The band has been around for 30 years now. And I've gotten into the habit of synchronizing the phases of my life with the respective current Kreidler album. It’s a game I've come up with – my checkup: I listen. And this listening does something to me. And there I have to name this something, I have to mark it, find words. Then I treat the record like a symphony. And I envy Thomas Klein, Alex Paulick and Andreas Reihse, because they can tell stories with music even without stories – unlike in my profession of filmmaking, where it's always about stories for the story. So here I write my libretto for an album that probably wanted to tell something else. Because what Kreidler had in mind, I don't know. Kreidler don't know it either. There's nothing to guess, it's about giving another life to something inside you and this other will be a completely different child. And that is the most beautiful sign that something is interesting and exciting. I don't know anything about the source of this music, but I can check how my perception is to the perceptions of the band that translated it into the medium of music.
The entrée is a warm-up. Not like on Tank, for example, where the first piece is directly set high and then an unfolding develops, but here POLARIS, which gently invites me to step into this world, with sounds that are familiar to me, like when I enter my apartment with my eyes closed and know, here is where I take off my shoes.
And then there is a detour that surprises me. Already in the first piece, as soon as the trombone becomes more present: the visitors, in a rapid succession, Maxim Bosch, Timuçin Dündar, Khan Of Finland, Natalie Beridze. Collaborations. And that means, of course, the band gives space, and I have to look for them a bit.
Timuçin Dündar plays saxophone in TANGER TELEX, a piece that puts me right into Naked Lunch by David Cronenberg. We end in Istanbul, down some stairs, in a mysterious jazz bar, but we start in Morocco, in narrow alleys through which we have to roam, to cover a certain distance. A persistent forward motion in music. Time as the effort to move through time, as the philosopher Merab Mamardashvili names it in his lecture on Proust, emphasizing the word effort. Because it is an effort. And so is Kreidler. This rhythm that moves out of necessity, because there is no other way. Of course, we could also not move. The decision is ours; and we know the moments when there's clearly just no argument left on the table: when life is a compulsory event, when you've grown cold and can't do it anymore, and now AI is coming, too, and I just can't keep up. I am lost.
"I am lost" sings Khan Of Finland in LOISAIDA SISTERS. Over a half-time disco beat. Literally screams it. Desperate. He describes a sexual urge – and to me this is an issue that desperately needs to be discussed and especially among gay people: Why do we need to have so much sex? We don't need that much sex. But I could also read "I am lost" as describing a general state of feeling. A hopelessness.
And so, on the second or third listen, suddenly the little piece before it, DIVER became my favorite. I needed something – even if I take Fette Sans's cover in hand, this grey-toned photo and the blurred, almost vanishing Kreidler lettering, as if dissolved, like a shadow – which quite plainly gives me hope. And all the strikingly banal words are spot on with DIVER. Beauty, hope, positivity. But not in the way of stirring another spoonful of sugar into your tea, and another, and another, but in the sense of the theoretical possibility of the impossible. I need that, too. To feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.
ARITHMÉTIQUE has something calming for me. That seems strange, since musically it performs a frantic movement, but it suggests to me that there is the possibility of ordering something. An insistence on something. Of course, the beauty of numbers, symmetries. And science of the concrete and functional. A stability that we will soon no longer have. AI is great because it forces us to become philosophers, and there is nothing left that does not need to be questioned, says Slavoj Žižek. But I want to hold on to the construct that ARITHMÉTIQUE is referring to. Otherwise, only "I am lost, I am lost" would remain.
Right after that comes HANDS, a calm lyrical piece with the voice of Natalie Beridze and a calm lyrical enumeration of hands. Another disruption, but then I found the connection in the narrative of the whole, as an image of our time, where the interruptions are something unexpected and unpredictable, even if they are quiet.
And then the grand finale, HOPSCOTCH, MOUNT MASON, KANDILI. And that is my Kreidler, what I would like to call pure-Kreidler, that driving rhythm, within which all the instruments move along, and in which there is nevertheless a melody that contains something comforting. And that's where I like to lose myself, where I get my head empty and can start thinking anew. When Kreidler plays live, they drag these pieces into infinity. And suggest to me to sit in some means of transport – and not from A to B, because A or B do not exist there. But it's also what I at the same time compare, if this doesn't sound too lofty, with life. We don't know where it’s going, and above all, it can end at any second. And then that’s it – that was life. Or something.
Twists (a visitor arrives) is a beautiful album, even where it speaks of fears and attacks. It defuses them, so restlessness and uncertainty are felt more subliminally. Life as a compulsory event, it goes on, and sometimes it is too much that happens in inserts and counter shots. A coolness and a sadness that Khan describes with "I am lost". Whether that has to do with me or with our age or with our time. Or whether that is sad now for Kreidler? I don't think that question is asked in the album. Kreidler do not judge, they describe, even Khan's lyric – "a dumpster in a wig and a dress" – it's not about self-destruction, but about the documentary factual description of a process. And "I am lost" is the documentary factual description of a condition. And that's what I really like about the piece. We don't find out if it's good or bad. That's why we talk about it, because we want to know. Because it is a necessity.
Twists (a visitor arrives) exhibits the body. From the music, from the rhythms, but of course also the cover artwork, the piece about hands, or the sexually charged street hustler piece. Except that we're going to leave our bodies. And that's what we want. And every day I wake up thinking that is sad. We are the last carbon-based people, the ones ahead of us will be silicon-based. And we should be treated gently, because we're going to be stuffed and displayed in showcases. If we break, then you're going to have a bad exhibition. And I don't mean that it would be so awful or that I'm afraid of that or that I deny that, but I do think it's sad.
A visitor arrives, whoever it is. It could be the human being as it will be then, a disembodied something. Or the AI that helps us to leave the body. KANDILI is a piece in two acts. I had the feeling it had already been told to the end, but then you breathe in again, and it continues, and accelerates, it shoots out. A few small voices are heard, and appear again at the very end, when the rocket has long since taken off. It holds comfort, in the boundless numbing sublimity. It goes on. Of course it goes on. But I don’t want to be sitting in that rocket – and look on longingly as it fades into the distance.
+ Zaza Rusadze is a renowned director and filmmaker who also works in theater. In 2020, together with Andreas Reihse, he won the MUVI Award for Best German Music Videoat the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen for directing the video Kreidler – Eurydike +