Hubert von Goisern


S'NIX >> Reviews: 1 2

Hubert von Goisern: S'Nix

Crossover February 2009 | Text: mst

"It's nothing", here in Vogtland, that would probably mean something like "Das war wohl nichts"; however, with such a phrase one would be doing this CD a definite injustice. Hubert Achleitner presents himself here once more as the master of the unpredictable, as founder of alpine rock, as well as the man for quiet sounds, just as much an eloquent poet as a friend of the experimental. In fact one should be surprised at the popularity of the artist, as a variety of styles has been the undoing of many others, ultimately falling between all stools. Fortunately it's different with Hubert von Goisern. His stylistic experiments are for the most part always comprehensible and draw authentically through the many stations of his career. One thinks only of his journeys through West African countries, or of the Linz Europe Tour, all events that also left behind a musical trace. It can easily be called world music. With the well-rocking opener Showtime and the experimental Rotz & Wasser, built upon the radio broadcast by the Austrian cult sport reporter Heribert Meisel on the World Championship Quarter Final in 1954 between Austria and Switzerland, Hubert von Goisern sets off with two unusual songs at the start of this CD. While the rock appealed to me very well as expected, I have some problems with the football hit, but perhaps you just have to be an Austrian. (You don't - the Saxonian editor-in-chief, who thinks the piece is excellent) The following Weltuntergang is then something for the traditional fan (whatever they might look like), with hearty accordion and interludes of both yodelling and folk music. S'Nix has turned out to be a really raw record, with diverse funky influences (even the Red Hot Chili Peppers could gainfully add some passages), opposite which fortunately stand the Goisern-important peaceful songs such as Die Liab, Regen or the pleasing duet with Xavier Naidoo Siagst Es. Ultimately one can once more certify a strong record for Hubert von Goisern, one that makes you eager for further interesting live experiences and sound conserves from the exceptional artist.

Hubert von Goisern: S’Nix

Soundbase Online 1st November 2008 | Text: SB

Tabula Rasa - is my first thought when I held S'nix in my hands. The CD cover seems like a blank slate from which the letters S'NIX emerge in relief.

The Austrian singer-songwriter and world musician Hubert von Goisern describes S'NIX (Nothingness) as "waiting for the moment when thoughts and ideas form songs". The release of the disc took place at the same time as the second part of his Linz Europe Tour, on which Hubert and his eight member band travelled with a flotilla upstream past Passau and Regensburg, along the Main Danube Canal to the Rhine and on to Rotterdam.

HvG chose an interesting approach this time, in that he put the band together first and then the music develop and mature in joint jam sessions in just 4 months. What unites the musicians are the experiences of the Linz Europe Tour Part 1 "Goisern goes East". The musical river journey led the crew downstream on the Danube to the Black Sea and back to Linz. Here the combo had the opportunity to grow together both musically and interpersonally.

During the interview for TRAD II I asked HvG in 2004, whether he would always be looking for such unusual recording conditions as back then in the disused hotel at the top of the Krippenstein. He said that at those dizzy heights he had found the right sound for the tendentiously quieter TRAD II, "... but when you want to make something rocky or funky for example, something that shouldn't just be loud, but powerful too, I'd rather see that we come into the valley, because the sound up there never comes across as dense and w powerfully as at sea level."

Said - done. To produce the characteristically strong sounds for S'nix, an industrial hall was needed as a recording location this time.

The result is 12 dynamic pieces shaped by a spectrum of exotic acoustic colours. Whether rocky, funky or jazzy - the variegation of music and human life is celebrated and dealt with kaleidoscopically. This takes place under the influence of conspicuously prevalently-used electronic synth-alienation and apart from the classic lineup of guitar, bass, drums and vocals, various brass and string instruments too. Unforeseen changes in structure and time allow a carefree to rocky sound mix to develop that in its complexity ultimately forms a harmonious whole.

The rocky Showtime as kick-off storms and pushes forward, giving way to Rotz & Wasser with a surprising cut, followed by a whistle - a homage to Heribert Meisel's passionate football World Cup commentary in 1954 for the quarter final between Austria and Switzerland.

Hubert's specialities - yodelling and the Styrian accordion - embed themselves in the pieces this time in the form of stylish understatement, something that becomes the undertone of the record nicely. He has meanwhile "broken clear of the demand that my regionality must be detectable in the music - and from the demand that I have to satisfy everybody".

Joy in hearing something familiar again, picking up on the artist's past creative phases, comes in, the form of a wonderfully carried country dance, which settles boldly into the pop piece Weltuntergang. The melancholic warm sound of the gadulka in Herschaun and Regen breath wistful influences of Eastern European folk into S'Nix.

It is not only the protagonists of the lyrics in Auseinandertreiben who are drifting apart, the sound of the gospel-like background, as well as the opera singing strive forth - in higher realms. With a repetitive synthesizer sequence towards the end I associate an engaged signal on the telephone - with all the newness and unfamiliarity time and again through the fine, quiet I find nuances I find the familiar space to give free reign to my fantasies. Who the hell is Hermann?...

The nine minute duet with Xavier Naidoo mediates wanderlust, waiting for better times and finally a spirit of optimism. The song framed in a soul-passe-partout seems - as in the end does the whole record - to be a reflection of Hubert's art of living, which is characterised by the unwavering desire to dedicate oneself to something with skin and hair, only to then adamantly finish it and chance a new start - the reset button is pressed. Tabula Rasa. S'NIX...


The good

Musenblätter 8th October 2008 | Text: Frank Becker


Hubert von Goisern (as Hubert Achleitner he joined the Volksschule in Bad Goisern two years after Theo Reisner) is one of the most productive and imaginative rock musicians currently to be found working in the German language (if the Goiserer will allow this wording). If nothing else this has brought him the honorary citizenship of his hometown - in contrast to Jörg Haider and despite the dissenting vote of the Freedom Party. He shares this honour with the medical officer of health, Dr Theodor Reisner, the father of his old school friend Theo. Naturally for the past 20 years the dialect and music of his homeland in the Salzkammergut have been not just an integral part of his concept, but also his great success. S'Nix is the name of the musician's new album, which brings together all the great characteristics: tremendous musicality in composition and performance, sensitivity and power standing close side by side, wit and intelligent lyrics.

The fact that he also delivers a brilliant stage show is known across the land. But it's worth a mention when someone can carry you away with "canned goods" the same way they can live. Then you have to reply to the title of the album: "it's something", or better, "s'good". Hubert von Goisern unleashes a considerable rock spectacle to which Severin Trogbacher on the electric guitar, Helmut Schartlmüller on electric bass and drummer Alex Pohn efficiently give substance. Aside from the effect on one's feet, which can't keep still while you listen, HvG also offers assistance so that one can read along with the beautifully designed booklet: all the lyrics are printed inside.

HvG is a world citizen, something that has already manifested itself in earlier albums, to name just Ausland, the DVD Warten auf Timbuktu and his Derweil, which gathered together the big successes of 1988-2006. And he is a talented jester - the number Rotz & Wasser with the World Cup commentary by Heribert Meisel from 26/6/1954 will go down in the annals of sporting history, just like the "Heated battle from Lausanne". S'Nix has long had its place among the favourites of rock music. It will probably be called Hubert von Goisern's White Album.

The brutally hard opener Showtime with its great wit and Herschaun with elements of the neighbouring Balkans have lots to offer. HvG can even make Armageddon (Weltuntergang) fun with a hearty yodel. The poetry of his clever lyrics, as for example in Die Liab or Auseinandertreiben suit dialect and folksy music as well as they do uncompromising rock. The quiet finale Hermann, which HvG celebrate instrumentally on the flugelhorn and with tender choir vocals, is balsam for the ear and soul after all the groovy RnB and tough electric rock.


Folker! 4/2008 | Text: Suzanne Cords

When you've been sailing for months on the Danube through the "Wild East", then afterwards you don't just go into the studio and produce a normal album. For the first time Hubert von Goisern didn't take any finished pieces in with him, instead the songs had their first labour pains in long sessions, as the band were accustomed to from the ship. And what a band they are: young, dynamic and curious for new terrain. The Bulgarian gadulka player Darinka Tsekova was hired on the spot by von Goisern on the Danube tour, the rest of the musicians come from the alpine region and along the way have eagerly sniffed their way into foreign cultures. And yet a homage to the expedition by ship can only be heard on Herschaun, where the sound links into Balkan traditions. "It was still too soon to process all the impressions", says von Goisern. "Nonetheless the album has something epic about it. Anyone who travels with such a large ship for so long on such a wide river no longer makes small gestures." Perhaps that is why the album begins so wildly and impatiently with the rock number Showtime. But also to be found on S'Nix are enigmatic lyrics like Regen and soft sounds of Die Liab, alpine heritage with the classic yodel of Sieger and a collage of the legendary radio report on the World Cup game between Austria and Switzerland Rotz & Wasser. Proving that nothing is indeed something that you can't touch, but that you can feel and sense. And if nothingness comes across as intensively as with Hubert von Goisern, then always keep it coming.

Legendary football match

Nürnberger Zeitung 25th June 2008 | Clemens Helldörfer

Next week (Tuesday and Wednesday) Hubert von Goisern will be making a guest appearance on a "floating stage" in Nuremberg Harbour, with musical support from Konstantin Wecker.

In anticipation of this let us tell you a little about the "new" Hubert von Goisern, who appears in a notably more rock-oriented style than before on his new CD S'Nix.

"Hey it can get louder than this" he demands right at the start in the rock 'n' roll piece Showtime, which announces a total U-turn in comparison to the meditative homeland-oriented Trad albums.

Afterwards he - currently extremely fittingly - takes on the subject of "football" and incorporates a live report of the game between Austria and Switzerland. This famous confrontation known as the "Heated battle of Lausanne" with the equally legendary commentary from Heribert Meisel took place during the World Cup in 1954 and with twelve goals is still today the highest-scoring game in a World Cup final, ending 7:5 to Austria.

If this beginning has every kind of style, then it only gets more variegated through the course of the CD: Xavier Naidoo makes an appearance as a guest singer in the blues-soul ballad Siagst es, elsewhere things sounds African and then like Eastern European folk.

Even if when you first listen you have the impression that the "typical Hubert von Goisern" has almost no place here between all these style meanders, niches and corners emerge during the second or third listening, where his familiar yodelling sounds, or musical quotations of earlier productions are woven in. And then it all fits so beautifully together that you can barely imagine any other "Goiserer" - at least until the next CD.

Hubert von Goisern: S'NIX

Laut June 2008 | Text: Eberhard Dobler

A TV documentary from 2003 traces how Hubert Von Goisern travelled through a number of West African countries, giving official concerts with native artists and in remote villages looking to see if the black understanding of rhythm could cross with alpine yodels on the impulse of the moment: a piece of musical television well worth watching [Grenzenlos].

His new record shows the customary high quality of lyrics, but has less to do with world music experiments of these sorts than before. Of course the man known as the father of alpine rock stays true to his crossover out of reasons of dialect. But with his new and young band he clearly opens up towards popular genres: the foot-tapping factor is written large this year.

Tough grooving rock numbers (Showtime and Leben) - a drummer in Hubert's studio has seldom realised so much of his potential - stand beside electronic-oriented tracks. Rotz & Wasser for example orchestrates excerpts from a radio broadcast by Austrian cult sport reporter Heribert Meisel on the World Cup quarter final between Austria and Switzerland in 1954.

Then come syncopated and cool grooving offbeat soundscapes (Auseinandertreiben), a dance hall stage with rock guitar, accordion and eastern folk (Herschaun) or simply honest to goodness pop (Weltuntergang). The alpine references do indeed shine through again and again, but are proportionally relatively scarce.

Instead here and there Hubert and band sound rather more like De-Phazz (Hermann), and the verses of Haut & Haar could be used by the Peppers' rhythm section.

S'Nix recorded in an unfamiliarly raw way - despite relaxed tracks like Regen or the ballad co-op with Xavier Naidoo (Siagst As). The record accounts for a broad spectrum, but remains a completely rounded piece of work - further proof of Goisern's expertise.

But that doesn't come across technocratically, but rather with warmth and lifeblood. And there are time when alpine rocker boss instruments tracks like Die Liab more freshly and experimentally than many of his musical foster children.

Hubert von Goisern - "S'Nix"

Kulturküche 24th June 2008

Hubert von GoisernConstantly developing, combining different styles together has long been Hubert von Goisern's declared motto. His new album S'Nix (Sony BMG) with 12 tracks follows this principle too. The CD is a halftime result of the Linz Europe Tour 2007-2009 which started in July last year and with which the Austrian wishes to break down the fears of contact of further EU expansion - looking for what unites us and making it visible and audible. Thus last summer Goisern boarded a ship in Linz and headed East. Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and the Ukraine were on his route. Just which positive impressions this journey had upon Goisern can be surmised from the wonderfully atmospheric CD S'nix. For example with the song Herschaun - "Ich will nimma singn, ich will schreien, dann kommen alle bei mir vorbei ..." ("I don't want to sing, I want to shout, then everyone will come and look at me") - a feisty song with Hungo-Bulgarian influences. The album is rocky, with many changes in mood and style, with jazz, reggae and even electronic elements. In Rotz & Wasser football commentary from Heribert Meisel on the 1954 Austria-Switzerland game is recorded. And in the calm jazz ballad Siagst as von Goisern takes on Xavier Naidoo in duet.


Rock & alpine world music, or: the Austrian 'White Album'

Schallplattenmann 9th June 2008

Hubert von Goisern - "S'Nix"

Often admired and often once more lost sight of, I must admit that Hubert von Goisern's new album has made my jaw drop. The fact that the Upper Austrian has the ability to escalate once more with his rebellious button accordion wasn't even in the smallprint on my docket. S'Nix, the Austrian 'White Album', carries on where the convincing starting work of Fön (2000) was already wanting to go with the significant accordion.

Outside his home country Hubert von Goisern has always had images problems (folk music) and problems with being understood (lyrics in dialect). Mind you, that was no challenge for the versatile man. With enviable calmness, subtlety and power of conviction, he enriches his sound, which for a long time now has no longer solely drawn on rock and alpine folk music, with reggae, soul, rap, world music and jazz. On the new album are romantic pop melodies, bodacious guitars, forceful percussive elements and an emotional singer, who is quite clearly happy with his life, but not with the world.

With the exception of Weltuntergang and the yodel in Sieger there is surprisingly little from the alpine region. The opener Showtime has a socio-political position and emphasises this fierce big band gloss and solid rock. Regen (Rain) falls here as a hand-shaken philosophy of life, and touches, now melancholy, violin and piano. In contrast in Auseinandertreiben it is not just the synthesizer that branches off towards southern gospel. Spirited folk rock both with and without Puszta influences comes from the sharp-tongued Herschaun and the passionate declarations of love Die Liab (drifting), Haut & Haar (breathless) and Leben (all inclusive).

You have to ask whether Rotz & Wasser is on the CD because of the European Championship now taking place. This collage with report Heribert Meisel and his legendary radio coverage of the football match between Austria and Switzerland is always funny and even those allergic to Naidoo will be reaching for the tissues when much later comes the heart-rending soul duo of Hubert & Xavier in Siagst as (including a wistful trumpet). Finally at the end the instrumental track Hermann lets us simply wordlessly float away. Goodbye.

Hubert von Goisern (actually Hubert Achleitner) has a new, young band and with S'Nix he presents not just his most interesting album for a long time, but the most important album of his career. HvG can also be seen live in Germany on his Linz Europe Tour in July and August.

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Folk experiments

Morgenweb 12th June 2008

Hubert von Goisern between styles

Those who became accustomed to Hubert von Goisern's rocky folk songs since Trad (2001) need to have a rethink: on S'Nix the 55-year-old Upper Austrian has once more excitingly placed himself between all musical styles. The extreme: the crazily fast opener laments over a roaring Lenny Kravitz guitar that there's "no German word for Showtime". A kind of sound installation follows that - very fittingly for the Euro 2008 - lays an unbelievably melodic, militant and emotional ORF commentary on the World Cup 1954 by the legendary predecessor of Edi Finger, Heribert Meisel, over a mixture of ambient rhythms and folk music elements. With the fitting title Rotz und Wasser (Snot and Water) Goisern makes the rollercoaster of emotion that football can be tangible for lay people too. Towards the end it becomes spherical and philosophical, most interestingly in the gently jazzy Siagst as, in which Xavier Naidoo absolves one of the strongest of his currently prevalent guest appearances. Every one of the stylistic excursions that Goisern's "traditional" fans expect of him makes sense, even though they don't exactly mean easy listening. As such, S'Nix is anything but nothing.

Hubert von Goisern's continual musical development bears new fruits

Kulturwoche 11th June 2008 | Text: Manfred Korak

The Austrian cosmopolitan produces the best album of his career thus far with S'Nix

The album begins with the hard rock of Showtime, which Achleitner presented live for the first time at the Amadeus Awards 2008 and which contains the basic statement "... please give me more of this music / it can get much louder than this". An irritation on a high, very high level, whipped up with a guitar firecracker and including the conveyance of faith that rock & roll is simply folk or world music. This elemental basic understanding drives through the whole album and there, where alpine tokens make themselves at home, irony is not far away either. "One can't sing / And the other can't talk" it says in Weltuntergang for example, a song in which he places a self-satirising quotation of Koa Hiatamadl. And another quotation again because it fits so beautifully. In one of the strongest songs of the album, in Herschaun, the subject is this looking, ignoring, watching, looking away and the modest line "I don't ever want to sing, I want to shout / Because then everyone comes and looks at me".

The most unusual thing about S'Nix is the unpredictability, on the one hand the drifting apart and on the other the integration of diverse genres, as well as the courage of not remaining with what is familiar, but once more going new ways. His football song Rotz & Wasser is unusual and witty (with many others it would probably have just been embarrassing). Here Hubert von Goisern steps back as a singer and lets the voice of radio reporter Heribert Meisel, who died in 1966, be heard as a sample. You hear the funny mix of the legendary international football match between Austria and Switzerland in 1954, that went down in football history as the "heated battle from Lausanne" (end result 7:5 to Austria). It is unbelievable, how Hubert von Goisern has managed to make the spoken report sing. In addition comes HvG's general musical mobility on S'Nix, confirming him as one of the greats of the music scene. Reggae, soul, rap, alpine and other world music and jazz, and, as previously described, most of all rock. Loud, hard, quick and thick and fast. Concise and effortlessly energetic. It is a laid-back album, that emanates self-satisfaction and self-confidence and is an album that handles great subjects just as adeptly and skilfully as playful sound painting. Tremendous.

Hubert von Goisern - S'Nix

NMZ 2008/06

From rock to true folk music. Presented for many years by Hubert von Goisern. The new record is called S'Nix. Naturally it's completely different from what you expect. One is prohibited from talking about style changes with von Goisern. Because he has never really had a style. It was always just the music that he offered and that was gratefully accepted. Whether they were sounds of world music, the blues, songs of the homeland or folk music, or, as this time, rockier sounds. You accept it from him. Because he is honest. Because feelings find musical expression and music from him brings forth surges of emotion. A wonderful record that can be listened to without reservation. To give it quite ordinary praise: superb!

Hubert von Goisern - S'Nix May 2008 | Text: Ingeborg Schober

When the rather reserved Austrian Hubert von Goisern calls an album S'Nix (Nothing), it's just understatement. A play on words, because when you let yourself into his cosmos of words, you discover something great, cumbersome, strange things neatly encapsulated. The best example of this is Herschaun with the lines "I don't want to sing, I want to shout, then everyone comes to see me ...", a masterful, spirited, yodelling folk rock, into which flow the Hungo-Bulgarian influences of his first Danube-Linz trip on a converted stage ship, a trip on which he also met Darinka Tsekova, who plays the gadulka.

On this unbelievably powerful and simultaneously deeply romantic album Hubert von Goisern demonstrates vocals with emotional prowess like never before and less alpine in his music, though he never betrays his roots. Which goes for Weltuntergang in particular, ironically quoting Hüttenmadl. The 11 songs plus the instrumental Hermann spread so far and with such variety, with many changes in mood and style, without the hecticness and musing that such a long journey by ship must bring with it. The new young band rocks on happily, many passages are characterised by jazz, by reggae - and electronics takes the lead in the meantime too. The opener Showtime with ferocious big band rock 'n' roll and organ makes a party mood and Leben and the passionate love song Haut & Haar have turned out similarly powerfully.

Auseinandertreiben is very different, evocations of music from the southern states, interwoven with synthesizer, the parade piece Sieger, about victory and loss, an anthem that gives you the chills. Similarly intense is the almost casually invented philosophy of life Regen, a half-acoustic ballad with violin and jazzy electric piano pieces. Two songs are completely out of the ordinary and yet fit well into the whole concept. Rotz & Wasser, the "current" collage of an old football report on a European Championship game between Austria and Switzerland from the year 1954 and a instrumental background with two-liners. And the wonderful, soul jazz ballad Siagst as in duet with Xavier Naidoo against a melancholy trumpet, where edgy meets cosy - right in your heart. Soft and irrepressibly wild, S'Nix is more than enough.