I get a bit leery when it comes to writing about artists who are considered to be overtly political, especially when it involves politics outside of my home country. You can find some superficial info online about even the most fringe movements, but without understanding the true core beliefs as well as how they are perceived in their homeland, it’s a bit of a tightrope. Add to that lyrics that aren’t in English and I run the risk of writing about some musician or band whose politics and beliefs I would personally find offensive. Sure, there’s an argument to be made that it’s OK to separate the art from the beliefs of the artist, but some beliefs are automatic disqualifiers for me, as I’m sure they are for many of you.
Which brings us to the German band Egotronic, a band labelled as being well known for its “Antideutsch” views. The movement itself is generally described as far left, extremely anti-nationalistic, and against anti-Semitism. That is, of course, a massive over-simplification of something I couldn’t even begin to hope to understand without being immersed in German society and understanding the language. But on the surface I didn’t see anything that would keep me from enjoying and writing about Keine Argumente!, so away we go.
Stylistically it’s a blend of punk attitude, rock, and chiptune, which on the surface doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that should work. But it does. The chiptune elements take the hard edges off, creating a sensation that is both retro and futuristic at the same time. In fact it’s of paramount importance to Keine Argumente! in one key way. The album is 2 X LP, with the first record comprised of a dozen songs, while the second… the second is 8-bit versions of the exact same songs. Which is a major trip, and kind of cool in a way, totally changing the experience. I’m not even sure which version I prefer because I like ’em both.