Release Date: Apr 22, 2014
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Soundtracks, Stage & Screen
The Ministry of Wolves are a quartet including Mick Harvey, Alexander Hacke, artist/vocalist Danielle de Picciotto, and the Theater Dortmund's musical director, Paul Wallfisch. They came together for a musical theater piece directed by Claudia Bauer -- also for Theater Dortmund -- entitled Transformations, inspired by and deriving from poet Anne Sexton's collection of the same name. The poems were based on Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
Concept album? Soundtrack? Companion piece? Supergroup? The Ministry Of Wolves’ new album is all of those things, and a bunch more. The scarily impressive ranks of the Ministry comprise one Antipodean icon, one Teutonic noise terrorist, one American-born Berlin-based artist and one Angeleno multi-instrumentalist. Mick Harvey, the most recognisable name to mainstream music fans, made his name in the immeasurably influential punk titans The Birthday Party, before going on to aid and abet leader Nick Cave in the Cavemen and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, where he became second in command until his departure in 2009.
Attention, creatives: if you’re in sore need of inspirationby- example, here’s an object lesson in what’s achievable when your stars are aligned. Enticingly, it’s a collaboration between Einstürzende Neubauten veteran Alexander Hacke, inexhaustible ex-Bad Seed Mick Harvey, Danielle de Picciotto from Crime And The City Solution, and Paul Wallfisch, musical director of Theater Dortmund. The theatre in question recently premiered Republik Der Wölfe, a production based on the salutary fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and to which this music provides an intoxicating, deeply affecting soundtrack.
The folk tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 19th century Germany have lost none of their power and symbolism down the years. In fact, repetition of the stories has merely strengthened their grip on the Western imagination; they were after all created through and for repetition, having been passed down orally through generations before being fixed in type by the Brothers Grimm. And the stories have continued to change and evolve since then, the mythic and psychological archetypes the brothers emphasised and embellished in the tales making them easy fodder for Hollywood blockbusters and nationalist propaganda alike.