Novi Ronde Reviews
Intro Magazine (Germany)
Spex Magazine (Germany)
This London-based German-British Duo, - named after the Latvian theatre director Asja Lacis who stole Walter Benjamin's heart on Capri to give it to Karl Marx, demonstrate with their debut album that one can reference the Neue deutsche Welle without procrustinating in cheap electro clash posturing or flirting with 'schlager kitsch'. Anja Kirschners and David Panos Music is a clever, combative, lyrical, incredibly tender and not in the least redundant update of the NDW sound, which flourished in germany between 1979 on countless tape and DIY labels such as Zickzack. Back then, pop was still allowed to happen amid the noise and between the lines. It is very big within the kaput small. Not at least thanks to Anja's breathless talk-song meandering between David's seductive rhythms.
Other Music Updates. See original here
Novi Ronde is the
first full-length release from Asja Auf Capri, who are neither from Capri
nor do they include anyone named Asja. (The name presumably refers to
Asja Lacis, the woman who stole Walter Benjamin's heart and gave it to
Karl Marx). A few of you may have already acquired a taste for Asja Auf
Capri from their contribution to the Difficult Fun label's four-song compilation
7", which came out earlier this year. The group is based in London
and consists of Anja Kirschner and David Panos who also participate in
Antifamily, another Difficult Fun enterprise. Novi Ronde harkens back
to a brief moment when electronic music was successfully wedded to the
punk rock, DIY ethos before being reduced to a sterile instrument of studio
gimmickry. The album borrows from the technological vocabulary of the
Neue Deutsche Welle without being merely recidivist (you will be able
to spend more than five minutes with Novi Ronde without reaching for your
Der Plan records). In fact, true to the spirit of the NDW it is resolutely
forward-looking. The album was recorded entirely without MIDI, using an
old mono-synth and the occasional drumming and strumming of friends and
well-wishers. It is imbued with the improvisational and collaborative
geist that made this year's Antifamily EP so great, while being tempered
by Kirschner and Panos' clever pop sensibilities (and even more clever
editing and studio work). And the lyrics sound almost as good in English
as they do in German, if we're allowed to judge from the translations
posted on www.asjaaufcapri.org.
|ASJA AUF CAPRI "Novi Ronde"
CD (Difficult Fun)
Difficult Fun comes back and kicks our collective asses again with the debut from Asja Auf Capri. Hyper aggro, then immediately cold synth punk with killer female vocals that reminds us of DAF or any of the other German cold-wave groups of the day? This cd FLOORED us Wonderful art as well. Check out their site and listen to samples: AsjaAufCapri.org You must buy this. IMPORT.
Wire Issue 252 February 2005
The first album by London based video artist and singer Anja Kirschner and musical cohort David Panos, also members of the Antifamily collective, Novi Ronde sees the duo forging connections between earnest Chicks On Speed-style electroclash and the studied blankness of the early 80s Neue Deutsche Welle of DAF, Trio and particularly Der Plan. Asja Auf Capri create a sort of ur-electronica, their rickety drum machine and DIY synth referencing an era when primitive technology seemed to offer the only viable means of liberating punk’s grubby, anarchic potential from its cock-rock straitjacket.
That’s not to say that Kirschner is a shouty sloganeer or that the pair’s music is an alienating anti-everything howl. There’s a deep pop sense of space and colour in the electronic backdrops, along with a seductive rhythmic awkwardness that recalls the more outré end of Grime. The barked aphoristic lyrics, whose blend of Marx, Deleuze and something altogether more melancholy and personal is interesting if elusive, bringing to mind Colin Newman at his most arch. The (tragically prescient) diluvian imagery of “Im Neuland” in particular is reminiscent of Wire’s “Marooned”.
It’s to Panos’s and Kirschner’s credit that they try to offset some of the smugness and repetitiveness that is an inevitable by-product of their straight-edge musical and technological purism. Apart from the rewarding lyrical complexity of their songs, there’s a clarity in the production that heightens the attack of their dry, surprising sounds, and the occasional cunning deployment of guest musicians to alter the sonic perspective. But despite these strengths, Novi Ronde feels less like an album than an attempt to find an antidote to the airbrushed hegemony of both mainstream pop and the highfalutin avant garde, and as such is a somewhat sterile, empty document. It’s difficult to imagine where the pair can go next without relaxing their current, almost paranoid position of rejecting anything approaching expressiveness (or as they might have it, bombast). Still, to misquote another arch-paranoiac, as empty experiences go, this one’s pretty good.
Norman Records Updates December 2004. See original here
Asja Auf Capri take late 70's electro ala Caberet Voltaire & Human League & overlay this startling, juddering, minimalist brew with what sounds on the opener like the girl from post punk legends Delta 5 being kidnapped by Berlin Underground resistance rebels. This is inventive, eccentric, sexy & timeless stuff with a healthy understanding of the dynamics of great pop.
|A fantastic long player from a new german/american duo that delves into the early german new wave sound of primitive rhythms, crude synths and menacing german vocals. This has a real edge and deserves to be heard.|
See orginal here
Ok folks, this is
some serious German minimalist techno music. Asja auf Capri is comprised
of Anja Kirschner and David Panos. They bring to the table a minimalist
sort of sparse techno/industrial music with pointed lyrics. Of course,
if you don’t speak any German, you may need to go to their site
to look up the translation, but I chose not to do that. I think the language
offers something in the music that English can’t communicate. I
love that this band didn’t translate their music and sing/speak
it in English. It’s certainly a breath of fresh air. Besides the
duo, there are a number of additional players on drums, vox, bass, and
guitars. This collaborative work of sorts is certainly not for the faint
of heart, but, given a few spins and some time, the disc really is a coherent
piece of work.