# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Von Spar - Under Pressure

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 27 / 8 / 2019

Von Spar - Under Pressure
Label: Bureau B
Format: CD


Fifth LP from lounge Cologne indie outfit Von Spar welcomes a wealth of notable guest vocalists

Named after the street where they record their material in the Dumbo Studio, Von Spar first formed around the turn of the millennium. Parting company with their singer Thomas Mahmoud in 2007, Von Spar have since worked with singers from all the corners of the world. Von Spar performed Can's album 'Ege Bamyasi' live with Stephen Malmus after which their fame spread. Canadian Chris Cummings - he uses the alias Marker Starling - contributed to their previous album 'Streetlife', and on 'Under Pressure' he sings on four tracks. There are many moments on it, where one expects Robert Wyatt to next come around the corner and join Von Spar. The chances are that if you love Mr Wyatt's voice, you'll like Chris Cummings' vocals. Cummings, the male protagonist on the album, nonetheless on 'Under Pressure' leaves plenty of room to Von Spar's women vocalists. Eiko Ishibashi lends her voice to the opening song 'A Dream Part One', but, unless you speak Japanese, 'A Dream Part Two' should guide you further with Cummings paving the way with his first vocal contribution. He also lends his vocals to 'Happiness' - "Three wishes and the world is yours" - which is immediately followed by Stereolab's Lætitia Sadier on 'Extend The Song', a beautiful hymn to London's take on krautrock. Stereolab was more or less the band to breathe new life into krautrock in the late 1990s. Vivien Goldman, whose biggest claim to fame to date was providing vocals on '(I Want) Money' by Flying Lizards, sings about 'Boyfriends' in equally possessive style. The repeated line of "Boyfriends, dead or alive", which is sung by her with syrup dripping down from her lips, is slightly morbid. R. Stevie Moore, whose website credits the Year 2020 already for its design, is granted the honour of rounding up 'Under Pressure'. The Grandmaster of DIY and LoFi, he very much is in one person yet on 'Falsetto Giuseppe' he refuses to sing in expressive Italian style. Instead, 'Falsetto Giuseppe' sounds lax and flat, which is entirely in line with the underlying general tone of 'Under Pressure' though. Versatile, particularly on the instrumental track 'Mont Ventoux', the mountain where cyclist Tom Simpson died 52 Years ago, Von Spar close off with this gritty, sturdy post prog-rock excursion.

Track Listing:-
1 A Dream, Pt. 1
2 A Dream, Pt. 2
3 Happiness
4 Extend the Song
5 Better Late
6 Not to Forget
7 Boyfriends (Dead or Alive)
8 Falsetto Giuseppe
9 Mont Ventoux

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads


most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors