KOENIG LEOPOLD, the versatile artist duo from Austria are an outfit not so easily described or their output fully comprehended – at least, the main part of their artistic output is music. Despite being in their early twenties, they already gained high acclaim in the fields of experimental music, jazz and theatre. But what they actually do is much more accessible as this list might suggest. “Avant-Garde meets Disco” is a term that had been stretched while trying to describe what they do, but that doesn’t do them justice at all. It’s Cut Up, it’s Dada, it’s Freestyle, it’s everything-rolled-in-one and mostly: Entertainment with an edge.
During the last weeks they caused a nation-wide stir with their track “Kohlhauser” as a butcher from Styria felt that he would have been portrayed in the song in an unflattering fashion. On first glance it possibly maybe could be an interesting thing to portrait a local butcher in a song but needless to say, that was extremely far from the bands’ intent. Quite the contrary. The lyrics consist of bits and pieces, gathered from village squares in Styria, cut up and barked out by vocalist Leo Riegler in the typical and very characteristic patois of eastern Styria, a region not far from the borders to Hungary and Slovenia. But enough of the media fuzz, indulge yourself in the song:
Although the track seems to be showy at first, a razzle-dazzle of flashy barked vocals, sounds, effects and catchy elements combined with a somewhat funny visualization, a closer listen reveals the deeper musicality and ambition of the intent.
Their playful – and skillful – handling of all sorts of popular music, be it hip hop, elektro, free jazz or almost anything else is quite well illustrated in their first single “Heat The Water” which can also be understood at their take on Busta Rhymes in a free jazz style:
More reckless ravings can be found in a very entertaining – especially for german-speakers – live take from the famous Flex Club in Vienna:
But this all is just the beginning – 2013 will not only bring us their debut album, but also music for theatre, movies and much more by Koenig Leopold. Especially their interventions in the public space do sound quite enthralling. I guess there’s a lot in store for everyone who cares to follow them on their unconventional and multicoloured path.