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Wildeve Touch And Go CD Cover
Image © 1996 Music Is Intelligence 

(28 May 2000) Built around lead singer Lili Plieninger, German progressive rock band Wildeve have released one album to date entitled Touch and Go (WMMS 1111, 1996). The band formed in 1995; before that Plieninger sang backing vocals with English classic rock bands Landmarq and Casino. Lili also contributed backing vocals to the album by German progressive band Rejoice.

In Wildeve, Lili also contributes vocals, electric and acoustic guitar and keyboards. Wildeve's album features band members Andreas Brenner (acoustic guitar), Leno Vijackic (electric guitars), Rudi Liechtle (drums, percussion), and Peter Steinbach (bass); guests include Hardy Heinlin, Werner Danneman and Helmut Kipp. The songs are primarily written by Lili Plieninger. The music is mainly light and airy, never too heavy and often quite accessible. It can be best categorised as folk rock with a progressive edge, similar in some ways to Rebekka (Phoenix), and it certainly has a 1970s feel. All songs are sung in English.

The band is presently working on new songs, demo recordings and that they are preparing a new album for release later this year. The lineup supporting Lili now includes Alex Mueller (electric and acoustic guitars), Mark Ellis (bass) and Hardy Philipp (drums and percussion).

Wildeve's Touch and Go album is comprised of ten relatively short tracks each featuring sensitively sung vocal passages. Production quality on the album is superb with vocals mixed way up, never overpowered by the instrumentals, which with lush keyboard parts are very effectively arranged. The occasional multi-tracking adds depth to the vocal textures.

Lili's vocal work is evocative and sensual; soaring excursions in several of the passages show her vocal dexterity and the tremendous depth of this talented singer. Accurate parallels have been drawn by German media to Tori Amos, Cranberries or early Kate Bush as well as Heather Nova and Alanis Morissette. She has a unique vocal style, perhaps due to the German edge (accent) of her voice, that suits the light style of, and acoustic guitar within, the progressive rock that Wildeve plays.

The album's acoustic tracks feature lovely harmony vocals sung over light acoustic guitar or piano and include "Days Of Desire" and "What Can I Do." The tremendous vocal lead in the acoustic track "Radioman" is most reminiscent of Rebekka's music. The more richly arranged rock tracks have a slighly heavier edge with thicker bass and keyboard parts joining electric guitar. These include "City Rain," "Strange Girl," "Eternalize" and the everso densly arranged ballad "As the Days Go By."

Several of the album's tracks include both styles effectively mixing acoustic with the denser rock arrangements. These songs include the title track, "Touch and Go," "What a Man" The vocal parts in these songs are among the best due to the soaring excursions. We especially enjoyed "Good For Me," a lighter track that mixes Wildeve's lovely acoustic folk rock style with a thicker, almost live chorus and many layers of backing harmony vocals.

With preproduction of their follow-up album complete, it's a good time to explore their debut album further. You can find further information, soundbites and ordering information at Wildeve's website. Worth a cross-country journey, Wildeve's Touch and Go is certainly a must listen!.

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