Marco Haas started his musical career as an inventor.
First, he invented a framework, and then himself. Initially, the record company founded by him and Marcus Stolz in Heidelberg served as a mere vehicle for the recordings of his band „Stormbow“. It was the year 1997 and „Stormbow“ was an eminently talented band with Marco Haas on drums – one of several eminently talented bands, however, to be found in Baden-Württemberg, the Palatinate, the Ruhr region. Unique, on the other hand, was that newly minted vehicle called „Shitkatapult“.
In 1998, Marco Haas relocated his life and label operations to Berlin – and to the world of electronic music, which he took into his dark heart and as an opportunity to rename himself after characters of a William S. Burroughs story: the Dreamcops, translated into 50’s German as „Traumschmiere“ and marked for a new tomorrow by a smartly placed period. T.Raumschmiere was born, and a bold new chapter of electronic music from Berlin was being written. His first full-length releases on Shitkatapult were dedicated to the darkly charged traces of an electronic music that combined bass drum and ambient, snottiness and greatness: Stromschleifen (Shitkatapult, 2000), Zartbitter (Shitkatapult 2002). At the same time, some 12″es were spotted on Cologne’s Kompakt imprint: Boltzplatz (Kompakt 2000), Musick (Kompakt 2001). The latter were big rave news with a terrific sawtooth confidence, an iconized rock masculinity that didn’t only go all jolly and funny, but also big and serious.
On Kompakt, the real shit always pointed more towards Wolfgang Voigt, to the realm of inventions. In 2002, Marco Haas as T.Raumschmiere topped off this era with a milestone ambient double album on the it-label at the time, Chicago’s Hefty, rated artistically worthwhile and endowed with yet another clearcut name from the treasure chest of awesome inventions: Anti (Hefty 2002). Worldwide tours followed quickly.
And it’s precisely here that the next stunner drops: the man, not a studio nerd (although he is), but first and foremost an event beyond compare, a performer extraordinaire who puts rave and techno, rock and roll, live and crass and black and dark all into one word, one riff like never before, in an endless series of smashed tables, exploded mixing desks and open mouths. A star was born. Self-made and crazed-out. The whole shebang got consolidated on a Shitkatapult album, cobbled together from the most important material of the aforementioned releases and one ingenious claim: T.Raumschmiere – The Great Rock N Roll Swindle (Shitkatapult, 2003). A pretty big whopper in the techno circus.
Freak-outs ensued. Daniel Miller had to have it and T.Raumschmiere got signed on Novamute, the club outlet from London’s Mute label, which was just about to swim towards the EMI shark, or rather whale belly. T.Raumschmiere was in the right place at the right time, a big label with towering fellows such as Luke Slater, Plastikman, Speedy J, Motor, Cristian Vogel and so on and so forth. T.Raumschmiere scored a mega hit with Monstertruckdriver (Novamute, 2003) and became a staple in the line-ups of all the essential clubs and festivals.
But by the time his second Novamute full-length Blitzkrieg Pop (Novamute, 2005) came around, he was already sick of it and presented a dumbfounded audience with a rock-primed album full of songs and riffs that carved out their niche somewhere between Nick Cave, Nine Inch Nails and Bohren, also relaunching T.Raumschmiere as an actual live band.
Quite honestly, many were disapointed with the new rock paradigm and the tattooed insolence. Where’s our Sawtooth Rave King? It led right to the demise of EMI, a logical consequence among others. T.Raumschmiere released two more full-lengths on Shitkatapult… the dramatically underrated ambient masterpiece Random Noize Sessions Vol.1 (Shitkatapult, 2006), and his most-accomplished rock album I Tank U (Shitkatapult, 2008). But the fans were still demanding the „Monstertruckdriver“ and a T.Raumschmiere trio bravely battled its way through gigs and tours. The next 5 years happened off-road, outside of the mainstream. And the ever-cooperating Marco Haas focussed on his studio work, especially for others such as Dieter Meier of Yello fame, Andreas Dorau, Fraktus, Ofrin or Barbara Morgenstern. In doing so, he also devotes himself to the depth of the technology and its systems. And constantly reinvents himself in the process.
In 2016, Shitkatapult sub label „Albumlabel“ presented a pretty big ambient album without a tilte, which Haas recorded together with friend and colleague Ben Lauber (also known as drummer for the T.Raumschmiere band, Dendemann, Olli Schulz or as orchestral arranger and hero of projects). Marco Haas on a mission! Two full-lengths emerge from his collab with Ulli Bomans aka Schieres under the Shrubbn!! monicker (Echos, Shitkatapult 2012, and Europa, Shitkatapult 2016), alongside remixes for Dave Gahan, Warren Suicide or Apparat (for which Shrubbn!! also played support slots in Europe). A series of concerts with the exceptional Jazz/Noise guitarist Caspar Brötzmann (a collaborative 10″ will be released in April 2017 via Shitkatapult) furthered T.Raumschmiere’s steady quest for uncharted terrain. And didn’t exhaust the artist, but rather exploited full potential.
May 2017 will see Cologne’s Kompakt releasing his new, epic solo album called Heimat. Back to the roots – but also into heaven! This new full-length presents another side of T.Raumschmiere, which was always present, but never got much airtime: the artist, the author – the composer with the crystal-clear sound. A wonderful techno album that neither excludes Ambient, nor gets reduced to a constant ass kicking. It’s perhaps the best recording from this man who asks so deeply, so extensively, so much. And at some point even answers.
Text: Daniel Meteo (2017)