are a German cultural icon. In their home country where the artificial distinction between “serious and popular music” is still maintained, the legendary electronic avantgarde duo has managed the rare feat of being accepted as serious artists as well as proving to be highly popular.
With their 10th studio full-length, “Dual”, classically-educated composer and pianist Ernst Horn and vocalist extraordinaire Alexander Veljanov ingeniously contrive to blur the fictional lines drawn by editorial gatekeepers in a conceptual double album, which connects both full-lengths by a double reference.
Half of the double album consists of 10 new songs that DEINE LAKAIEN have crafted with particular artists or songs in mind that have been important for the duo’s musical evolution. These sources of inspiration are made clear on the second album of “Dual”, which features 10 amazing cover tracks that range from Cat Stevens’ classic ‘Lady D’Arbanville’ via Jacques Brels melancholic ‘La chanson des vieux amants’ to Kate Bush’s ‘Suspended in Gaffa’ and the surprising choice of the Linkin Park song ‘My December’. Each of these renditions has been lovingly translated into the Germans’ unmistakable soundscape.
In this artistic juxtaposition of a cover version and related new song, the Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen collaboration ‘Because the Night’ corresponds with the Horn/Veljanov composition ‘Because of Because’.
In this age of perceived cultural appropriation and inquisitorial demand for some kind of impossible purity, DEINE LAKAIEN make the obvious audible by pointing out that art does not grow out of thin air – as clearly as Beethoven could not have created the same compositions without the works of Bach before him, and in turn influence Wagner to progress in his footsteps.
Although an artistic achievement in itself, “Dual” can also be enjoyed without any theoretical consideration as 20 beautiful songs that each provide excellent entertainment. DEINE LAKAIEN lay bare some of the sources of their inspiration and artists that have touched, inspired, thrilled, and shaped them in a most respectful way.
Once again, DEINE LAKAIEN are breaking new ground, which the duo have achieved multiple times in their now 35-year history. Founded in 1985, they started as a purely electronic avantgarde dark wave project. Taking their name from a reference in the song ‘Die genaue Zeit’ by German experimentalists Einstürzende Neubauten, the band self-released “Deine Lakaien” in 1986, which spread by word of mouth and created an underground buzz. The debut set the duo clearly apart from electronic contemporaries such as YAZOO, SOFT CELL, EURYTHMICS, and OMD by virtue of their singular dark sound.
With official label backing, the albums “Dark Star” (1991) and “Forest Enter Exit” (1993) considerably widened the Germans’ audience and gained the attention of influential critics. Simultaneous with their growing success, DEINE LAKAIEN broadened their musical scope by playing a fully acoustic tour in 1992, an ambitious exercise that would influence later albums such as “Kasmodiah” (1999). Their impressive and highly diverse catalogue has been summarised in the anniversary releases “XXX. The 30 Years Retrospective” (2016) and “The 30 Years Retrospective: Live” (2018).
Although the global pandemic upset the original planning, DEINE LAKAIEN are no longer prepared to accept this disturbance of their musical endeavours. The duo will release the eagerly awaited “Dual” on April 16, 2021, to the delight of a massive following that has been clamouring to finally receive the promised album. It is high time the visionaries bring forth their fascinating voice and unique music to the world once more.
Alexander Veljanov – vocals, lyrics, composition
Ernst Horn – instruments, composition, lyrics