Welle:Erdball An Introduction: Essential Songs

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Welle:Erdball (In English, Wave: Earthball) are the Commodore 64 side of goth. They constantly play at festivals devoted to the old computer system in fact.

Aesthetically, for both their image and their music, the best way to describe Welle:Erdball is by using the terminology of 1950s horror. Their stage costumes prop up this image, and the band act as if they are from a radio program (or radio sender) transmitted through this era.

Currently there are four members of the band; Honey, the lead singer and the creative force behind Welle:Erdball and their associated projects, “A.L.F”, behind the music and the programming, and the two percussion and female vocalists Fraulein Venus and Lady Lila. The most famous former member was Fraulein Plastique, who can now be seen in her own new band “The Girl and the Robot” as well as performing duets with various other artists (such as Nachtmahr for a cover of “I hate Berlin”)

With over 13 albums, stretching back all the way back to 1992, it’s hard to know where to start. Let us help you out there.

5 essential Welle:Erdball Songs

Starfighter F-104G

“Mein Name ist Joachim von Hassel”

Part of the Welle:Erdball aesthetic is also a undying devotion to technical details. Take this one song. Quite a simple song, yet the lead singer, Honey, spent a long time with various models of the Starfighter plane and researching Joachim’s life just for it.

This is a great song to start with. Well, first of all, you might have already heard it if you have ever been to a goth club, without realising it. Secondly, the lead techno stylings of it display the Welle:Erdball style of using the synths from a C-64 perfectly. And, it’s also a great way to get used to Honey’s somewhat strange German accent (which isn’t the typical German accent you will hear in many German bands).

And somehow, although really you can consider the song as an instrumental with the occasional sentence or two, the song invokes perfectly the feeling of piloting an airplane. Seriously. It’s quite magical to listen to in that aspect, especially at it doesn’t use any typical cliché things that such a song might use such as the sound of plane propellers.

Der Liebe Der 3. Art

“Ich suche nach der überall, und sende klänge in ultraschall” / “I am still searching for the universe, and send my sound in ultrasonic”

There are two versions of this song. The one you find on YouTube, and the one you will find on the “Tanzmusik für Roboter” album. The main difference is in the vocalists. The YouTube version is the last Welle:Erdball song to see Fraulein Plastik as a vocalist, whereas the album version has Lady Lila singing.

I’d recommend you’d take a listen to the YouTube version, especially if you don’t speak any German as it will also take you though, basically, what the song is about; wanting to be abducted by aliens because the earth is too boring.

I mean, come on, who hasn’t thought about that before?

Oddly for a Welle:Erdball song, the whole song is almost taken over to the female vocalist singing. The only other example really is “Ich bin aus plastik” (also talked about below).

Also, the video shows another odd Welle:Erdball attribute: putting random didlos into their videos (like also in the video for Links-Recht from the side project Homo-Futura, featuring Honey and Fraulin Plasquie):

Ich Bin Aus Plastik

“Mein Herz schlägt automatisch – und meine Liebe ist mechanisch” / “My heart beats automatically and my love is mechanical.”

This is the other Welle:Erdball song that is dominated by their female vocalist, this time by Welle:Erdball, with Honey not having a single line in the song.

The beat in this particular number is playful and happy, with just a very minimal drum beat lurking ever so subtly underneath the rest. Although the lyrics do have a slight bit of melancholy behind them, live this song becomes really dark. It’s a shame that, as this is essentially Fraulein’s Platquie song, that it is unlikely to be performed live any more. Her performance of it really gives the right amount of heartbreak and despair to the proceedings.

Super 8

“Alle Weichen sind gestellt, mein Körper bereit.” / “All girls are posed, by body is ready”

Another Love letter by Welle:Erdball to old classic technology. A tribute to the joys of doing something on a physical medium and “nicht digital.” This song also shows the normal use of the female vocalists, as backing vocalists come the chorus.

Musically, this is your standard, almost pop style, song, no special tricks here other than the usual C64 style synths and Honey’s accent, but it doesn’t really need anything extra. It is a purely great song full of the normal 1950s horror Welle:Erdball charm. and a very nice wavy instrumental that bridges the different vocal sections.

1000 Engel

“Wenn 1000 Engel für dich Schrei” / “When 1000 Angels scream for you.”

The newest (at time of writing) Welle:Erdball song, and the first one made for Lady Lila to sing. This song is from the, currently unreleased, “Film, Funk & Fernsehen” (Film, Funk and Television) album.

For a band that will constantly come out with songs that doesn’t seem to fit into their established cannon of musical styles, this one is really jarring, and is very interesting listening to considering it might be the future of Welle:Erdball and, ergo, a very exciting time to get into the band.

The song itself is almost operatic. Sure, there is still the touches of the Welle:Erdball synths behind the music, but it does have a much more classical feel of it. And although there is a (blatantly intentional) greenscreen effect in the video for a few seconds, everything about this song, video, singing, instrument, sounds really professional and produced. As Welle:Erdball also have the aesthetic of a bit of “Narm Charm” (that is, doing everything slightly corny on purpose), it’s a bit to strange to see them talking themselves slightly seriously.

But, yes, it’s gonna be a really really great time to get into the magical land of the radio sender Welle:Erdball.

(Header Image By Rama (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr], via Wikimedia Commons).

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