by the main character of the short story "Blumfeld, ein älterer Junggeselle" by Franz Kafka. Blumfeld are counted among the most significant representatives of the Hamburger Schule (School of Hamburg) and are considered to be one of the most successful combos of the German indie scene.

Blumfeld's music is characterized by a distinctive dispute of human life in the context of modern consumer society. Fears, depressions, uncertainty, lack of orientation and love as main motive are the most important items, which are made a subject of discussion. The mainly melancholic music is seen as having a pessimistic tone.

History[edit]

Blumfeld was founded in 1990 by members of the then defunct bands Der Schwarze Kanal and Bienenjäger. Originally strongly influenced by guitar feedback, the band's style evolved more toward pop music during the mid-1990s. A distinct trait are the convoluted lyrics critical of society which are sometimes presented in sprechgesang by singer Jochen Distelmeyer. Because of these texts, Blumfeld was often regarded by their audience as a showcase band for politically left intellectuals.[1][2][3] Nevertheless, the band managed to convey simple messages to a broader audience later in their career.

Distelmeyer never considered writing his lyrics in another language than German. But the band always explicitly refused to be taken in by projects such as a quota of German language songs in airplay or the promotion of a "new German self-esteem" by German-language music.[4]

Legacy[edit]

On 22 January 2007, the band announced their split-up on their homepage. A fare-well tour was held in April 2007 with the last concert taking place in Blumfeld's hometown Hamburg.[5]

After their splitting up, Blumfeld received a number of critical acclaims. Christof Meueler of Junge Welt listed Blumfeld among the "great German protest bands" like Ton Steine Scherben and Fehlfarben.[6] Die Welt praised Blumfeld as "one of the most influential German pop bands of the recent years" that quickly became successful with their "square-edged, vigorous music and the wilful and political lyrics", but "never let themselves be pigeonholed either". With songs like "Graue Wolken" [Grey Clouds], "Diktatur der Angepassten" [Dictatorship of the Conformists] or "Krankheit als Weg" [Illness as a Way] "Distelmeyer had, according to critics, created pieces of art that go far beyond quickly-consumed pop songs."[7] Writing for Freitag, Ingar Solty called Blumfeld the "leftist-intellectuals of rock music in Germany" and attributed "an expressionistical-poetical language that will permanently stay out of touch in pop culture" to Distelmeyer.[8] Jungle World wrote on Blumfeld's turn toward a broader audience that Blumfeld were in fact exceptional because no other band "would have been taken for serious any longer if they suddenly had started playing Schlager music."[9]

In 2009, Jochen Distelmeyer started a solo career by publishing his debut album Heavy and two singles.[10]

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Blumfeld's album L'Etat Et Moi the band announced they would play a jubilee tour in original line-up.[11]

Blumfeld members[edit]

  • Jochen Distelmeyer - vocals, guitar (1990–2007)
  • André Rattay - drums, vibraphone (1990–2007)
  • Lars Precht - bass guitar (2005–2007)
  • Vredeber Albrecht - keyboard (2003–2007)

Former members[edit]

  • Eike Bohlken - bass guitar (1990–1996)
  • Peter Thiessen - bass guitar (1996–2002)
  • Michael Mühlhaus - keyboard, vibraphone, synthesizer, bass guitar (1998–2005)

Discography[edit]

(The English translations are for information only in this article. They were not used on releases.)

Albums[edit]

Year Title Peak positions
GER
[12]
AUT
[13]
SWI
[14]
1992 Ich-Maschine [Ego-Machine]
1994 L'Etat Et Moi [The State and Me] 98
1999 Old Nobody 17
2001 Testament der Angst [Testament of Fear] 6 20
2003 Jenseits von Jedem [Beyond Anyone (also: Beyond Anything)] 7 18 80
2006 Verbotene Früchte [Forbidden Fruit] 21 43

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak positions
GER
[15]
1991 "Ghettowelt" [Ghetto World]
1992 "Zeitlupe" [Slow Motion]
1992 "Traum:2" [Dream:2]
1994 "Draußen auf Kaution" [Out On Bail]
1995 "Verstärker" [Amplifier]
1999 "Tausend Tränen tief" [Thousand Tears Deep] 93
1999 "Status: Quo Vadis"
2001 "Graue Wolken" [Grey Clouds] 59
2001 "Die Diktatur der Angepassten" [The Dictatorship Of The Conformists]
2001 "Wellen der Liebe" [Waves Of Love]
2003 "Wir sind frei" [We Are Free] 59
2003 "Neuer Morgen" [New Morning]
2006 "Tics" 89

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rapp, Tobias (25 April 2006). "Die neue Blumfeld" [The new Blumfeld [CD]]. Die Tageszeitung (in German). Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Buchner, Kathrin (4 May 2006). "Blumfeld-Interview 'In allen Dingen ist ein Lied'" [Blumfeld Interview: There is a Song in All Things]. Stern (in German). Retrieved 29 June 2014. "Blumfeld gelten als die Intellektuellen-Band schlechthin. [Blumfeld are considered a band for intellectuals par excellence.]" 
  3. ^ Winkler, Willi. "Blumfeld-Sänger im Interview: 'Bowie und Beck sind nur Jongleure'" [Blumfeld Singer giving an Interview: 'Bowie and Beck are only Jugglers]. Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 29 June 2014. "Blumfeld, Lieblingsband der Pop-Intellektuellen und Vehikel ihres Sängers und Gitarristen Jochen Distelmeyer, nehmen Abschied. [Blumfeld, favourite band of pop-intellectuals and medium for their singer and guitarist Jochen Distelmeyer, are taking their leave.]" 
  4. ^ "Blumfeld: Keine Deutschland-Duselei" [Blumfeld: No German Sentimentalism]. Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Reuther, Birgit (26 May 2007). "Tausend Tränen Tschüs" [A Thousand Tears Bye Bye]. Hamburger Abendblatt. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Meueler, Christof (24 January 2007). "Sterbefall des Tages: Blumfeld" [Decease of the Day: Blumfeld]. Junge Welt (in German). Retrieved 22 June 2014. (login required)
  7. ^ Tiemann, Claus-Peter; Schmiechen, Frank (24 January 2007). "Tausend Tränen tief: Blumfeld löst sich auf" [A Thousand Tears Deep: Blumfeld to split up]. Die Welt (in German). 
  8. ^ Solty, Ingar (2 February 2007). "Gegen das Behagen in der Unkultur" [Against Contentment in Unculture]. Freitag (in German). Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Klimmek, Bertrand W. (28 February 2007). "Ich-Maschine, Büffel, Gnu: Blumfeld gibt es nicht mehr" [Ego-Machine, Buffalo, Gnu: Blumfeld is no longer]. Jungle World (in German) (9). Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Bio". Jochen Distelmeyer official homepage. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "20 Jahre L'Etat Et Moi: Blumfeld touren in Originalbesetzung" [20 years L'Etat Et Moi: Blumfeld going on tour with original line-up]. Blumfeld official homepage. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Blumfeld: Longplay-Chartverfolgung". Musicline.de (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Suche" [Search]. Hitparade.ch (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Suche nach: Blumfeld" [Search for: Blumfeld]. Austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Blumfeld: Single-Chartverfolgung". Musicline.de (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 

External links[edit]