Thursday, December 14, 2006
With White Hats Niobe has recorded her most accessible album since "Tse Tse" and Voodooluba". White Hats projects memories from a vacation of skiing in the Swiss Alps sometime in the 50ies, it bears the easiness, the miracles and mysteries of the nature in the mountains and carries as much romanticism as todays modern world can allow.
Having released her debut "Radioersatz" on Tomlab in 2001 it became time for a longterm breed - a "commissioned" song album with the vision to keep the integrity and the origin of her beautiful melodies without deconstructing or dissimulating them. Niobe has carefully considered all the different aspects of this proposal from Tomlab and has deliberatly composed White Hats together with some long time companions and musical partners, arriving at a prominent position on the terrace at the peak of the mountain with a panorama view.
Niobe has shaped White Hats with a great variety of sound colorings and associations that illustrate her amazing ease of travelling through the last 8 decades of songwriting and chanson highlights. Niobe's songs are starting to breathe through the uniqueness of her voice that transmits all her emotional variety we already had discovered by surprise in her early cut-up work (even through the thickest walls of sound).
The title track White Hats, an alpine sort of Country-Lullaby where Niobe sings from the loneliness in a foggy valley where you can see the white snow on the mountain tops, just before total darkness is covering it all, corresponds perfectly to her real Soul Hit "Give All To Love" and might be the perfect companion for her first single release.
Nobody would have suggested at the beginning of her work as a sound artist that Niobe is going to write songs such as "Cool Alpine", a song that most certainly would transport Phil Spector back into the mood of the Disco-Funk era. Niobe is managing this challenge with ease but she doesn't actually want to flirt with the disco ball and leaves the song after 2 minutes of pure pop-bliss. Instead she is focusing on the big Pop-panorama on White Hats: Ambient-Bossa-Nova ("Surround the Hover") and Hip Hop with a Gospel touch ("Up Hill And Down Dale") are sitting together in the mountain sun on top of the White Hats (which can be seen on the cover artwork)
On White Hats Niobes passionate voice is wandering between many worlds, marching through pittoresque landscapes, and releasing its amazing powers over cristalline guitars. She uses the feelings from the sight of the red and blue skies of a day in the mountains as determinating colors in her music. There is a red disturbing side and a blue soothing side of Niobe's voice and both intertwined they can guide the lost folks out of the sudden darkness in the mountains into the secure refuge. Very different to her previous albums, the new songs are always very optimistic. The experience she gained from the vocal contributions to the house tracks for Mouse on Mars last record "Radical Connector" can be clearly discerned on this record.