Quite like Moderat, The/Das or SOHN, the new Berlin duo Yeah But No dig deep into emotions and sounds.
Berlin record label Sinnbus has some real gems in its catalogue, from the pop-techno greats The/Das to We Are the City, the experimental prog pop band from British Columbia. Aside from the latter, most of Sinnbus’ roster assembles bands from the German-speaking world.
Fiordmoss have come from Moravia and Norway to the German capital, while Lessons commute between Helsinki and Leipzig. Odd Beholder are from Zurich, whereas Unmap, whose Alex Stolze was part of the disbanded Bodi Bill with the two members of The/Das, indicate Dublin and Berlin as their hometowns.
But it’s not only geography that unites these acts. The majority of them create equally fragile and strong soundscapes and tinge their music in shades of grey – monochrome, but not monotonous. Sinnbus is not an exclusively electronic label, We Are the City are proof that the “brooding electronica” mode is no prerequisite.
In general, however, if a new artist signs with them, you get at the least an idea of the atmosphere that pervades her or his music.
Their latest, Berlin duo Yeah But No, heads into the same direction. Four years ago, producer and musician Douglas Greed met singer Fabian Kuss and the two decided to collaborate, first on stage and then as a two-piece under their current name.
After a first single in January, “Hold It All Back”, they have now released a promising second song called “Leave the Dark”, which will appear on their self-titled debut due out later this year.
With its minimalist and slightly noisy beat and Kuss’ falsetto, “Leave the Dark” strongly recalls the Acid’s exceptional Liminal album. Soon enough though, what sounds like muffled horns and disembodied voices infuses it with a longing that mirrors the song’s lyrics about the difficult period after a break-up. Its melancholy mood is nothing new in itself, but it is brilliantly executed and captivating.
There are no rivalries between musicians, but if there were, bands like Moderat, The/Das or SOHN may feel threatened by Yeah But No’s willingness to dig deep into emotions and sounds, beyond what’s immediately pleasuring. Whoever decides to go with them will experience a rewarding journey.
Photo: y anna.k.o.