Every year anew, during the Rauhnächte (those harsh nights between Christmas and Twelfth Day), the Wild Hunt (Die Wilde Jagd) rides across the country: raucous, jeering hunters from the netherworld, whose path it is better not to cross. This is an ancient Germanic myth, which, in slightly varied form, is known in many parts of Europe and whose name Ralf Beck and Sebastian Lee Philipphave aptly chosen for their new project. The two first met in 2006 in Düsseldorf’s Salon des Amateurs, ameeting place for new and established experimental musicians andartists, also known as Germany’s “postpunk Hacienda”.
It seems no coincidence that Düsseldorf is the duo’s founding city: their music is full of subtle references to local acts, such as Kraftwerk, NEU!, DAF, Liaisons Dangereuses, Pyrolator, the Krupps and Propaganda. Since their first meeting, Beck and Philipp regularly come together during the time of the Rauhnächte to record in Beck’s well-equipped studio. Using the numerous analog keyboards and recording devices assembled there, and combining them with a diverse range of percussion instruments, they create their own “hunting music”, which at times sounds unsettling, like swampland or a dark forest, but also urgent and pressing, like incandescent lasers or a hypnotic dance. Their soundscape is marked by repetitive guitar loops, electronic percussion, drums and synthesizers. Booming tom-toms and medieval-sounding flutes herald the start of the hunt. Whispering, reciting voices conjure up the spirits of the woods, while synthetic sounds,melodies and noises flit about before they are re-captured, structuredand grounded by crystalline beats and pulsating bass lines. L e t t h e h u n t b e g i n !