See Dance Music Oddball Otto Von Schirach’s Randy ‘Salpica’ Video
A fitting clip for the first single from his new album, 'Supermeng,' out August 3 on Modeselektor's Monkeytown label
Hard to believe, but it’s been over a decade since Otto Von Schirach began channeling a childhood spent listening to “Miami Bass, Gore Grind, Gangsta Rap and Afro Cuban Noise” (per his biography) into some of the sickest — and funniest — platters in electronic music.
Given his affiliations with labels like Schematic and Cock Rock Disco (and, briefly, Mike Patton’s Ipecac), Von Schirach has generally been lumped in with the IDM, or “intelligent dance music,” scene — a seeming miscategorization, until you realize that few artists in any genre have ever made music so stoopid feel so smart. Or, OK, in the case of tunes like “Cantaloupe Syphilis Gravy” and “Global Fisting (That’s What I Do),” maybe not smart, exactly. But clever.
As you might expect from a guy who has collaborated with Skinny Puppy, image is everything. No faceless techno bollocks here: In press photos, Otto Von Schirach has come across as a devil-locked Andrew W.K., a tattooed crossword-puzzle champ, and a cat-throwing Neil Hamburger. All par for the course for this (again, per his bio) “half Cuban Native Indian half German Anunnaki wolf, [who] was born in the 3rd point of the Bermuda Triangle, Miami” — which I’m pretty sure makes him something like Doctor Octagon’s “half shark-alligator, half man,” reborn as a breakcore savior.
After a three-year absence, Von Schirach (a.k.a. Blotto Von Crack Rock, Otto Von Schitpiss, and, tellingly, El Santo) is back with a new album and a new persona. In the video for “Salpica,” the first single off his new album, Supermeng, Von Schirach plays a randy, streetwise thug with an uncanny resemblance to The Big Lebowski’s Jesus Quintana, a tin-foil grill, and a massive cock (actually, a fairly standard-sized rooster); the song’s a tongue-in-cheek love letter both to Miami’s scantily-clad mamis and the bass-heavy sound of local legends like 2 Live Crew. With lyrics whose literal translation of “Jump! Splash!” doesn’t quite tell the whole story, you can bet that for Otto Von Schirach, the description “tongue in cheek” similarly disappears up a tunnel of double-entendre.
Supermeng, out August 3 on Modeselektor’s Monkeytown label, doesn’t stop with Miami bass: It’s a bizarre amalgam of surf rock, hip-hop, electrobilly, beakbeats, and comically overblown wobble-step. Furthering the Doctor Octagon comparison, there’s even a song called “Earth People,” albeit in the style of the B-52s’ “Rock Lobster.”
Check out the video here, and listen to the entire album from the half shark-alligator, half meng below.