Tocotronic for the masses

Wenn man versucht, Amerikanern Tocotronic zu vermitteln.

Hey XYZ,

finally, here it is, the short introduction to Tocotronic as promised in Rorschach last week, by way of Youtube.

The videos listed here are in chronological order, starting with the oldest output, each song representing one album. Off we start with the wild, youthful years: (translates into “Over there on the hill”, album name is “Digital is better”, this is from 1995) (“Thank God the two of us had each other”, “After the lost time”, 1995) (“I dreamt I was having Pizza with Mark E. Smith”, “We are coming to complain”, 1996) (“Four stories about you”, “It doesn’t matter, but”, 1997)

“K.O.O.K” is a strange album for Tocotronic. It isn’t bad, but not brilliant either. It somehow marks the departure from the young and angry/desperate/sad phase of the band towards a more sophisticated style in sound and appearance. K. and I chose this song because singer Dirk sings this brilliant line “The dark kingdom will be unstoppable” so non-chalantly. (“The boundaries of good taste Pt. I”, “K.O.O.K.”, 1999)

With their own White Album starts the phase of the grown up Tocotronic. Less rock, more talk, so to say. Even deeper meaning in lyrics, with less personal topics and more overall topics, often revolving around failure, resignation, dignity and defeat. (“This boy is Tocotronic”, “Tocotronic”, 2002) (“But living here, no thanks”, “Pure reason must never prevail”, 2005 – This is probably Tocotronic’s most overtly political song, still quite subtly reflecting on living conditions in Germany and Europe on the whole. They lean quite far to the left.) (“Imitations”, “Capitulation”, 2007) (“The torture never ends”, “Sound & Delusion”, 2010)

For somebody the age of K. and me it is interesting to see how we grew with the music – back in the Nineties we truly believed their stuff was hot shit and it could barely get any better, and with every other album they released they proved us wrong. Listening back through the years tonight, I hear them with a different set of ears, the last two songs listed here being more dear to my heart than those before. Because they have grown with us.

Best regards,
Mathias (& K., who is absent tonight)

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