Jennifer Touch / Midnight Proposals / FatCat Records

Jennifer Touch was born in Dresden, in1979, and grew up in the German Democratic Republic, before the Berlin wall came down. In interviews, amidst tons of academic questions concerning the artistic process, she often speaks about a tape of her father’s favourite songs – pieces by bands like Duran Duran and the Human League – which has clearly been a huge influence. I`m assuming that music from the west was not easy to come by, and that it probably carried a cache, of something illicit, exotic, rebellious. Jennifer also frequently talks of her desire to rediscover the “inner child” – to create spontaneously, with out preconceived plan or hang ups – and her respect for artists who do so. With this in mind, I guess it should come as no surprise that she returns to the sounds of her childhood. To pay homage, and reinvent. 


Tracks like Rumor brush big padded shoulders with `80s chart smashes by groups such as A Flock Of Seagulls, and perfectly synthesized pop landmarks, like the aforementioned Human League’s Dare. I get the feeling that there’s something here shared with art projects, such as Luke Wyatt’s Torn Hawk and Kai Hugo’s Palmbomen II, but instead of grainy and VHS Lo-Fi, Jennifer gives everything an un-ironic high polish and MTV sheen. Sacred Type rattles along like Pat Benatar’s Love Is A Battlefield. Music for the movers and shakers who partied at Dallas’ notorious Starck Club. Hopped up on then still legal hits of ecstasy. The sort of stuff that San Fran’s Razormaid repurposed more directly for the dance-floor. Some pieces are a bit more brash, electro-clash. Reminiscent of plugged-in agent provocateurs, such as Peaches and Add N To X. A Day could be a lewd Lali Puna, with bonus twanging tremolo guitar. Soft And Dark is practically proto-techno, echoing the early “rocky” output of Juan Atkins and Rik “3070” Davis’ Cybotron. 

Jennifer Touch Sacred Type

Throughout computerized drums crash amidst brilliant bass modulations recalling the musical manouveres of people who manned machines on the industrial edges of synth-pop. Mixing post-punk electronics and poetry, a little gothic in places, like Pink Industry meets Portion Control. Another reference point might be Anne Clark’s work with David Harrow. Lyrically, the album’s themes, in part inspired by John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, and, again I’m guessing but, perhaps Jennifer’s own recent relocations, explore the human need to find a place, and people, we feel safe with. Somewhere, somebody, we can consider home. Fuck me, but if that can’t seem to get harder each day. 


Jennifer Touch’s Midnight Proposals will be released this Friday, February 17, on FatCat Records.


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