Germany's multifaceted music scene ranges from thrilling electronic music through groovy rock sounds to classical music filled with historic heritage, but there is German music that is a bit harder to fit into a distinct genre.
If you have never heard of LaBrassBanda, we don't blame you. The brass band plays folk and new folk music, with a pinch of rock, punk, dub, hiphop and techno. Founded in 2007 they are an unconventional and quirky group of seven musicians, whose unique sound has made them hugely successful throughout Germany. There, they have been touring Bierzelte (beer tents) as well as festivals. LaBrassBanda have also performed around the world, including Russia, USA, Italy and Zimbabwe as well as a gig at the final of the 2008 European Football Championship.
In 2013 they made it into the German pre-selections of the Eurovision Song Contest, and toured the UK including concerts in London, Manchester, Norwich, Leeds, and Liverpool in 2015. The most special thing about their music is the mainly drolly lyrics sung with a typical Bavarian accent. With a special set of instruments (i. a. trumpet, trombone and tuba) and a witty spirit they can perform nearly every genre - with a steady touch of German folk music.
Another German artist well worth listening to is Max Raabe, who celebrated 25 years of German union at Wigmore Hall concert in June 2015. Raabe romances listeners with cheerful and also tragic lyrics and sounds. He is a world-renowned chanson singer, best known as the founder and leader of the Palast Orchester, and gained international recognition through his interpretations of music from the 1920s and 1930s.
With most of the songs sung in German, as well as in English and Spanish, operatic performances reflect the comedy and tragedy of humanity. His repertoire contains songs from Jewish artists, who have been known as entertaining musicians in the prewar era. Together with pianist Christoph Israel he has been performing since 1993, and has released two albums. Amongst tours through Israel and concerts in New York he was also asked to accompany the wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese with his music in 2005.
Die Toten Hosen
Litereally translated as 'The Dead Trousers', the Hosen are an established German band. In the 1980s the founder and singer Campino, son of a British mother, was inspired by the UK punk movement (The Clash, Sex Pistols) and pushed forward the development of punk-rock in Germany. The band loves intimate living-room-concerts and maintains close ties with Liverpools FC. The band is regarded as the counterpart of another popular punk-rock band in Germany: Die Ärzte (The Doctors).
A five man group that creates music underlined with German "sprechgesang" (parlando). The genre can be described as a mixture of indie, rock and rap. Due to their eloquence, a German magazine recently praised the band as the "the wisest band in the country".