Sharping and the connection between Stuttgart and Berlin: the strongest teams of the season – Culture

These are Sharping (from left): Kevin Kohn, Angelo Fonfara, Christian Hurdt and Jermaine Herold. Photo: Glitterhouse / Marcus Wojatschke

Welcome to the strange world of Sharping. On the debut album “Unser Charping” there’s room for Minnegesang, German ’70s rap, and Lars Eidinger bashing. Half of this indie pop group is made up of Stuttgart natives Kevin Kohn and Angelo Fonfara.

Sometimes you take a seat on the “night train to Naples”, which then only arrives in Osnabrück in three to four times. Prehistoric creatures dance in a funky new wave in “DieDinosaur, Bitte!” Until the comet hits a shaggy brook rock. Sometimes in the song “Alles gut” between the highway and traffic jams, between “miez, miez” and “woof, woof” real life is sought in error. And sometimes “The Power of Love” leaves open the question of whether or not Frankie goes to Hollywood, or Jennifer Rush or Huey Lewis and the news were the inspiration.

“Stuttgart was really great. That was once”

You never know what’s going to happen next, nothing is certain in this whimsical 13-piece pop universe of blurs hosted on this album, Our Charping, the debut of the quartet Scharping. A band like this could only thrive in the beloved Friedrichshain district of Berlin. However, half of the exotic is imported from Stuttgart. Kevin Kohn is best known as the drummer for the band Dienerve, but also as a member of Wolf Mountains and as a backup and occasional drummer in every band that has ever formed in a Wagenhallen environment. Lives in Berlin for some time. Angelo Fonfara had moved there from Stuttgart years earlier. “I haven’t been to Stuttgart for a long time, but everything I can remember is no longer there: the tube, the 33rd rocker, the basement, the 12th club,” says Fonfara. Stuttgart nostalgia theme. “Stuttgart between 2005 and 2010 was really cool. There were so many local bands, so many different genres. That was one time.”

A great mix of genres and styles

Since nowhere else are there as many performance opportunities for bands as in Berlin and the rehearsal rooms there are still reasonably affordable, it’s no wonder that all the musicians are drawn there. So Kohn and Fonfara are now together with Jermaine Herold and Christian Hurdt Sharping. The band has been around since 2017. A few demo cassettes and great performances later – for example at the Reeperbahn, but also in Stuttgart – Sharping’s debut album has finally been released.

The album opens with a quote from Modest Mussorgsky Pictures’ album at an exhibition, but if Our Charping is an exhibition, the curator must have put it together. Because there is nothing for everyone here. There is a great mix of genres and styles registered. “We like to play with expectations – and then break them,” Kevin Kohn says at the meeting at the Telster Lichspell cinema bar in Friedrichshain. “We want things that don’t actually fit together here,” Angelo Fonfara says.

Indie rock general store

The four men at the table at an indie rock general store called Sharping, who take turns as songwriters and singers, don’t fit together either — at least as far as their taste in music is concerned. This is where the preferences for electropop, jazz, R’n’B, shabby indie, loud rock noise, and mysterious metal meet. “But I think what we all have in common is that we all have such an affinity for radio pop songs from our childhoods, and one-hit wonders from the ’80s and ’90s,” Cohn says.

The four also share a quirky love. There is, for example, “I’m smoking fat,” an engraved pit number that shows what German rap would have sounded if it had been invented in the 1970s. Or this is Minnelied’s perfectly ironic interpretation of Gottfried von Niven’s “Saelic saelig sî diu wunnen”. Even if Scharping has not experienced Maine singing in the Middle Ages, the lyrics are just as confusing as the music, offering a world of references in which one can become hopelessly entangled. Here the pop rhetoric is taken absurdly. It begins with the band’s name and album title. Between former Defense Secretary Rudolf Sharping and the family series “Unser Charly” there is a tangle of possible explanations that Kuhn and Funfara are hesitant to solve.

Have coffee with Lars Edinger

Likewise, there is no real answer to the question of why Max Gruber (Drangsal) plays the darts tournament director in the video for Scharping’s song “Alternative zur Umwelt” (“He just appeared on set,” Kuhn claims). Kuhn and Fonvara also prefer not to decipher the song “Lars Edinger Has No Friends (Only Acquaintances): “But I had coffee with Edinger once when I played nerves at Schaubuhnny in an RAF play,” says Kuhn, “but I didn’t know.” So who was that time.”

Sharping: We drew

Kevin Kuhn (DieNERS), Angelo Fonfara (Nille Promille), Jermain Herold (Lost Girls), and Christian Heerdt (Botschaft) are Scharping and almost something like an indie pop band. In 2019, they released “Powerplay” with cool titles like “Hey Jan Böhmermann, get that alcohol now!” or “Wodka Lemon (Miami Shice)”.

“Unser Charping” (Glitterhouse), released in April, is a cabinet full of curiosities in imitation of Frank Zappa’s offbeat pop experiences or Wayne. This is where new wave meets hard rock and hip hop and Maine vocals.

If you want to listen to Scharping live, you must first travel to Berlin. The band celebrates their album release party on May 21 at the indie rock club Chocoladin. Kevin Kohn can be seen with Nerves on June 12 at the Maifeld Derby in Mannheim and on June 21 at the MHP Arena in Ludwigsburg (there at the Einsturzenden Neubauten opening ceremony).

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