scenic view at place8 part2 (video) available here
(14.7 MB Quicktime)

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¥740 kattoo. places. cd. hymen records. september2004



re-place7 (rmx by flaque)

scenic view at place8 (video)


download pressrelease.pdf

kattoo is volker kahl of beefcake. released in collaboration with
cd album + digipack

in a recent interview, volker kahl talked at length about his new album, places, on hymen, and about a wide range of topics. the following is the complete transcript of that interview, which aired on an american cable news network.

reporter: so, volker, you’re one-half of the band called beefcake, correct? where did that name come from, beefcake? you know, in hollywood in the 1940s, a “beefcake” was a good-looking man.

volker: yes, we like good-looking men, don’t we?! of course we do, just look at me! i’m so hot! <grabs his nipples through his shirt> just kidding! no, we actually like beef-flavored cakes. they’re a delicacy where we’re from in a remote part of germany.

r: really?

v: of course not, you ignorant american corporate pig-dog!

r: okay, let’s settle down now and move on to another question, alright? let’s talk a little about this new album of yours, places. it’s your first solo album, right?

v: right, my first solo album. gabor, the other beefcake, he and i both make music separately but this is the first time i’ve released an album by myself like this. i’m very excited about it, aren’t you?

r: yes, it’s a brilliant mixture of dark techno beats and what the kids call drum-and-bass, right? but i hear lots of strings and things like that in it, there’s lots of orchestral music! it could almost be music for a film.

v: right, right! you are not only sexy, but perceptive! i was commissioned to make a film score, for a low-budget german porno full of, how do you call them, midgets, and also a lot of de-clawed cats, but then the producers of that movie lost all of their government arts funding, so i was left with a lot of beautiful classical-sounding music. what should i do with it? throw it out? no! i decided to beat it over the head with a techno and an industrial baseball bat. so what you get on “place2” is these midgets getting very vocally excited about all the de-clawed cats, and then a dark hip-hop beat comes in and changes into a frantic, noisy breakbeat, to cover up the original soundtrack. actually, the sounds of the breakbeat are from the midgets having sex with the cats.

r: oh that sounds terrible!

v: no, no, really, it’s lovely. the cats enjoyed it quite a lot, i think!

r: well, let’s move on to another song, “place4.” that one has some noisy guitars in it, and then it changes into, what did you call them, breakbeats?

v: yes, breakbeats. “place4” is one of my favorites, because i was able to take some hard-as-nails industrial guitar from the soundtrack, from the part in the movie where some evil gophers raid the house where the midgets and de-clawed cats are having sex. the original guitar was very menacing, like old front line assembly or something, it was very fun and sounded really dark originally, because the gophers are all right-wing christian missionaries from rural texas, and they throw deadly silver crosses, kinda like ninjas use chinese stars. anyway, i wanted to capture the mortal fear these evil gophers instill in the horny midgets, so i tried to create a dark ambient sound and crazy machine gun beats to go along with the evil gopher guitar theme.

r: uh, that’s unbelievable.

v: but it’s effective, is it not?

r: well, i’m certainly moved - to never see another german art film!

v: oh no, don’t do that! ??? is supposed to lift people up! just listen to the majestic “place8,” it has a lot in common with meat beat manifesto and even front line assembly, with its classic marriage of spoken word and languid drones giving way to a dark, angelic male choir - it’s the best of past industrial and modern technoid production. or check out the synthesized heartache that opens “place1,” it’s meant to pull you in with minor chords and wispy ambient notes and then bounce you up into the air with a cracking techstep beat! it’s neat!

r: yes, you’re right, it’s a really nice track, i have to admit that.

v: and all the better because it came from the end of the film, where the lord of the evil gophers, gozer the six-nosed aardvark, is slain by the most deadly weapon of all - a humpator, which is fanged, frenzied creature that arises from the union of a midget and a de-clawed cat! truly, love conquers all!

r: i think i’m going to be sick. and now back to our studios in new york…


jetzt, wo robag wruhme viel zu tun hat, legt volker kahl, die andere hälfte von beefcake, sein solo-album hin und sofort denkt man wieder an die frech bouncenden beefcake-monster, die uns über jahre begleitet haben. herr kahl ist unwiderstehlich, auch alleine. die beats stimmen einfach. egal ob surrend schnell oder verschroben langsam. die sounds stimmen einfach, sind immer deep und haben genau die kragenweite einer lässigen überlegenheit. und vor allem: die samples stimmen einfach. ein derart lockerer umgang mit sprachsamples muss ende 2004 mit sekt begossen werden. ähnlich wie damals bei beefcake strotzen die tracks vor atmosphäre, sind mit hallfahnen zugehängt, drücken, knarzen, rocken, sind einfach perfekt. killer-album! (thaddi)


vital weekly

under his solo-project kattoo, volker kahl (member of cutting edge electronica-band beefcake) takes the listener on a quite interesting trip to eleven different landscapes of sonic brilliance with the debut album titled "places". the album stylishly floats in familiar soundspheres to the beefcake-project, which means flowing, cinematic soundscapes of moody, mellow, beautiful and ugly atmospheres. musically kattoo first of all belongs to the dark techno-scene but during the 60+ minutes joyride, mr. kahl comes around a number of different expressions. on the rhythm-side we are confronted with breakbeats ranging from relaxed drum'n'bass to a more aggressive sort of rhythmic workout. moody ambientscapes creates the melodic touch mean while, a mass of voice-samples and cinematic sound clips makes the album sound like a movie soundtrack. there is an excellent use of sampled orchestration giving an almost symphonic feeling on the album. overall this is a very nice album for the adventurous listener. (nmp)



kattoo is the solo project of volker kahl, one half of hymen's resident beefcake. i always liked the clear sound of the duo, even if they only really impressed me with their last 10" on delikatessen. this album is one step beyond though, the production is sharp as usual but the main feature is that every track has a strong personality --this is the kind of music you instantly recognize after the first listen. places starts with an epic moment very much in the vein of label-mates gridlock, with heavy synths and distant bleeps, so emotional it will stick in your head for days. "place 3" is very evocative too, and sounds like a dramatic soundtrack, the one you can find at the end of a love story. one common thing between beefcake and kattoo is that they both mix electronics with other genres such as hip-hop or classical. here you'll find tracks that can be easily pigeonholed: "place 2" is hip-hop, "place 4" is heavy metal, "place 5" is pop, "place 7" is definitely hardcore drum'n'bass and "place 8" brings to memory the hardcore rave days. kattoo seems to mock each one of these genres, emphasizing their features until they become a sort of parody, while keeping tight textures and perfect sounds. this is the weirdness of places; while you can easily identify every track's genre and influences, you won't find a way to describe the record in its entirety. and it's so good that you just don't mind and listen to it again. places is an album that spans almost every electronic subgenre, and basically it should appeal to any electronic music listener. (luca maini)


ah, so beautiful. the perfect cd title for this music. the perfect track titles to go with it. place 1 till place 11. and we even get a look at place 8. a trip into everyday life with a twist. in all these places nothing is what it really seems. everybody sees people and life itself in their own peculiar way, and so many things and people can be seen in so many different ways. kattoo is letting us in on the way he sees 11 different places. we can get a view into one (there is a video track on the cd), and the rest of the places are for us to figure out. this is a cd for total daydreaming, relaxation, a movie score, driving in your car in the summer with the roof off… gorgeous! an absolute must-have! (ms.poly-ester)


a review in russian language by valentin laboda:



die beefcake jungs kommen einfach nicht weg von ihren filmischen streichern. auch bei soloplatten nicht. und das ist gut so. volker kahl hat eine der geschmeidigsten drum’n’bass hybriden seit langem gebastelt. melodisch, getragen, fitzelig und aggressiv in einem. läßt einen nicht so einfach los. intelligenter kitsch mit einigem reinterpretieren von musikhistorischen versatzstücken, die man nie und nimmer erwartet hätte. dreckige metalgitarren in sphärischem drum’n’bass gebettet. oder drones und zuckrige streicher. oder klassik-orchestralität und spoken word. oder singer/songwriter roadmoviegeklimper und new age ambient. dabei aber so selbstverständlich zusammengestellt, dass man eine platte wie aus einem guß zu hören meint. der inneren logik des in alle richtungen ausufernden experiments, immer unter der prämisse des musikalisch eingängigem, kann man sich als hörer schwerlich entziehen. man wird clever eingewickelt in die klangwelt, und realisiert erst hinterher, von was für einem stilgemisch man eigentlich geplättet wurde. ich kann mich nur verneigen. ganz großes hörkino. (tô)


wreck this mess

derrière ce pseudo se cache volker kahl, le co-équipier de gabor schablitzski avec lequel il est à l'origine de beefcake; projet qui explore les pistes ouvertes par autechre, boards of canada, etc. ce qui est étonnant sur cet album solo, c'est les multiples directions qu'il prend. chaque composition ayant sa tonalité, son univers propre. tout au début, une petite ritournelle triste mais acidulée, comme échappé d'un plan techno old-school, sert de virgule à breakbeats appuyés. sur les tracks suivants, des bribes de dialogues de films disparaissent sous des rythmes disloqués, et des nappes ténues contrastent avec des constructions harmoniques hasardeuses. on passe tour à tour d'une atmosphère paisible à une ambiance survoltée, de bo imaginaires ("place 3") à des réminiscences dark-tech et autres stigmates post-industriels. bref, un album foisonnant que l'on recommandera à tous ceux qui apprécient paysages sonores au relief contrasté. (ld)



don't be fooled by the peaceful scenery shown on places' cover as its music teems with the disturbed glossolalia of the urban metropolis. the debut outing from kattoo (volker kahl, one-half of beefcake alongside gabor schablitzki) takes a heady trip through typically threatening landscapes, with the most extreme a drill'n'bass torture chamber in “place7.” that the album sometimes resembles a film soundtrack is understandable, as kahl created the album using music originally created for a low-budget german porno (apparently featuring midgets and de-clawed cats, if kahl's to be believed) that collapsed when production funding failed to materialize. left with a load of classical-sounding music, kahl gave it an industrial techno overhaul and in doing so created a dystopic soundtrack for the mind. dubby atmospheres initiate the journey in relatively calm manner, but the anguished voices, skittering hip-hop rhythms, and brooding piano chords in the next stop makes for a markedly more disturbed setting. while the itinerary features its share of meditative moments (breezy acoustic folk in “place5,” tinkles and chimes in “place9,” and, more powerfully, harp plucks and mournful strings in the orchestral “place10”), there's ample drama too; following a pretty intro coupled with ominous spoken word samples, synth-driven breakbeats and massed male choirs boost “place8” anthemically. ferocious by comparison is the fourth track's monstrous coupling of stabbing guitar raunch and slamming drums. scored for voice samples, piano, and orchestra, the darkly portentous “place3” offers the most conspicuous indication of the album's soundtrack roots, though it almost collapses under the dramatic weight of its weeping strings and declamatory horns. all things considered, it's an engrossing enough trip, the music perpetually wending its way through disparate settings. kahl might have been wiser to end the album after “place10,” though, as the penultimate voice piece (inexplicably, kahl thought the seven minutes of spoken german in “place11” would be a good idea) and flaque's “re-place7” remix add little and, if anything, detract from the album's overall impact.


kattoo is the solo creativity of one of volker kahl's members from the project beefcake which stopped its work earlier. his first work places recently appeared on hymen records, today it's his new concept - new turn in the beefcase's creativity, almost total change of the sound, using of new instruments and creating of extraordinary sound spaces. the titles of the tracks as well as the title of the album itself are very simple - "place1", "place2", "place3"... the first track "place1" fills the listener with positive energy - light pads together with quick syncopated idm-rhythms circulate quicker and quicker at each time. in the second track the rhythm becomes more of hip-hop style, jumping voices and scratches - the melody is still very optimistic. in the third track we hear the sounds very similar to keyboard melodies of beefcake. the author perfectly represents the sketches of his adventures through his recollections, he creates dramatic galleries-labyrinths of sound through which we cross time and space borders. the fourth composition unexpectedly resembles some horror film - a huge octopus rises from the ocean's depth, attacks the ship and sinks it. it's the most surprising and terrifying track in the whole album, the style resembles hardcore drum'n'bass. the picture of the composition is so loose that it can be easily compared with the best works of amon tobin on ninja tune records. the unfolded drama ends, now comes the light sliding theme with female voice. place 6, 7, 8 are the author's experiments with syncopated rhythms, melodies and additional layers. "place 9" is a beautiful pearl hidden among the rest of tracks in the album. 10 and 11 are the obvious nostalgia for the times of beefcake - samples with german language, the same keyboards and familiar rhythmical structure of the tracks. but all is done so well and sincerely that the album can be listened to without pauses all day long. this album is a pleasant surprise as nowadays it's able it's able to complete the vaccum left after the breakup of beefcake.


kattoo webpage: