As I learned recently, Hamburg, Germany is cool, fun and adventurous. So it’s not surprising to hear that longtime German hip hop and electro group Deichkind hail from the port city. Since their founding more than twenty years ago, Deichkind have won over German speaking music fans with catchy lyrics, heart-thumping beats and a unique extravagance that shines through in live performances. This month, let’s get to know Deichkind and practice German with their fun sound.
The group was formed in 1997 by three MCs: Philipp Grütering (aka Kryptik Joe), Malte Pittner and Bartosch Jeznach (aka Buddy). By 2000 they released their debut album Bitte ziehen Sie durch, a humor filled hip hop album, on Showdown Records. They released three more albums — 2002’s Noch fünf Minuten Mutti, 2006’s Aufstand im Schlaraffenland, and Arbeit nervt — that were well received.
But it was Deichkind’s fifth album in 2012, Befehl von ganz unten, that really solidified their popularity. It was the band’s first hit album. The record reached two in Germany and five in Austria. The album features widely popular tracks like the driving monotone of “Leider Geil.” The 2015 follow-up Niveau weshalb warum continued the trend of success. It reached the top of the German and Swiss charts and number two in Austria.
Overtime the group has continued to grow and change. While their debut was fairly straightforward hip hop, electronics have played a more significant part of their instrumentation over time. Heavily repetitious hooks grab listeners with an infectious and fun tone.
The group’s line-up has also made some changes. Pittner left in 2006 while Jeznach parted ways with the group two years later. Grütering is now joined by Sascha Reimann (aka Ferris), Sebastian Dürre (aka Porky), and Henning Besser (aka Perla aka DJ Phono).
Deichkind’s Music Videos
Deichkind aren’t taking themselves too seriously. And that’s part of the fun. Their relatively low-fi music videos frequently feature a montage of random clips. In many, they feature internet clips where pyramids are superimposed over faces in order to obscure identities. It’s simple, dumb fun but also a reflection of culture.
One such video is for their track “Selber machen lassen” which features a montage of clips of a veritable who’s who of German language hip hop, pop and alternative music including other previously featured German music like Kraftklub, Die Toten Hosen, Bilderbuch, Die Fantastischen Vier, Marteria, and K.I.Z.
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Press photos by Jonas Lindström.