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Danish sound-artist Karine Amsler, known from the experimental trio Shitney and the alternative band Television Pickup, focuses her gifts as composer, producer and video games sound designer on a homage to her family musical legacy. The Laslafaria band was founded in 1962 in Switzerland by her uncle Werner Amsler and her father Henri Amsler and later was joined by her mother Karin Moss. Laslafaria worked in the tradition of the Swiss Guggenmusik orchestras – Dadaist, carnival ensembles of professional and amateur musicians who played simple folk tunes, pop and children’s songs, often rejecting the logic, reason, and aestheticism of the modern capitalist society but embracing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest.

Amsler was always intrigued by the Laslafaria aesthetics and spirit and over the years «Laslafaria became a manifestation of the power of imperfection for me, a secret weapon for battling challenging days, an illumination of respect shown to things that might at first seem unimportant or silly but by giving them attention become important and genuine. Laslafaria reminds me that anyone and anything can make a valuable contribution at any time».

The «Laslafaria» album transforms Amsler’s fascination from the historic band into a modern-day soundscape that follows the anarchistic spirit of Laslafaria. The album offers a pastiche of cheap-keyboards-running-low-on-batteries, video-games sounds, obscure, poorly-written minimalist melodies, homemade micro-guitars, chilly and noisy atmospheric sounds even urban sounds from a bridge in the town of Elsinore and, obviously, contributions of Amsler’s favorite musicians. Amsler shaped, sculpted and polished some of the sounds to an almost psychopathic extent but left others as raw, untreated ingredients. «Laslafaria» eventually melted into a detailed and surrealistic sonic reflection of her childhood memories from Switzerland – including sonic visions of funicular railways, cowbells, and army knives,  abstracted into a subversive soundtrack for our and heavily-populated, urban life, Big-Brother-surveillance and consumer-driven experiences of current lives.

The message remains the loud and clear: resist, be genuine, compassionate and sometimes totally silly, true to the much needed free spirit of the Laslafaria ideology. But beware! You may surprise yourself involuntarily make some of your best dancing moves when you’ll reach to the most addictive piece here, «The Niesenbahn Defeat».

Eyal Hareuveni 

Katrine Amsler (keys, micro-g, elec), Qarin Wikström (v), Samuel Hällkvist (g), Nils Berg (s), Josef Kallerdahl (b), Knut Finsrud (dr), Frederik Hauch (dr), Sture Ericson (s), Stephan Sieben (g), Mike Højgaard (v)

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