German avant/post-rock trio THE ANTIKAROSHI is preparing for the April release of their fifth LP, Extract.Transform.Debase, once again through their allies at Exile On Mainstream. With the album’s release growing near, a video for its heartfelt and deeply motivated first single, “Requiem for R. S.,” has been issued.
THE ANTIKAROSHI’s new single “Requiem for R. S.” is inspired by quite an intense story. The song is the band’s eulogy written for a man named Rolf Schulze, who was murdered at night on November 6th to 7th, 1992 by a group of three Neo-Nazis. There is not much information about the life of Rolf Schulze other than he obviously was a quite known homeless or part-time homeless person in his home village Genshagen/Brandenburg in Germany. As he slept on a park bench in Schonefeld, a small town in the outskirts of Berlin, the group of three well-known Neo-Nazis pulled up claiming to take him home. They before went to a local disco where they obviously announced they were going to “go on patrol,” letting off steam and cleaning the streets from hobo garbage. According to the trial that followed the murder, their plan was to take Rolf, whom they knew before and kept calling him “Antisocial Rolf,” batter him on a motorway stop, and leave him there. One of the guys then decided to “do it the right way” as they put it. They went to a local lake near the small town of Lehnin, a well-known meeting point for the Neo-Nazi scene in the early ‘90s. Lehnin is where THE ANTIKAROSHI members were born and raised and is just a ten-minute drive from Exile On Mainstream’s location, hence the deep connection.
Upon arrival at the lake, the three fascists drew out one of the most brutal lynchings in the history of Brandenburg county. With sixty boot kicks, a propane gas bottle thrown at Rolf’s head, and finally pouring gasoline over him and setting him ablaze while leaving the location, he died a horrible, and as reconstruction shows, a long and slow death. His remains were found the next day and it took three more days before he was identified. The trial found the three offenders guilty, but not following a political motive which remains cynical beyond belief even today, considering that all three claim during the trial that they considered Rolf a non-valuable member of the German race and thus he should not be granted the right to live here. All three continue to show no remorse and remain active as Neo-Nazis even during their prison years and afterwards.
After 1992, it took twenty years before an official memorial ceremony was held in the town of Lehnin and a memorial plaque was introduced. The song takes the story of Rolf Schulze and the emotional dealings surrounding it, that goes further than mourning a loss but illustrating the memories of THE ANTIKAROSHI being in their late forties, now almost at the age of Rolf Schulze back then and their personal memories of growing up in rural areas just outside Berlin and Potsdam in the early 1990s as left-wing hardcore kids while Fascist agendas were omnipresent during these years in this area. History of the East-German rural Brandenburg calls these years the “Baseball Bat Years.”
Tune in and watch THE ANTIKAROSHI’s “Requiem for R. S.” video now at THIS LOCATION.
With eight buoyant and expansive songs spanning forty-five minutes, THE ANTIKAROSHI delivers another entertaining record with Extract.Transform.Debase, ending a five-year gap between albums. Custom-fit for fans of Fugazi, Unwound, Drive Like Jehu, Quicksand, Lungfish, and Exile On Mainstream labelmates Dÿse, We Insist!, Bulbul, and Beehoover, Extract.Transform.Debase was recorded, mixed, and mastered in the Autumn of 2020 at Blockhausstudio and ChaosAudioProd Basement by Nikolaus Schwab. Joining Christoph Hennig (vocals, guitar, electronics), Dirk Hoffman (vocals, bass, electronics), and Andre Pautz (drums), the record features guest piano and vocals from Marco Henschke and cello from Mette Wätzel on “Set Your Reminder” and vocals from Tonia Reeh on “Spitting Image.” The captivating cover artwork was created by Matt Irwin (A Whisper In The Noise, Wive).
Exile On Mainstream will release Extract.Transform.Debase on April 23rd, pressed on 180-gram 12” black virgin vinyl with a bundled CD and digitally. Find physical preorders HERE and iTunes preorders HERE.
Watch for additional audio previews and more to post over the weeks ahead.