CD, UMB Kollektif, 2009
“Jahrmarkt Der Verlorenen Kinder” comes six years after “Popgof”, the full-length debut of Dogpop, the joint project of Michael Rief (alias Brigand Moloch) and Dan Courtman. With this second offering, Dogpop present a strange and capricious hybrid of experimentation angst with an undeniable pop sensibility (despite the artists’ claims to anti-pop) and a touch of Dada nonsense. If you imagine Einsturzende Neubauted going out with the Arafnas to a carnival and meeting Tristan Tzara’s ghost while they’re at it, you won’t be very far off the mark as to what this album sounds like.
Rief and Courtman managed to create a genuinely interesting piece of work with this album using only a relatively small scope of sounds and sample material, skilfully layered and occasionally combined with simple but ear-catching melodies. All this complemented by somewhat crude but rather effective vocals which more often than not border on the theatrically declamatory. The end result is charmingly lo-fi and quite varied as well – ranging from haunting pieces like the opening “Hörst Du?” and “Riesenrad” to the unashamedly playful “Klonhaus” and “Dogporn” (which also happens to be the best adaptation of the classic “Popcorn” I’ve ever heard), through decidedly whimsical pieces like “Paradogs” and “Himmel Flieg (1-Schuss-Mix)” – and never bordering on pretentiousness. An important caveat when appreciating this album is the lyrical content which, being exclusively in German, may limit its comprehension. Nevertheless, the sonority inherent to the German language seems to come across as an essential component of effectiveness of the material presented herein.
It really is a strange trip of an album though not one that is obvious from the beginning. There are some immediate highlights (“Dogporn” being the most obvious) but these are the bait to lure the listener into what lies hidden in the corners of the rest of the album. In short, though it can put off some people in the beginning, “Jahrmarkt Der Verlorenen Kinder” is one of those timeless and anachronic records which can grow quite well after a couple of listens.
— Miguel de Sousa