Kentucky krautrock trio Verstärker's long-awaited second album 'Jenseits' is out today and the band are also dropping a new video for 'Hinter Dem Spiegel' alongside! Pick up the album on 180g coloured vinyl here
Honed on the sounds of krautrock, post-punk, no wave, and drone, ‘Jenseits’ is the band’s response to the modern dystopian world we now inhabit. Across five tracks spanning 45 minutes, they take on a heavier and even darker tone than what came before on their 2015 'Aktivitat' album.
“Jenseits as a preposition means ‘beyond’ or ‘on the other side of’, and, as a noun, it means ‘the hereafter” or ‘the next world.’ This dual meaning is the concept that permeates the record. The motorik beat has always been about pushing towards the horizon, the sense of perpetual forward momentum. But eventually, you reach the breaking point and push through to the other side — going beyond the horizon. This is where we were trying to go sonically with this record — beyond.”
Hailing from rural Kentucky, the trio of sonic cosmonauts J. Gibson (bass/synth/recording), J. Norfleet (drums/sequences), and J. Vitatoe (guitar/effects/visuals) formed Verstärker in 2012 as a way of exploring their mutual love of music. Not long after their debut album ‘Aktivität’ was released on vinyl in 2018 — both pressings quickly selling out following the album’s initial digital and cassette self-release in 2015 and their fast-growing following in the psychedelic scene — they soon set to work on writing it’s follow-up. However, like everyone, the Covid lockdown put a halt on their plans and the band fell into a pandemic-induced hiatus.
As something resembling normality crept back and the band were able to regroup, work began again – album-opener ’Anknuft’ being the first song written after the hiatus. “We spent most of 2020 apart, each of our lives changing along with society around us”, J. Vitatoe recalls: “Slowly, we came back together in our practice space and began writing and recording what would become ‘Jenseits’. Influenced by the recent experience, the new material took on a heavier and even darker tone than the previous record. Curated down to 5 tracks in 45 minutes, ‘Jenseits’ is our response to the post-pandemic world we now find ourselves in. Everywhere, everything feels on the verge of collapse. We find our hope in the music and art. This is the future we are striving for.”