ARTIST: A Certain Frank
TITLE: ULYSSA Presents: A Certain Frank
A Certain Frank is the Düsseldorf based duo of Frank Fenstermacher and Kurt “Pyrolater” Dalhke. Through the 80s and early 90s, they made speedy, wild coldwave as Der Plan, releasing music on their own label Ata Tak (which also released Oval’s wonderful debut ‘Wohnton’!). In the mid-90s, influenced by a lifelong love for the exotica and tiki bar jazz of Martin Deny and Les Baxter, the two formed A Certain Frank. Hence, the sounds of A Certain Frank are far warmer, sensual and sultry than that of Der Plan. “Without You,” from their 2001 album ‘Nothing,’ approaches something like Sade across its pulsating, truly gorgeous six minutes. And the New Age composition “Naïve,” from A Certain Frank’s 1996 debut ‘No End No…’ (and appearing on DSPs for the first time courtesy of your friends here at ULYSSA), drifts back-and-forth between enchanting flute lines and brooding, synth stabs. And then, there’s “Nothing,” a shadowy triphop earworm that stands confidently alongside the work of Skalpel or Portishead. Yes, A Certain Frank is that good and, sadly, that overlooked. In fact, taken altogether on ‘Ulyssa presents: A Certain Frank,’ it becomes quite clear that their austere dada experiments in electronic lounge and jazz are as curious and captivating as more celebrated albums like Nuno Canavarro’s ‘Plux Quba’ and Björk’s ‘Debut.’ The time has come to give A Certain Frank its due.
‘ULYSSA presents: A Certain Frank’ is the first time any of these songs have been released on cassette and the first time songs from ‘No End No…’ have come to streaming services. ULYSSA Season 2 begins here. Sploosh.