- One of the great things about Düsseldorf is that there's no discernible line between the city's arts and music communities. Its best club, Salon Des Amateurs, is located within the walls of the Kunsthalle art exhibition hall. The Salon's founder, Detlef Weinrich, who makes music and DJs as Tolouse Low Trax, studied at the city's centuries-old Kunstakademie, which is where he met his two partners in Toresch, Viktoria Wehrmeister and Jan Wagner, back in the '90s.
Toresch began when Gregor Jansen of Kunsthalle asked Weinrich, Wehrmeister and Wagner to collaborate on a performance at Düsseldorf's Das Fest in 2014. The trio played live at the Salon as part of the festival, with Wehrmeister on vocals, Weinrich on machines and Wagner coordinating the visual side of the performance. Vladimir Ivkovic, a longtime resident at the Salon, wasn't at that performance in 2014, but he heard the demos and decided to sign Toresch to his Offen Music label. On Essen Für Alle, those rough demos have been cleaned up—a little, but not too much—by Gordon Pohl, another staple of the Düsseldorf scene.
Wehrmeister's contribution to the record is remarkable. Her lyrics are delivered in a mix of rudimentary English, Spanish and a feverish made-up tongue—"Vicky's fantasy language," Ivkovic calls it—that brings to mind Anna Homler's Breadwoman character. She sounds like a German Anne Clark on "The Hill," while on "Laquella" she stretches her words and lets them linger like an early morning prayer. For his part, Weinrich's productions stay true to the kind of slow, swinging body music he crafts as Tolouse Low Trax. On "Mojole," he creates a huge, sluggish groove, while his watery loop on "Speicher" is offset by Wehrmeister's half-yelled vocal delivery. "Speicher"'s furious energy returns on "Comida Para Todos," a track with echoes of Roberto De Simone's 1976 stomper, a Salon classic that's had plenty of airings at the club down the years. In its own way, Essen Für Alle is a classic Salon record, too.
A1 The Hill
B3 Comida Para Todos