German Electro with analogue sounds: Minimal Wave according to Mängelexemplar

As a dj, it’s important for me to constantly search for selected music pieces to play at my dj sets. As a result I spend hours listening to tons of music until I find exactly what I’m looking for. This is how I discovered Mängelexemplar, Dusseldorf Synth Wave duo.
During my dj sets I play mainly german Electroclash, with only a hint of Minimal Synth – but since I first listened to them I’m never not playing one of their songs. I really like the combination of female vocal and analogue sounds. Truly an interesting reinterpretation of the “Neue Deutsche Welle”.

After listening to them on a loop for months I decided to interview them and that’s how they answered my questions:

1. What’s the origin of your duo? Who’s behind Mängelexemplar?

Our origin is pretty simply but though very meaningful. The beginning of our love to each other was, at the same time, the beginning of the duo Mängelexemplar. We are Lilli B. (lyrics & vocals) and Joa H. (electronics).


2. What’s the meaning behind your name and why did you chose it?

Concisely: It fits to us. We ourselves don’t tend to perfection and are very happy with our personal failures. Equal to a “Mängelexemplar”, where there is a hidden mistake so it is not perfect to sale. Though it is still complete and is not less important or has a loose in value. In addition we believe that every human being is a “Mängelexemplar”. In fact unique but with positive and negative failures. We do music the way we are able to do. Most of the time it comes out of our stomach as we use to say in Germany means that our music begins by instinct without extras and glitter. A perfect simple light music. Lovingly named “Minimal-Schlager” by us.

3. When playing minimal wave, one can´t help but think to the 80´s. What influences you as musicians?

Definitely we are inspired by the 80’s. We are kids of this decade and grew up with music like New Wave, Synth Pop and NDW. Even today you will find us on the dancefloor for sure dancing to songs out of the 80’s. As we’re using analogue synthesizers there is no chance to create a different sound and that’s good. We love analogue sound and we won’t be able to create a different type of music to be honest.

4. Why did you choose to write your lyrics exclusively in german instead of more universal english? Don’t you fear this could be a limit when it comes to get yourself known beyond Germany?

That’s a really good question and there is no well-thought answer to it. None of us ever thought that we might be known abroad at the beginning. So we have never given a thought about the language of our lyrics. As german is our mothertongue it was the easiest way to explain the meaning of our thoughts, our irony, our ambiguity. At this point we might also admit that our English is not good enough to describe what’s really going on in our mind. Done And a very special thank you to all our fans abroad that anyhow use to sing all our lyrics during a concert. Soo fantastic!! We are stunned every time again.

5. What do you use to create your music? What’s your relationship with synthesizers?

We produce our music with analogue gear that Joa collected over the years. It has its very special charm to play with it and a very old beautiful vintage sound. Joa experimented with all kinds of electronic instruments with all kinds of electronic instruments but he always returned to old analogue stuff that, what he says, suits him better and he handles with passion.


6. How’s the minimal/synth wave scene in Germany nowadays? What’s the reception of your music in the rest of Europe?

Well, there’s a huge Minimal- and Synth-Wave-scene in many areas of Germany with a lot of local bands doing amazing stuff and organizing great events. A huge community exists who wants to transport the spirit of this style of music also maintaining and interacting with each other. That’s brilliant. We think what’s happening in Germany you can notice in many parts of Europe. In the last few years the Minimal- and Synth-Wave-scene seem to appear everywhere (not just in Germany) and it is still growing. We are really happy that much happened for us in the last year and it seems like Europe noticed our spirit. We were invited to a lot of gigs abroad (Belgium, Sweden, even Iceland). That was so fantastic and it has always been an amazing trip. We got in touch with a lot of other great bands from all over Europe. These events let us notice that there is also a lot going on behind the german border. So we hope that we’ll soon be able to play Italy and get in touch with the music scene there.


7. I definitely love your music and I play it at every one of my djsets. After Freizeit & Technik, when will the next album come out? We can’t wait to share it!

This is not a secret. We’re currently working on new songs and hope that we’ll be ready with recording next spring so the new album will come out in the middle of 2015. Again the album will be released by KERNKRACH Records. We are very well placed at that label and we already worked pretty well together on the release of our first album.
Many thanks for your kind invitation to that interview! It was a pleasure for us. Hope to see you soon somewhere out there, in the world of Minimal- and Synth-Wave-music.ängelexemplar

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