3. In the Cloud
4. Count on Me (feat. Peter Heppner!)
8. Leave your Room behind
9. Light Grey
11. End of Words
12. Dark Grey
13. I’ll find
German Import | We write the year 2015. One retro wave follows the next. Electro-Pop is bigger than ever. All around the world, current productions reference the sound that emerged from pre-reunification Germany. So where are the originals – the bands and artists of that time – today? Many can be found doing the rounds at eighties parties held by local radio stations. Others are investing the royalties from their back catalogues in the cultivation of organic vegetables.
Not so for Camouflage. That’s right – THE Camouflage – the masters of sadness dressed up in electronic songs. The band flitted directly from the small German town of Bietigheim-Bissingen all the way to the United States in 1987 with The Great Commandment. Their music brilliantly combined the icy coolness of Kraftwerk, the pop of OMD and the melancholy gloom of Depeche Mode. Yet the temptation to indulge in nostalgia has always remained very feint with this band. So it’s no surprise that Camouflage now emerge with their eighth album Greyscale – a strikingly current and compelling album, both musically and lyrically.
The music on Greyscale sounds expansive and atmospheric, yet is simultaneously compelling and tight. Once again responsible for the production is Heiko Maile, who has enjoyed success as a film music composer for several years now. Stylistically confident, he contrasts electronic elements, guitars, sonic experimentation and beats with acoustic instruments, such as the string ensemble of the Babelsberg Film Orchestra. Great support for the musicality and sound of the album came from renewed collaboration with two of the band’s most loyal companions: Volker Hinkel (guitar, production) and Jochen Schmalbach (production, mixing), both of whom have been involved with Camouflage over many years, as part of the live band and all other activities.
In “End of Words” there is even a children’s choir, which sounds as if Kubrick himself set it in scene. It’s nothing less than cinematic!
The record sounds modern, yet Camouflage always maintain the connection to their own original sound, for which they became famous. The beats and basses, synth arpeggios and pads all reveal their unmistakable fingerprint, equally as characteristic as the touchingly poignant voice of singer Marcus Meyn.
Another great quality of this music: Camouflage is not just some superficial band that bases its existence on churning out dance stompers and love songs. Their music and lyrics touch on nothing less than the big questions of our time. Hope is also a theme. “Count on Me” is a declaration of unconditional love. Here Marcus Meyn shares the vocals with Peter Heppner of Wolfsheim. Together they sing:
“The truth will set me free, I can always count on you, as you can always count on me.”
You can also count on the band Camouflage. They refuse to stand still. They do not live in the past. With Greyscale they have created a beautiful, powerful piece of music for the here and now – about ourselves and our lives. Thanks for that!