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Thursday, 6 June 2013

image for The latest trends in German music
German rap - not for the faint hearted

Think of German music, and your mind immediately conjures up oompah-bands and thigh-slapping lederhosen-clad Teutons. It's not a pleasant image, but thankfully German music has moved on these days.

A trend which has long been around in Germany is to incorporate lyrics about technology and engineering into modern music. The latest band to top the pop charts in Germany is a four-piece metal band from the Ruhr called Dichloroethane, with a song about the rotary Wankel engine. The catchy chorus translated into English goes, "The four strokes of the Otto cycle occur in the space between a three-sided symmetric rotor and the inside of the Wankel housing." It's hardly Lady Gaga, but it is educational.

It is not a movement limited to any particular musical style. Since the mid-1980s, German rappers, including David Hasselhoff, have delighted in describing industrial and scientific concepts, from the Bessemer process to Bose-Einstein condensate. Top German rapper Heinrich Von Kool has recently released a concept album about the laws of thermodynamics. Entitled "Entropie und Gleichgewicht" (Entropy and Equilibrium) it features tracks devoted to explaining each of the four laws of thermodynamics in excruciating detail. The album recently went Dreifach-Platin (triple platinum) in Germany and is selling well in Austria too.

So why is science and engineering such a popular topic for German musicians? Social commentator Hans Winkle thinks it is to do with the post-war Germanic socio-cultural identity, and he has released an album of poetry describing his theories.

London-based European expert Colin Farage explained it more succinctly. "They're all a bunch of fahking Krauts, innit!" he said.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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