1. Mehr nehmen: 🤷‍♂️
  2. Ernten, was wir säen: 👍🏻
  3. Einfach sein: 🤷‍♂️
  4. Yeah Yeah Yeah: 👍🏻
  5. Nikki war nie weg: 🤷‍♂️
  6. Fornika: 🤷‍♂️
  7. Du mich auch: 🤷‍♂️
  8. Mission Ypsilon: 🤷‍♂️
  9. Ichisichisichisich: 🤷‍♂️
  10. Einsam und zurückgezogen: 👎🏻
  11. Flüchtig: 👎🏻
  12. Du und sie und wir: 👍🏻
  13. Was bleibt: 🤷‍♂️

No one who knows me is going to expect me to sit down and listen to German Hip-hop, so how did I end up listening to Die Fantastischen Vier today? I was watching a Laura Kampf video on YouTube today, and for whatever reason while I was watching it I was trying to remember her dog’s name. I’m pretty sure that I remembered it being “Smudo,” so I Googled it and discovered that that’s the nickname of one of the rappers in the group. I hadn’t picked anything to listen to today, so I figured why not?

I had a strange experience listening to this album. It sounded pretty bad in a way that I was having a very hard time trying to describe. Ultimately, the best analogy I could come up with was like when you’re watching a movie and you look out the window on the screen and you can tell that you’re looking at a painting and not something real through the window. It was like the music was missing a dimension; it had no depth. About half-way through the last track I realized why the music sounded so funny. I was listening in the living room on my home theater receiver, and it wasn’t on stereo. It was set to some kind of dynamic theater mode, which meant that about 95% of the sound was coming out of the center channel. So it literally was missing a dimension. It was essentially mono when it should have been stereo.

So I listened to the album a second time, and it sounded much better, but I still didn’t care for it that much. I should mention at this point that while I studied German in high school and college, I never spoke it outside of class. I never immersed myself in it, and so at best I occasionally recognized a word, but couldn’t translate it. Not before five more words had been said. I did try to read the lyrics from Genius.com through Google Translate, which was certainly an interesting experience. I was able to get a gist of what the songs were about that way, but that’s about it. I also was able to hear what sounded to me like some really interesting wordplay, but again, because I’m not a fluent German speaker I wasn’t able to fully appreciate it, and it could be that I was imagining it to begin with. Although it’s Hip-hop so wordplay is to be expected.

At any rate, ultimately I thought that the music even in stereo sounded manufactured and compressed. Like they were rapping over a tape, not with live band. It wasn’t just that the drums didn’t sound like real drums (which I’ve complained about many times before); the whole thing had a sort of cheapness to it that I don’t think I’ve heard before. Although I did think of my experience listening to Hoodie Allen several times while listening to this.

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