9/26/2005

Wighnomy Soundform



One of the biggest joys of sQuare's recent visit to Köln was seeing the reclusive East German act that call themselves the Wighnomy Brothers. The duo, composed of producer Robag Wruhme (on the left above) and his rambunctious DJ cohort Monkey Maffia (on the right), is quickly becoming a force all around the techno world. Their label, Fruede Am Tanzen (which means "Joy In Dancing") will soon release a compilation of their greatest tracks and even the mighty Mute Records has picked them up. Remikks Potpourri was released by the label's German arm, and it includes 12 trademark Wighnomy mixes.

The Wighnomy's are unique for a number of reasons, but clearly their sound leads the way. Its clipped, dubbed echoplex is easy to pick out of any mix. The duo's stuttered, sharp beats appear in every one one of their songs, too. And it never seems to get old -- which is pretty brilliant.

sQuare interviewed the two, and, being that they were raised in East Germany, their second language was Russian, not English. So they instead spoke mostly in German, but we Americans were able to glom onto a few phrases, the most obvious being when I asked them, via their label manager Grit, about their inspirations.

They replied in German, but soon out came "Breaking 2: Electric Boogaloo" and my ears perked up. Seems the government in their small Communist town (Jena) would bring in movies to show in the square and, somehow, ended up showing the definitive commercial hip-hop/electro movie.

Well, it suddenly all made sense. Wighnomy does simple techno better than just about anyone. The elements they use: dropedit beats with a wobbly cadence, are a derivative of hip-hop, just like the house genre they work within (their elegant sister label, Musik Krause is more break-oriented).

One of our favorite moments on film came when we asked Robag to describe his sound. In broken English he said "I don't like just hi-hats, like ting-ting-ting-ting..." he turned his eyes up to the ceiling and back down. "I like CLAP!" he clapped, "BANG! SMASH!", his eyes getting bigger, "and WOOOOOOSH!" as he spread his arms out and smiled real big.

Couldn't have said it better.

There's a host of tracks that could define their soundform, but we settled on posting two.

Here is the first song from their forthcoming label compilation. It might well represent the sort of utopian hippie-techno community they've carved out for themselves in the small East German town:

Gamat 3000 - "Feeling Love"

And their remix of Slam feat. Tyrone Palmer is a megalith, with all the trademarks of a Wighnomy imprint. Plus I am more than sure they picked this song in part because of its social message.

Slam feat. Tyrone Palmer - "This World (Wighnomy Bros. und Robag Wruhme Bukkelflipps RMX)"

To start with the Wighnomy family, I would recommend picking up anything Robag but for sure Wuzzlebud KK, his magnificent solo debut. You can buy it here.

Wighnomy has yet to visit America. But believe me, that will change as soon as they want it to.