“Vocalist wanted who enjoys experimenting” - Without this small ad in 1984, most likely Ernst Horn and Alexander Veljanov would have never met. And if their music were not as innovative as it is, they would have split up long ago. DEINE LAKAIEN released ten studio recordings within the three decades of the band’s history. During this time they accomplished the feat to make music solely for the sake of making music. DEINE LAKAIEN might have been claimed to belong to one or the other scene, but their essence has always been this: true to themselves and fearlessly experimental.
“The choice of the name DEINE LAKAIEN was deliberate. The Neue Deutsche Welle having ridden many things to death, we wanted to express that we were from Germany and influenced by wave, punk, and avant-garde, but in fact wanted nothing to do with the mainstream. Furthermore, the ironic tone of the name was supposed to depict the humorous facet within our work that definitely exists.” Talking with the musicians about the following years, which cover everything from door-to-door selling during a five years lasting dry spell after the self-published debut, near breakup, the quasi accidental start as the first electronic band playing unplugged, through success in the charts with six-digit sales to sold-out tours, it becomes very clear that in the end, everything is centred on art —- the bond connecting the already trained and professionally experienced musician Horn with the first-year student and exceptional baritone Veljanov from the very beginning. “Charlatanism is not our thing. If something is not good, we have no fun with it. The breaks between the albums and the numerous releases with other projects reinforce honesty in our self-assessment. The moment we cannot surprise each other anymore will be our last.”
Fortunately, this point has never been reached. The highlights so far, invitations of the Dokumenta Kassel, the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, and of the Goethe Institute Beijing, many more international engagements and a sumptuous tour with orchestra in 2007 lead every now and then to a subsequent pause that was, however, with amazing regularity followed by a – for fans and musicians alike – surprising creative new start. Very obviously, the breaks that the protagonists use to work on their solo projects keep their never-fading curiosity and their delight in DEINE LAKAIEN alive. And friends of the Lakaien-sounds truly appreciate the solo albums of Alexander Veljanov recorded in cooperation with the renowned producer David Young and the Macedonian composer for film and theatre Goran Trajkoski, his songs setting poems by Edgar Allen Poe and others to music, as well as the works of Ernst Horn for Helium Vola and Qntal.
Who wants to experience the feature of a fan base that cannot be assigned to a single particular scene should attend one of the legendary “Acoustic” performances of DEINE LAKAIEN. During the songs that are accompanied only with a grand piano, silence fells as in a classical concert while afterwards applause breaks like in a pop show.
Also with the upcoming anniversary “DEINE LAKAIEN The 30 Years Retrospective” featuring sumptuous concerts in halls like the Berliner Philharmonie and the Gewandhaus Leipzig, with compilations assembled with loving attention to the detail containing a lot of unpublished material from concerts and from the studio, DEINE LAKAIEN will once more demonstrate their exceptional position as independent artists based on Veljanov’s magnificent and unique voice and Ernst Horn’s superior craftwork.
Let us again hear what the two of them have to say themselves: “We produce our music from the beginning to the final master completely by ourselves. The self-made sounds have been collected over many years, while the studio has been growing to the point where it has become an instrument on its own. This autonomous working results in a strong consistency and independence. That is why we have so very few imitators.
Our aim was always to lead an independent life as musicians. We can live from our music and do not depend on market strategists, star producers, or media-related embarrassments. Of course, a musician wants to earn money. However, literally every artist has this craving for something that is not to be underrated: recognition. From people who love music more than the surrounding fuss – the scandals, the unspeakable pop-discourses amongst hipsters, and the voyeurisms. Appreciation from people, who like Schubert as much as Radiohead, and appreciation from fellow musicians. That gladdens the heart. We are not to be as easily consumed as an entertaining band, we are crossing boundaries.”
ADDITIONAL CREDITS • Image: Poster "Acoustic-Tour 2012" China