Four-and-a-half years have passed since CONNY OCHS’ most recent album, Doom Folk. While new music from the man was rare in the record store, he was quite active on stage. In addition to some solo tours and very intensive concerts including the online Roadburn Festival 2020 and two touching performances in the Dolomites in 2021 and 2022, which fans could follow via livestream, the artist, who works and lives in Germany and Italy, surprised us especially with the band Trialogos, whose 2021 debut album Stroh Zu Gold presented a completely new side of CONNY OCHS. Working with multi-instrumentalists Kiki Bohemia and Sicker Man, the band delivered a musical collective improvisation based on Tony Conrad’s concept of minimal music as maximalism that was acclaimed worldwide.
During the Corona lockdowns, CONNY OCHS had the time to go through a collection of notebooks that he had amassed during his time in Hamburg, Berlin, and while traveling as a singer in various bands. He reveals, “I always had the feeling that in these lyrics there was a kind of connection between my time as a band member and the moment my solo journey began, the release of Raw Love Songs and my meeting with Andreas of Exile On Mainstream and with Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich. I felt like there was a before and after, and I wanted to give the before its place in the story.” The idea of publishing selected poems as a book became an affair of the heart. “I hope it can illustrate the trip that I made at the time, that led to the songs and life decisions I took later. To me, it’s thoroughly cathartic, but I’ve tried to find a dynamic that gives the book its own right to be a collection of stories, thoughts, and ideas.”
Initially, the poetry collection Wahn Und Sinn was to be published independently. However, an idea had already started to develop. “I had written some new lyrics in German while working with the notebooks,” explains the singer/songwriter the experimental approach that illustrates the beginnings of the album Wahn Und Sinn. From the collaboration with Tobias Vethake aka Sicker Man at Trialogos also arose the desire and the idea to work together another time. CONNY OCHS developed rough melodies for the lyrics, “Still without really knowing what to do with it. But I had the feeling that there was the same energy in the resulting songs as in the book. I was fascinated by Tobias’ work at Trialogos and as a producer and suddenly felt the urge to ask him to produce these songs. We did it in a radical way: I sent him my unedited demos and asked him to throw away the instruments and just keep the vocals and harmonic arrangements.” The aim was to avoid the singer/songwriter approach that had previously characterized CONNY OCHS’ music. The initial experiment turned into an album whose cover, for the first time, does not feature artwork by the artist himself but a picture by Scottish artist Abi Salvesen. Here, too, a departure from his usual way of working is manifested.
As an experimental excursion and reflection, Wahn Und Sinn thus forms the transition to a new chapter in CONNY OCHS’s creative work, which is to be followed by a new official album as early as Spring 2024.
Wahn Und Sinn will be released on LP with a CD included. The book will also be available as a limited edition with a bundled CD at concerts. In the Exile On Mainstream webshop, the record and book will be available individually or as a bundle. Finally, the content of the record complements the content of the book, inspired by the confrontation with the poems from the years 2000-2010: “If I look at both together now, I find that also Wahn Und Sinn tells the story which until now seems to be the core of my songs: getting lost in order to find yourself.”
The book and the insert included with the album contain all texts in German and English. Also on the album is Conny’s longtime friend and companion Hannes Scheffler, who also handled the final production, mixing, and mastering of the record, as well as Anna Ochs as the singer on the track “Lumos.”
Exile On Mainstream will release Wahn Und Sinn on October 20th. Find physical preorders HERE and digital presaves HERE.
Watch for audio previews, an official video, and more on CONNY OCHS’ Wahn Und Sinn to be posted over the coming days.
Wahn Und Sinn Track Listing:
5. Taub Und Laut
CONNY OCHS is also booking live excursions surrounding the release of Wahn Und Sinn, including two record release shows for the album and more. Expect further live announcements to post as the album draws near.
CONNY OCHS Live:
9/09/2023 Spazio 211 – Torino, IT
9/28/2023 Ostpol – Dresden, DE *record release show
10/06/2023 Objekt 5 – Halle/Saale, DE *record release show