Unlike other musicians, the creativity of German eccentric musician, performer and drawer Jo Zimmermann has not been eclipsed by sensational techniques and technological devices. His sonic brainchild Schlammpeitziger is Jo’s main pressure valve that lets loose his brilliant imagination (even titles are gleefully nutty!) and keeps the vibe going as. “What’s Fruit?” is Schlammpeitziger‘s first release outside his Koln-based home labels (Georg Odijk’s A-Musik and Frank Dommert’s Sonig) is truly brilliant. This amazing release, as well as a collection of remixes, appears on Pingipung , from Hamburg. We had a chat with Jo about that!
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Jo. How are you?
Schlammpeitziger: Hi Vito, I´m fine. Thank you. How are you?
Chain D.L.K.: I can’t complain, as it could be worse… Thanks for asking! First of all, can you introduce Schlammpeitziger to our readers?
Schlammpeitziger: Schlammpeitziger has been my Electronic music project since 1993. It is named after the fish Schlammpeitzger, who can breathe through his intestines when the small streams that he calls home fall dry. That impressed me a lot. The members of the team are: Jo Zimmermann/music and Ulrike Göken/videos
Chain D.L.K.: What a nice coincidence… The first time I heard something by Schlammpeitziger was “Mango und Papaja auf Tobago”, a track which was included in a compilation dedicated to Gaudi, with some connection to fruits…some years after that musical encounter, I had the occasion to interview you after listening to an album whose title has some connection to fruit, as well… Do you have a passion for plant-related subjects or a passion for the exotic? 🙂
Schlammpeitziger: Another album related to fruits? Which album would that be? No, I don´t have a special passion to fruits or the exotic.
The new album “What´s Fruit?” has two mushrooms on the cover; which are not fruits. The title is a kind of wordplay. What are you? What´s Fruit?
Chain D.L.K.: With regard to exotic, many reviewers label your music idm, synth-pop, even, or plain experimental, but some of them seem to have forgotten an interesting phase of electronic music which had many followers in the second half of the 90’s which was fittingly defined as “exotica”…well, how do you prefer defining your music?
Chain D.L.K.: Is it true you worked on your album while your studio in Koln was surrounded by construction works? How did that influence your music?
Schlammpeitziger: Yes, three flats in the house were being refurbished back then It was a horrible noise that lasted from 7.30 am till 17.00 pm. Typical gentrification noise. When I started working at 12 am, it was always loud. First, I tried to ignore it. No chance! So I set my music as a sound absorber against the noise and I started making music later in the day. I´m still surprised how positive the album sounds after all this. I’m very lucky that the noise had no bad influence on my music.
Chain D.L.K.: Your music is so playful and cheerful. Listeners might think that you’re always in a good mood…have you ever composed something that seemed sad or melancholic?
Schlammpeitziger: Wow, that´s very interesting! I had an interview with Deutschlandfunk (German radio) and the guy told me that he could also hear a lot of melancholy in the album.
I think it´s a mix of both sides. It’s both cheerful and melancholic. It’s a double bottom; as I am.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the influence of your own mood on your creative process?
Schlammpeitziger: You know.. If it’s not the day, it’s not the day! But sometimes it helps me make music. But if it is the day – it’s the day!
Chain D.L.K.: Could you tell us something about each single track of “What’s Fruit”? What’s the fil rouge that links them all?
Schlammpeitziger: It´s my new family of sounds.
Chain D.L.K.: Soon after your new album came out, a collection of remixes were released…first of all, as you have remixed many tracks by other artists, what’s your general impression about the six remixes that got included in it?
Schlammpeitziger: I love each one of them! It’s such a Kaleidoscope of different approaches. Nothing is the same in it. That’s what a remix-ep should be, in my opinion.
Chain D.L.K.: I really liked all the remixes…some of them (the Mouse On Mars’, Andreas Dorau’s and hey’s ones, by my taste) are really surprising…do you have any favorite?
Schlammpeitziger: Thomas Mahmoud Zahl. This nice rough version of “Schneid ein Stück aus der Zeit”
Chain D.L.K.: Your album was premiered in Berlin on the occasion of the 21st “birthday” of Mouse On Mars, an event that lasted two days…what can you say about the first feedbacks you received there?
Schlammpeitziger: It was the 3rd concert after Hamburg and Cologne and it was great. As I had seen the gigs before, the new show worked very well.
Friends from Berlin told me after the show that they were not sure if it works in Berlin. Because of my performance tools and hats and my special humor.
But i caught their attention. I had to give two extras. Big “thanks” to the great audience in all of those cities!
Chain D.L.K.: Some of the greatest tracks by Schlammpeitziger, such as the lovely “Antless Boogie” or the amazing “Wuup Wolgawahn”, could be mistaken for some stuff by Mouse on Mars, if someone doesn’t really know their origin. What’s the connection with MOM’s music, in your own words?
Chain D.L.K.: Some of your video clips are really funny and cinematic…how do you make them? Does it happen that you imagined the situation you portray in those clips before creating the song?
Schlammpeitziger: No, first there is the music. And then, my girlfriend, Ulrike Göken, and me develop ideas for each video. Or we just put things that we have collected together.
We always carry a small camera with us and film things and situations that could be interesting for us.
Chain D.L.K.: Where did you make the clips of “What’s Fruit?” and “Schneid ein Stuck aus der Zeit”?
Schlammpeitziger: What´s Fruit? was filmed on the Greek Island Samos. Schneid ein Stück aus der Zeit was filmed in Samos and Cologne.
Chain D.L.K.: Any anticipation on a possibly forthcoming tour related to “What’s Fruti”?
Schlammpeitziger: From next spring on, I will do some more concerts here, in Germany.
I don´t have a booking agency, that doesn´t make it easy for me. I have to organize it by myself or I get invited.
So everybody – you just have to invite me. That´s it.
Chain D.L.K.: Any work in progress?
Schlammpeitziger: I´m working on a cover version for Donna Regina and after that, I’ll be doing a remix for Ya Tosiba.
Ok, all the best for you and your readers!
visit Schlammpeitziger online at: schlammpeitziger.com