Scharping and the Stuttgart-Berlin connection: The sharpest band of the season – culture

These are Scharping (from left): Kevin Kuhn, Angelo Fonfara, Christian Heerdt and Jermain Herold. Photo: Glitterhouse / Marcus Wojatschke

Welcome to the strange world of the Scharping group. On his debut album “Unser Charping” there is room for Minnegesang, German rapper of the ’70s and Lars Eidinger who collides. Half of this indie pop supergroup consists of former Stuttgart natives Kevin Kuhn and Angelo Fonfara.

Sometimes you board the “night train to Naples”, which then reaches Osnabrück in just three or four times. Prehistoric creatures dance in the noisy “New Wave” to “DieDinosaur, Bitte!” until a comet strikes with fierce prog rock. Sometimes in the ballad “Alles gut” between the speedway and the traffic jam, between “miez, miez” and “woof, woof” a real life is required in the wrong one. And sometimes “The Power of Love” flirts with the question of whether Frankie goes to Hollywood, Jennifer Rush or Huey Lewis & The News were the inspiration.

“Stuttgart was really extraordinary. It used to be “

You never know what will happen next, nothing is certain in this 13-mud eccentric pop cosmos organized on this album, Our Charping, the debut of the Scharping quartet. A group like this can only thrive and flourish in Friedrichshain’s Berlin hipster biotope. However, half of the oddity is imported from Stuttgart. Kevin Kuhn is best known as the drummer in the Dienerve group, but also as a member of the Wolf Mountains and as the backup and casual drummer in every band ever formed in the Wagenhallen environment. He has been living in Berlin for some time. Angelo Fonfara moved there from Stuttgart years ago. “I’ve not been to Stuttgart for a long time,” says Fonfara, “but everything I remember no longer exists: the tube, the Rocker 33, the basement club or the twelfth tenth club.” And Kuhn is also on the nostalgic Theme of Stuttgart. “Stuttgart between 2005 and 2010 was really great. There were so many local groups, so many different genres. “It used to be.”

A wonderful mix of genres and styles

Because nowhere else are there as many performance opportunities for bands as in Berlin and the rehearsal rooms there are still quite affordable, it is no wonder that all musicians are drawn there. And so Kuhn and Fonfara are now along with Jermain Herold and Christian Heerdt Scharping. The band has been around since 2017. And some demo tapes and spectacular shows later – for example at the Reeperbahn Festival, but also in Stuttgart – Scharping’s debut album was finally released.

The album opens with a quote from Modest Mussorgsky’s photos at an exhibition, but if our Charping is an exhibition, then the curator must have been on a drug by joining it. Because nothing really fits here. There is a wonderful array of genres and styles in recording. “We like to play with expectations – and then break them,” says Kevin Kuhn at a meeting at the Tilsiter Lichtspiele cinema bar in Friedrichshain. “We want things that don’t actually go together to come together here,” says Angelo Fonfara.

General indie rock shop

The four men standing at the counter in the general rock shop called Scharping, who alternate as composers and singers, do not fit in with each other – at least in terms of their taste in music. Here meet preferences for electropop, jazz, R’n’B, exhausted indie, noisy rock and dark metal. “But I think,” says Kuhn, “what we all have in common is that we all have such an affinity for pop radio hits since our childhood, for the wonders of a ’80s and’ 90s hit.” .

The four also share a love for the quaint. There is, for example, “I smoked more fat”, a grooving number with stones that shows how German rap could have sounded if it had been invented in the 1970s. Or this is the completely ironic interpretation of Minnelied “Saelic saelig sî diu wunnen “by Gottfried von Niefen. Even if Scharping does not prove medieval singing, the text is as confusing as the music, offering a cosmos of references in which man can be confused without hope. Here pop discourse is taken ad absurdum. Starts with the band name and album title. Between former Secretary of Defense Rudolf Scharping and the family series “Unser Charly” there is a tangle of possible interpretations that Kuhn and Fonfara are reluctant to resolve.

Drinking coffee with Lars Eidinger

Likewise, there is no real answer to the question of why Max Gruber (Drangsal) plays the moderator of an arrow championship in the music video for the song Scharping “Alternative zur Umwelt” (“He just appeared on the set,” Kuhn claims.). And Kuhn and Fonfara also prefer not to decode the song “Lars Eidinger has no friends (only acquaintances)”: “But I actually drank coffee with Eidinger once when nerves in Schaubühne played together in the RAF show,” says Kuhn, “but I did not even know who he was then.”

Scharping: our charping

Kevin Kuhn (DieNERS), Angelo Fonfara (Nille Promille), Jermain Herold (The Lost Girls) and Christian Heerdt (Botschaft) are Scharping and almost something like an indie pop supergroup. In 2019 they released the EP “Powerplay” with such great titles as “Hey Jan Böhmermann, get that alcohol now!” or “Wodka Lemon (Miami Shice)”.

“Unser Charping” (Glitterhouse), which was released in April, is a cabinet of curiosities in the tradition of Frank Zappa or Ween’s strange pop experiments. This is where the new wave meets hard rock and hip-hop meets the minne song.

If you want to hear Scharping live, you must first travel to Berlin. The band is celebrating the album release party on May 21 at the Schokoladen indie rock club. Kevin Kuhn can be seen with the Nerves on June 12 at the Maifeld Derby in Mannheim and on June 21 at the MHP Arena in Ludwigsburg (there at the opening act for the Einsturzenden Neubauten).

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