[BEHIND THE SCENES] Fräulein Wunder

Contributing to the electro swing scene and working on my first own album is an honor I have dreamed of since I started being a dj in 2015. For over three years I have dedicated my heart and mind in learning music theory and mastering the digital audio workstation. And believe me when I say that when one couldn’t even sing in primary school it takes a really, really long time to understand how to create melodies and harmonies that haunt everyone after listening. For anyone out there being in the same situation as me, I strongly recommend the free smartphone app Sonid, which playfully teaches you all basics. Well, now I’m on my way to release the first single of Fräulein Wunder.

Timcat playing next to a swing band. One of the stepping stones to learn how to create Fräulein Wunder.

Producing an album brings not only the challenge of creating several tracks per se, but furthermore connecting them to tell a story, one’s enchanted to get to know. Like an intriguing book it has to invite you to the theme, guide you through challenges, losses and coups and conclude with a fulfillment of feelings. Being in the streaming era of music, many producers refuse to acknowledge the concept of albums at all and focus on the new listening habits of consumers. Statistics give you information on how to construct a song that is really good on accumulating plays. Having a short intro, a non-complex structure for repeatability and being not too long. Don’t get me wrong, some of these findings are really valuable. But in my mind, just creating tracks for themselves takes context from them. Sometimes a melody or an idea is just so unique, that it has to be a solitary piece of music. Sure. But having a narrative gives a track a soul that shines brighter with greater thoughts given when it comes to its creation.

In general, there are some methods to construct electro swing tracks. The more classical technique would be by using old swing samples and building the beat around that. But there’s a little problem with that. When I went through my collection of old swing music the main theme was always about cool men and sexy women.

I’ve worked on many tracks over the course of my music theory journey and began sorting them in thematic groups. And just for the curious people out there: yes, my next two albums are also already kinda planned. But it was then, when the idea came for fabricating a female protagonist. Fräulein-wunder was a term from the 50’s for over some decades for woman who contribute to society in a greater way. Of course, this term came later in disrepute, because women shouldn’t need such terms. It implies that they normally wouldn’t commit themselves to greater cause. The idea grew to align this infamous term and the misogynist themes of the swing era against modern times views for an emphasized contrast, playing out as the inner conflict of the protagonist. This will be reflected strongly by the friction between vintage low quality swing samples meeting modern electronic beats.

With the blank space between Fräulein Wunder the main character was born. And the goal to musically transform the older views into our understanding of a confident woman. Since it’s my first album I’ll be releasing every finished track prior to the release of the album as a single at Electro Swing Thing. Starting with Incipit as an intro and Story of my Jive as the first storypiece from an older swing song. Sheba feat. Danda Hughes (guitar and vocals) will be the first track to complement the story arc. Other tracks collaborating with artists will be Fiasco feat. Frollein Trudy (vocals), Fyrpunk feat. Merle (violin) and Nothing to Lose in Toulouse feat. Yana Gercke (vocals).