photo credit kitschkrieg.de
A mysterious collective with a black-and-white aesthetic and a militaristic dedication to the cool, Berlin’s KitschKrieg is ready to remake the American music scene in its own image. Their first stop: Brooklyn, one of the chief outposts in the global ascension of drill music. Connecting with one of the borough’s hottest rising stars in DUSTY LOCANE, KitschKrieg shares “Ratchets,” an ice-cold video single out now via SoulForce Records.
Combining the sliding 808s of NYC/UK drill with insistent house kick drums and horror movie strings, “Ratchets” strives to create the kind of banger that can shutdown clubs across the globe. DUSTY LOCANE sinks his teeth into the mutating instrumental with his snarling basso voice, switching up his flow, turning to rapid-fire triplets, lockstep rolls, and invigorating chants as the beat shifts from BK drill to Jersey club and back. He reminds his fans that even though he’s working with some international flavor, he’s still a hometown hero: “In a town overseas, you know we got flavors/Fizzle came with the beam, we call that the laser/Hot grabba spliff, came straight from Jamaica (weh yuh deh pon)/And I’m still on the fifth, you can’ call me the Mayor (you gon’ call me the Mayor).”
“Ratchets” arrives along with a slickly stylish video that imports the KitschKrieg aesthetic to DUSTY LOCANE’s home city. The video is filmed in crisp black and white, and the figures on screen wear fits that reflect the monochromatic color palette–as DUSTY says, “black hoodie, black mask, matching.” Splitting its action between the Lower East Side and the East River waterfront, the video finds DUSTY mobbing with ski-masked Suvies and staring directly into the camera as he delivers his bruising bars. Look closely for a glimpse of KitschKrieg band members Fizzle and Fiji Kris, who plant their flag on the shores of the East River, signaling their impending domination of the American scene.
Animated by a sharp aesthetic, exquisite sound design, and a dedication to brutal minimalism, KitschKrieg created a sound of their own, drawing influence from influences that range from the holistic approach of Bauhaus to the steely soundscapes of grime to the electronic music of their hometown of Berlin–all while staying out of the way and letting the vocal breathe. A trio comprised of Fizzle, Fiji Kris, and elusive photographer °awhodat°, KitschKrieg rose steadily over the past five years to become one of the biggest acts in German music. KitschKrieg, their 2020 debut album, spawned two #1 hits, generated over 400 million streams across platforms, and featured guest spots from international names like Vybz Kartel and Modeselektor and local heroes like Peter Fox and Trettmann, a star German rapper signed to KK’s SoulForce Records. They’re known for their exquisite taste in streetwear–their new offerings sell out in hours–and have partnered with brands like Nike, Carhartt, and Monopoly.
With their sights set on conquering new worlds and an album on the way–called German Engineering, the album promises guest spots from some of the hottest artists in the U.S. and beyond–KitschKrieg is determined to continue its war on disposable art on foreign shores. “Ratchets” is merely the opening salvo–stay tuned for much more.
© 2022, Seth Barmash. All rights reserved.