Hubert von Goisern
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COMMENTARY

Miscellaneous: 2006

A counter sound to the alpenglow

Salzburger Nachrichten 2nd January 2006 | Text: Bernhard Flieher | Photo: © Lawine

How does Austria sound? Not just like the New Year's concert, but like Attwenger and Goisern

Hubert von GoisernSalzburg (SN) When there's clapping to the Radetzkymarsch, while dressed in a fine suit at New Year, Austria sounds. And where two tracks in the snow lead down from the steep height and down below, Karli Moik waits for Hansi Hinterseer, Austrian sounds too. But are these sounds sufficient to get on the trail of this country? That would be like a literary country survey of present day Austria doing without Thomas Bernhard, Ernst Jandl or Elfriede Jelinek.

Sound of Europe

However, the electronic sound of Vienna of the 90s is also not enough. It was made too global, too much for dance huts of international tailors than could be considered to be the soundtrack of this country. And Danzer, Ambros, Fendrich are also only enough to experience how Austria is / Austrians are and how bitter many a look into its soul is. Though what is subsumed under the concept of Austro pop never developed a separate language. And Falco? He was a superstar with world music - but he's dead. DJ Ötzi sold CDs like mad - and so doesn't count.

The sediment made fertile

Those looking for an Austrian sound cannot pass the deepest musical roots of the alpine region. Austria is best audibly understood through Attwenger and Hubert von Goisern. They are - rightfully and during their lifetimes - acknowledged. For Attwenger and the Goiserer let the traditional, colloquial and remembrance-worthy exist in their music just the same as the modern, the contemporary, the hip. Both abolish the contradiction between acquired knowledge and experienced (or bequeathed) knowledge. But they have above all been successful in wringing new fertility out of the cultural and political sediment - the good and the bad - of this country.

In attitude and aesthetics, contrasts collide here. The Goiserer is the musician with unbreakable roots in the Salzkammergut and an addiction to harmony. Attwenger land rebelliously from the start between accordion punk of early days and dialect sound loops
Both fulfil all conditions as far as the "Sound of Austria" is concerned. In the force of expression from Attwenger is the certainty that, whoever wants good things for the country may not indulge in boring eternal traditions, but rather must be in movement with the knowledge around these traditions. Attwenger and Goisern take that literally and travel the world from Mexico to Mali, from Pakistan to Uganda. They take their music there and new music from there to here.

Attwenger and Goisern formulate a deep affection to this country in their work. This may seem less striking than that from the ORF sport reporters and tabloid red-white-red savers. No embarrassingly kitsch homeland picture is cemented here. They have no glorification in mind, but rather enlightenment, without being obtrusive.

The affection is no cheap come-on here. It sounds honest. It is fought for against the apathy and denying of the past, against comfort and ignorance. And Attwenger formulate their hope that not everything is futile on their current album Dog, because "die leid san leida ned gaunz dum" ("the people are unfortunately not completely stupid"). Hearing aids: Attwenger: Most (1991) and Dog (2005). Hubert von Goisern: Aufgeigen statt niederschießen (1992) and Fön (2000).