The Way Serge Was

Would you buy a used Jane Birkin record from this man? Berlin-based guitarist Kristof Hahn, who has played with the likes of Alex Chilton, Tav Falco, or Chris Spedding, is now touring with US 80s noise legends The Swans and hitting Munich tomorrow, May 19th; the pic actually is from the tour poster. Living in the Rue Verneuil of his mind, Hahn also has quite a francophile schtick that can be heard on his recordings with Les Hommes Sauvages, and he’s also a great storyteller, provided that you speak German: Four years ago, he told a few Serge Gainsbourg anecdotes during a gig in Vienna before continuing with a solo version of Serge’s Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais – deadpan humour plus some sharp, grungy licks the original song lacked for a few decades.

Kristof Hahn – Je suis venu te dire …

Les Hommes Sauvages: Vive la Trance

Someone who writes a song about literary enfant terrible Jean Genet must be a friend of mine. Berlin-based guitarist Kristof Hahn actually is and did so for the brand-new, third album by Les Hommes Sauvages: „Vive la Trance“ alternates between brooding melancholy, heavy electrical storms, and impressionistic after-the-rain moments, a style Hahn and girlfriend Viola Limpet (vocals) have termed Rock’n’Roll Noir, embracing songs by Lee Hazlewood and John Cale along the way and making them completely their own. The album also features three French language originals, penned by Hahn and Gallic poet Eric LeMarechal, including the aforementioned hommage to Genet, and the serenely floating Au dessus de la ville, with a referential wink and a smile towards Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper.

If you happen to live in Albion, you can see Monsieur Hahn, who has also played with the likes of Alex Chilton or Chris Spedding, accompanying Michael Gira and post-punk-gods The Swans at various big venues in the next days. Plus: French/ German TV channel Arte shows the documentary Mein halbes Leben/ Ma demi-vie on Oct 29, 22.20 h (Germany) and 22:45 h (France), with a fine soundtrack by Hahn and Limpet.

Photo by Stephan Schmidt. The album can be ordered via the Hommes Sauvages website.

Les Hommes Sauvages – Jean Genet

Les Hommes Sauvages – Au dessus de la ville