Sometimes simple answers are required. WOMAN prefer to ask questions, one of them being “Where you gonna go when the planet erupts?” which the frst line of Dust, the opening song of HAPPY FREEDOM, the frst album of the Cologne trio. Think about it: Where will you go when our blue planet fnally bursts? If you are able come up with a simple answer, go ahead ... Either way, you witness the album is taking of lyrically within seconds. And the music is powerful as well. The beat marches elegantly into the sky the keyboards contouring the sonic space as strange sounds emit from the dark. “Is there something greater than dust?”, a voice asks. Sure, you might think: this is cosmic electronic pop music.
HAPPY FREEDOM is a debut album produced by none other than Zebo Adam, the producer of Bilderbuch. A highly anticipated debut album. You can read lines like this in every second info sheet but with WOMAN it is actually true. For fve years there has been rumbling about his band. Those who knew the band from the beginning passed on their experience like a cherished secret. The band's story began in 2012 in a basement bar in the Belgian quarter of Cologne. The three local musicians did not even have a band name back then, but their frst set stood like a rock. It was loud and chaotic, half Einstürzende Neubauten, half Suicide. Those present just could not believe what they saw: conceptually, they were still in their children's shoes, but the intensity of the music and the joy of experimenting took everyone out of their shoes.
The artwork of HAPPY FREEDOM shows a sliced up planet earth, the planet's core is a mirror ball. No image could ft better for WOMAN as a band. Their songs describe our lives - and while we wonder about the clever descriptions, we are able to dance to them as well. Marvelous City is the frst single, a circular piece, almost like a mantra: “There's a marvelous city in my dreams/ You should go downtown if you know what I mean.” You might think there is a very special place you long to be. But a moment later Carlos sings: “Only it's a dystopy”. Memories of the great science fction flms of the 70s pop up, such as “Logan's Run”, giving the viewer a riddle to solve: What do you really want? And what are you ready pay for the bait?
In Concrete Jungle, we witness a city being built in front of our eyes, turned into a concrete jungle, populated by people with fragmented identities – but there is still hope: “I know the sunshine comes
￼through”. The piece pulsates mysteriously and exotic, Carlos sings the verses with a strange voice, raising it in the chorus as Manu plays a psychedelic funk guitar. Control has disco beats and Neo-R'n'B keyboards, the band is coming up with one of their great questions which we can ponder about for hours: “What if control is an illusion after all?” Love starts of like Muzak, with a beat straight from an elevator. But it does not get as comfortable as it is supposed to be, there is space for a few showstoppers in the course of the three minutes. An overdriven electric guitar bursts into the picture, the chorus with a very special fat keyboard is played only once, yet the second passage sounds as if Stevie Wonder had just passed through Vienna. These are the frst fve tracks of the album. It is useful to get HAPPY FREEDOM on vinyl, because you can turn the record over at this instant and discover “The Dark Side Of WOMAN”. Money describing capitalism as a fascist system, the sirens howling, the beat stumbling, Manu plays a sensational guitar solo, representing the last outcry of the individual. Khung Bo is the Vietnamese expression for terror; this is Manu's home country. Once again a man is resisting, this time the big enemy is the fear that paralyzes civil society in times of terror. “Many pop and electronic music records lack a statement these days”, Carlos complains. “I do not understand how a musician can omit these issues during the tough times we live in”, adds Manu. The fnal song The End comes to a halt a couple of times in the course of its six minutes, as if Sisyphus fnally understands the meaninglessness of his actions. With the lines “Take notice of the wonders / I feel love again” the song rises to the end, at the top of mount Olympus it takes of to a space station in place far away somewhere in our galaxy.
The End is the end and it’s time to return to the initial question: “Where you gonna go when the planet erupts?” Well, right there – to the space-time continuum of the band WOMAN. The earth's core is a disco ball, but life is not just hedonism and decadence. Without soul, friendship, love and social relationships you are nothing, my dear individual person. WOMAN grant us HAPPY FREEDOM but they have the courage to ask us to do something for it as well, as they deliver the soundtrack for a life in HAPPY FREEDOM.
Let the age of psychedelic electro'n'disco-pop begin!
released May 12, 2017
All music & lyrics written by Woman Produced by Zebo Adam
Assisted by Julian Hruza
Drums recorded by Alex ‚Fire’ Tomann Recorded in Vienna
Mixed by Alex ‚Fire‘ Tomann Mastered by Martin Scheer Published by Budde Music Artwork by Simone Cihlar