Heiko Voss Two Sides

[Firm; 2005]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: German disco-house, electro-rock
Others: Richard Bartz, Scissor Sisters, Abe Duque

Two Sides starts off fairly plainly with four minutes of an inhale-talking interview spoken entirely in German. I honestly can't tell if one guy is stoned, if both are, or if they're just fucking around. Like most college drop-outs, my German is limited to a small selection of expletives and insults. Luckily for the North American market, depending on your opinion of his work, most of the lyrics here are in English. Personally, I am not a fan of most funky electronica, and Heiko Voss often treads that oh so precarious line between sleaze and cheese. For some reason unbeknownst to me and shocking to my closest friends, I'm a sucker for that dark German house sound: the scratchy, abrasive synth melodies, the moody, overdramatic beats. The drone vocals and cliché lyricism? Not so much, and Voss' debut full length is absolutely soaking in them from before the start to after the finish. But there is a pretty respectable range of capabilities displayed here beyond simple house music. "Killer" is a pure dance floor, disco-pop gem that no one would question being placed alongside any Scissor Sisters single on your next mix tape. The atmospheric lounge guitar in "Part Of My World" centers a relaxed, sexy groove amidst a mid-album series of electro-rock ballads and synth-funk jams. Voss' admitted influences (which include Falco, The Pixies, and Michael Jackson) are at least done justice by this LP, if not occasionally honored; though I'm sure more than a few selections will find themselves skipped immediately by the US market. Wherever your tastes lie, Voss demonstrates here that he has more than just two sides.

1. Herr Wegner Fragt Nach
2. Beatmachine
3. Call Me Now
4. More Than Music
5. Like Glue
6. Sitting In My Song
7. Think About You (First Version)
8. A Track Called Catarina
9. Killer
10. Part Of My World
11. Running Free
12. Telephon
13. Walking Through
14. Two Sides
15. Komm Gefälligst Wieder Her
16. Rock 'n' Roll
17. Fade Out
18. Spirale Des Seins (Tiefe)
19. Son Regentag

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