German guitar heroes from Einstürzende Neubauten, Schneider TM, and more form super group, vow to cover “Surfing with the Alien”

German guitar heroes from Einstürzende Neubauten, Schneider TM, and more form super group, vow to cover "Surfing with the Alien"

Three generations of German guitar experimentalists have come together in the new super group ASS, a near-acronym for the outstanding names making up the trio: Jochen Arbeit, Guntër Schickert, and Dirk Dresselhaus. Sharing Berlin as a home and with roots stretching over 40 years through the Krautrock, post-punk, and noise rock scenes, the three guitarists have announced a collaborative album, ASS, to showcase their distinctive approaches to the instrument. However, if their work with bands like Einstürzende Neubauten, Schneider TM, or Die Haut is anything to go by, there is little surprise in the lack of guitar histrionics in the project. Instead of the typical six-string-wanking of guitar summits, the album explores eerie instrumental landscapes recalling the best of Berlin’s electronic avant-garde, even dropping a few techno beats here and there.

A quick glance at the trio’s underground bona fides makes it quite clear that ASS is not going to be the German version of G3. For a start, Günter Schickert is one of Krautrock’s original luminaries, having worked alongside Klaus Schulze and with his albums Samtvogel (1974) and Überfällig (1979) breaking ground in the
textural experimentation of guitar sounds via electronics. And while Schickert is somewhat of a cult figure, Jochen Arbeit might be the most internationally-known name of the trio, thanks to his tenure with industrial noisemongers Einstürzende Neubauten and the equally noteworthy Die Haut. Finally, though he is the youngest member of the group, Dirk Dresselhaus has been an active force in Berlin’s underground scene for nearly three decades, mostly looking for new ways to out-noise himself under the Schneider TM moniker but also as a member of Locust Fudge and Hip Young Things.

Traces of the trio’s diverse backgrounds can be found all over ASS, with Schickert’s echo-laden minimal riffs navigating Arbeit’s droning layers, but what brings the three artists together is a desire to take the guitar beyond its conventional possibilities. Here, instead of continuing to develop their personal takes on the instrument, they forge a common and visionary language out of their individual strengths.

ASS will be out April 29 via Bureau B. You can listen to the album’s first cut “Salicyl” below.

ASS tracklisting:
01. 37°
02. 38°
03. 39°
04. 40°
05. 41°
06. Acetyl
07. Salicyl
08. Säure

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