T. Raumschmiere: Blitzkrieg Pop, Crazy Frog: Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits

T. Raumschmiere
Blitzkrieg Pop
Novamute/Shitkatapult

Crazy Frog
Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits
Next Plateau/Universal

  DJ-producer T. Raumschmiere may be lumped in with the überhip Berlin techno scene, but the title of his second album, Blitzkrieg Pop, suggests an in-your-face alloy that his frequently too tasteful milieu would benefit from. Unfortunately, the title track and "Sick Like Me" evoke nothing so much as lousy early-'90s industrial, which even then communicated all the danger of a shopping trip to Hot Topic. And as for the pop part of the equation, Raumschmiere's unpersuasively cheery side won't do much to dispel clichés regarding Teutonic severity. On the instrumental acid stomp "An Army of Watt," he imagines what late-'90s big beat would sound like minus the lager-fueled bonhomie--you know, the thing that made it worth listening to in the first place.

Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits evokes the '90s, too, if only because most of its songs date from that decade: "We Like to Party," "Get Ready for This," "I Like to Move It," "Whoomp! (There It Is)." There's plenty of '80s material in there, too--check the version of the Beverly Hills Cop theme "Axel F" that kept Coldplay out of the #1 spot in the English charts this summer. Crazy Frog would be godlike for that alone, but what clinches the deal is the record's insistence that everything would sound better as a trance anthem with a cartoon frog nattering over the top. "It doesn't even look like a frog!" complained a co-worker via Post-It Note. "Mutant frog!"

So right--it's a novelty record. But it's a perfect novelty record. You can't tell me that producers Reinhard and Henning Reith and A. Litterscheid and the splendidly named executive producer Wolfgang Boss didn't know what they were doing by opening the disc with the minute-long, ominous-rising-synth "Intro" (sounds like every other dance-record "Intro" ever, except for the mutant frog rising from the briny sonic deep) and ending it with "Crazy Frog Sounds"--echo-laden ringtone noises that would make it into The Wire if some recluse in his mother's basement had put it on a hand-painted CD-R. And at 31 minutes, it never overstays its welcome.

 
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