[sic] Magazine

Starframes – Nicht Vergessen

Nicht Vergessen is the third album from Italian dreampop/post punk act Starframes.

And it is sensational.

The album itself is a conceptual piece based upon the book Stasiland by Anna Funder. Funders acclaimed collection aka True Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall delves into life in post war East Germany, specifically underneath the regime of the ministry of state security, the infamous Staci. However its influence upon Nicht Vergessen (German for Don’t Forget) is already second hand. In-between both works, lies Nicht Vergessen the novel. Dear reader, I kid you not. Guitarist and singer Raphael Bramont has written a novelisation based upon Stasiland. The album is both standalone and accompanying piece of work.

Mind blown, much?

Right! Anyway you’re here because of the music so we won’t over egg the literary cake. Except to say that links will be provided below including that for the full novelisation. (In Italian but…right click, Translate and bingo!) The album is an hour long but never tarries. Each chapter of the novel provides the title to the corresponding song but you don’t need to read the novel to appreciate the album. There are a number of instrumental segues to orient the listener as to whatever chapter or ‘side’ you’re on. The music itself is far from the oppressive dour fest one might be forgiven for imagining. Don’t expect a Joy Division here. Expect an OMD or New Order, a band that has paid its ‘brooding’ dues but subsequently turned the page. Things even get jaunty on the Radio Dept infused ‘Berlin is in love’. There are catchy new wave numbers everywhere you look. ‘Rising Wall’ evokes M83 or even Craft Spells as well as ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’. ‘Close’ goes all Beach House/Cigarettes After Sex dreaminess.

I cannot believe that Nicht Vergessen has been neglected within my review stack for so long. It is a work of staggering ambition more than backed up by its execution. Not in a weighty, tiresome way. This album glistens with its indie pop sensibilities beautifully framing Bramonts ‘lost little boy’ vocals. Now I have discovered it, I can’t see it leaving my player any time soon.

Nicht Vergessen Novel