We heart the Emperor


photo: Oliver Rath

I am tired of conducting the usual interviews. That’s why we developed a new interview design: we ask musicians, bands and DJs about – music. We just send them some songs and they tell us whatever they think about it. And don’t be afraid: this is not only about techno music, it is about music of all kinds of genres.

Our first interview partner is Bonaparte. This band doesn’t need an introduction anymore. Just type in “Bonaparte” into Google’s picture search: on the first page there are as many pictures of the French emperor as of the hedonistic freedom army from Berlin.

In our interview we have asked the Emperor about the music of – among others – Michael Jackson, Serge Gainsbourgh and Lady Gaga.

Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal
Bonaparte: Well, I admit to have spent some intensive time in my life with Michael. In the middle of the 1980s I bought “Off the Wall” on a flea market in Montpellier. It’s great music for little boys. In terms of his live shows, he had better days than in this video. But if you ignore all the rummage and if you dedicate yourself to the music and the production – it is still great entertainment.

Pilocka Krach – Gitarre spielen
Pilocka Krach for mayor! The Emperor likes Pilocka a lot. Kracht (cracks) and rocks and when performing live, she stepps on and over the table. Funnily, the guitar is not a Bob Dylan guitar; it is rather the guitar of the grandfather of Swiss-German Liedkunst, Mani Matter.

The KLF – Justified And Ancient
To my shame I must say that I know KLF more for what they did as K foundation and for their book “The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way)” than for their music. But you can’t be up to date in every decade – KLF’s music never appealed to me. A lot of samples, that’s what I know. At their time they must have been somehow important. But they were connected to the verge from the 80s to the 90s. And I was never really at that verge.

Justin Hinds & The Dominoes – Carry Go Bring Come
I listen to this for the first time. It’s really great. Cosy Ska. This music has soul. This music has time. There are no superfluous attachments, just a good mood. It reminds me of a jam session that I played in my home town years ago with the time-honoured guys from The Skatelites, all of them wearing long beards and messy hair. I was still very young back then and I didn’t even really know where Jamaica was or how it smells down there.

Serge Gainsbourg – Sea, Sex And Sun
Serge is a god. His oeuvre is one of the testaments. This track is maybe not my favourite song, though I like to quote the phrase “sea, sex and sun” in my everyday life every now and then. Serge is one of the greatest composers and songwriters that planet earth may remember when it lies on its deathbed. From this song selection it is the one which is closest to the music of Bonaparte. A poet of offensiveness, a juggler of alliterations, an acrobat on the rope of syntax.

Rancid – The 11th Hour
Well… That’s not my cup of tea. At least I don’t like to listen to Punk on YouTube at 99kpbs – if Punk, that you have to be in the middle of it, it has to be loud and you have to have an acrid smell in you nose. And it has to be loud. Oh, I already said that.

Maceo Parker – Shake everything you’ve got
Funnily, I first listened to Maceo and then to James Brown – normally it’s the other way round. As a teenager I spent some time with Karl Denson, who used to play with Fred Wesley in his Lenny Kravits phase, and Fred Wesley played with Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo then again. In my opinion, JB and Horny Horns is more exciting than his solo stuff. Or you go for the real deal: listening to James Brown.

Lady Gaga – Alejandro
Lady Gaga is a recurrent issue among the dancers in the Bonaparte tour bus. I don’t know her music, but from what I have heard, her live show must be good. Visually it must be quite daring. It is not really innovative, but in the sphere of the Pop olmyp 2010, in which this is happening, she is at least a remarkable shooting star – the logical progression.
„Alejandro” is a „Isla bonita” rip-off, Gaga is a Gesamtkunstwerk.

Marek Hemmann – Right (feat. Fabian Reichelt)
I didn’t know the artists, but I see that he will be performing at Bar 25 in the near future. Minimal techno from Jena. I like the production, but I would enjoy the track better without any text, without words, not to mention the vocals. Bum bum and squeak and woosh and suuuuuub blubber blubber bang bang is already enough.

Bonaparte – Computer In Love
Bonaparte is totally overrated.


photo: Melissa Hostetler


LIVE! (Circus Show) 06.11.2010, Berlin, Astra

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/jens/" target="_self">Jens</a>