T. Raumschmiere

Blitzkrieg Pop

Berlin-based techno producer Marco Haas (aka T. Raumschmiere, a Burroughs-borrowed word) runs his own electronic music label Shitkatapult, which is also an apt description for the broad range of tempos and styles served by its artists. It's also a spot-on way to describe the T.Raumschmiere sound as it alternates from unbearably grating to downright soft and melodic. This shit's flying around all over the place.

Blitzkrieg Pop, his second album, is much more listenable and varied than the 2003 debut Radio Blackout, a clanging beacon for the German techno capital that rarely sleeps in the pursuit of the groove. In fact, the metronomic beat convention of techno only sporadically jumps out in the course of the album in instrumental songs like "Der Grottenholm." What's most memorable here, though, is almost shocking placed up against the backdrop of techno: On "A Very Loud Lullaby," Sandra Nasic's multi-track harmonies recall '80s ladies like Heart or even Vixen. Haas even proves that he can do the punk sneer, sing-shouting on the opening "Sick Like Me" and closing title track.

He works nicely within pop's conventions (all songs hover around the three-minute mark), but ultimately does not manage to shatter them in true punk ethos. Blitzkrieg Pop is more likely to convert pop fans to the dark side than impress the anarchists, but perhaps Haas wouldn't have it any other way.