Kafka Band releases a new album Der Process (i.e. The Trial) on September 15 at Indies Scope. After Zámek (i.e. The Castle) a Amerika (i.e. America), the formation around the writer and singer Jaroslav Rudiš, the artist and singer Jaromír 99 and the musician Dušan Neuwerth concludes a trilogy of recordings inspired by the work of the writer Franz Kafka, whose hundredth anniversary since his death is coming next year. It is again a concept album, produced by Dušan Neuwerth and the band itself. It contains twelve tracks in which music is intertwined with literature, Czech with German (once with English) and dark moments with absurd humor. The band, which now consists of the musicians Tomáš Neuwerth, Lukáš Morávek, Zdeněk Jurčík and Petr Weiser, will present the recording live in October and November in Brno, Olomouc, Opava, Tábor, Prague, Ústí nad Labem, Czechia, and in Bielefeld, and Bremen, Germany. Der Process is released as 2LP, CD, mp3 and of course on all major streaming services here.
Jaromír 99 explains how the individual parts of the trilogy differ musically: "The first album Das Schloss (i.e. The Castle) is very literary and very raw. Amerika (i.e .America) is epic. I think you can feel that it was written for the theatre. And Der Process is a club record. We feel the pulse of the city and the nightclubs and the shanties. But also anxiety and fear." Das Schloss was first released in 2014 as the soundtrack to a comic book adaptation by Jaromir 99 and David Mairowitz. "We were supposed to play only two concerts, one in Prague and the other at the Literary House in Stuttgart for the exhibition K: Kafka in KomiKsu, where Jaromír exhibited with the cult comic creator Robert Crumb and the French artist Chantal Montellier. But we immediately received other offers," Jaroslav Rudiš describes the creation of the trilogy. And Jaromír 99 continues: "We thought it would be a one-off project. Then, at the theatre in Bremen, where the show we were in was based on The Castle, we were offered to bring Kafka's fragment America to the stage. And then we thought it would be good to conclude the trilogy with perhaps Kafka's most famous work, The Trial."
The preparation of the album resembled a literary-musical seminar, says Dušan Neuwerth with exaggeration: “Jára Rudiš will analyze the book with us and in the process we will find places that inspire us and help us to tell the story. Some songs are created by improvisation, other ideas are brought into the rehearsal room by the musicians. Some of the songs on the album Der Process are loosely inspired by Kafka. But most of the lyrics come directly from Kafka." The band then recorded the album in January 2023 at the SONO Records studio Doupě.
According to Rudiš, the novel The Trial is a story about guilt and the desire for justice: "The bank clerk Josef K. is arrested one morning. He doesn't know why and he never will. He fights an invisible force, the dark power, the bureaucracy. He wants to achieve vindication, but ends up in a quarry with a knife in his heart. He dies like a dog, as Kafka writes. It's a dark and contemporary story, but there's also humor in it."
Just as Kafka wrote in German, but his second language was Czech, so the texts move between German and Czech. Nevertheless, there is one English song on the album. "It just happened that way. In the song Shame we tried both German and Czech, but in the end English came out the best. Shame and guilt are big themes for Kafka. The song seems fragile - maybe because Dušan Neuwerth composed it on the piano when he was putting his little daughter to sleep. But the text is an absolute contradiction. There is a great darkness in it. It creates an interesting tension. And I think that applies to the other songs as well," explains Jaromír 99.
The Kafka Band will present Der Process live at a few concerts in October and November. "Each album was created with a completely different instrumentation, which is why it's not possible to just jump between albums. And we don't want that either. We want to tell Kafka's story on stage as we perceive it. So this time we have Der Process. But in the encores, we will play a few older songs," says Dušan Neuwerth about the live version.
In 2024, it will be one hundred years since the death of Franz Kafka. And already this year, 140 years since his birth. The writer was born in Prague on July 3, 1883 and died on June 3, 1924 in Kierling, Austria. Today he is probably the most famous Prague author.
|01 Verhaftung - Zatčení||07:17||€ 0.62|
|02 Untersuchung - Vyšetřování||04:21||€ 0.62|
|03 Leere - Prázdnota||02:55||€ 0.62|
|04 Maškarbál - Maskenball||05:14||€ 0.62|
|05 Die Kanzleien - Kanceláře||04:33||€ 0.62|
|06 Shame - Stud||04:28||€ 0.62|
|07 Leni||04:04||€ 0.62|
|08 Advokat - Advokát||04:28||€ 0.62|
|09 Dom - Chrám||04:03||€ 0.62|
|10 Türhüter - Dveřník||04:29||€ 0.62|
|11 Im Mondschein - V měsíčním svitu||03:33||€ 0.62|
|12 Ende - Konec||04:10||€ 0.62|