Friday, March 1, 2013


Rating: RRR
Label: Universal/ROT 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Tangowerk by Nhoah? Now that's just plain weird? Yeah, but, no, but, amongst all the bandwagon chasers who seem to only aspire to become another pro-tools' wonder of cut-and-paste, it's always nice to come across an artist with a very different agenda. Berlin composer/producer Nhoah's first solo album is a multi-faceted and coloured effort consisting of (eighties) synthpop, tango orchestration, and various electronica.

Having previously collaborated with the likes of The Pogues, Bronski Beat, and MIA, the German has been a part of the Berlin's glamour, synth, and gay/trans scene ever since the eighties. The album is the mirror of a life lived through music. Sounds of his childhood are recreated with analogue radio techniques and close harmony effects, while the evolution into glam rock and synth is projected via synthersizers (duh!) and glitter rain. Make sense? Ehhh... let's just continue with the actual music.

Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes To Hollwood, Visage, and various 80's synthpop - no doubt Nhoah's biggest inspiration and influences. The trip to Buenos Aires in 2005, a source for something new and unexpected. Thus why you get the Tango beats and extremely dodgy moves every now and then. Let's just say that I definitely prefer the 80's synth tracks in favour of the likes of 'Tuyo Soy'. 'Dancing On The Volcano' - Sigue Sigue Sputnik meet Billy Idol on acid electro pop? Having already been released in Germany, Nhoah has reached worthy critical acclaim for Tangowerk. It was nominated for the German Record Prize and the ECHO newcomer of the year.

Tangowerk is the  CD/DVD package. The CD contains 14 tracks, while the DVD contains an hour of video including a 38 minute "Making of" feature. Nicely done gatefold sleeve with the 64 page booklet containing lyrics, photos, etc. It's solid work, quite different, but not always great.

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