It used to be that if you wanted to get a copy of the “What’s Hot in Music” list from other countries, you would have to travel there and scout it out yourself. Nowadays where myspace and youtube are synonymous with “easy access” when it comes to anything musical, you can listen in on African rap to traditional Bulgarian tunes — and anything in between — at the click of a mouse. Unfortunately this easy access does come at a price. International acts are almost forced into speaking English (usually their non-native tongue) in order to become popular or suffer from being categorized under “world music” and shelved at the back of the record shop. Now there are some bands who couldn’t give a shit about pleasing their English speaking audience. Deichkind is certainly one of those acts.
Hailing from Hamburg, Germany, Deichkind is the only non-Berlin act to make their way to Austin this year for SXSW. According to their de.wiki page, they are also known as Die Electric Super Dance Band, which is more of a label of their music than a band name. As a whole, Deichkind offers more of an insight into the German music scene than probably most Germans would like to admit. Always having been known as an electronic music hub since Kraftwerk broke on the scene in the 70s, Germany has a strong slate of digital masters that will be adequately on display at SXSW. Where Deichkind is unique is its ability to interweave these electro-beats with the new genre du jour in their native homeland: hip-hop.
As a language, German is probably one of the easier languages to make rhymes with — hell, it seems every other word ends in a sh sound — and German artists certainly know how to use this to its full potential. I can’t even understand a single phrase being uttered, yet I am always in awe whenever I hear a track from German hip-hop great Bushido (no matter how corny the song title is). Contrary to most typical Deutsch rap, Deichkind eliminates the seriousness and twists it from “bounce your hand in the air” to “go crazy on the dance floor.”
And by go crazy, I mean GO CRAZY. Where there is so much emphasis of minimalist sound in Berlin electronic music, Deichkind isn’t afraid of layering multiple pounding bass beats with some quirky digital lines. You can easily imagine going nuts to the fuzzy bass line on the MTV ready Arbeit Nervt or bumpin’ to the beat of 23 Dohlen. So in the clusterfuck that is SXSW, do yourself a favor and check out their set one night — you’re guaranteed to leave just as happy as you are sweaty.