Vinyl Review: Orange Utan - katastrophil (2018)

Photo Credit: MangoWave
Artwork: Peggy Berger
Layout: Burkhard Naumann

Orange Utan - katastrophil
Release: November 24, 2018
Format: LP/Digital
Length: 42:30
Origin: Dresden, Germany

Introducing, I might have to explain band name and title to everyone who does not speak German. Orange Utan is not the German word for orang-utan, but the first lexem actually refers to either the fruit or the colour orange.
The title of the album "katastrophil" is another play on words. It combines the German word "katastrophal" ("catastrophic") with the Greek suffix "-phil" ("loving"). Thus, "katastrophil" means having an affection towards catastrophies or catastrophic instances.

Orange Utan's second album "katastrophil" is structured like a stage play. The LP begins with the track 'Eintritt / Gevatter' (German: 'entree / godfather'). Following, there are six acts until the 'Epilog' leads into the 'Abgang' (German: 'exit'). The actors in this play are Christian Kupsch (drums, percussions), Sören Müller (electric bass, upright bass), Burkhard Naumann (guitar, saz), and Sandro Gäbler (vocals).
Photo Credit: MangoWave

The music on this gorgeous transparent vinyl can be described as Progressive Stoner Post-Punk. Or at least, that's what I would call it.
Orange Utan play chequered rhythms and demanding Progressive Rock riffs that are wrapped up in a dark but colourful Post-Punk envelope. Intensity and tempo on the other hand definitely fit the powerful Stoner (and) Punk expression of artists such as Coogans Bluff or DxBxSx.

It is the extraordinarily independet and free way Orange Utan play their songs that makes the album so great. Drummer Christian easily creates patterns of offset beats with intelligent breaks and makes them dissolve in rolling Punk Rock attacks. Sören and Burkhard on (upright) bass, guitar and saz move back and forth between warm Blues Rock sounds, screaming Noise and Post-Punk, and fuzz-laden Stoner Rock. Narrator and vocalist Sandro thrones upon this crazy but structured soundscape by presenting the amazing spectrum of his voice. Clear vocals, screams, shouts float like fluffy clouds and thunder like heavy storms.
Photo Credit: MangoWave

Since nobody likes comparisons... Imagine putting Monophonist, The Hirsch Effekt, Faber and Rotor into a blender. The outcome might taste similar to Orange Utan.
But seriously, "katastrophil" is an amazing album. It is one of those releases that should be listened from beginning to end due to its great coherence. You probably would not visit a stage play just for your two favourite acts either, would you?
Orange Utan's "katastrophil" is a consistent, coherent, versatile and powerful album full of force, soul, and brains.

Orange Utan Online:


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