Wolfsheim – The Sparrow And The Nightingales 12″
Wolfsheim are a synthpop duo from Hamburg, Germany consisting of Markus Reinhardt (music) and Peter Heppner (lyrics and vocals). The band was founded in 1987 by Markus Reinhardt and Pompejo Ricciardi and was named after Meyer Wolfsheim, a fictional character from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’. Ricciardi soon left the band and was replaced by Peter Heppner, a childhood friend of Reinhardt’s. Together they produced their first demo tape, “Ken Manage”, in 1988.
After making a second demo tape, “Any But Pretty”, in 1989, Wolfsheim applied at various labels until they caught the attention of independent record label Strange Ways Records. They are best known for their debut breakthrough single, “The Sparrows and the Nightingales”, the first single to be released on Strange Ways in 1991. The band’s musical style takes cues from the 1980s New Romantics, new wave, synthpop, and darkwave. The track’s sombre synths were produced by Carlos Peron of Yello. Reinhardt says the lyric was inspired by ‘The Great Gatsby’, “in the ‘onomatopoeic tension’ between predator and security.” Over six minutes, the narrator describes being lost, unsure of where his life is heading, using highly metaphorical language. On the flip is a brand new remix by German producer Ancient Methods, a pseudonym of Michael ‘Trias’ Wollenhaupt, who provides a driving, EBM-leaning, amphetamine-laced club ready cut.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Designer Eloise Leigh has updated the record’s original design with two sparrows
enclosed in a blood moon circle against a deep black purple backdrop. Each copy comes with a black and white photo postcard notes by Carlos Peron and the song’s lyrics. This release comes in time to celebrate the single’s 25th anniversary.