It’s a voice that’s almost more sound than music at times, but there’s no denying that it is music.
This is the kind of band we don’t often get to hear in the US. They’re loud, instrumental and at times bizarre, but there’s something oddly familiar about Chƒ¢teau Laut, that elicits memories of action movies and video games. The band shows that musical talent goes well beyond the pop culture we’re used to.
Listen to the song “Song for Ape Sue” free from Blast
Chƒ¢teau Laut was founded by Stefan Fƒ¤hler and Andrew Maler in 2004 in Berlin. Creating heavy loud soundscapes out of a theremin, feedbacks and a sampler, they were soon urged to relocate from the apartment Maler lives in to a serviceable rehearsal space to work on songs.
Joined by Steno Glenolak and completed by Max Stolzenberg two years ago, they began playing clubs around Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig. A support slot with Koblenz-based band Nicoffeine led to the passing on of demos to bluNoise label head Guido Lucas, one of the people responsible responsible for the success of the indie group Blackmail.
The record BluNoise/Al!ve was released on June 26. The band’s album and music videos are self financed. The band is already working on new material and will be heading back to Guido Lucas’ studio to record the follow up to their debut. They’re also releasing a split vinyl (yes, vinyl) with fellow Berlin band Jeanie Bueller.
Member bios from the band
Stefan Fƒ¤hler (guitar)
Fƒ¤hler started out playing classical guitar at age 11. At 15 he founded a garage punk band “Burning Playground” that soon broke up when Fƒ¤hler discovered the beauty of noise. Living close to Cologne he became accustomed to the vital club scene there and started DJing mostly at indie clubs. In the coming years he would DJ parties in Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin, culminating in a residency at Black Girls Coalition, a legendary queer underground club run by black drag queen Paisley Dalton from the U.S., serving them mostly trash and indie rock. Since that club is history, he puts all his energy into Chƒ¢teau Laut.
Andrew Maler (guitar)
Since getting infected by experimental indie rock bands in the early 90s, Andrew Maler has been one to hardly ever put down the guitar. Growing up close to Berlin, his first attempt to form a band, “Acid Rain” in the mid-90s in the end only produced hours of guitar feedback and a cover version of “Happy Birthday”. Since then he has gained notoriety with his “Acid FloƒÅ¸”, inviting other artists for sessions in his living room. His experimental approach has also made him a mainstay in various loose collectives of musicians. Maler and Fƒ¤hler are the founding members of Chƒ¢teau Laut.
Steno Glenolak (bass)
Playing the cello since the age of six, Glenolak grew up in a small town next to Cologne. It was there she met Fƒ¤hler, both being teenagers sharing a general interest in similar music. She got in touch with the indie/hardcore scene around that area and was involved in putting up gigs. After moving to Berlin, Glenolak was invited by metal collective “The Ocean” to play cello on tour to promote their album “Fluxion”. For Chƒ¢teau Laut, Glenolak has taken up playing bass.
Max Stolzenberg (drums)
Stolzenberg actually forgot the name of the first band he played with, a punk outfit from mini town Sƒ¶rgenloch (which loosely tranlates to “hole of sorrow”). What he can remember is their local hit “Zieh deinen Slip aus und werf ihn zu mir runter” (“Take off your panties and throw them down to me”) which was his first drumming assignment. Ultimately freaking out his fellow musicians with his quirky style, he went on to play in different jazz formations and the crossover band “2 Fat Twins” in Berlin. After that band’s breakup, Fƒ¤hler, Maler and Glenolak asked him to complete their line-up.