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Yog Sothoth

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Workshop

Yog Sothoth

format: CD | catalogue: sonig 37CD | year: 2004

"It seems as if these 20 tracks are separated from our world by a membrane. Through it's pores, fine particles of the original music have seeped. In the parallel universe on the other side of this membrane, these particles have developed growths and rhizomes, which strive to replicate the form of this formerly well known music (...) This record seems to look at our world from the outside." - Kai Althoff on Yog Sothoth .

The seventh album of the band Workshop (comprised of Kai Althoff and Stephan Abry) is an extreme. Its predecessor "Es liebt dich und deine Körperlichkeit ein Ausgeflippter (also on Sonig; the title roughly translates as "You and your physical existence are loved by a freak") showcased fascinating yet disturbing songwriting; both textual and musical.

On this album, everything seems to dissolve, first of all the notion of concept. Seen on a superficial level, one could be tempted to think that on Yog Sothoth all kinds of categories of (pop)music are quoted. But the music of Workshop never quotes. This becomes apparent, when one takes another look at Kai Althoffs introductory passage: Music separated from our world by a membrane. The musicians inhabit their own inner world. Through the membrane, particles from the outer world seep through to them. From hese particles, music is made by the beholders of the outer world. Still, these two worlds are inseparably entwined. Althoff's lyrics are written in an idiosyncratic, inner-worldly code, while the accompanying music appears to be a blurred, dreamlike picture of something the listener feels s/he knows.

Free of stylistic preferences, Workshop line up their almost innumerable input-output-works side by side. This they do in such an inimitable, idiosyncratic way, that while listening to Yog Sothoth, the listener automatically starts to grasp the meaning of Althoff's statement.

Workshop's pictures of the outside world aren't postmodern reinterpretations - but then neither are they trying to be realistic in an empirical way. They do not value irony, they are moving freely and are responsive to any musical style. House, Rock, Industrial, TripHop, Easy Listening, Folk - no music can escape its 'Workshop-isation'.

Yet, Yog Sothoth is a compendium of sublime contemporary popular music. Even in its sweetest moments, when it tends to kitsch, the music of Workshop remains neutral. Natural phenomena can't be kitschy, because they're natural, they do not depict, they're authentic. In its coarsest moments, this music should be brutal and destructive, but - strangely enough - it remains tender and sympathetic. A marvellous album.