1. Black Bunker
2. Do You Know Your Butcher
4. Don't Talk To Strangers
5. Hamworthy Sports & Leisure Center
6. You Are The Space Invader
7. Eat, Sleep
8. I Do Not Like Change
9. Lawyers Water Jug
10. Realer, Pretender
11. No Books
12. Up! Up! Up!
13. Crackerjack Docker
14. See M Dahlia
15. Crash, Crash, Crash
16. Spaceman In Your Garden
Prinzhorn Dance School are Tobin Prinz (guitar/ vocals, drums) and Suzi Horn (bass/ vocals, drums). Although they met in Brighton, it isn't easy to say where they are based. They are nomadic - Suzi has moved seven times since Prinzhorn Dance School began, and 23 times in her life so far.
Simplicity is key to Prinzhorn Dance School. They value a raw, natural sound - "kick drums that sound like kick drums, a snare that sounds like a snare” - and quickly evolved a minimalist aesthetic. “We didn’t say, 'let’s be a band', or anything, we just enjoyed the sound of hitting things. However, we quickly worked out that every time we added a layer of sound on top, something got lost. We wanted to keep everything sounding real and special and we knew the only way was to put less in.” The 16 track debut album (as yet untitled) does not have a single strummed guitar chord on it. Instead, drums, bass and wiry guitar are enjoined in a delicate balancing act where what isn't happening, the space and silence, is just as important as what is.
The album, which includes the limited edition debut 7" singles 'You Are The Space Invader' and follow up 'Up! Up! Up!', was recorded in a National Trust cottage in Devon, a barn in Sussex and then mixed with "incredibly respectful" help from James Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy and Eric Broucek in NYC. It's released on DFA on August 13th 2007.
The songs that emerge are remarkable, not least in the language they use. "I'm uncomfortable with music's ‘dictionary of cool’," says Tobin, referring to the tired phrases that denote "rock 'n' roll" attitude, or the hollow clichés of radio love songs. In stark contrast, his words (scratched in notebooks, then endlessly edited until they're as lean and effective as the music) deliberately reference a very real provincial England: the England of Travelodge’s, the NHS, egg 'n' cress sandwiches, Deep Heat ointment, obscure towns like Mansfield. Like Ray Davies or Morrissey at their parochial best, the specific sense of place, of England, is thrilling. Tobin evokes the everyday - middle-aged couples dancing to a "five-piece soul band" at Hamworthy Sports & Leisure centre - with a novelist's eye.
Probably the only new band in Britain not to have a "murdoch-space" (myspace) site, Prinzhorn Dance School have already been accused of diffidence and secrecy. In reality, they're not Luddites (they have a website), but they do refuse to open up their private lives to "sticky-beaks and flappy-mouths" online or behave in what is perceived to be a sensible, careerist way. "The internet is to blame,” says Tobin. “Everything is easy access. It’s too convenient. People expect to know everything. But excitement is about not knowing everything."
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