Passenger of the Month in January 2017: Tower, Antenna
Tower, Antenna create music that is bittersweet, gritty and alluringly catchy.
Hamburg residents Ulrich Witt, Florian Schmuck and Stephan Richter reformed the trio in 2015, with post-punk- style vocals, melancholic guitar melodies and dark electronic instrumentation, paving the way for their first collection of songs.
The founding members began crafting their style – post punk meets desert rock – in the shape of Tower, Antenna in 2010. Coming from very diverse musical backgrounds, the band grew increasingly inspired by the sounds of contemporary R&B and moved further away from the classic rock music arrangements, creating a unique and accessible mix of organic and synthetic atmospheres combined with catchy R&B inspired grooves.
Today their songs yield the same proofs as those classic melancholic pop songs you can’t help but dance to – be it ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Personal Jesus’ or ‘Karma Police’: That gloom shimmers like platinum if set in the right light. That deep down in the drama, there lives an elastic groove. And that darkness often enough tastes like a gin & tonic if only you dare to lick it.
‘Supercollider’ is the name of Tower, Antenna’s EP that is being presented as their first black light-laden business card.
Buy now: Tower, Antenna – Supercollider EP
The history: Their first concert took place in a bar on the notorious Reeperbahn in 2012. Back then Tower, Antenna still had a drummer – making stoner rock with heavy riffs, covered in desert sand, beefy. The decisive turn in their musical evolution happened three years later, in the late fall of 2015. Their stand-in drummer cancelled in the lead-up to a gig, and the resulting emergency procedure turned out to be a momentous piece of good fortune. The group were forced to fashion up a programmed live set, practically overnight, consisting of drum machine and bass synths to go with the vocals and guitar. All of a sudden the music of Tower, Antenna sounded a lot more focused, denser, fiercer. Less like a fuzz monster and more like a character study. Almost as if something had gotten cut loose, something hidden within the songs had finally become audible. The black- and-white-film had suddenly become chromatic, with very dark and pulsating tones of crimson red and underwater black.
In 2016, Tower, Antenna’s sound is an amalgam of deeply breathing sub-bass pop, with the heart rate of electronic post punk, and melodies that are just as sad as they are catchy. The three songs on ‘Supercollider’ predefine the taste: ‘Outside Dead’ is a hypnotized funk track made of fern frost and reflected sunlight, with an incisive 808-beat and lyrics referring to a relationship gone sour. ‘Supercollider’ deals with the more psychotic side of love, driven by an energetic guitar theme, primed by orchestral shimmers. ‘Spiralling’, a cover version of a hit song by English softpop band Keane, is a sleeping giant in the midst of the EP with the singer Florian Schmuck dancing across all abysses, morbid and beautifully.
We can expect a full-length album by Tower, Antenna in spring 2017, live dates for the end of 2016 have already been confirmed. One way or another you are going to hear from this band – so you might as well do it now. Because while their sound is pensive and sorrowful, it is also pretty suited for being danced to – for days, for nights on end.
Each month the recordJet Crew and a handful of music editors will award the recordJet artist with the best release. As a price, each Passenger of the Month will receive basic store promotion for free during the respective month. Apply here.