Andreas Dorau everywhere: just two weeks after I reviewed GschichterIn aus dem Park Cafe, the new album by Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen, he is again taking part of two songs on the album Stresz by Egotronic. The band is doing a very interesting mixture of punk and techno sounds. The album, which is also celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary, has been released on 23rd July 2021.
Egotronic – About The Artists
Egotronic is a Berlin-origin electro-punk band. Thereby, the sound is typically electronic and includes techno and synth-pop sounds. The topics of the songs, however, are typical punk lyrics, they are part of the very left-winged political spectrum. Another very characteristic features of their songs is that the songs very often include video game sounds as taken from Commodore 64 or Game Boy games. The band is already active since 2001. Torsun Burkhard, however, is the only original member of the band, he is the singer of the band and playing the bass. The other members are Kilian Teichgräber-Mittwoch (synth), Christoph Schwergen (guitar), Konrad Evas (bass) and Ben Schleicher (drums).
Stresz is the band’s tenth album. The first long-player release was Die Richtige Einstellung in 2006. The most recent album, Ihr seid doch auch nicht besser (2019) was the first Egotronic album to make it into the German album Top 100.
Egotronic – Stresz – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 36 minutes.
Stresz^20 (with the typo – the German word Stress is originally written like its English equivalent) is a look back to twenty years of band history. Thus, it is a song, which also somehow works as an intro to the remaining album.
2. Nadel verpflichtend
The second song deals with the Covid-19 vaccination. A song, which is nicely combining electronic sounds with as close as it gets to punk rock at Egotronic. Cool track, nice arrangement.
By the way – for that song, the band also relasead a browser video game where you have to vaccinate Dresden people. Click here.
3. Meine Hotline
Meine Hotline has a very strong presence of the video game sounds I mentioned in the bio section. I like the sound of the track, which is also having a touch of indie rock. Though, I cannot agree to lyrics like 1312 wird meine Hotline (“1312 will be my hotline”) – a reference to police bashing.
4. Lauf Bulle, lauf
After the All Cops Are Bastards reference in the song before, the fourth track of the album connects to the same topic. The song also samples political statements. Great composition, great play with instrumentation (especially the guitar riffs) – but to me, the song is too much on the lyrics side.
5. Masken (feat. Andreas Dorau)
Honestly, the two songs before really made me struggle whether I should review Stresz at all. But I was just too curious about the Andreas Dorau collaboration. This one about wearing face masks in the pandemic is simply genius. The video game sampling sound of Egotronic combined with the simplicity of the sound of Dorau – I simply love it!
Masken, Masken, wohin’ ich seh’ Masken, Masken, wo ich geh’ oder steh’ Masken, Masken, überall Doch niemand plant einen Überfall
(“Masks, masks, whereever I go
Masks, masks, where I go or stand
Masks, masks, everywhere
But nobody plans a robbery.”)
6. Auf Arbeit
I loved the fifth track, but this ninety second track is maybe the one which made me smile most. The simplicity and naivity of a children’s song, combined with the repeating sound of a video game, Egotronic sings Auf der Arbeit (“At work”) for 80 seconds, before… I don’t reveal it – just have a listen.
7. Der schönste Platz ist inner Apotheke
There are a lot of German songs and sayings about Der schönste Platz ist an der Theke – the best place is at the bar. There is a slight alteration here – and Egotronic declare the pharmacy to their favorite spot. A song which is referring to psychotropic drugs. Not a funny topic at all – but Egotronic just does it in a too entertaining way.
A song about “Boredom” – which is in a beautiful way describing the feeling of not being motivated to do more than just relaxing. One of the songs which beautifully describe typical feelings during the pandemic times. The song is also featuring extreme monotony – so that I am somehow happy that it is finished after three minutes. But, I guess, that’s part of the intended message.
9. Der Dämon
Der Dämon (“The Demon”) is one of the least striking songs of the album to me. I take it as a small break, waiting for the last three songs of the album.
10. Schlusz mit lustig
The tenth song about social media, fake news and weird conspiracy theories. Wer nicht erschossen wird, der wird geimpft – “If you are not shot, you are vaccinated”. The song with its video game music background illustrate how nuts some of these thoughts are. However, the song also points how these theories might lead into the demand of extremism and strong leaders. Very good one.
11. Auf Youtube
Auf Youtube (“On YouTube”) is the longest of all tracks on this albums. The song works with very different atmospheres, but always with the strong 8-bit electronic sound feeling of Egotronic. Very entertaining track.
12. Jubiläen (feat. Andreas Dorau)
Andreas Dorau, the second. In contrast to Masken, this song has been released before the album as a single. Radikale junge wilde sind inzwischen alters-milde – Radical young wild ones or nowadays moderate due to their age – that’s at least what the first line of lyrics state. After Stress^20 at the beginning of the album, this is the perfect closing for the album. Worth mentioning that the song also states Mögen all die Jubiläen bitte schnell vorüber gehen – “May all the anniversaries please be over soon”.
Egotronic – Stresz – Spotify
Here is Stresz on Spotify:
Egotronic – Stresz – My View
There are some songs I would politically disagree with, but overall, I feel that Stresz is a real interesting album. Egotronic have a very unique style, which lead to an enjoyable sound. I would here and there like to have stronger messages, some songs are a bit too thin. The two Andreas Dorau collaborations, however, are really cool recordings. A good album, which is just not good enough to hit the top ratings.