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No Future No Past

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Album Review

As opposed to the sector of the Shitkatapult roster that includes house/techno minimalists Anders Ilar, Sami Koivikko, and Phon.O, das Bierbeben falls in with the acts that subvert rock and pop in the name of abstract dance, like T. Raumschmiere (when he's in rock-out, Krauts of Hazzard mode) and Napoli Is Not Nepal. Even so, this group has little in common with any of their label mates. Their disposition is a little too cranky for them to be considered synth pop, they're too melodically enhanced to deserve any Digital Hardcore comparisons, they're fun to listen to but they're too lost in their songs to turn around and wink — like Felix da Housecat — at the cameras. It's remarkable that the group managed to mostly avoid the treacherous grip of the electroclash, which only goes to show how short-sighted that fad was; that's perfectly fine though, because that fad didn't deserve this group. They do have as much potential to unite punkers and ravers as anyone else (an electoclash goal), with stiff rhythms and gnarling guitars served in equal, convincing doses. No Future No Past contains a few of the songs the group released on their Shitkatapult singles from 2002 and 2003 and at nearly an hour is roughly 15 minutes too long for its own good. What to cut, though? Even the by-now-expected dalliance with shuffle-tech (where stomping, shuffling glam rhythms grind up against techno), "Deutschlands Mauern Fallen," is nearly as sweet as Superpitcher's shuffle mix of Quarks' "I Walk."

No Future No Past, Das Bierbeben
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