Music

Sonar Kollektiv pres: Tutu Amuse – ‘Two To Amuse’ LP

The Berlin duo’s unique debut album spans curious, sexy and theatrical melodies produced entirely between the two of them in the German capital.

Sonar Kollektiv presents a new and unique music project from Berlin duo: Tutu Amuse. The debut album, aptly titled ‘Two To Amuse’, is a multi-faceted affair, which the pair formed by puzzling together an assortment of around 30 different sequences they recorded with Rosa on guitar and Janek on drums in their tiny studio, mish-mashing them to create the 10 final tracks featured on the LP. Most interestingly, all the lyrics featured were created by using a collage of their text messages to one another, taking excerpts from pages of printed text conversations until they pieced them together to form a new and different theme for each track.

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The album features shades of Stereolab, Serge Gainsbourg and purveyors of kinky Berlin nightlife, from Helmut Newton to Bowie via Don Rogall. Treading a delicate path between contemplative moments, on tracks like the opener “Come Closer”, the sparse and pensive “Resident Halbton” and the single “Gaia”, and more frank and provocative ones such as the racy “Crucifix” (watch music video here), or the saucily entitled “Fluffy Porn”, the album strikes a deliberately uncomfortable balance between intensity and reflection.

The musical influences too are diverse, disarming and sometimes charming, from the John Barry meets Portishead feel of single “Cherry Riding” and album closer “BIMBIMBAP” to the acoustic, ‘60s free love sound of “Ohm” and “Fertile” and the straight up, percussive jazz feels of “Marginalized Minority”. A rich and varied palette of sounds that prevailed despite the world slipping into what was to be a two year slumber, as Rosa and Janek explain: “Creepy energy was hunting this Marzahn junkie jungle, but as soon as we locked the studio door on floor 9 – things unfolded surprisingly colourfully”

Tutu Amuse is formed of guitarist, vocalist and actor Rosa Landers and drummer, composer, vocalist and producer Janek van Laak. Although the two multi-instrumentalists come from quite disparate musical backgrounds – with Rosa starting in the world of drama and jazz-singing and Janek’s in experimental and improvised music – the pair had the shared experience of growing up in the same Kiez (neighbourhood) in Berlin. Having navigated their way through several lockdowns together in the infamous Marzahn tower blocks of the capital, the duo took it upon themselves to make music together and used the time to create the debut album.

With ample touring and more new music to come from this delicious doublet, this looks like being a momentous year for Tutu Amuse.