MS. John Soda
MS. John Soda
It all began in 1998. With a vinyl 7inch published by Hausmusik, the label from Landsberg, bavaria. With three small, intimate songs, the best of them was called "Meine Welt in Schokolade" - a crafty, playful and also a defiant title. Stefanie Böhm had recorded these songs at home, on a compact and easy to use four-track-recorder. With her bass guitar, her voice, a few keyboards and other things with buttons on them.
It all began around Weilheim, Landsberg, around Munich. It all began when a former band project called Ogonjok came to its end. In that band context Stefanie Böhm and Micha Acher had released two records, on Hausmusik as well. And since a contribution for Morr Music's first label compilation "Putting the Morr back into Morrissey" (2001) Micha Acher became also a part of Ms. John Soda. Together they recorded the album "no p. or d." together in 2002 which was published on Morr in September 2002.
At that time Stefanie Böhm had just become part of the band couch from Munich, as keyboarder and later also as a guitarist. Micha Acher was and is known for alternative to inidetronic The Notwist and the electronic jazz of the Tied & Tickled Trio. For the musical walks in bordering area with the noisy Village of Savonga, for the flugelhorn played on concerts of Kante from Hamburg. Or for the celebrated debut of "13 & God", a collaboration of The Notwist and "Themselves" (Anticon Label, San Francisco).
With their album "no p. or d." Ms. John Soda also started to play live. And by playing live they started to impress. Their concerts are different to their studio records, louder, more physical and more direct. In Germany, Europe, North America. A video for "no. one" was shot, realized together with the French artists' collective Metronomic.
The EP "while talking" has preserved these concerts' atmosphere of autumn 2003 in an almost unfiltered way. There is an expressive Misses John Soda, accompanied by good friends who belong to the band for a long time already: drummer Thomas Geltinger (Couch) and Carl Oesterhelt, protagonist of the charmingly clever discourse-pop-context from Munich, musician for FSK and formerly for the Merricks. He recently recorded two albums under the name of Carlo Fashion, placed somewhere between chamber music and the minimal moods of contemporary classic. Published - and at that point we come full circle - on the label Hausmusik from Munich, bavaria.
During the past years Ms. John Soda was a little robot on t-shirts, tour leaflets, on the first album's cover "no p. or d." released in 2002. A robot, this analogue way of imagining the digital world. The human being imagined as a machine with all its little faults, doubts and passions. Because this is what Ms. John Soda stands for: An analogue idea of digital music - or precisely vice versa. Also with all their little faults, doubts and passions. "Things may seem somehow unsure in times", it says in one of the questioning moments of "notes and the like" (2006), the latest album release of the Munich based band who is a part of the Berlin based Morr Music universe. "There is no view that's not produced in one person's mind", it says in another place. Stefanie Böhm sings through her and our world beyond all too simple truths. She shows us images. More clearly she shows how these images become blurred and fade. "hiding / fading", being a song on the first album.
From the bedroom electronics of an early seven inch released in 1998 Ms. John Soda grown to a notable live band within the years. There is Stefanie Böhm in the focus, her bass guitar, her precise voice, her lyrics. There is Micha Acher (as known from The Notwist and The Tied and Tickled Trio) as a driven counterpart, lost in rhythm, rocking far away from rocking. And there is Carlo Oesterhelt (aka Carlo Fashion) with his charmingly clever piano tunes. Laid back and right in the middle, the drum patterns of Thomas Geltinger who also does this job in the instrumental band Couch.
Loud and soft, warm and wide-awake, hungry and hymnal, repetitive and relevant. Happy who once was able to experience one of the energetic concerts of Ms. John Soda.
Clemens Niedenthal, August 2007