Music & clubs

The soundtrack to your January limbo

New beginnings can come with all kinds of nostalgia and existential self-questioning. Here are some concerts for you while you adjust to 2019.

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Photo by Jon Furley

New beginnings can come with all kinds of nostalgia and existential self-questioning. Here are some concerts for you while you adjust to 2019.

till suffering from Weihnachtsmarkt withdrawal or recovering from a massive Neujahrskarte? In any case, there’s a good chance your New Year’s resolutions are already going down the drain, and you’re not feeling up to par in the slightest – which is certainly the case for yours truly. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, craving more escapist entertainment of the musical variety, a more than adequate substitute for last month’s Plätzchen orgies and greasy Christmas market Wurst. Even though January is usually pretty dry gig-wise, this month has a few options in store for you to either take on the new year with full force, or simply wallow a bit longer in the down and out melancholy you so meticulously cultivated, to give you a sense of purpose during these cold and dark post-2018 days. Either way, there’s plenty to choose from to escape the dreary New Year’s limbo:

Since his 2001 debut Infinite Love Songs, Maximilian Hecker, famous for his fragile falsetto vocals, has never shied away from wallowing in sorrow. Honing his original concept to this day, Hecker’s ninth album Wretched Love Songs played live just might be your best bet to make it through to February with a good old soul-cleansing cry. If you prefer to cathartically shake your booty, Eunique should be on your concert list in January. Since Berlin’s SXTN disbanded this year, the Hamburg rapper currently ranks even higher on the list of most interesting German rappers. Similarly city-proud with songs like “040”, she strikes a less debaucherous but all the more autotuned tone than the two aforementioned Berliners.

Normally you’d think Zoot Woman’s ultra-slick synths would help you slide glamorously into the new year just as well. Unlike their 2017 album Absence featuring Kylie Minogue marvellously pitched to bubbly pop heaven, however, their 2018 release Redesigned – also the title of their upcoming tour – marks quite the departure from their trademark soundscapes. Mellow acoustic remixes of songs from throughout the trio’s career may hint at a more earnest concert approach, but even a bonfire version of “Grey Day” ought to make your hips sway at least slightly. If that doesn’t do the trick, how about going at it with a bit of outrage-induced discourse wrapped in a neat noise and post-punk package by Berlin homeboys Trucks. The four-piece, which released its positively nihilistic album Nicht Nichts in October last year, provides the perfect dissonant soundtrack to anyone pondering on the meaning of life, the universe and everything else. Their lyrics are all in German, but what the hell. The music says it all anyway. If synths are an absolute must to give you a little push, then don’t look any further than Farao. Whereas on her opulent debut album Till It’s Forgotten, Kari Jahnsen, the woman behind the moniker, explored echoing and complex sound pallets, she now focusses on a more straightforward approach to beat creation. Vocally exhibiting her Norwegian cool, the wavering and frilly electronic arrangements of her new album Pure-O will most certainly lure you to the dance fl oor. As will Jens Friebe. On his latest record Fuck Penetration, Friebe oscillates between electro-pop and swing-filled tunes, whether he takes the piss out of alpha males adopting queer identities or muses about the tears of a dog – what better way to start the surreal rollercoaster that 2019 promises to be?

Maximilan Hecker Jan 18, 22:30 Quasimodo, Charlottenburg | Eunique Jan 19, 20:00 Astra Kulturhaus, Friedrichshain | Trucks Jan 21, 20:00 Schokoladen, Mitte | Zoot Woman Jan 21, 21:00 Frannz Club, Prenzlauer Berg | Farao Jan 24, 20:00 Marie-Antoinette, Mitte | Jens Friebe Jan 25, 20:00 Festsaal Kreuzberg, Treptow