Beloved German electronic band Rotersand released an EP last week called Reloaded that features remixes from their latest album How Do You Feel Today.
The collection includes an extended club mix of “Whatever,” one of my favorite songs of the year. There’s also a heavier, metal version of “Hot Ashes,” the song that contains the lyrics: “Dancing on the hearts of fascists.”
Both “Whatever” and “Hot Ashes” should be dominating clubs this year. Unfortunately, Rotersand released How Do You Feel Today at the start of the pandemic and global shut-down. That must have been difficult for the band since they rely on club play to promote their new material.
Regardless, How Do You Feel Today remains one of my favorite synthpop albums of 2020 so far.
As a grammarian, I can’t help but wonder if a question mark belongs at the end of the album title. I’ve seen it both ways. There’s not a question mark on the album cover, but there is one at Spotify and on the Metropolis Records website.
Honestly, I don’t think Rotersand is asking. By leaving off the question mark, I think they’re making a declarative statement: This is how you feel today. They know because we won’t stop talking about it on social media. The amount of time we spend online and the personas we cultivate is a running theme across the album.
Unexpectedly, it all sorta works for the COVID-19 era. Thanks to our grim new reality, we’re online now more than ever. Social media, text messaging, and other digital communication has become our primary means of talking to one another. “We live on the screens, we hide in machines,” indeed.
I keep returning to “Whatever,” my favorite track from the album, as an anthem for our time, and I really love the new club version. The energetic track features a fast-paced beat and a playful, high-pitched synthline, while frontman Rascal sings the hell out of these rather pointed lyrics that may as well be about getting through the pandemic:
“Whatever it takes me
If even it breaks me
I dare to play my part”