TRETTMANN - TRETTMANN
There are moments when all of the world's energy and attention seems to be concentrated in one place. In which there is air to cut and the otherwise ruthlessly frenzied time rests for a tiny, eternal moment. In which everything floats and softly smoulders, until a tiny movement, maybe a beat, maybe a word, causes the place to explode and suddenly everything is clear. In one of these moments, Trettmann is on the splash! festival stage, alone, around him only the industrial ruins and thousands of people, all in black and white. He raises his voice, the autotune kicks in, people are singing the story of his life. Because they feel that it could also be theirs, although really nothing and nobody is like the person up there behind the black sunglasses. “Nach allem, was ich weiß, es war so...”
This is where “Trettmann” comes in. In many ways it has become a typical second album: the omens have changed, but the mode has stayed the same. Again Trettmann and his production team KitschKrieg holed up in the studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg to transform life into songs. Again the aim was maximum minimalism. Every word paints a picture, every beat hits, reduced to the essence: bass and drums and love. One team, eleven songs, one film.
Anyone who wants to understand Tretti - and the dynamic he maintains with his crew - really only has to hear the intro. Even if it shouldn't be exactly what he laughs at over a lunchtime drink, it is like a declaration of principle. It just comes out of him at the time, clearer and more convinced than ever. "45 und ich trende.“ And above all: „Immer weiter, seh kein Ende.“ Trettmann himself never saw the clear chapters that were forced into his biography from outside - dancehall, dry spell, “DIY”, Don status. He just always did his thing, a ™ back then same as now. The self-imposed requirement to take a break after “DIY”, for example, were broken by Trettmann and KitschKrieg within two months. It sounds like a cliché, but it's like this: The music has always interested him more than anything else; every step in his career was only a logical consequence of this passion. At three at night in front of a pit tower. With a spliff in the studio. Up on stage, whether in front of 30 or 30,000 people. This is Trettmann's world. He never wanted anything else, never pursued anything else. "Was mich zu Tretti macht?" he asks rhetorically in “Trettmann”. Answer: „Ich tu das, was mich happy macht.“ More than a second album, “Trettmann” is therefore also a manifesto for a life plan apart from narrow-mindedness and the expectations of others. Where there is a heart, there is also a way.
Trettmann (who became a father last year and also dedicated the last song on the album to his daughter) experienced his early musical socialization at a time before the global triumph of hip-hop culture. For him, “black music” mainly meant soul, R&B and boogie. He grew up with Aretha and Anita, with Marvin and Mary. That shapes him to this day. Unlike most of the others in the German rap cosmos, there is something strangely natural when Tretti sings about a night together or the wistful thought of how a life together could have come from it. The natural hardness of his language melts in the rooms of a KitschKrieg riddim, words and melodies become one. The best example of this truly rare gift is “Wenn du mich brauchst”, a collaboration with the Viennese rapper / singer KeKe. “Trettmann” is soul music under the auspices of trap and streaming: real and elegant, unique and catchy at the same time.
With Alli Neumann, one of the most interesting new singers from the German-speaking area can be heard on the album, on the hedonism hymn “Zeit steht”. The natural lightness of her voice shines in perfect contrast to Trettmann's gentle melancholy, in which the conflict between adulthood and escapism always seems to resonate, between the desire to arrive and the fear of standing still. This combination is only surprising at first glance, as is the La-La aesthetic of the song. KitschKrieg are children of the night. They come from the dance floor and studied DJ culture before they became German rap's most important innovators. Their influences have always reached far beyond the dancehall-hip-hop continuum. So if you load some rave stabs, a 2-step beat or even trance harmonies into the laptop on “Trettmann”, that's only logical. It is in these moments that the truly special thing about the KK crew chemistry becomes apparent. There is a past and a future. There is Trettmann's love for ingenious, amateurish ghetto music from Montego Bay, Medellín or Bow E3 and there is KitschKrieg's idea of a perfect pop song. Which is: the impulsive, the intuitive. And: the planned, honed. In three years of their intensive collaboration, KitschKrieg and Trettmann have optimized their way of working. Trettmann shakes the melodies and hooks out of his sleeve. Fiji Kris fits the 808. Fizzle makes the song tight. And °awhodat° ensures that everything becomes a well-rounded thing, with appropriate corners and edges, with her visuals and visions.
There is this rather sudden, naturally deliberate break on “Trettmann” right at the beginning of the record. An up-tempo beat tips into a sample by Berlin pianist and composer Nils Frahm. This sample provides the basis for “Stolpersteine”, one of the greatest songs Trettmann has ever written, maybe his greatest ever. Trettmann describes, more or less unfiltered, how he stumbles out of the club in the morning, his hand still around a glass of rum, his thoughts focussed on the girl on the dance floor. His gaze sticks to the stumbling blocks, the iron plaques that (hopefully) burn the cruel life stories of Nazi victims into the ground and into the consciousness of this country forever. These stories pull up before his eyes and with them the certainty of how history is about to repeat itself. “Stolpersteine” is political because it's so personal. It zooms in very close and thus opens up a view of the big picture.