2003 Moloko PLUS 067(D)



Topic: FREEFALL. The new CD by Fatal Shore

Fatal Shore is a Berlin-based band comprising two Australians, one Englishman and a German. Formed in 1996 by Phil Shoenfelt and Bruno Adams, the group’s first engagement was a hectic tour of war-ravaged Bosnia- Herzegovina during which they came under fire from Serbian snipers. Soon after this dangerous beginning Chris Hughes joined the band on drums, and the line-up was completed with the arrival of bass player YoYo Röhm in 2001.

The recording of the first Fatal Shore CD was similarly fraught with danger. The band travelled to the studio in Lucanec, Slovakia, by train, at the height of the Moravian floods, and spent the first day of recording time stranded on a rain-swept train station surrounded by flooded fields and impassable roads. On another railway trip across the "Wild East", the band was held hostage in a compartment by a gang of drunken Slovakian and Ukranian migrant workers returning home for the weekend. The guys wanted some music to accompany their drinking, and seeing as one of them was waving a gun in the air Fatal Shore didn’t argue.

The history of Fatal Shore is filled with bizarre events and impossible coincidences. One of the strangest was the invitation, in April 2000, to fly to a studio in Cincinatti USA to record the follow-up Fatal Shore CD. The invitation came from American record producer Dan May, who had heard the group’s first CD by chance, and within days Fatal Shore were flying out of Berlin on their way to Cincinatti.

The bizarre events continued after they arrived at The Church, a converted nineteenth century church in Covington, Kentucky, where May has his studio. The studio was full of eerie vibrations, and the presence of May’s collection of guns, automatic weapons and war memorabilia added to the already tense and edgy atmosphere. After several arguments and breakdowns in communication, the recording was finally completed two hours before the group’s flight left for Berlin. The production team in Cincinatti spent the next eighteen months mixing and re-mixing the CD, until the dark, threatening tone of the new songs was given its fullest expression. Some of the edginess of the recording sessions has definitely been transmitted onto the new Fatal Shore CD, FREEFALL.

The members of Fatal Shore have played and collaborated with many noted musicians, including Mick Harvey, Ben Becker, Nina Hagen, Hugo Race, Rowland S. Howard, Thomas Wydler and Christof Hahn. Their own music has a wide range of influences from the Delta Blues of Robert Johnson, through songwriters such as Jacques Brel and Townes Van Zandt, to the electronic soundscapes of Einstürzende Neubauten and Can.

FREEFALL was released in December 2003 by Moloko + and will be accompanied by live concerts by Fatal Shore in Germany and Czech Republic.