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Minami Deutsch // Behind The Green Door Events, Import Export in Munich, 25th April 2018.

(pmck) ‚Green door, what’s that secret you’re keeping? (…) All I wanna do is join the happy crowd behind the green door‘

(Link to legendary song ‚Green Door‘ performed by Jim Lowe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgyJnsAUO90)

Behind The Green Door is a full length pornography film from the USA. Released in 1972, it is a classic motion picture which belongs to the Golden Age of Porn, when explicit sex films were positively recognized by the international mainstream scene. Behind The Green Door is also the name of an incredible event series in Munich under the management of Veit Oberrauch. Great underground bands, art installations and Psychedelic Porn Funk after show parties are its trademarks.

I interviewed Veit on the very first event of the series back in February 2017, which also happened at Import Export, in the heart of the Kreativquartier in Munich: ‚The idea is to create an interesting environment for all senses, not only a rock concert. Composition and content design in form of an art installation with photography and videos is the way we chose to create this environment. Alvissia was the artist in charge today and we couldn’t be happier with the result. The seventies were an age of sexual, musical and spiritual revolution and we would like to revive this essence on our events. For the after show party we chose sexy seventies funk music. I think after two or three rock bands, people would rather unwind and listen to something they can easily dance to.‘

Almost a year after the first Behind The Green Door event, the series has considerably developed and happens several times a month with bands from all over the world. On the last Wednesday of April it was time for Minami Deutsch to rock the Behind The Green Door stage for the second time. Supported by Electric Octopus, a stunning psych rock formation from the UK, Minami Deutsch presented their newest album, which was released in April, live with Go Kurosawa of Kikagaku Moyo on the drums. I interviewed Kyotaro Miula about the project.

The new Krautrock comes from overseas

Minami Deutsch randomly means South Germany and is a three man formation from Tokyo, with Kyotaro Miula on the guitar, Taku Idemoto on the second guitar and Keita Ise on the bass. Kyotaro remembers the story of the band’s formation: ‚I wanted to start a Krautrock band. So I went to the Krautrock Night, which Go organizes at the Tokyo Psych Fest. The Krautrock Nights work like this: Go picks different members of different bands and puts them into a new formation. The musicians only get to know each other when they start playing together, live. They jam Neu, Guru Guru and Can songs which are easy to play together, and sometimes get so involved, they don’t know when to stop. That’s how I got to know the rest of Minami Deutsch and that’s how we started playing together. But we didn’t start the band right away, I was playing in another band at the time: Old Man Bondage Machine.‘

Kyotaro comes from a very diverse musical background. Before playing guitar in Minami Deutsch, he took part in several punk projects. ‚It started with seventies Punk, but then I listened to all kinds of alternative Rock, including Kraut, but also New Wave and Free Jazz. After years of experiencing different music and listening to Krautrock again I realized I could make something new out of it – our own Krautrock subgenre, which has Krautrock as a backbone but also connects all kinds of other music influences I’ve had, even Techno.‘

While Minami Deutsch’s self titled debut was all built around Motorik beat – and with every song being innovative on it’s own nevertheless – their second album ‚With Dim Light‘ from April 2018 reflects the music Kyotaro wanted to achieve when he first started the band: Minami Deutsch’s own Krautrock subgenre, with less Motorik and more Psychedelic Rock influences. The album’s myterious name is not random this time: ‚The idea behind the name ‚With Dim Light‘ was to represent Krautrock as a scene. Krautrock is not a major genre. It’s no big fire, but a small light in the music world. So I was literally imagining this small light on the corner of a room filled with all kinds of music. And we are playing this dim light. It represents the underground mindset and lifestyle of Krautrock today.‘

When asked about the differences between the Krautrock and Underground scene in general in Japan vs. in Germany, Kyotaro, who has lived in Berlin since summer ’17, stated that ‚there is no Krautrock scene in Japan. And since I live in Berlin I noticed there is no Krautrock scene there either. An underground scene exists in Japan, but is only bigger for Indie Pop. The rest of it is not as connected through the country as we experience it to be in Germany. I mean, there are smaller bands from Japan touring in Germany and Europe, but you don’t see any smaller bands from Europe touring in Japan…‘

Minami Deutsch are on their third European tour until mid May. On their first one, they already had the enormous opportunity of playing a set on the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, which got really good critics. Kyotaro recalls: ‚It was the first time we played on such a big stage and it was ten days after the tour started…. so we were still getting used to the whole thing and were starting to get really comfortable in the spotlight. But we were super ready to play at the festival when the day came up. It was awesome and really fun, and we played a really good set!‘ Also Minami Deutsch had a legendary improvisation jam with Damo Suzuki of Can on the last edition of the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg.

‚With Dim Light‘ is my to-go album at the moment. The soft beginning, crazy peak with ‚I’ve Seen an U.F.O.‘ – seriously, listen to it with good headphones and really loud and you’ll think the LSD hit hard – and also the re-release of their first single and one of my favorite Minami Deutsch’s song ‚Tunnel‘ in the album put their new opus in my Favorites list.

Thank you for the interview and a lot of success for Kyotaro and Minami Deutsch. 元気で ! (Pearl McKurdy)

 

Filed under: Articles in English, Interviews, ,

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