An audience that was primarily interested in literature Max Goldt since the mid-eighties as author of columns and books like My extremely difficult to educate gay brother-in-law from Switzerland or Showered, showered and booed a term. In these early titles, three essential characteristics of Goldts language creation already shimmer through: a consonant as well as vowel-like preference of form over content; a general reservation towards the world and towards the beings living in it; and finally an existential melancholy that stems from this reservation and the loneliness that feeds on it. Throughout his artistic career, Max Goldt, born in 1958, has always shown himself to be someone who can show more love for vowels and consonants than for the words formed from them and for the things and people they describe.
These three characteristics also characterize his musical work; only that his strange, highly artistic twists of language seem even more glamorous and psychotic when he sings them: when he sometimes makes his vowel and consonant balls tangle in melodic lines. A collection of six CDs now offers an overview of Goldt's work as a singer, composer and electro-acoustic sound avant-garde. From the years 1979 to 2018, the recordings, the Goldt under the title The wonderful sun outside. Music 1980-2000 has gathered; The fact that the period is incorrectly stated in the title is justified in the booklet by the fact that it sounds so crisp.
Goldt's first major success as a singer was with the multi-instrumentalist Gerd Pasemann, as a duo under the name Foyer Des Arts; the first two CDs in the collection are dedicated to this. The group's first and only major success, the single Interesting facts from Erlangen from 1982 is only included in a demo version of just under a minute and a half, because like every great artist Goldt despises that part of his art that the masses were able to get enthusiastic about for a short time. After all, the original is Moldy bread To listen to a piece that expresses its humorous aura from the naming of the purely factual: "Moldy bread is rarely an advantage", that cannot be denied. The third defining piece by Foyer Des Arts, I'm building a house out of Willy Brandt's bones, is performed in a gorgeous trumpeting live gospel rock version, in which Gayle Tufts, who is highly valued as an entertainer, exhausts her soul at an early stage of her career as a background singer.
Two CDs familiarize themselves with Goldts solo work from the eighties to the nineties, in which he first doubles his own style with a combination of acoustic guitar and prepared zither, later with simple synthesizers and rhythm machines; the final part of the collection offers collaborations with the composer Felix Kubin, who was inspired by Eastern European radio art. The most musically interesting pieces can be found on CD number three and date from the work phase of the 1990s; Goldt denied this in collaboration with chamber music composer Stephan Winkler, who is now a professor at the Barenboim-Said Academy. Under Goldt's texts and around them, Winkler lays down stumbling rhythms and sweetly whistling and whirring noises, sometimes a cheesy saxophone blows away and is chased away again. Most of the time it clicks and flickers and hisses purring cheerfully between the stereo channels from left to right and back again; some reminds of the futuristic beat tinkering from the drum ’n’ bass of those years; some things also sound like techno, which invites you to dance, but not so much that you would lose your existential melancholy.
Existential melancholy is also the keyword: Compared to the lyric from the time with Foyer Des Arts, which is fully mirrored in language and narrative, it has changed considerably. There are heartbreaking desperate lovesick songs to be heard, such as The rats or Together ("You said / and well, how are you doing / are you still living in the old apartment / no, I live in the white house / in front of which two white horses stand / and are waiting") or reflections on the homelessness of the self in a generally mediocre world like the one presented at a deceptively good-humored push-di-du-scat rhythm Demanding soul ("Have you found a person / a person for wild kisses / but after two hours he goes nuts for you / don't be so spoiled / screw down the claim / forget your ideal / then you have a person again / for your soul / goddamn soul "). The more abstract and self-referential the music that Goldt can be accompanied by – this is the interesting thing about this phase of the work – the more unprotected and immediate the real and vulnerable ego speaks from his lyrics.
Sometimes the songs from this phase are also accompanied by ethereally breathed female choirs, which the composer Winkler wrestled by means of electronic multiplication from the Berlin singer Elke Brauweiler (later known from the band Paula). This acts as a reliable enhancer of taste and feeling, but its creaminess is also oddly cheesy – and it fits that Max Goldt names the Cocteau Twins as his favorite band in the booklet of the box. The Cocteau Twins of all places! This is a Scottish trio that was particularly valued in the 1980s by romantically inclined high school graduates with gentle movements and kajal make-up under their eyes, which combined guitar cream with thick layers of butter cream cake with lyrics in a somewhat Gaelic or Elvish-looking fantasy language.
If you look back at Goldt's work in the context spanning decades, this idiosyncrasy suddenly seems plausible: Up The wonderful sun outside one listens consistently to someone who, with all the hatred of the world and the cultural kitsch that shapes it, is himself a great master of kitsch and therefore part of the world that he despises. When listening, you develop an unusual tenderness for the otherwise repellent artist. This does not change the fact that one often wishes to read a fabulously formulated, mentally and linguistically superior outline penned by Max Goldt for Max Goldt's song in question.