Four years and a host of releases since they made their debut on Bandcamp, Herzog TV have taken the fan-friendly decision to drop an 18 track compilation album featuring artists both old and new for their followers to chew on.
Known for their slapstick, satirical approach to song-writing and videography, this multimedia label have, with this new compilation, shown the breadth of their interests and the talent of the core group of musicians closely related to the label.
The guys had previously released sporadically on their own label and on others, such as Soft Boy Records and Little L Records. Now they say that they only recently realised the value in taking their own label, Herzog TV, seriously.
Part of that realisation was that they recognised the absence of anything quite like Herzog TV on the Irish music scene. They also gleefully found themselves surrounded by talented friends and collaborators.
Their first compilation was released in 2015. Around that time they described themselves by way of Ariel Pink, Mac DeMarco and Atlas Sound. Take a listen back to that short 7 track record and those musicians pretty well describe their sound. In the interim, however, they’ve add many strings to their bow.
Earthbound Hound’s Crk is a lulling ambient delight cooked amongst the dawn patrol birds of your Saturday and Sunday mornings in the city. Very Happy Boy’s A_27 continues in the same vein, the mellow calming effect of this early intersection in the album is lovely and totally unexpected.
Amidst the music are a pair of skits meant to lighten the tone that such navel gazing songs can cause. The first, the introductory, lends the listener an insight into their humour immediately and later Boys Club is another reference to their playful group mentality. It is either childlike affectation or a tribalist Dublin suburb thing, couldn’t tell ya which one.
These imaginary dividers split the length album into parts. Whether that is the more energetic, surf tinged opening few, or the more ambient, electronic, experimental stuff around the midpoint, or the melancholic lovelorn closing few, this gives listeners the option to come back and sample their favorite few.
Of the sixteen or so artists who make an appearance on the album, just six of them have made an appearance on the label before. With ten unreleased artists there is a lot to chew on, and a lot, fingers crossed, to look forward to in the future from Herzog TV.
The closing section is perhaps the most hard hitting, with two of the founders of the original Herzog TV, Isaac Jones and Henry Earnest both featured alongside fantastic psych rockers Spacedog and Benji.
In the time since the label began, the quirky sensibilities of the three main players behind the group – musicians Henry Earnest and Isaac Clarke, and videographer Stephen Sorenson – have amalgamated together to create surreal imagery with a tribalist atmosphere and some generally awesome music.
Beautifully, they have never abandoned their DIY approach to all aspects of their music. They have about much fun creating their songs as anyone else in Ireland and let’s hope they continue on in the same vein for the future.