The debut album by the Düsseldorf artist NIKOLAI SZYMANSKI and his solo project FANTA DORADO & DER INNERE KREIS is an intriguing mixture of pop, industrial, wave and krautrock made for a period of upheaval in magical utopian worlds – made for adventures.
Even as a member of the Düsseldorf-based trio STABIL ELITE, who recently presented a successful and timely take on kraut-pop with their debut album “Douze Pouze”, NIKOLAI SZYMANSKI was not able to contain his creative urges. In parallel to working on the STABIL ELITE debut album, he would often stay longer in the studio, tuning his synthesizer to melancholy in order to sing songs with a more concrete narrative than the Dada-esque lyrics that he wrote for his band. The lyrical differences show a clear evolution. With a hook in the heart and the groove in the chorus, he writes songs about depressive queens that can no longer leave their castles, or which are reminiscent of Olympia, the automatic wife from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “Sandman”. These are mysterious stories with a metaphorical richness, where each image can only be decrypted in light of one’s own personal misconception of reality. But if it seems like some intellectualized pop-rascal is being touted with lots of confetti here, then you haven’t yet heard the album. Anyone who is already listening to the third song has by now realized how much room for their own inspiration is inherent in this music – even when it is so lyrically and sonically diverse.

His compositions have been arranged with the help of a Minimoog, an Oberheim Matrix 6, some tongue clicking, Roland drum machines, wobbly guitars and looped voices in the background. And NIKOLAI SZYMANSKI’s vocal dances with them – cheerful or ponderous, wistfully fantasizing – as once did Holger Hiller or Kate Bush.
This is an album that presents pop as an offbeat fantasy. Through possessing it, one can feel as if they belong to a verbally non-tangible higher reality. The effect could be massive, so very immense, and not least because everything heard here fits into the present. Heavily magnetizing fantasy pop that dreams up an infinitely focussed longing for the merging of opposites into a harmonious whole – and offers absolutely no solutions. Music by a young conceptualist, composer and poet in one, who sings in the language of the present with a conscience of the past.