Get Educated: Attwenger

The Who: Attwenger

The What: Austro-electro-polka-dance craziness

The Where: Porgy and Bess

The When: 27.02.2012

Attwenger, ever heard of them? Probably not, and that is not surprising either. Not many people outside of Austria have. Perhaps a little background info is therefore neccesary before stage-diving into the details of their recent appearance and the reasons why they even merit discussion.

The two-man band have been around the block, since 1990/91 to be exact and are pretty much an institution in the Austrian indie scene.  They are considered one of the most innovative bands to come out of the country in the last few decades and awarded the Amadeus music award in 2004 (the equivalent to the Mercury music award).

Drummer Markus Binder and accordianist Hans-Peter Falkner’s 8 albums and 2! Films delightfully fuse elements of folk with punk, rock, hip hop and electro beats to form a experimental mish-mash of musical madness for the ears which any music enthusiast will appreciate.

So why are they worth a listen? Exactly for the reasons above.They produce music which transcends linguistic barriers and can make even the most stiffend hip sway to the groove. One look across the crowded room in Vienna’s most famous jazz club was enough to know that this band has reached a stage in its career to be worthily deemed “genre-breaking”.

From Indie-teens to office suits and arty minimilists through to the balding average joe and even a few over 60’s who may well have shaken out a false hip or two were along for the ride in an energetic and vibrant set which focussed on their new album “flux”. A heavy mixture of accordian driven polka-style dance music which sent the crowd into regular fits of cowboy squarking “yee-haws” and “woo-hoos”.

Watching the two of them on stage making more music with a drum set, an accordian and the occassional  jaw harp than the average 5-piece guitar band really is a feat worth paying for and it is no surprise the band has built up a loyal fan base who effortlessly shaked and bobbed their way through the gig.

A truly innovative bands around at the moment in a sea of mediocrity and “play it safe” music, well deserved of a little more prominence than they have been given. As John Peel once said about the band, you may not understand what they are saying, but they make damn good music.