Imagine Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water as a Latin tinged marimba work out, or David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes as a robotic electro ditty. Sound strange? Well strange is the entry point to the world of Uwe Schmidt (aka AtomTM, Geez ‘N’ Gosh, Lisa Carbon and about 50 other aliases), a man who firmly believes that humour belongs in music. He’s best known for his Senor Coconut guise and his cheeky kitsch Latin covers of Kraftwerk tunes, though he’s achieved well deserved near God like status in electronic music circles thanks to his amazing productions.
A German born electronic producer, he was a member of groundbreaking electro group Flanger with Burnt Friedman, before relocating to Chile in 1997 and releasing a slew of material on multiple labels including his own Rather Interesting imprint. It’s impossible to keep track of his endless stream of releases and aliases, however with this collection we at least have a starting point. There are seventeen tracks across nine aliases here, a multitude of styles and techniques, with most tunes imbued with a certain juvenile humour and a complexity in structure. The humour comes in the arrangement, the vocal content, or even song title. Suck my Groove anyone?
It’s electronic music masquerading as pop music, but it’s much smarter. Everything is perfectly constructed with multiple entry points. Whether it’s humour, stylistic fusions, or the complexity of the ingredients, it’s difficult not to marvel at the precocious talent of this man. There are crazy breakdowns, addictive grooves, silly vocals and odd sound effects. It’s difficult not to imagine Schmidt laughing hysterically to himself in the studio before he unleashes one of these incredible tunes on his unsuspecting audience. Genius has rarely been this enjoyable.
Bob Baker Fish