JENNIFER TOUCH RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM ‘BEHIND THE WALL’ VIA FATCAT
Dresden born and Berlin bred firecracker Jennifer Touch released her long-awaited debut album ‘Behind the Wall’ via FatCat on Friday 5th June. Equally at home on and off the dancefloor, it’s wave-kissed dreariness dripping with cold sensuality is both vibrant and brooding. Showcasing her unique sound in the saturated world of electronica, Touch successfully draws from electropop and disco influences, combining 80’s vintage synths with industrial soundscapes, delivered with a visceral post-punk snarl.
As a child, Touch was led to believe all the melodies in the world had already been used, rendering being a musician futile and pointless. Ignoring the bollocks, her desire for self-expression through music prevailed, and after the wall came down, her musical tastes expanded beyond 80’s pop, embracing the bleak and rough techno of Berlin’s burgeoning underground. Crucially, there were machines out there that would enable her own creations, and these childhood revelations represent the processing of memories and observations made from her upbringing in East Germany. Her music will always relate to the social climate of that time, or at least what is left of it when filtered through a young and naïve mind. You’ll rarely find an artist today so devoted to sound or as deeply immersed in the affective reverberation of old synths. Creating a safe space for herself and for others to sink into is more a need than a simple desire, because to Touch music is like life – incalculable, rich in experience and emotion, and most of all unlimited.
The influences behind ‘Behind the Wall’ are sometimes easy to hear. Introduced to 80’s pop and new wave via her father’s extensive collection of Human League, Karat and Duran Duran, she honed her trademark sound with the likes of The KLF, Karen O and PJ Harvey motivating her early productions. The results led to releases on Catz ‘N Dogz’ Pets Recordings and Lunatic Records, as well as making regular appearances on Riotvan, the Leipzig-based record label run by Peter Invasion and co-owned by Panthera Krause.
‘Behind the Wall’ opens with the dark and powerful ‘Imaginary Boys,’ a soundtrack to Touch’s long journey through the city to the studio each day. It is followed by ‘Attic,’ which she describes as the “driving point of the whole album.” When she was a child, her parents had thrown parties in the attic, dancing the night away listening to their favourite krautrock songs. “My parents were GDR flower-power children, forced to live in a repressed society, behind this wall. The song just came out of me and whilst writing it I realised why I make music and where it comes from. It comes from my childhood in East Germany. It comes from that attic.” Elsewhere ‘The Wall’ depicts the pain we all keep inside, and how maintaining one can be detrimental to others who love you, whist ‘I Love you, Lets Go’ is about losing your identity in a relationship, and the struggles that ensue. The previously released ‘Chemistry’ has been given an overhaul, and the base of all the songs on the record, Touch penned it in a slump of depression. “I knew I had the music inside me, but it felt like I was stuck,” she explains. The result is a sinister anthem reverberating in industrial charm. ‘Your Dawn” closes the record and is the only track without a beat. “It’s a floating boat. A rescue boat I wrote for a very close friend who was experiencing some dark and sad times. It’s an invitation to dance with me, a lullaby, a consolation,” she says. “Like a mantra.” And that is exactly what this record feels like.