"Radio Vienna“: this is Vienna’s sound of today!
For musical outsiders, Vienna has been stereotyped with nostalgia until about one and a half years ago. “Austropop” was all too common, Falco, Marianne Mendt and Wolfgang Ambros were its most well-known artists, chanson and jazz being represented by André Heller and Oscar Klein. In contrast to Germany’s current generation of popular musicians who usually try to avoid contact to pop music or chansons of bygone decades, Viennese musical heroes of the 1970s and 1980s undergo an astonishing revival. There were several write-ups or even backbiting about “Austropop” and for a long time hardly anyone wanted to utter the “A-word” anymore. However, this seems to be reconciled. What happened? Despite prospects for commercial success, some young songwriters and bands started performing their songs with texts in Austrian dialect. Der Nino aus Wien became a new Indie-star with his decelerated poetry and the band 5/8erl in Ehr’n received the Amadeus-Award already three times for its sonic soul jazz. The retro-rock band Wanda finally captured the German-speaking countries with its morbid Viennese humor – the so-called Schmäh.
Unlike in the 1970s and 1980s, when Austropop regularly entered German charts, the creative music scene of today’s Vienna for long has been focusing on itself. Lacking a music industry that believes in native talents and exporting them, it became even more difficult to experience this exciting evolution outside Austria. Due to the radio program Bayern2 and the Bavarian TV and radio production “Heimatsound” – sound from home – these newcomers finally find their way to a greater audience in concert halls and radio playlists in Germany.
Never before, the spectrum of the Viennese music scene has been so colorful and multifaceted. Besides pop and rock music, the Wienerlied enjoys great popularity across all generations again. Jazz, music by songwriters, soul, blues, electronic and all the different facets of what is summed up in “worldmusic”, merge in a fascinating and virtuous way. Whether it is singer-songwriter-pop and jazz as in the case of the band Schmieds Puls or Willi Landl’s combination of chamber-music-songwriter-jazz, or soul-jazz played by 5/8erl in Ehr’n, Fatima Spar’s big band jazz, jazz and classical music Donauwellenreiter-style or Madame Baheux’s oriental jazz-world-fusion: they are all breaking down barriers and pigeon-holing outdated clichés. Martin Klein’s poetry unfolds romantic spell, the father-son duo Worried Man & Worried Boy with Nino aus Wien as well as the Lepschi Trio stand for Wiener Lied & Schmäh (the very peculiar Viennese songs and humor). International formations like Sormeh, Madame Baheux or Orges & the Ockus-Rockus Band show that traditions of other cultures have overcome their niche existence. On the contrary: they are part of a constantly growing young Viennese music family who all together experience its thriving and prospering. Everybody knows and supports one another, envy being unheard of. It seems to be a new kind of self-consciousness that takes for granted living native traditions and internationality at the same time.
“Radio Vienna” introduces adventuresome female and male artists, who are waiting in the wings. Maybe soon Vienna will become “new-Berlin”.