Chrom Records’ most successful band. Deine Lakaien have written music history since the Nineties. Since their beginnings in 1985, they strongly influence the European Electronic Avantgarde and the “dark wave” music. Despite staying outside the mainstream with their sounds, they reached several top rankings in the German Music Charts.
Deine Lakaiens’ creative work sets milestones. Their albums challenge the status quo in terms of intensity, musical sophistication and electronic sound repertoire. Like no other band, Deine Lakaien were forming and broadening the musical horizon of the European darkwave music. They created a sense of identity for the scene without floating with the tide. The reward is a faithful fan base, sold out concerts, and high placement on the charts where we usually find only stereotypes. They prefer creating music differently. Imagine them as an island of freedom. For instance, they take the liberty to deconstruct their own songs. Acoustic performances reduce the intricate and on the albums often lavish arrangements of the songs to their very core. This trend-setting concept introduced the music of Deine Lakaien to a much wider audience, now free from clichés.
1985, in Munich Ernst Horn and Alexander Veljanov are founding the band “Deine Lakaien”. Horn is a qualified orchestra conductor. He directs the orchestra in the Karlsruhe opera and Veljanov studies theatre history. They get to know each other via newspaper ad. Horn is inspired by dramatic opera, medieval and folk music; Veljanov likes New Wave, Punk and early Gothic. In this way, two basically different people are getting together, but they manage to combine their interests and they start creating a new musical mixture.
Within a short time the debut album “Deine Lakaien“ (“1st Album”), which they produce and distribute themselves, is well known in sub cultural areas. This album already shows the band’s typical vanguard sound, the pleasure to do musical experiments. Still, the two very special musicians are sticking to catchy and traditionally structured songs. In 1991 Gymnastic Records (the predecessor of Chrom Records) releases the album “Dark Star” with a huge success: Deine Lakaien gain enthusiastic fans everywhere in Europe. Up to now this album is very popular and a “must have” for every “wave pop beginner”. With songs like “Reincarnation“, Love me to the end“ or “Dark Star“, Deine Lakaien define wave music in a completely new way: It is intelligent and suitable for dancing at the same time. From now on the band is omnipresent and reckoned to be the musical lodestar of the scene. This new status leads them to new musical ideas.
With “Forest Enter Exit“, an industrial inspired album, they enter the German charts for the first time. It is not possible to stop them anymore: Deine Lakaien are creating aesthetically stunning music videos and even though the band does not fit in any category, major labels become interested in working with them. Horn and Veljanov react in a particularly uncommon way with regard to the increasing success and pressure. They start deconstructing their own, often lavish and many-facetted songs to present them live in highly acclaimed acoustic versions: Piano and voice only - the core melody used as a guideline.
In 1995 this acoustic presentation is a trend-setting concept, and as a result, wave music gains quality reputation. The consequence of this idea: the album “Acoustic“ enters the charts without difficulty, just like “Winter Fish Testosterone“, which was released one year after. Once more, Deine Lakaien prove that the band is continuously progressing. The demand for concerts increases, and Deine Lakaien are able to organize two large concert tours in Germany. In this way, Horn and Veljanov are not just improving the closeness to the fans but also their image as a distinguished live band.
Due to the enormous demand makes it necessary for Deine Lakaien and “their” label, Chrom Records have no choice but to start co-operating with a major label. They finally choose Sony Music.
In 1999, “Kasmodiah“ is the first album released by a major record label (Sony Music/Columbia). The music is catchy and more popular, but still a success for the fans. Because of the hits “Into my arms“ and “Return“ both musicians are even gaining a lot of new fans. The album reaches the Top-10 position in the German Pop Music Charts in no time.
In 2002, with the album “White Lies“ (Sony Music/Columbia) Deine Lakaien return to the roots of their profession: the traditional way of song writing. Several private issues were the reason for the dense, unique and very calm album, which almost seems to be redundant, and because of that convincing at the same time. It is a solemn album, a “pearl” of melancholy and sadness but also a passed “final exam”.
With a release of the previously unreleased 2nd album under the name “1987”, and a DVD recording of the first performance of these works at “The concert that never happened before”, Chrom Records, as an independent label, waves goodbye to the fans. The brand and the label name are transferred to the band (Ernst Horn) for further use.
At the same time, in 2005, Deine Lakaien are presenting a summary of the band’s whole repertoire with “April Skies“ (now at Universal Music) celebrating their Club come back with the single release „Over and done“. The frankness of this album indicates the future direction of Deine Lakaien. Everything is possible – and everything could happen: In April 2006, the band is performing in the course of the exhibition „Melancholie. Genie und Wahnsinn in der Kunst“ a sold out acoustic concert in the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin. More than 1000 people experienced a moving and extraordinary Deine Lakaien performance in the frame of a clear and cut museum style.
Because of the success Veljanov and Horn are deciding to venture a further musical genre crossing: Deine Lakaien start their first and probably only orchestra tour with the title „20 Jahre electronic avantgarde“ (20 years of electronic avant-garde) in February 2007. Lots of fans were hoping for this kind of event to happen, the musicians often thought about it, and now, it will be the band’s anniversary and a further musical genre crossing becomes reality. Deine Lakaien reinvent themselves, rearranging their known songs as symphonic compositions. Both artists decided to work with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt, an orchestra, which is well known for opera, avant-garde and innovative crossovers of classical and popular music. The young ensemble plays regularly together with (amongst others) Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), and already worked with artists like Bobby McFerrin and Udo Lindenberg, to create dramatic and deep sound effects.
The realization of Horn and Veljanov, however, could not be more different from the typical concept “Classic meets Pop”. This is not an ordinary ‘orchestra type’ performance of the songs. Deine Lakaien rather make an avant-garde statement combining the electronic sounds and sequencer with radiating wood winds, warm horns and strings thus forming a new entity. „Using the full potential, all opportunities“, says Ernst Horn. „Up to now, this has probably been the most exciting task for us“, mentions the singer Alexander Veljanov. The musical essence of Deine Lakaien should be emphasized; nevertheless it should be very different from what everybody knows so far.
Also the concert locations are very different. On the one hand, noble and dignified buildings such as the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt are on the list, on the other hand modern locations like the Arena in Oberhausen. Special stage design and amphitheatre seating arrangement for great, clear sound and best view from all seats will be available in all locations.
Deine Lakaien Live
Your ears are painful after a concert? There is no happiness and on the way to the parking lot reality hits you within seconds? Then you have not experienced a Deine Lakaien performance! Before, during and after their shows there is always excitement and joy taking away the stresses and strains of everyday life.
And responsible for that are Ernst Horn and Alexander Veljanov, two outstanding musicians both passionate about their work, eye-catching and charismatic. The fascinating thing about their performances is the musical diversity. The instrumentalist and composer Ernst Horn is working with computers, rotary switches and piano in a way that the audience could possibly think that instruments and devices might be ‘alive’, while Horn is totally exhausted afterwards. The reward is a clear, strong, swinging and grooving sound, which is powerful and filled with tenderness at the same time. The music of Deine Lakaien is always different. At the end of a tour, songs can be rather different than at the beginning – it seems that during all the time on the road they are coming up with new ideas and integrate them in the existing songs. For Lakaien fans, the name Ernst Horn represents quality music for many years now. Not surprising, it seems like in his mind there is always music: Switching it off is impossible.
Front man and lead vocalist Alexander Veljanov, however, is introverted on stage: maybe this is even the highest form of being extroverted facing a concert hall full of people. He exposes his feelings without revealing weakness. In this way he is bewitching the audience. For short announcements between the songs he seems to become a ‘real person’, which is important in the world of art and entertainment. Veljanov is reaching the audience with his sometimes warm and soft, sometimes aggressive and impressive voice directly without losses.
ADDITIONAL CREDITS • Titel: Joerg Grosse Geldermann. Text: Die abgewandelter Form wiedergegebene Band-Biographie von Jochen Müter, 2006