The Berlin band il Civetto has reinvented itself in the spirit of pop - and fusion pop at that: Their universal blend breaks with Western cultural clichés.
One evening in May 2011, the Schlesisches Tor subway station in Berlin seems to be shaking even from a distance. Hypnotic beats and melodies electrify the air, an irresistible attraction emanates from the historic brick building. Inside the station, a few young musicians bend over their instruments and transform the scenery into an orgiastic street rave within minutes. Soon the masses are pushing their way to the street and beyond, and the Späti vendor can't keep up with the drinks.
Since this and many other guerrilla concerts, the group around Leon Keiditsch (vocals), Dany Ahmad (bass), Robert Kondorosi (guitar), Leon Bollinger (drums & percussion) and Lars Löffler-Oppermann (clarinet, saxophone, Keys) have organically taken an extremely impressive development, which now finds its preliminary climax in the universal melting-pop of new pieces like "Rio-Reiser-Platz" and "Neonlicht" - and with "Späti del Sol" will culminate in il Civetto's best album so far.
The first thing that stands out: all new songs are lyricized in German. A decision that only seems to contradict the group's stylistic multiculturalism, however. Being understood is at least as important to il Civetto as their musical openness and versatility. In the interviews for "Facing the Wall" (2019), the musicians had noticed that they always had to explain their lyrics at length - and who wants to explain pop lyrics?
il Civetto certainly don't. Their social and political concerns are as important to them as the music itself. "Topics like climate change or gentrification automatically play a role for us," says Bollinger. "We are political people, and that can't be separated from our music at all." So it was a matter of finding a new language for this music. In their first single, "Rio-Reiser-Platz," released on the 25th anniversary of Rio Reiser's death, il Civetto playfully conveys the boundary markers of current gentrification discourses between leftist tradition and the turbo-capitalist present. Their new album is also inscribed with their shared insatiable longing for distance, just as the great "Neon Light" is inscribed with pop. "In the past, we never dared to profess our pop passion so clearly," says Lars Löffler-Oppermann. That they have now summoned up this courage is good for us all.