Tiger, My Friend by Psapp
Formats: CD (BAY 41CD) Vinyl (BAY 41V) Digital (BAY 41E)
Release Date: 3 November 2004
Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann, who together form Psapp, seem to enjoy being contrary. Their worldwide debut album, Tiger, My Friend, is stuffed full of memorable, friendly tunes with a nod to traditional songwriting, but all the rough edges have been left exposed.
On classic songs, such as 'Calm Down', 'Curuncula' and 'King Kong', unashamed choruses proudly sit atop intricate, warm electronics, plucked violins, broken toy keyboards and microphones left in the rain. The oddest of sounds and fragmented melodies all jostle for space. But it's in heartbreakingly honest numbers like 'The Counter' where the vulnerability of the music is truly exposed.
Tiger, My Friend wears its heart on its sleeve and skips through rain-wet streets, and it does so rather infectiously. Beyond the noises, the squeaks and the downright excessiveness of it, there's more to this record than just fun tinkering and hysteria. Psapp's lovelorn tunes tell tales of everyday insecurities with a refreshing honesty. And these simple sentiments somehow, through the music, become more than the sum of their parts.
Carim is a ridiculously talented producer, his judgment is impeccable and his technique utterly unique, perfectly complementing Galia's waywardness. With a production CV encompassing Einstürtzende Neubauten, Natacha Atlas, and Susheela Raman, Carim makes a living producing, noise-making and mastering for other leftfield bods. When they need a reliable pair of ears they go to The Fishtank Studio. Galia's singing and keyboard work conveys a comfortable intimacy, spreading over the disparate beats with a smoothness that could make butter jealous.
By the time you read this, the worn and battered studio where this record was made will be gone. Bulldozed to the ground to make way for Network Rail's Kings Cross expansion plans. But it remains a document of the times where two friends hung out in a dirty kitchen enjoying dressing up, food fights, cats and violins and recording it all, waiting to see where the late night fun would take them next.
An exhilarating debut from a band that will be around for a long time to come, Psapp demands your love. Just try to keep Tiger, My Friend in the background. It will stomp its foot and pull faces until you listen.
Released on CD in November 2004 in the US by The Leaf Label and January 2005 in the UK by Arable, with different artwork on each version.
You can watch the video for 'About Fun' using the link below. The clip, directed by Thorsten Levin, is created from drawings by Psapp's Galia Durant.