Music without singing and solos. That's how Couch labelled themselves on their first album. Music made by guitar, bass guitar and drums. Founded in Munich. Released on the Weilheim-based label Kollaps. That was in 1995. At dawn of postrock and indietronics. And maybe Couch also took a short glance to Chicago, listening to Shellac or Tortoise. But actually the band has taken their seats in their very own living room a long time ago. A place where the paradigms postrock, jazz or electronica were written on the walls only by visitors. By music critics, for instance.
Music without singing and solos. Reduced to the maximum. Despite of all force that the songs of Couch develop, their music is minimal music in its best sense. Purified structures, maybe hymnal but never opulent. Each instrument, each noise, each note stands in its place self-confidently as well as necessarily. The songs by Couch take their omnipresent dynamics from this compositional condensing. On their second album, released in 1998, the band has exposed this way of working self-consciously: "Etwas benutzen" is the name of the record. "using something" would be an appropriate translation. "Using" in the sense of putting components in the service of a whole. In other words: Enough is always better than too much. A likeable balance of abstraction and melody.
That way of working remained their way when with "Fantasy" in 2000 the sound and the band were extended. Michael Heilrath (bass, composition), Jürgen Söder (guitar) and soon Thomas Geltinger (drums) were and are Couch. In addition, Stefanie Böhm (Ms. John Soda) joined the band. And with her a keyboard came into the band-context as well as an energetic indulging in and a new passion for pop and melodies: The heartiness of the rational, so to say; still without any singing and solos.
Since the album "Etwas Benutzen" the Berlin-based label Kitty-Yo was concerned with releases by Couch. With "Fantasy" and the following "Profane" a US-deal with the legendary label Matador was made. Couch became - maybe without wanting it - something like a band of reference. Maybe that is also the reason for the short-term impression of having told enough.
And so the new, fifth Couch record is the first one after a break of nearly five years. And it's the first one on Morr Music. A company that has been in the air already before; because of the musicians - part of the Morr-universe since many years - and the melodies.
Michael Heilrath (bass, guitar) produces and masters music. He was the head of the experimental orchestra "Alles wie groß" and releases electronic music under the pseudonym blond.
Jürgen Söder (guitar) works with music, for instance in his agency "licensing department". Once he played the guitar in the charming band "Schwermut Forrest".
Stefanie Böhm (keyboard, guitar) recorded a first single in 1998 as "Ms. John Soda" and releases under this name on Morr Music as well.
Thomas Geltinger (drums) releases among other band-projects also with "Ms. John Soda" on Morr Music.