Harald Bosh

[Die Sonne Scheint fur alle Umsonst sleeve]"Die Sonne Scheint fur alle Umsonst" (Album + DVD, 2007)

Dercho Music

The first I heard of this label was when they sent me a copy of the debut Boshetunmay album back in 2001. Dercho Music is a label established by Siberian-born brothers Harry and Witali Dercho (aka Boshetunmay) who subsequently relocated to Germany. I'm guessing that Harald is a more mature take on Harry, as this is very similar to Boshetunmay. There has been some progression since the Boshetunmay release. The ideas are more coherent and the finished article is more polished.

Style wise this is, broadly speaking, synthpop, but perhaps Dercho's theatrical background has also had an influence. 'Theatrical synthpop' then. Certainly his classic vocal training is readily apparent (plenty of diaphragm work going on here which can't be said often of the synthpop genre!). Songs are sung in German but still with a touch of a Russian accent and with a distinctly American character at times. Which all makes for a slightly bizarre listening experience particularly outside Germany. Problem for many though will be the 'love it or not' nature of Dercho's voice. For me it does nothing. Except perhaps annoy. Which leaves the music, which is too eclectic and draws on too many musical styles that just don't appeal.

A quick look at the accompanying DVD and we get a peak behind the facade. It's billed as a concert plus extras like Harald Bosh in Stuttgart, Harald Bosh in München, Interview with Harald Bosh etc. Only the extras are mostly short holiday handicam clips or indulgent (read dull) footage of the studio where the album was recorded. As for the concert... it's just a pointless and sometimes cheesy performance of the songs in an empty hall. No audience. No atmosphere. Not live. Not a concert. By the end of the DVD you wonder if there isn't just a tad more ego involved than talent. That own-label thing is beginning to look suspiciously like vanity publishing. 5/10

Rob Dyer (May 2008)

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