Review

Sonne Ra

Hokkla Bokkla

OFDM • 2023

Human beings exist, not races. Sonne Ra has no regard for the anxieties and sentiments of people who have still failed to grasp this. »And if at some point Germans no longer exist / I’m sure that the planet will continue to spin here despite this«, states the title track of »Hokkla Bokkla«. Those who pride themselves on physical appearance or birth certificates will find these twelve pieces difficult to stomach. Sonne Ra plays with the fears of staunch bio-Germans and holds a mirror up to those who baselessly consider themselves liberal. »Your master race has the gene pool of a pear / Someday we’ll live as if you had never existed«. Some of it has an anti-Nazi punchline, some draws from the author’s own biography. 

The son of an North African father and a German mother who grew up in the former GDR delivers his lines in his usual melodic manner. One of many points that make Sonne Ra’s music distinctive, at least in Germany. »I curse you, I curse you«, it goes at one point. The instrumentals of Doz9 sound like black magic. The dust flies off the speaker cones as the dry drum loops circle. Sound effects, piano loops and noises that, despite their unwieldiness, fit snugly over the kick and snare add to the feeling: this is what voodoo must sound like. And yet what emerges from these pleasantly dark and ruthless songs is exactly what they don’t sound like: an album that promotes openness and inclusiveness instead of exclusion.