When YEDM originally interviewed German darkwave powerhouse and multimedia artist Anne Wichmann mid-pandemic, we covered a host of topics, from the COVID lockdown to her videos to her generally “difficult” psyche, but the fact that she had also made music with her brother, guitarist Volker Wichmann, in the early 00s. The partnership presumably ended when Anne moved to Brooklyn from their native Hamburg, Germany. Now, almost two decades later, the duo have reunited (although they still live on different continents) to create SuperWAV, a stripped down rock project that just released its second EP, aTypical.
Given Anne’s largely darkwave and electro background and the fact that the siblings likely had to use a lot of digital tech to create the music together due to their physical distance, SuperWAV is surprisingly sparse when it comes to electronic musical elements. They’re present, but the pair has been decidedly focused on brass tacks with both their debut EP, Elements,and the just-dropped aTypical.According to Anne:
We wanted the songs to be straightforward, direct and in your face. Basically: Let’s take out everything that the song does not need. Reduce it to pure guts! The theme of (personality) archetypes is a complex one, and its exploration is adding a thoughtful layer to the music.
Despite the stripped-down, bare bones rock feel to aTypical, it’s also certainly true that it’s a very nuanced EP. One could expect nothing less from Anne Wichmann and her blood relatives. Each track is named after one of the five personality archetypes; both the lyrics and music are meant to be an interpretation of each one. “The Lover,” for example, is rough and passionate and explores the old adage, “love is blind” in the lyrics, while “The Innocent” is full of ambient echo and the lyrics discuss the inevitable destruction of innocence.
Dubbed “stoner rock” by the band themselves, fans of Anne’s former projects will struggle to find the connection to her old darkwave work but it is there in subtle ways. While they wanted to keep the music on the punk edge of post punk or the minimal edge of grunge, there are still elements of drone and darkwave in the background production and tone of the album, respectively. SuperWAV’s first EP, 2018’s Elementshad more obvious connections to electronica, but the backing production, arrangement and engineering of aTypical relied on that darkwave knowledge from past projects, according to Volker.
It’s so much fun to work together again, and exciting to find new ways of collaborating across such a long distance. For ATYPICAL it feels like we picked up where RAWJAW (the Wichmanns’ earlier band in the early 00s) ended – yet finding our own sound of today in every tune.
No matter what you call this new Wichmann project, fans will likely see the sister-brother duo going back and forth over the lines of analog and digital in many ways as the continue to develop the project. It seems to be a point of interest for both of them. In the meantime, SuperWAV are building a super wave of a discography and fans should expect the unexpected from this dynamic musical duo.
aTypicalis out now and can be streamed on Spotify.