Compromised of Mathias Thürk, who looked after the production and Daniel Wollatz, the lead voice of the establishment, demanding studio sessions gave birth to their first long player entitled ‘Breathing Avenue’. Gems as ‘High Pitched Emotions’ and ‘Clear’ paved the band’s way into gigging extensively alongside acts such as PSYCHE, THE CRÜXSHADOWS and SPEKTRALIZED.
Eastern Europe took an exceptional liking to the newcomers; Poland being their main bread winner, as well as the Czech Republic and Hungary. 2005 saw the band receive the prestigious nomination and prize in the German Rock & Pop Association’s Awards, and further gigs followed with IRIS and MELOTRON. The following year, the duo became a trio, with Andreas Wollatz as the addition on keys and MINERVE entered the German Alternative Charts at a respectable No16 with ‘My Universe’.
As their popularity grew with further tours and more albums, MINERVE continued climbing the steps of excellence throughout Russia, the former Yugoslav countries, Bulgaria, Turkey and of course, Poland, Ukraine and their native Germany.
‘Please’, which was released in 2010, remains the group’s most acknowledged album. It was produced by a widely recognised name in the electronic circles of Germany.
Olaf Wollschläger had successfully looked after artists such as AND ONE and the UK’s best export MESH on their albums including ‘Perfect Solution’, ‘Automation Baby’ and the forthcoming new release ‘Looking Skyward’. Wollschläger was joined by the mastering legend John Cremer, who fine-tuned the collection of adept tunes with finesse and electronic know-how.
‘Please’ contains twelve, non-filler tracks, each one emotionally loaded and ready to transport into the world of the dark and lonely, yet remaining hopeful and warm. The opening ‘Hold Me Tight’, mirroring the signature beats of MESH, is a quintessential dance track, fortified with alluring synth sounds and the competent voice of Wollatz.
‘Every Day’ follows with mantric beats, which continue the electronic disco theme, pulsating and orbiting around the lyrics describing the mundanity of life. ‘Down To The Ground’ slows the tempo somewhat, introducing a grunge guitar riff, while ‘Life Is An Illusion’ probes deeper into the slowness of synthpopia, with an excellent chorus.
‘You Don’t Know Me’ turns into a full on ballad, with ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ returning to the club-worthy rhythm of layered synths and capable production. ‘Phoenix’ rings powerfully, exploring the cacophony of electronic sounds to perfection, as does ‘Read My Memories’.
The title track enters, ushering the era of a gentler type of melody a la SIMPLE MINDS, before returning to more retro beats of ‘Forbidden Love’. ‘Save Me’ returns to the blueprint of “slower is better”, while ‘Under My Skin’ closes the creation with the heavier, beefy synth of a near-MESH experience.
After the release of ‘Repleased’ in 2011, which contained remixes by SEABOUND, SPEKTRALIZED and others, founder member and main programmer, Mathias Thürk decided to leave the band to pursue other projects.
While MINERVE have yet to follow-up ‘Please’, the remaining members promise new levels of electronic pleasure to come soon, and perhaps more gigs alongside CAMOUFLAGE, DE/VISION and other legends.
Fingers crossed that will happen soon; for now, ‘Please’ is a fine example of what those Berlin based boys are capable of.
‘Please’ is still available on CD and download via Gravitator Records
Text by Monika Izabela Goss
13th March 2016