Exit Music Review SectionMusic Review Navigation Menu
Collected Simple Songs Of My Temporary Past

Collected Simple Songs Of My Temporary Past
(Thrill Jockey/Sonig)

Schlammpeitziger is the other name for German electronic musician Jo Zimmerman. It is also a slight variation of the name of a fish called a Schlampeitzger. This particular fish lives in the mud and can breath through both its mouth and it's booty hole. Interestingly enough, Zimmerman is obsessed with both fish and melody (the reason for adding the extra letters to the band name from the fish name was purely a melodic reason he states), and he also likes the fact that with the advent of technology, he can record all his music at home, so he can eat, sleep, make music, and poop in the same place.

OK, I'll stop right there with the bodily function mentions. Collected Simple Songs Of My Temporary Past is basically just as it says it is. While Zimmerman has been releasing full-lengths overseas for some time now (and working along with several big names in electronic while doing so), he's never released anything in the United States. This disc is 13 tracks and just about an hours worth of music culled from 5 different releases and almost 8 years of time, including releases produced by Jan St. Werner of Mouse On Mars and Marcus Schminckler (otherwise known as Pluramon).

Instead of being sequenced in order of release, the tracks on the disc jump all over the place, but in the end it's not really a big deal. While some of the tracks are definitely more lo-fi and simplistic sounding, the whole album has a poppy, playful feel that pretty much ties everything together anyway. Old school electronic tracks hum along next to ones that sputter along with a touch of contemporary sounds, and the whole disc comes across like sort of a sideways lounge disc with a focus on grooves and German influences that range from Kraftwerk to the new bubbly sounds of Cologne.

In fact, two of the first three tracks on the disc ("Hallimaschbomba im Kreisverkehr" and "Llausefaltenfripp") both come from a 1998 release produced by St. Werner and sound like a tip of the hat to Mouse On Mars. The former lopes along with a midtempo rhythm and plenty of twinkling, chirping electronics trickling while the latter builds gradually over one simple loop and undulates from there. "Spaceagent Zimmerman" is pulled from a release clear back in 1993, and although it gives its age away with a rather minimal arrangement and somewhat dated sounds, the outer-space theme works as sort of a kooky sidenote.

Some of the best work on the disc is the newest material (also produced by St. Werner), including the slightly cut-up sounds of "Quietschquarklaute" and the awesome electro-strut of "Konfliktfickfahig." The included Schminkler produced pieces are a bit more on the moody side, adding a nice bit of range to the disc (that would otherwise seem almost overwhelmingly lighthearted), and overall the album works as a good introduction to the sounds of one Jo Zimmerman. For the most part, it's electronic music that shuffles down the lighter side of things, but as music that was created in "Auf Dem Bett" (On The Bed) studios, it's best suited for lounging about your abode.

Rating: 7