The trio that makes up unhappybirthday come from Wismar, a small and very old city in Germany that has almost always been small. If you’re like me, you might know the town from its contribution to the formation of the Hanseatic League, an important thirteenth century trade federation and mutual defense pact formed by several important Northern European commercial cities. Wismar is a much simpler place today and as the band tells it, rather isolated and contended with its slow pace while they were growing up. A single record store in the city made that unchanging tableau a little more dynamic, connecting them with bands like the Raincoats, Young Marble Giants, and Units; ultimately inspiring them to make their own music, taking a synth heavy approach to “Neue Deutsche Welle” – or, literally translated, new German-wave. Their debut album Sirup is a collection of songs written since the band resolved to make it their own way, renting a house together and making music nonstop. By their own description, these songs are “sometimes washed out like a raindy or sticky like chewing gum”, but never without a “pretty melancholic root to howl”. “Molly” is a sad prom-night-song about undefined yearning, while “Kalt” is more bleak, with cold synth tones stabbing, freezing the listener’s heart. These songs are direct and purposely catchy, but intimate – they seethe, too restrained for anything but a slow burn, regardless of tempo. Together, unhappybirthday is shaping a new reality for themselves and we can hope that the success of Sirup might inspire a happy occasion for them next year.
Preorder Sirup on limited edition cassette and stream it on our bandcamp. We’ll be premiering some new tracks over the next couple weeks, but for now he’s our recent video for “Pyramiden”, the second track from the new album.
Today we’re announcing the first DVD release onCrash Symbols, done in partnership with incredible Florida filmmaker Joshua Rogers, producing through his company Broken Machine Films. We also couldn’t be more honored to say that our first DVD contains a track by track visual accompaniment to Monroeville Music Center’s gorgeous Le Progrès EP, released last year on Brooklyn-based digital imprint Dracula Horse. Above is Rogers’ video for the EP’s opener “En Route (ou Enfin! Le Défilé Capsule de Temps va au Centre de Contrôle)”, setting the track to his bizarre found footage of the triumphant machinations of some aluminum beings, marching through factories as they’re transformed from raw materials into more practical “extruded shapes”. Roger does an incredible job of syncing the music and accidentally or deliberately his new juxtapositions feel like the completion of the original Le Progrès.
Buy the limited edition DVD and stream the original Le Progrès EP here. You can watch a couple promos and look at some pictures of the final product after the jump.
About a year-and-a-half ago I first met Dwight and his then girlfriend Liz while touring with Born Gold (then Gobble Gobble). It was obvious from the first handshake that I had just discovered two of my best friends in the most unlikely of places, West Virginia. It was upon this first meeting while smoking a bowl on the front porch that the idea of Crash Symbols was born. Fast forward to now; we’ve released around twenty tapes, our first vinyl release (both a 12” and a 7”), plus Dwight and Liz got married! The three of us couldn’t be happier with everything we’ve accomplished in so little time. To celebrate we bring to you today the second volume of our inaugural mixtape, Dope Mountain Fuck. With just as much energy and twice the confidence, DMFv2 is a symbol of achievement for us. It features new bangers from Main Attrakionz, Oxykitten, Ghibli, changemod, Gahza, Ricky Eat Acid & more; as well as remixes from Emily Reo & Ryan Hemsworth and a Deniro Farrar cut over a previously unreleased Clams Casino beat. This is potentially our most ambitious mixtape to date and we’re pretty damn proud of it. 2012 belongs to us and ours.
Head over to the Crash Symbols bandcamp to snag all twenty-five glorious tracks from Dope Mountain Fuck Vol. 2!