Michael Schultze, Michael Schultze: Crash Test for Disco (2000)

Discoteca Flaming Star at Kunstverein Munich: Love to Love You, Baby, the Donna Summer disco hit transformed into a 25 minute noise spectacle. One hears a tweaked version of the song, comprised of two monotone guitar chords tangled with a-rhythmic pulsating beats emanating from the bass and drum machine. At front on the stage’s edge stands a singer in lascivious poses mimicking severely outdated rockstar gestures, all the while an improv accordion solo plays, mercilessly antagonizing the song’s original intent.

The appearance of the Berlin/Munich artist collaborative Discoteca Flaming Star at the Kunstverein Munich hardly falls within established categories. The dilettante gestures recall the impromptu punk rock ideology of happy-melancholic noise-making, crashing like waves against the rocks and pulling a variety of stylistic and musical signs as if through a funnel.

Disco as hedonistic principle of the escapist blow-out weekend is reinterpreted through the rhetoric of rock, but not without conjuring the image of Big Band either. The belief in the image of a music that has long since been dismissed by its critics appeared in the performance as if through incantation, and along with it the possibility to reclaim its title. The restoration mechanism from disco to polka. Trash with a faith potential and consenting conscience: this performance was surely the most remarkable that I’ve seen lately. With insidious repetition, the cover song from the past radiates a new, filthy and defiant light. The audience cannot experience the remake of a half dead song, but rather (and much sooner) an attempt at a test for worthiness, a crash test for disco.

Through and through, one perceives the “Nevertheless” (nevertheless we cannot play, nevertheless the song was already in the world, nevertheless the love that is loved here will move mechanically in common time). A belief in the power of the “Nevertheless”, which continues to rub against the pose of the rock star and the idea of glam rock. And precisely for this reason, Discoteca Flaming Star continues to bring out that single element from the quarry of pop culture, which enables our cold hearts to liquefy back to lava.