more than blue: hoesli und ricardo

more than blue – dark blue. and yes, the german “blau” also describes a blue sky, and yes, it also is the colour for this melancholic state, that one which the french describe also as “l’heure bleu”, this hour between sunset and darkness, when the world suddenly takes on a different appearance. but lets not forget that the german “blau” also describes the state of an alcoholic overdose (or the right dose, some might like to argue).

“blau” is also the title of one of hösli und ricardo‘s records. yes, steven’s nude club was over, and although hösli played also in some other groups it just was not such a winning combination. so what was the logical solution? he dropped gilbert dessert and made a record under the name of hösli (called reussbühl – a suburb of lucerne. if anybody has a copy in good quality for me: please!). honing his lyrical skills, he started to create something what i at the time thought of as “central switzerland chanson”. well, there is a tradition in switzerland of singing in swiss german: coming especially out of berne there was a number of singers / songwriters with acoustic guitars not unlike certain german songwriters of the same period, although they rather put themselves in the tradition of troubadours, the best known being certainly mani matter. and also in rock, especially the more bluesy one there were very early on bands singing in the local dialect. and let’s not forget that also quite some bands coming out of a post-punk, new wave, pop context in the 80s sung in swiss german like hertz and frostschutz. but singin in “high german” is somehow a different thing: it is not the local language and it gives a different twist, a certain distance maybe. and hösli stands less in the tradition of “just” observing daily situations. his lyrics are always pushing it a little bit further: they actually can hurt. so it is not the ironic and rather cute way to express himself like many other singers that sing in (swiss-)german. one does not recognize himself in the lyrics with a smile, one prefers not to recognize oneself in his lyrics – well, it could hurt. but then there is always the option to kill the pain with some more alcohol. becoming “blau”. so höslis lyrics might stand rather in a tradition of some of the french chanson – the edgier tradition, that is.

and then he found ricardo. obviously they complemented each other perfectly: they even moved in together so their working together would become even closer. and then you can even watch their working together: there is a documentary about them, called blau. “blau” like their second album.

if you prefer reading, then i propose you an article on the making of hösli – a more detailed account then i have given and some very nice pictures, which has been published in das kulturmagazin (in german). yep, you have to scroll down a bit – or use this direct link to the pdf. the year this article has been published, 2005, has also beeen the year hösli und ricardo published their latest record, in guter gesellschaft. musically richer and more diverse then blau, i do wonder where they would have taken it from there. but all i can do is wondering. since the story of hösli found an early ending in last summer when he passed away.

so we end this little hösli-special on a rather sad note – but with some of his music. here you can get the last record of hoesli und ricardo: in guter gesellschaft. and yes, the cover has now an eery quality…

Und weil ich einsam oft so für mich in die Sterne schau, bin ich heute, so wie gestern…blau.”

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