Gameboy meets lagerfeuer.
Get ready folks, because I’m about to answer an age-old question that has been eating away at the brains of humanity for too long to count: What do you get when you combine two german nerds, a guitar, Space Invader samples, a Commodore 64, and an original Gameboy? Pornophoniqe.
I watched a fairly long-winded interview with the band, and considering that it was entirely in German, I basically learned nothing about them. A few key words/phrases did jump out at me though. Obviously, I heard the word “Gameboy” a lot, but not until I heard it in close proximity to the word “Cubease” did it really occur to me what was going on. For those of you who don’t know, Cubease is an extremely powerful Digital-Audio Workstation that fittingly, was first released on the Atari ST. Cubase, and the many other programs like it, are easily configured to be controlled by any electronic device, provided they have the proper hardware (called MIDI).
That being said, Pornophonique’s Gameboy must be heavily modified. My assumption is that Felix (the guy who “plays” the gameboy), is actually using it to control samples and audio plugins within Cubase, while Kai, the other member, strums his guitar, sings and “plays” the C-64 (which is most likely being run through Cubease as well).
Not only do they use some nerdy “instruments,” but they sing about some nerdy stuff, too. Their album “8-Bit Lagerfeur,” meaning “8-bit Campfire” in English, contains such titles as: Sad Robot, Lemmings in Love,and Take Me To The Bonus Level Because I Need an Extra Life.
Interestingly enough, every tidbit of information I could find about these guys was in German, but luckily, all of their lyrics are in English. While not nearly as obviously comedic, at times Pornophonique echoes such acts as Tenacious D and Flight of the Choncords. At first listen, I heard a Jack Black-ish melody line, while instantly picturing Bret and Jemaine singing their hilarious tune The Humans are Dead.
And since no one can live off music alone, your eyes will get some candy too: Eight artists from the comic/graphic novel scene designed illustrations to the eight songs on the album. If you are interested, don’t hesitate to order your copy of “8-bit Lagerfeuer” from Pornoqhonique’s official website, complete with interchangeable covers in a white tin-box. Or if you’re like me (painfully poor), you can legally download the songs alone for free!
Warning: these songs are bound to sneak into your mind and stay there for a very long time.