Singer Jochen Distelmeyer performing with Blumfeld in 2007
|Genres||Indie pop, noise rock (early)|
|Labels||ZickZack, Big Cat|
Blumfeld (German pronunciation: ['blu:mf?lt]) was an indie-pop band from Hamburg, Germany, formed by singer and songwriter Jochen Distelmeyer. The name of the band was taken from the main character of the short story "Blumfeld, ein älterer Junggeselle" by Franz Kafka. Blumfeld are counted among the most significant representatives of the Hamburger Schule (School of Hamburg) and are considered to be one of the most successful combos of the German indie scene.
Blumfeld's lyrics are characterized by a distinctive disdain for human life in the context of modern consumer society. Fears, depressions, uncertainty, lack of orientation and love as main motive are the most important themes which are made a subject of discussion in their songs. The mainly melancholic music is seen as having a pessimistic tone.
Blumfeld was founded in 1990 by members of the then-defunct bands Der Schwarze Kanal and Bienenjäger. Originally strongly influenced by guitar feedback, the band's style evolved more toward pop music during the mid-1990s. Among the band's distinct traits are the convoluted lyrics, critical of society, which are sometimes presented in sprechgesang by singer Jochen Distelmeyer. Because of these texts, Blumfeld was often regarded by their audience as a showcase band for politically-left intellectuals. Nevertheless, the band managed to convey simple messages to a broader audience later in their career.
Distelmeyer never considered writing his lyrics in another language than German. But the band always explicitly refused to be taken in by projects such as a quota of German language songs in airplay or the promotion of a "new German self-esteem" by German-language music.
On 22 January 2007, the band announced their split-up on their homepage. A farewell tour was held in April 2007 with the last concert taking place in Blumfeld's hometown Hamburg.
After their splitting up, Blumfeld received a number of critical acclaims. Christof Meueler of Junge Welt listed Blumfeld among the "great German protest bands" like Ton Steine Scherben and Fehlfarben.Die Welt praised Blumfeld as "one of the most influential German pop bands of the recent years" that quickly became successful with their "square-edged, vigorous music and the wilful and political lyrics", but "never let themselves be pigeonholed either". With songs like "Graue Wolken" [Grey Clouds], "Diktatur der Angepassten" [Dictatorship of the Conformists] or "Krankheit als Weg" [Illness as a Way] "Distelmeyer had, according to critics, created pieces of art that go far beyond quickly-consumed pop songs." Writing for Freitag, Ingar Solty called Blumfeld the "leftist-intellectuals of rock music in Germany" and attributed "an expressionistical-poetical language that will permanently stay out of touch in pop culture" to Distelmeyer.Jungle World wrote on Blumfeld's turn toward a broader audience that Blumfeld were in fact exceptional because no other band "would have been taken for serious any longer if they suddenly had started playing Schlager music."
In 2009, Jochen Distelmeyer started a solo career by publishing his debut album Heavy and two singles.
(The English translations are for information only in this article. They were not used on releases.)
|1994||L'Etat Et Moi [The State and Me]||98||--||--|
|2001||Testament der Angst [Testament of Fear]||6||20||--|
|2003||Jenseits von Jedem [Beyond Anyone (also: Beyond Anything)]||7||18||80|
|2006||Verbotene Früchte [Forbidden Fruit]||21||43||--|
|1991||"Ghettowelt" [Ghetto World]||--|
|1992||"Zeitlupe" [Slow Motion]||--|
|1994||"Draußen auf Kaution" [Out On Bail]||--|
|1999||"Tausend Tränen tief" [Thousand Tears Deep]||93|
|1999||"Status: Quo Vadis"||--|
|2001||"Graue Wolken" [Grey Clouds]||59|
|2001||"Die Diktatur der Angepassten" [The Dictatorship Of The Conformists]||--|
|2001||"Wellen der Liebe" [Waves Of Love]||--|
|2003||"Wir sind frei" [We Are Free]||59|
|2003||"Neuer Morgen" [New Morning]||--|
Blumfeld gelten als die Intellektuellen-Band schlechthin. [Blumfeld are considered a band for intellectuals par excellence.]
Blumfeld, Lieblingsband der Pop-Intellektuellen und Vehikel ihres Sängers und Gitarristen Jochen Distelmeyer, nehmen Abschied. [Blumfeld, favourite band of pop-intellectuals and medium for their singer and guitarist Jochen Distelmeyer, are taking their leave.]