Monday, June 1, 2020
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Excubitors: Operation Observation

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Artist: Excubitors
Title: Operation Observation
Format: CD
Label: Lukotyk Records / LR013
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
Four years ago three brothers from the idyllic province of the German countryside founded Excubitors to watch and spread the truth about the system we live in. The first album Aufstehung aus Ruinen brought the trio a certain degree of exposure and positive response from critics and synth music fans at least in the less commercially- oriented circles. Sascha, Stephan and Thomas combine English and German rather tastefully in their songs. Every language has its melody and thus fits better for this song or another. The usage of German samples is usually a good idea in songs sung in English. That leaves some place for wondering about their meaning, or just be a kind of spice for those who speak no German.
Among other topics the album takes loneliness as a theme; the isolation of an individual in the contemporary society in particular (Alleine, Isolated, Different; the last slightly reminding of Namnambulu’s sound).
Operation Observation deals with political issues as well. Steh Auf and Fehler im System criticizes the norms of our democratic system, not the least the fact that the deputies in the German parliament decide themselves whether to raise their own salaries or not. Such practice is common for many other countries too although it can be only compared with putting a cat in charge of watching the milk. The album discusses the practice of governments to accumulate data about its citizens. We are told that it is for security purposes and safe from falling into the wrong hands however the reality proves that things are not 100% so. Every now and then governments and large corporations star in various scandals of foul storage or sheer misuse of such data.
The title song is dedicated to the probably most important event of the post war Germany; the unification and the outburst of emotions that it caused especially among the eastern Germans who suffered under the inhuman regime in the DDR. Those who wish to live in freedom must be vigilant to make sure the human rights and the civil rights are not violated. Indifference to those rights was one of the factors that made Nazi dictatorship possible.
Im Visier was written about a youngster who ran amok in his former school in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Short time ago Germany was shocked by another massacre at school thus I believe the reactions to the release of this song may be ambivalent. The timing for a release of a song about such a charged topic may not be fortunate now and be a fertile soil for numerous misinterpretations. As you remember M.Manson was made responsible for the Columbine shooting. Alice Cooper was the first to put violence against children and women in the spot light and demonized by the critics who totally misunderstood him.
As a guest artist Anne Goldacker known for her work in Wintry and Obsc(y)re contributed with her talents to Observation as a counterpart to Sascha’s clean male vocals. A remix by a rather renowned combo Lost Area for Isolated closes the album.
I’m sure this album will bring Excubitors broader, well-deserved acknowledgement.