Album-Review: Welle:Erdball – Tanzmusik für Roboter

Welle Erdball has become unique by creating a concept of their own, mainly composed of synthesized oddities. They incarnate all at once the awkwardness of Kraftwerk fans and the quirky, lubricious spirit of our beloved alt-electronic scene.

Yet at some point, it’s like the band is trying to represent too many things to not contradict coherence. Being retro, 8bit, hardcore minimalist, futurist, Kraftwerk wannabees might be a little too much to ensure a good understanding. Wanting to be electronic eccentrics is a fine ambition, yet the more concepts to incarnate, the harder to juggle.

And on Tanzmusik fur Roboter, one gets quite this feeling. It goes in many directions, from hard beats with “Das Passwort” to light Synthpop tunes with “Die Liebe Der 3. Art”, and everything that can fit inbetween.

By no means however, can this be considered a bad album. There are good, very good songs, such as “Der Flipperkönig”. The problem is that there are also songs that flirt with the unbearable, like “Computersex” and its very irritating “robot-like” voice samples, or the pretentious-on-purpose “Ich Mach Mich Schön”, that ends up being slightly unendurable.
Between the two extremes, there are a lot of songs, that are… well, pretty normal. Good, yet not carrying the essential forget-me-not taste that makes songs eternal. And it’s not their unnecessary cover of Kraftwerk “Die Roboter” that will change this.

At the end of the day, one could almost say this is some classic Welle:Erdball. The distinctive sound of the awkward Germans is there, the ironic, incongruous lyrics as well. Yet it feels so taken for granted, so usual, that it simply becomes… boring. It’s good, it’s cheesy, kinky and robotic, yet we miss a sort of spark.

Therefore, while the sound is definitely bearing the W:E trademark, and remains odd, electronic and vintage as usual, it seems that sometimes, the dip into awkwardness feels like a dive into bad taste. And quite definitely it is hard to forget “Der Kalte Krieg” or “Kabinett” while listening to this robo-dance. This is probably what happens when trying to do too much at once.

Review by Marie Lando

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