:Music Review: Sacha Korn – Wie Lange Noch; “Funkenflug” (Single)
Review by Dan Aleksander
I’ve been a huge fan of aggrotech pioneers Funker Vogt ever since high school, going on 15+ years now, and was devastated to hear that Jens left the group shortly after 2013’s Companion In Crime was released. Although the sound and fury of the group was always equally as much Jens Kastel’s as it is Gerrit Thomas, I felt that Jens was the voice of the group. And Jens moved on and is doing some awesome stuff right now with The Firm Incorporated, while Funker Vogt decided they’d continue on without him.
So, in the dead of a very, very cold winter of 2014, I was happy to get my hands on the new Funker Vogt track, “Sick Man.” Funker Vogt had brought in a new lead singer, put a hijacker’s ski mask on him, and called him “Sick Man.” The mystery didn’t enthrall me as much, I was just happy someone was there to attempt to keep a great band going. The track was, indeed, sick, and all’s good in the world when there are new Funker Vogt rhythms in my brain.
That was short lived. “Sick Man’s” identity was revealed by the internet to be that of German musician and former Terence Trent D’Arby consultant, Sacha Korn. What’s the big deal? Well, according to some, Sacha Korn is a National Socialist and a racist whose track, “Mein Land” was featured on a National Socialist compilation. Furthermore, Korn was investigated for his activities by the “German Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons.” Funker Vogt—threatened with boycotts and losing relationships with groups like Out Of Line—promptly kicked Korn out of the group, which was even applauded publicly on Facebook by Steve Naghavi.
Korn was acquitted by the aforementioned government tribunal and it was later found that the appearance on the compilation was a snafu of record labels and unknown to him, something that happens all the time.
I’m not making this stuff up. For all the talk here in America about how Europe is more “advanced” and “open-minded” as a culture (I even catch myself saying and feeling these things because, frankly, the people there at least have these traits when it comes to music), it seems as though Korn spoke his mind on a track and was a victim of Orwellian thought police, co-signed by the misguided “Social Justice” mafia. You know, the group that started out with some very progressive, great ideas: There’s absolutely NO reason why any U.S. state should fly a Confederate flag in 2015, there’s absolutely NO reason why a person who took an oath of office should refuse to sign same-sex marriage certificates. A great grip of this group, however, became the group that bullies anyone who uses “he” and “she” as pronouns and says that a woman complaining about sexual harassment on the street is racist because the sexual harassment happened to come from people of color. It sounds like America and Europe are equally waged in a cultural, ideological war that has gone beyond the point of nonsense where everything from music to sports is nit-picked and over-analyzed. We overuse accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia and it begins to sadly blur what is and isn’t those things.
History repeats itself. The same stuff happened (happens) to Boyd Rice and Death In June for simply being (overly) fascinated with fascist imagery. The mainstream is never, ever going to understand this stuff and sadly, the internet makes everyone mainstream whether they like it or not. Korn compares his trials and tribulations to Rammstein, which is slightly off-base as Rammstein was a group who is consistently and erroneously tied-in with kids that shoot up schools. On Wie Lange Noch, Korn speaks his mind in his tracks and is worried about the future of his homeland. If you watch the news lately, there’s a lot of concern about lightning-quick changes to a mostly homogeneous society. It’s not “Build A Damn Wall For Them Mexicans” “American Sniper” rock nor is it “The Triumph Of The Will”—but if you’re expecting apologies and guilt, they are not there, either. Whether Korn’s worldview is right or wrong is not what art is about. Art can be a love song and art can be sticking a crucifix in a jar of urine. Unless blind hatred or misinformation is blatantly communicated, can we tell someone their art is wrong?
We, as people, often talk out of our backsides without ever really experiencing or understanding what others go through. You have rich college kids in the suburbs telling people in transitional city neighborhoods how they should handle things like increasing crime, decreasing safety, and heroin zombies trudging up and down the streets. These pundits never once experience the side effects of living in a neighborhood going to crap, but they’ll post selfies while they build a dog park and call it community organization. You have silver spoon politicians wearing hard hats and carrying shovels at some new eponymous wing at the hospital while they’re dressed to the nines in famous designers against the backdrop of the logos of greedy corporations, thinking that a photo op with a pile of dirt is “being a regular person.”
The fact of the matter is, a lot of people today don’t want to listen to what others have to say, if it’s not part of the main agenda or main narrative of a political theory, it’s to be dismissed and attacked. If an opinion can’t fit into “liberal” or “conservative,” one can be cast away as a gadfly or—like they do it in 2015—the Twitter mob strings people up and ruins someone’s whole life. This isn’t a Hulk Hogan racist tirade that’s happening here. Korn’s tracks concern national and self-identity, violence, and “longing” for a fair conversation about those topics. It’s begging to be political and lashing out at the system and the thought process at the same time. That’s hard to accomplish.
Someday, in the not-so distant future what one says, sings, and tweets will also be dissected and investigated by a “federal department” for “media harmful to young persons.” That department being controlled by whichever ass-backwards ideology the sheep in our country decide to go with at the time. It’s a damn shame that, while I’m listening to this album, I’m reading Korn’s press release where he gives a few sentences about the content of the album and a diatribe about how the 2015 worldwide release of 2011’s Wie Lange Noch is not National Socialist promotional fodder. And I end up having to explain who the guy is, his possible transgressions, and very little about the music. Maybe Korn is a genius?
While the album is mostly stuff that’s four years old, it still holds up. It’s not super-industrial friendly—it’s got kind of an evolution to it because you can tell from the best tracks on the album, Korn was more than ready to forge his new partnership with a group looking for a new direction like Funker Vogt. “Treibjagd” (featuring Funker Vogt themselves), “Funkenflug,” “Zimmer 100,” and “Freiheit” will get you going. Get your Google Translate ready. The songs’ themes can be slightly redundant but there is a politically incorrect, rustic anger to the whole thing. A trope of industrial music that along with being anti-war, anti-corporatism, anti-political correctness, and anti-mainstream groupthink, was somehow disconnected from the whole damn art form by the time the late 2000’s got here.
There’s heavy guitar, melancholy rhythms, booming beats, and rousing energy all over this stuff. Not trite, a bit contrived, not a masterpiece: a time capsule within the pivotal hornet’s nest. Imagine if the Funker Vogt collaboration was left unharmed. “Expect lyrics that put the finger right into the wounds of political correctness,” Korn’s press release says. And the older some of us get, the more taboo that is and the more secretive we have to be about it because what is and isn’t correct changes by the minute and by the hour.
Love one another and live and let live,
- Komm mit mir
- Unsere Kraft
- Wie lange noch?
- Ewige Ruhe
- Zimmer 100
- Treibjagd (Funker Vogt Remix)
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