Skoda Mluvit

by Schneider TM

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Škoda Mluvit is the 3rd regular Schneider TM album and was released in 2006 as CD & Double Vinyl by City Slang.
This was the official release-info written by Wyndham Wallace:

From the outside, Dirk Dresselhaus’ apartment is much like any in the Prenzlauerberg district of Berlin, housed inside a hulking, grey, pockmarked exterior that towers five tall stories above the cobbled streets. It’s different inside, though. In the room he uses as a studio, but which also doubles as his living space, a drum kit has been erected, though it sometimes doubles as a keyboard stand. A huge desk is filled with electronic equipment and guitar pedals linked together, all threaded through an antique mixing desk. There are guitars lying on the floor and spread across chairs and sofas. On the floor are a variety of strange wooden objects, elaborate traditional instruments that resemble wild variations on a xylophone.

This is the room that, for two years, played womb to SKODA MLUVIT, a remarkable album that sees Dresselhaus – known to friends and fans alike as SCHNEIDER TM – continue his unusual journey through the netherworld of ‘indie’ and ‘electronic’ music. It’s a room that SCHNEIDER, on occasions, didn’t leave for days at a time, locking himself away whilst he tinkered with and poked at anything he could find that made a sound. He calls it Constructionsite Studios – not because it looks like it’s currently being renovated, which frankly it does, but because he is constantly surrounded by the sounds of construction as workmen continue the repairs to the delapidated buildings of the old East Berlin. You can hear the noise in the dying moments of SKODA MLUVIT, hidden away as a secret track.

SKODA MLUVIT is an album that encapsulates all the things that have led to SCHNEIDER TM being one of the most unusual but respected artists out there. He hovers between pop and avant-garde, as comfortable being compared to Matthew Herbert as to the Pet Shop Boys. Perhaps that’s why Zoomer, his last album, didn’t achieve quite the stratospheric commercial success that critics had earmarked for it: people simply didn’t know where to place it. SCHNEIDER, after all, is just as likely to discuss extreme noise bands from Japan as he is West Coast hip-hop.

This still shows on SKODA MLUVUT, but the times have caught up with him: electronic musicians are integrating acoustic instruments into their music with such fervour it’s become almost as much of a cliché as when indie rock bands added “a dance element” to their sound in the early ‘90s. But the thing here is: SCHNEIDER doesn’t actually know what he’s doing. He just can’t help himself. So the thoroughly uncontrived results include the lethargic acoustic funk of “Peanut”, the distorted noise of “S’Kcorratiug”, something that SCHNEIDER describes as Fela Kuti mixing Neil Young’s Greendale with the blues (“Vodou”), the twisted hip hop of “The Blacksmith”, the sweet soul melody of “Cataractact”, the whorl of sound around “The Slide” and the utterly undefinable “A Ride”.

On the album sleeve, SCHNEIDER lists every single thing that he used as source material for the sounds that make up his album. But this is misleading. You wouldn’t expect sailing trousers, a cigarette lighter, a pool table or paper to have played a part in this brilliantly playful, if elaborate, collection of warped but brilliant pop. But then again you wouldn’t expect Fela Kuti and Neu to collide with such grace, or Sun Ra and Teenage Fanclub to gel so elegantly. SCHNEIDER is a master of unusual concoctions – that is no doubt why he originally came to so many people’s attention when he and long time collaborator Kpt Michi.Gan. covered The Smiths’ “There’s A Light That Never Goes Out” to such devastating effect on their sublime electronic version, “The Light 3000”.

On SKODA MLUVIT he continues a journey he began with Moist in 1998, when he turned his back – initally temporarily – on his successful indie act, Locust Fudge, and a developing career as a VJ on German TV. Initially he indulged himself in the extremities of sound that electronica opened up to him, but slowly he began to integrate his indie roots into the songs, resulting in2002’s Zoomer, a masterpiece of what was dubbed “indietronica”, packed with off-kilter pop nous – “Frogtoise”, inspired by animal surgery experiments carried out in Dresselhaus’ dreams; “Reality Check”, a brilliantly subliminal protest song – and sonic exploration that he dubbed “chemical listening”.

SKODA MLUVIT sees him combine all the different elements of his musical interest to even greater effect. But it’s not just about how he recorded, or what he recorded with, so much as why he recorded, that lies at the heart of SKODA MLUVIT’s genius. Following the release of Zoomer, SCHNEIDER TM – accompanied by his trusty cohorts in the SCHNEIDER TM EXPERIENCE, KPT Michi.Gan and Mek O’Baam – made his way around the world. They criss-crossed across the whole of Europe, taking in unusual dates on a Goethe Institute sponsored tour through southern and eastern Europe; they traversed America, including a lengthy tour with The Faint and Les Savy Fav; they performed in Japan; they played in Brazil. They broke down at midday in non-air conditioned vans in the desert whilst tripping. They stayed up all night so as not to waste money on feculent hotel rooms. And they partied hard. This had its upside, like the night their van was broken into, something far more bearable under the soothing effects of ecstasy. But it had its downside. The downside was that it had to end. And when it did they were incapable of dealing with the sudden stillness. And that, says Dresselhaus, is when things started going wrong.

What happened is irrelevant. As SCHNEIDER’s Czech grandmother would say, “Skoda mluvit”, her way of dismissing a painful but tired subject. “It’s not worth mentioning”, it means, “move on.” The phrase became a motto as SCHNEIDER struggled to deal with the stuff that was going on in his life – standard post-tour tedium, relationship problems, a bad motorcycle accident - and he used the music as “a kind of voodoo”, he laughs. It clearly worked, given his good humour now the album is completed.

Life on the road had exposed to him to so many new things that he has no idea where SKODA MLUVIT came from, so if you ask him what his influences were he’ll shrug. He stated that Zoomer had been influenced by old soul records, especially Shuggie Otis’ Information Inspiration. SKODA MLUVIT, though, is the result of exploring even further the roots of music with which he had fallen in love. Especially evident is a love of dub and afrobeat, but as SCHNEIDER says, “I had no intentions – it just came from inside. But you never forget your roots. And,” he adds, “apart from Panasonic I don’t listen to electronic music at all.”

For the first time he wrote lyrics before he wrote music, articulating things that he had to get out his system. That might be hard to believe when you hear a song like “Caplets”, which riffs on the Instructions For Use from a packet of Aspirin, or the shroom-inspired madness of “Pac Man / Shopping Cart”, but there’s a magic to the lyrics, a logic in the nonsense. “To be honest,” SCHNEIDER explains, “their real meaning often lies between the lines.” He started to obsess over the sound of wood, purchasing, amongst other things, a Ghanian Balafon, and then became increasingly fascinated by the noises he could make with the everyday objects that he found around him. Rather than sample and process them, however, he simply integrated these as he heard them, like trousers being rubbed to make the sound of a shaker. At other times he allowed unscheduled interruptions to remain part of the mix – the telephone ringing during “The Blacksmith”, for example, was completely unplanned.

SCHNEIDER tried to maintain a sense of childish innocence throughout the recording, and much of the album is made up of first takes. “I tried to keep it minimal,” he explains, “ to find the essence of the music, and to find a balance in the chaos.” But whilst the music emerged from a bleak time in his life, that post-Zoomer comedown, he didn’t want it to sound morose. Like the album’s artwork, a simple beauty emerges from a sombre background. “It’s dark,” he believes, “but it’s delivered in a light hearted fashion. It’s not intellectual. But it is spiritual.”

A number of guests grace the album: Edith Kuss, the grandmother who inspired the album’s title, is charmingly integrated into the title track; Max Turner, the Berlin based poet and rapper joins her on the title track and also steps up on “The Blacksmith”, whilst cellist Hildur Gudnadottir (who has previously collaborated with Icelandic act Mum and Angel, Dirk's noise project with Pan sonic’s Ilpo Väisänen) plays a valuable role on a number of tracks. Plus, of course, regular collaborator Kpt. Michi.Gan plays a vital part on tunes like the hypnotic opener “More Time”, which employs mathematical tricks in much the same way as My Bloody Valentine’s “Feed Me With Your Kiss” as it rushes to its final, inevitable conclusion.

“It’s indie rock ragga,” SCHNEIDER jokes of the finished album. Like everything on SKODA MLUVIT, that concept is much easier to embrace than you might think.


released May 1, 2006

1. more time
(words & music: m. beckett / d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by dirk dresselhaus & michael beckett

2. pac man / shopping cart
(words & music: d. dresselhaus / m. beckett)
instruments by michael beckett & dirk dresselhaus
vocals by dirk dresselhaus
additional vocals by julia hummer

3. peanut
(words & music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by dirk dresselhaus
vase by christian obermaier
additional vocals by christian obermaier & michael beckett

4. s’kcorratiug
(music: d.dresselhaus)
programming & processing by dirk dresselhaus
original guitar by erland øye

5. caplets
(words & music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by dirk dresselhaus

6. vodou
(words & music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by dirk dresselhaus

7. skoda mluvit
(words & music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by dirk dresselhaus
additional vocals by edith kuss & max turner

8. the blacksmith
(words: m. turner, music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments by dirk dresselhaus & max turner
vocals by max turner
additional vocals by dirk dresselhaus
cello by hildur gudnadottir

9. klexx
(music: d. dresselhaus)
programming & processing by dirk dresselhaus

10. cataractact
(words & music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by dirk dresselhaus

11. the slide
(words & music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by d. dresselhaus
cello by hildur gudnadottir

12. a ride
(words & music: d. dresselhaus)
instruments & vocals by dirk dresselhaus
horn by fabian schubert

13. the world's a cup
(words: m. turner / d. dresselhaus, music: d. dresselhaus / h. gudnadottir / m. turner / i. väisänen)
vocals by max turner & dirk dresselhaus
zither by hildur gudnadottir
typewriter by ilpo väisänen
other instruments by dirk dresselhaus

bonus track:

14. winsomelosesome
(music: d. dresselhaus)
mbira by alexander großzeit

all songs recorded, produced & mixed between july 2003 & december 2005 by dirk dresselhaus at constructionsite studios, berlin.
mastered by rashad becker at dubplates & mastering, berlin.
sleeve design by matthias einhoff & dirk dresselhaus
original photography by ilpo väisänen (front),
nils grube (booklet), d. dresselhaus & klinikum köpenik (back).
published by la chunga music publishing / copyright control
epiphone pr 350 e, epiphone casino, fender mustang, artisan slide guitar, big muff, boss-dd5, small stone, memory man deluxe, rat, turbo rat, rockinger 6-string bass, wildcat pw 30 r, fender twin reverb, moog moogerfooger murf, kaoss pad 1, kaoss pad 2, boss vf-1, vermona retroverb, doepfer sound unit, electribe r, electribe sx, motu 828, mindprint t-comp, universal audio 2-610 tube amplifier, micro korg, yamaha su 700, philicorda organ, neumann tlm 103, t-bone mb 78-beta, shure sm 57 beta a, denon pma 100-n amplifier, spirit absolute 2, aiwa md, toneworks g5, alan & heath mixwizard 14:4:2+, roland mc 303, typewriter, zither, french horn, vase, drums & shakers from africamarket berlin alexanderplatz & lanzarote, balaphon, nino mini cajon, 3 different constructionsites in berlin, lips, sailing trousers, ashtray, pearl snare drum, blanket, paiste 505 hihat, broken cymbal, paiste 2000 8“ splash, paiste 2000 reflector 18“ crash, keychain, tama techstar, apple g3 pismo 400mhz, firewire harddisc, logic audio 4.7, mt-4, freecom traveller 2, people, soundman okm-2, custom made unversucht hi-fi loudspeakers, lighter, window, mbira, mobile-phone, telephone, beyerdynamic dt 990 & 770, chair, hohner harp, fingers, tambourine, hohner pianet, paper, pencil, wooden sticks, pooltable at club, bewag electricity, immanuelkirche church bell.




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MirrorWorldMusic Berlin, Germany

MirrorWorldMusic is run by Michael Beckett (aka kptmichigan, member of Super Reverb, Tuesday Weld and so on) and Dirk Dresselhaus (aka Schneider TM, member of Angel, Locust Fudge and so on).
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Track Name: More Time
gimme gimme gimme...more time.
Track Name: Pac Man / Shopping Cart
Pac Man / Shopping Cart
(Dirk Dresselhaus/Michael Beckett)

pac man / shopping cart
went to wal-mart
to fill his go cart heart
the mirrored one
which fell apart
the other day on lover`s lane

he was real fucked up
but he looked just the same
verging on the insane
too many dimensions
too many to mention

a home on wheels
and a life in a box
a whole lotta pills
but not enough socks
too many dimensions
too many to mention

pac man / shopping cart
went to wal-mart
to fill his go cart heart
the mirrored one
which fell apart
the other day on lover`s lane

klein, gelb, dreiviertel mondmässig
und sehr gefrässig
little dots, a piece of fruit
too many dimensions
too many to mention

although his home
it was the street
he barely made it home in one piece
not enough dimensions
not enough to mention

pac man / shopping cart
went to wal-mart
to fill his go cart heart
the mirrored one
which fell apart
the other day on lover`s lane
Track Name: Peanut
(Dirk Dresselhaus)

digging earth until the roots appear
hoppinpoppin often ends in tears
i want to see you free
that’s why you shouldn’t be with me

little peanut’s come and gone
back to the ocean where nothing’s wrong
and put a little thorn inside
not just a mother’s loving heart

from alaska to disaster
(close-up, close-up)
through the cornfields of nebraska
(showed up, showed up)
planet brain is where it’s at
(well it’s so easy to forget)
ocean soul is where it goes
(maybe space is the place)

hey peanut,
we really didn’t know what to do
is there any future without you ?
we are just a bunch of flys
on the windshield of a car racing by
entertainment, nature-style...

from alaska to disaster
(close-up, close-up)
through the cornfields of nebraska
(showed up, showed up)
planet brain is where it’s at
(but it’s so easy to forget)
ocean soul is where it goes
(perhaps space is the place)
Track Name: Caplets
(Dirk Dresselhaus)

life, muscle and back
pain relief with extra strength
and ASA for fast and effective
relief of pain, associated with
tense neck muscles, back and muscle spasms
strains and sprains

8 caplets a day
8 days a week
8 weeks a month
8 months a year
8 years a life
Track Name: Vodou
(Dirk Dresselhaus)

the sun is getting balder day by day
her face is looking older, almost grey
like rock or stone, some bones are on their way
through the heavy gravity of other people’s property...

the roof and the proof are under friendly fire,
yearn motherfuckers yearn
for oneway safety and freedom,
some billion dollars more to earn
who do they think they are
and what has jesus got to do with this shit ?
what space is for is not
whatever they want to do with it...

i wanna vodou like you do
not just do what we’re used to
and all we do turns out new school
tell me now
what can i do for you

oh please, no chemicals...

head held high in the sky and feet back on the ground

the moon is visible cause the sun is on fire,
learn, motherfuckers, learn
to know yourself and each other as brothers
learn, motherfuckers, learn...
Track Name: Škoda Mluvit
skoda mluvit...
hey baby, hold your spirit high
i ’ve just almost seen my spirit fly away
don’t need no flowers, but your sympathy,
don’t you see,
my foot looks like a balloon, bruised, blue & green

on a sunny sunday afternoon

sweet darling, get rid of your jealousy
i know you know,
your heart’s a temple...not a lousy jail
filled up with tricks your mind has played on you
things get better when life’s not a loop,
swoop swoop, oh baby, rock rock,
swoop swoop, oh baby, rock rock

on a sunny sunday afternoon

go with the flow although the flow is low
on this side of time we got a chance to grow
into new habits, new friends, old souls
no rolls but balls because we go go go

for the sunny sunday afternoon
sunny sunday afternoon
Track Name: The Blacksmith
The Blacksmith
(Max Turner)

miners of soul
servants of rhythm
farmers of sound
and slaves of melody.

down pounds the hammer like the bolts of zeus,
pointing to heat he pulls weight like a tooth!
melting-pot ironing-sun sub-substance-
he leaves all doubt swept of abundance.
utmost concentration no rust in this blood,
the thrust of a hammer falls down like a thud.
just thinking of this puts a dent in my thought,
up for lead belly the blacksmith of my soul:
tall he stood to the hate of his time,
strong they kept through the strings of gods mind,
give me faith while i have to work in these mines:
tm, mt ahead of their time again...

the blacksmith, miners of soul
the blacksmith, servants of rhythm
the blacksmith, farmers of sound
(he beats black the steel that now stands at your door step)
and slaves (beats back and shines proud) of melody

sparks wheeled the wheel as he puts forth his shoe,
a giants little finger in all of us! only a blacksmith can bond us,
force the metal to melt upon us and unite us.
finger snippin´ pipe dippin´ africanism!
spitting the chips like a bucket of wisdom,
a grain of lead and pocket of prophecy...
...what makes the music roll
like blue rocks in the sea? what does?
grain upon pearl upon turn upon swirl,
grain upon pearl upon turn upon swirl,
pain upon world upon turtle ´pon world,
grain upon swirl upon turtle pond world,
stand by me!

we all take our burns in the branding of time,
better ask the smith to hook us up with thick hooves:
cos the blue planet will forever sing the blues!
i´ve heard it sing black holes in broad day light,
i´ve felt it play happy when it knew of bomb-fright,
but the blacksmith undoes this by melting to one:
smelling in check of god´s one-ly thumb,
dropping the might with the head of soul guns.

miners of soul (a well´s depth backbone of thunder)
the blacksmith, servants of rhythm...
... (weds souls in the darkest of moments)
the blacksmith...
(stands tall let me melt this down)
farmers of sound
(he beat black the steel
that now stands...
at your door step)
and slaves of melody
(beats back and shines proud)

if there´s hell below
we´re all gonna go
see the blacksmith!
Track Name: Cataractact
(Dirk Dresselhaus)

time flies by like a fly, a fly in the sky,
when i walk you home and then go for a ride...
my engine’s pumping blood to a 4-dimensional headroom
that you can travel with your heart & mind
it’s so much bigger than your bedroom...

nature works,
but what’s the deal ?
trading friendship for an hour of need ?

nature works,
well, that’s a fact!
holding back the cataractact...

time flies by like the pie, the pie in the sky,
when i walk you home and then go for a ride...
my engine’s pumping blood to a 4-dimensional headroom
that i might travel with my hard on to meet
my future-lady on the pink moon...
Track Name: The Slide
The Slide
(Dirk Dresselhaus)

I wish i could be the transhuman me
resisting age, anger and pain up to a certain degree
and love’s gonna be the only thing i can feel

depressions are gone and nothing goes wrong
will you still be with me when customs have changed
to remind me of now and the beauty of pain, because

the most beautiful pain in the world
is my love for you, girl...woman.

how could there be true love in this world
without occasionally digging the dirt
and there’s such beautiful dirt in this world

right here, right now is the best way to be
and i can wait to be the transhuman me

the most beautiful pain in the world
is my love for you, girl...woman.
Track Name: A Ride
A Ride
(Dirk Dresselhaus)

ain’t life a ride…
i heard you talking to yourself like to somebody else,
saw you punching the walls, cause you thought it’s your fault
what’s happening, my pal, don’t you know that you are
what you think you can be, i am you, you are me.
ain’t life a ride…
i saw you surfin’ big waves and crawling through graves
riding high and low, it’s just the way that it goes
for the most of those, who don’t live in the past
the future has come as an overdose.
ain’t life a ride…
there’s so much to say, so much has been said
why not boil it down to a minimal edge
dequantize your mind and have a joint
to freedom of speech and pain of choice
a life’s gone fast, what comes is death
there’s a difference to make, so don’t waste your breath...
ain’t life a ride…
everything is everything, get into the groove
rich, broke, giving, getting, lady or bloke
we’re all gonna go to where the stars blink good night
if we get ourselves together it could be such a nice ride
ain’t life a ride…
there’s so much to say

everything is everything, get into the groove
Track Name: The World's A Cup
The World’s A Cup
(Max Turner/Dirk Dresselhaus)

strike the force, don’t be a beaten lullaby
stroke that door, do let them in
bite your fear, cause tears take too long to dry
drowned in deep-see fathoming

cause we are ghost by nature, the world’s a cup
we’re merely host, the stranger wins
yes, we are ghost immature, the world’s a rock
we’re nearly grave inscriptions

tectonic plates, put the needle to the underground
a subtle plague is on the way to make your day
burning arcades in an empty visions hippodrome
drone, drone, drone, drone ......

cause we are ghost by nature, the world’s a cup
we’re merely host, the stranger wins
yes, we are ghost immature, the world’s a rock
we’re nearly grave inscriptions

cause we are ghost by nature, the world’s a cup
we’re merely host, the stranger wins
cause we are ghost in major business

and we don’t give a fuck