The Blue Angel Lounge
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The Blue Angel Lounge


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The best kept secret in music


"Piano's NYC Live review"

Gig review: The Blue Angel Lounge – Pianos, NYC, April 22, 2011
Posted on April 23, 2011 by Ben

One of my favorite sites that I regularly visit is Last.FM, which is a music tracker and recommendation website. It’s pretty much ubiquitous for popularizing the scrobble, which is just a made-up word to define a recorded play of a song. The site’s recommendation feature is quite strong, and the trip to Pianos on the Lower East Side tonight was a direct result of this particular websites influence on my listening.

Last year, I went through a short phase of listening to a lot of (mostly) modern psychedelic music and while some of it didn’t quite stick, one of the bands that caught my ear was Germany’s “The Blue Angel Lounge” who I was excited to catch at one of their first US gigs tonight.

The Blue Angel Lounge are a modern band in the vein of classic 60's acts like The Velvet Underground. They play a very melodic psychedelic rock with very strong lead vocals courtesy of frontman, Nils Ottensmeyer, backed by an array of talented musicians manning the typical war machines of a solid rock band.

Tonight’s show at Pianos was a welcome feast for these ears. The band were full-on from the moment they took the stage and breezed through a brisk 45 minute set that encompassed both of their full length records, which I highly recommend without hesitation. The highlight of the gig was set closer off of 2010's Narcotica, entitled “Corona” which sees a sea of reverbed guitar carried by Ottensmeyers rich baritone vocal. A nice touch to the gig was a backdrop to project your run-of-the-mill psychedelic imagery, but unfortunately it did not reach the floor, so it was a bit cut off. Nonetheless, this minor snafu didn’t intrude on the listening experience whatsoever.

The one thing that I am a bit disappointed by was how short the set was! This of course is a good thing, but you can bet that the next time this uber-talented young band make their way to New York, I will be there with bells.

If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock music, The Blue Angel Lounge are a terrific band with a modern twist on a classic sound. Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre calls himself a fan, and is also responsible for production on their 2nd full length, the aforementioned, Narcotica. I recommend this act without trepidation or hesitation whatsoever. The live interpretation of their recorded output was strong and well worth the $10 cover. Check em out if they’re coming near you.

Here’s a video of their performance of “Corona” that I captured. There’s another video and pics if interested via the buttons on the left pane. - I Have 19 Voices

"The Agit Reader reviews "Narcotica""

While the electro pop aspects of ’80s music have been stripmined and drained dry, it’s surprisingly refreshing to hear a band whose Regan-era influences don’t include serial synth fondling. German quartet the Blue Angel Lounge is that band and they’ve returned with their second album, Narcotica.

It seems slightly backward to proclaim a group with such a strong influence from three decades ago to be forward-looking. However, since Blue Angel Lounge is hanging in a seldom-visited neighborhood, it’s a breath of fresh air in comparison. Narcotica is baptized by the 4AD side of things with a side order of shoegaze. There are even a few plays taken from the Joy Division playbook. In comparison to their contemporaries, this record sticks out like a goth at a Justin Bieber concert.

Narcotica is saturated with the type of atmosphere that suggests the bleak airspace that worked so well on Joy Division and early Bauhaus records. But the record’s not so concerned with the vibe that it doesn’t provide the songs. Lengthy instrumental passages are offset by concise tunes. It’s fairly well balanced between the two impulses, so that when the other side of the coin comes up, it’s not a jarring transition.

For some corners of the music world, the fact that Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe sat in the production chair is cause for interest. However, if you’re not a Newcombe fan boy, his overt sonic stamp is hard to pick up on. But Narcotica does have the meticulous, but relaxed vibe of the early BJM records. The places where Newcombe’s influence may have lead the band astray is the unnecessary detour in “Sun of the Ocean” and the extended running times of some songs. But the Blue Angel Lounge held the reins tight enough. If your concerns are less day-glo and more of the dark trench coat stance, then Narcotica will help ease the transition into the colder bleaker months.

- Dorian S. Ham - The Agit Reader

"Blue Angel Lounge w/ Interpol review"

For a band so young and fresh faced, Germany's Blue Angel lounge have a sound that resonates with an opulence and depth far unexpected. Playing at Dortmund's Westfallenhallen as support for indie rock-stars Interpol (QRO album review), ears propped up for this currently local band - but rest assured it will not stay that way for long with a range of well placed, dark, solid material.

Playing tracks off their new release Narcotica, the Blue Angel Lounge wowed unsuspecting Interpol fans with a showcase of material which perhaps even surpassed the headlining act - dark, brooding songs, and whilst comparisons to Joy Division for many bands appear unfounded, The Blue Angel Lounge have a somber, brooding sound; songs laced with intricate, moving bass lines and finished with lyrics written far beyond these young men's years voiced in a lowly baritone. Of course, comparisons to such bands are more than cliché, but nevermore has it been more appropriate or founded.

With a range of material, The Blue Angel Lounge have a style which is not only musically solid, but with well placed accompaniments which create small musical masterpieces which reverberate in ones mind. Although the band only formed four years ago, they have a tight sound, minimalist in essence. Whereas many young bands fare for the overkill, this group has crafted artistically a product of transient beauty.

Its clear to see why this band have been snapped up by record label 8mm and have been tipped for the top, with even Anton Newcome of Brian Jonestown Massacre offering to be involved with their production of their debut album. If there's any new band that deserves to be the ‘next big thing’, the Blue Angel Lounge are truly it.

- Jayne Yong - QRO Magazine

"Austin Psych Fest IV at Seaholm Power Plant - Day 1"

Blue Angel Lounge

Thanks to Blue Angel Lounge of Hagen, Germany, for finally making it to Austin! Although they played in the 8 p.m. slot on Psych Fest’s second stage, they could have easily pulled off a headlining spot. The title of their second release, Narcotica, offers an apt characterization of the band’s overall feel: entrancing, comforting and edging closely on the darker side of bliss. Their performance was certainly one of the most beautiful that we heard at Austin Psych Fest. The more intimate confines of the second stage provided a perfect space in which to appreciate the high degree of focused care that they dedicate to their music. Blue Angel Lounge perfectly balanced drone with melodic hooks and innovative rhythms, as well as enchanting vocals that that were as evocative of those of Ian Curtis as they were of Gregorian chant.

- Pooneh Ghana - Austinist


Album self-titled, January 2010 8MM Musik/Cargo

Single "Caught Crow", release date Oct. 1, 2010

Album "Narcotica", release date USA Nov. 16th, 2010 via Red Eye, Europe October 26th, 2010 via Cargo Records



The Blue Angel Lounge (Hagen, Germany) released their second studio album, 'Narcotica', on November 16th, 2011. The band and their previous self-titled debut has been something of a blogger's secret tip, but this may not be the case this time around, as they have taken a tremendous stride forward since their 2008 self-titled debut. The result being a more dynamic and atmospheric recording -- while staying true to their Velvet Underground inspired colors, the broader, timeless influences of New Wave, Post Punk and Shoegaze are accented throughout . There is a darker psychedelic vein as well as more uptempo tracks to keep a dynamic balance and one which embraces a variety of listeners.

The album was self-produced, with the assistance of Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre) at Studio East in the former Communist East German 'Funkhaus' sound complex in Berlin (which served as a Communist radio station prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall).

Mr. Newcombe can also be heard on backing vocals on the first single, 'Delete My Ideals' and joined the band onstage at their show in Munich last week to perform the song. The band have also just been confirmed to open for Interpol on November 22nd in Dortmund and A Place To Bury Strangers on November 29th in Berlin.

A Brief History:

Founded in 2006 by Nils Ottensmeyer and Dennis 'Mel' Melster, the band completed their self-titled debut in 2008, of which 500 vinyl copies were self-released. One of the copies made it into the hands of Will Carruthers of Spacemen 3, who subsequently passed it on to a friend at 8MM Musik. The band were signed shortly after.

An appearance at the UK's Dream Machine Festival in 2008 led to the track 'A God', from their debut, being included on the UK neo-psych compilation 'Open Your Mind', later pronounced DIY Compilation Of The Week by the BBC in 2009

Following their first ever show in Berlin in 2009, Anton Newcombe was so impressed, he offered to help with production, and, with his studio wizardry and the band's already stellar songwriting and musical talent, 'Narcotica' was recorded in under two weeks.

Blue Angel Lounge recently completed a 9 show tour of the US, featuring a standout performance at the Austin Psych Fest (see review). Currently in the studio working on new material, the Blue Angel Lounge hit the road again in September with an appearance at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, followed by a German and Austrian tour.


For press inquiries, please contact or 917 463 3530 (USA), (Germany/Austria/Switzerland), or Cargo (UK)