The band name Keimzeit Akustik Quintett roughly translates to “Sprout Time Acoustic Quintet”. The band, which is located Southwest of Berlin, is releasing their third album on 20th January 2023. Here is mein review of Schon gar nicht Proust.
Keimzeit Akustik Quintett – About The Artists
The roots of the band Keimzeit are dated back to 1980. In Lütte / Bad Belzig in German Democratic Republic, nowadays located in Brandenburg (GDR: District Potsdam). The band was initially named Jogger. All the band members were family members of the band lead Norbert Leisegang, who is still active in the band today. The band renamed to Keimzeit in 1982 and first grew a fan base in the East part of Germany and – after the reunion – all over Germany. Partially, Keimzeit was not allowed to play shows in the G.D.R., due to their social-critical lyrics.
Keimzeit has several chart placements in the German charts. Nowadays, they play with Norbert Leisegang (vocals, guitar), Hartmut Leisegang (bass, both are founding members), Andreas Spatz Sperling (keys), Sebastian Piskorz (trumpet), Lars Kutschke (guitar) and Lin Dittmann (drums). The Keimzeit Akustik Quintett is a spin-off of the band. Apart from the Leisegang siblings, the band consists of Martin Weigel (vocals, guitar), Gabriele Kienast (violin) and Christian Schwechheimer (drums). They released their first album Midtsommer in 2013, followed by the 2017 Albertine. In contrast to Keimzeit, who had a huge hit with Kling Klang in 1993, the Quintett did not have huge success in regards of sales yet.
Keimzeit Akustik Quintett – Schon gar nicht Proust – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 38 minutes.
1. Schon Gar Nicht Proust
The album starts with the title track. By the way, Schon Gar Nicht Proust is not a somehow strangely written reference to the German “Prost” / “Cheers”, but the surname of the writer Marcel Proust. All songs of this album tell stories or describe places of his novel Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Zeit (“Search of Lost Time”). The more, the catch phrase of this opener is interesting: the band several times states Ich lese nicht, schon gar nicht Proust (“I don’t read, and definitely not Proust”). There are twelve more songs to persuade the listener to change that kind of attitude.
The Scheherazade is a typical key character in Persian stories. And that’s also how this song is sounding alike. Oriental rhythms and Kienast on the violin is leading the backing melodies. Beautiful storytelling.
Elstir is a character is Proust’s novel, a painter. The song about him is the only single release of the album so far. In the lyrics, the painter is reflecting about his work and his life – including the “lost time”, which comes back to the backing novel. The song feels very pop-ish, a bit of cheeky with an accentuated rhythm. The violin feels to be a stronger rhythm instrument than the drums in here.
4. Tante Leionies Sofa
These 3:33 minutes take us to the “Coach of Aunt Leionie”. Leionie is already dead. Her story is told using her favorite piece of furniture and how it is handed over from one person to another. The track is a very folk-alike listen. Love it.
Singing about Schlaf (“Sleep”) just takes some two minutes for the Keimzeit Akustik Quintett. A rather slow track, which has a touch of a lullaby. The very monotonous vocals perfectly fit to that character.
The Baron comes with one of the most beautiful and catching melodies of the album. You listen to it, you like it… and then you also listen and love the story. Great fit of melody and lyrics. The song is also a nice fit to the history of the band Keimzeit.
Der alte Baron
Hochwohlgeboren, war tief gefallen
Da wo Welten aufeinanderprallen
Vom hohen Elfenbeinturm
Im freien Fall,
das ist der alte Baron.
(“The old baron
High-born, but fallen deep
Be aware, escalation
Where worlds collide
From the high ivory tower
that’s the old baron”)
7. Nach Zwanzig Jahren
The seventh song almost feels like a dance track. The song is about things which are forgotten “twenty years after”. A very entertaining episode of this listen.
Balbec in France is a fictional place in Proust’s novel. However, the village seems to be inspired by the city of Cabourg in the Bretagne region. The song is describing the life at “the end of the world”.
Fotografie is driven by the piano and the violin. The song is describing an old picture in a beautiful way. One of the most impressive ones on this album.
10. Morgentoilette des Robert de Saint-Loup
The song title translates to something like “Morning routine by Robert de Saint-Loup”. You listen to someone washing and shaving. A fifty second interlude.
11. Charlie Morel
The story of this song makes me smile: it describes how a bumblebee is sitting down on a violin and preventing the instrumentalist from playing. I don’t want to spoil too much of this one’s story, but if you know a bit of German, you will have an enjoyable listen with this ironically told stories.
The second last song of the album is also the longest. The song is a piano track with spoken word storytelling. The band is experimenting with howling sounds of their instruments in the background,.
13. Francioses Welt
The stories about Marcel Proust’s novel are closing with a happy ditty with a pop-alike melody. You finish the listen with a smile, indeed.
Keimzeit Akustik Quintett – Schon gar nicht Proust – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Keimzeit Akustik Quintett – Schon gar nicht Proust – My View
Okay, I am a music blogger – but somehow, I am a philistine as well. I am sorry, but I did not know Marcel Proust or his underlying novel at all. Nonetheless, I loved to travel with this German band into the story, meet characters and see what is going on in different places. Do the lyrics of Schon gar nicht Proust really reflect the novel? I don’t know. But I am thankful for this listen.
German Folk Music Reviews