18 Summers - The Magic Circus
Darkwave, Electro Ten years is a long time to be away but some things in this life never change, the duo of Felix Flaucher and Frank Schwer maintain their ability to combine the best of multiple musical worlds into the bewitching beauty that is 18 Summers. Felix's voice remains as riveting as ever it was, his lyrics are simply the best you will hear out there as he clearly agonizes over each nuance and every shade of dialect. The meanings of what he puts down work on a myriad of levels, so when you hear a song such as the re-vamped version of "Deep In Your Heart" that is exactly where you'll feel it. We all know their history and why they are called 18 Summers but it was always a common trait of Silke to place earlier tracks on their latest work in order to provide a sense of continuity to what they'd done. 'The Magic Circus' pulls no punches, as always, this pair re-create the environment their songs arrived from for us to enjoy. It's a very harrowing place, this land they birth these tracks within.

In the world of 18 Summers, two things are imperative, they set the borders of the tapestry Frank and Felix weave. Intimacy and intensity are those states of being which shine brightest in their work and indeed, for myself, there is no other group out there who are so personal. This band and I have a history wrought down the years in love and loss, lust and laughter. They have been a defining facet to many a night with those I cared deeply for and their sinuous silken elegance has gotten more than a few ladies out of their clothing. Indeed, for one I even put their logo on her, the infamous 's' as it were, she'll know what that means and in that 18 Summers true talents show the brightest: they become part of your world even though you've never met them and probably never will. People have their vices, be they legal or otherwise but the common trait to them is that they share the good times and bad with the user. 18 Summers have definitely been there for the highs and lows of my life. No other musical outfit can say this, but this pair are the ones who suit every situation. The words are always in my head, even when I'd do anything to shut them out.

It's also worth noting that Frank Schwer is possibly the most underrated guitarist out there, his subtle playing and choice of effects fit every mood Felix conjures up with his words. One of the finest sides to them is when they strip it all away and go acoustic with just that guitar and voice giving vent to undeniably potent emotional expression. All over Silke Bischoff's 1993 album 'The Man on the Wooden Cross' you can hear what I'm getting at here through songs like "Strange Girl", "The Crystal Lake" and the devastating saga of nadir "For A Short Moment". This new album from 18 Summers gets close to a lot of those moments with songs like the pastoral "Beautiful Day" or the stunning cascade of stately precision which is "Queen for a Day".

I know there's a popular conception that the Germans are a serious, pragmatic people but 18 Summers shatter that view into a billion pieces. Even though Felix sounds precise and quite restrained when he sings, there's nothing repressed about the end result that he achieves. Check out some of the band's live performances on youtube or if you're one of the lucky ones, somewhere on the mainland and you will see how animated our uniformed fellow gets when he's performing the songs he writes these words for. Like a smoldering iron pulled out of the fire and then branded directly onto your skin, to come away from hearing this duo is to endure searing pain and the most exquisite pleasure you will ever know.

"The infinity of beauty is a part of her pain." Make of that what you will, it's plainly clear to me what he means by this and they even tart it up with a steady beat accompanied by Frank's delicate riffing. You could drift along forever to this combination but they take it up another level by the simple usage of more prominent guitar work. "She's just a girl. Like me." To create this sort of interplay between characters in one's lyrics is pretty much unheard of anymore because words in music have become little more than blatant sloganeering, there's no depth to them and they exist only to further the ego of those who write them. Oh, before I go, I should mention that this band's love of unconventional humor is in full bloom on here. Who but them would begin a song with the Dragnet theme and Joe Friday's grim admonishment that names have been changed to protect the innocent. Their attention to detail also will root you to the ground, as those infamous bells from 'To Protect and to Serve' make an appearance but only if you're listening closely enough.

I'll be right here listening until I die.
5
Brutal Resonance

18 Summers - The Magic Circus

Ten years is a long time to be away but some things in this life never change, the duo of Felix Flaucher and Frank Schwer maintain their ability to combine the best of multiple musical worlds into the bewitching beauty that is 18 Summers. Felix's voice remains as riveting as ever it was, his lyrics are simply the best you will hear out there as he clearly agonizes over each nuance and every shade of dialect. The meanings of what he puts down work on a myriad of levels, so when you hear a song such as the re-vamped version of "Deep In Your Heart" that is exactly where you'll feel it. We all know their history and why they are called 18 Summers but it was always a common trait of Silke to place earlier tracks on their latest work in order to provide a sense of continuity to what they'd done. 'The Magic Circus' pulls no punches, as always, this pair re-create the environment their songs arrived from for us to enjoy. It's a very harrowing place, this land they birth these tracks within.

In the world of 18 Summers, two things are imperative, they set the borders of the tapestry Frank and Felix weave. Intimacy and intensity are those states of being which shine brightest in their work and indeed, for myself, there is no other group out there who are so personal. This band and I have a history wrought down the years in love and loss, lust and laughter. They have been a defining facet to many a night with those I cared deeply for and their sinuous silken elegance has gotten more than a few ladies out of their clothing. Indeed, for one I even put their logo on her, the infamous 's' as it were, she'll know what that means and in that 18 Summers true talents show the brightest: they become part of your world even though you've never met them and probably never will. People have their vices, be they legal or otherwise but the common trait to them is that they share the good times and bad with the user. 18 Summers have definitely been there for the highs and lows of my life. No other musical outfit can say this, but this pair are the ones who suit every situation. The words are always in my head, even when I'd do anything to shut them out.

It's also worth noting that Frank Schwer is possibly the most underrated guitarist out there, his subtle playing and choice of effects fit every mood Felix conjures up with his words. One of the finest sides to them is when they strip it all away and go acoustic with just that guitar and voice giving vent to undeniably potent emotional expression. All over Silke Bischoff's 1993 album 'The Man on the Wooden Cross' you can hear what I'm getting at here through songs like "Strange Girl", "The Crystal Lake" and the devastating saga of nadir "For A Short Moment". This new album from 18 Summers gets close to a lot of those moments with songs like the pastoral "Beautiful Day" or the stunning cascade of stately precision which is "Queen for a Day".

I know there's a popular conception that the Germans are a serious, pragmatic people but 18 Summers shatter that view into a billion pieces. Even though Felix sounds precise and quite restrained when he sings, there's nothing repressed about the end result that he achieves. Check out some of the band's live performances on youtube or if you're one of the lucky ones, somewhere on the mainland and you will see how animated our uniformed fellow gets when he's performing the songs he writes these words for. Like a smoldering iron pulled out of the fire and then branded directly onto your skin, to come away from hearing this duo is to endure searing pain and the most exquisite pleasure you will ever know.

"The infinity of beauty is a part of her pain." Make of that what you will, it's plainly clear to me what he means by this and they even tart it up with a steady beat accompanied by Frank's delicate riffing. You could drift along forever to this combination but they take it up another level by the simple usage of more prominent guitar work. "She's just a girl. Like me." To create this sort of interplay between characters in one's lyrics is pretty much unheard of anymore because words in music have become little more than blatant sloganeering, there's no depth to them and they exist only to further the ego of those who write them. Oh, before I go, I should mention that this band's love of unconventional humor is in full bloom on here. Who but them would begin a song with the Dragnet theme and Joe Friday's grim admonishment that names have been changed to protect the innocent. Their attention to detail also will root you to the ground, as those infamous bells from 'To Protect and to Serve' make an appearance but only if you're listening closely enough.

I'll be right here listening until I die.
Feb 04 2012

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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