Rund um den Watzmann 005


Vegetarian Bavarian In Exile

Ja soa Schmarrn

Asylem, issue 2 1995

Ja Soa Schmarrn
(Rund um den Watzmann)

By Jared Butler

The title of the piece is "Ja Soa Schmarrn," performed by "the one woman orchestra: 'Vegetarian Bavarian in Exile'." Elke Skelter-Kaspel's name does not appear anywhere, but she is the Bavarian in question.
On the box is also written "A melancholic climate in the Heimat." The look is really great, a big mountain in the middle of the record, with little plastic folk milling about it. There are also little cars, boats, animals, and bicycles, depending on which one you get (every one of the limited edition 100 copies pressed is slightly different.) One of the two that I have has a funny little "biking accident" at the bottom of the mountain. One bad part: The little green grass from the mountain tends to get all over during shipping. But it's pretty easy to clean off.

I have to say that between the cake box packaging, and the creative nature of the record, this is a real collector's item. The whole thing is kind of like an art piece. The number out of 100 is clearly marked
inside. Out of all of the rare records I've bought, this one is the first that would probably appeal to someone even if they weren't a fan of the particular type of music. A record collector friend of mine
who has no idea who the Legendary Pink Dots are, or any idea about interesting music, thought it was one of the coolest things he'd seen in a long time.

The Music: It's a little hard to describe. There are no vocals, but there's some sampled yodeling in the background and such. The music changes quite a bit. I'm not good at describing this sort of thing,
but picture what the Pink Dots might play at an Octoberfest and you might get the idea. Of course, the whole thing is more than music. The music wouldn't sound quite as good if there weren't little
people spinning around and around on a mountain top, appearing to wave at you while you listen.

It's a real fun experience. I made a tape of it on the nice turntable at the university and drew a small crowd.
I don't know if there are any remaining copies, but you collector types may want to pounce on
this one.

Copyright (c) 1995-1998 HalluciNet


I can't complain about the format of Elke's solo work however. Using the odd moniker Vegetarian Bavarian In Exile, she has unleashed Ja soa Schmarrn (Rund um den Watzmann), a 12" vinyl release containing a single track of "distorted Volksmusik" that is a brilliant cacophony of samples and sounds.
The music, however, is almost secondary to the presentation, as this is less a record than an art object.

In the centre of the record is a 5 inch high handmade mountain, complete with miniature trees, people and other figures.
Each of the 100 numbered copies is unique and comes in a beautifully printed cakebox.

Copyright © 1995 Greg Clow