“The Witch” by Henner Hoir & The Rattles Original 1970 English Version. Check Out The German Version Too. Skip The Re-Recorded Misfire.

The Rattles were a rock band from Hamburg Germany. They are best known for the hit single “The Witch” sung in English and released in 1970 at the height of psychedelia.

Here we have a recovered copy of the original music film, probably from a VHS tape. Someone attempted to re-include the music but it falls out of sync eventually. The colors are muted as well and that makes it extra creepy. What’s not to love about this?

The single reached number 4 in Germany, 8 in the UK and 79 in the US. It was included on the album also called The Witch in 1971. We love the cover-art

courtesy of discogs

Henner Hoir was a band member at the time. He eventually left The Rattles to go solo and perform in other bands. The song was also released under his name and was included on several Henner Hoir greatest hits compilations. For this reason it is frequently credited to him alone rather than the band. It’s kind of odd because he is not even the vocalist. The lead vocals on this track are by Edna Bejarano. She also sang the German version.

Herr Hoir went on to record the song again with an entirely different band called The Rivets. In this writers opinion, it’s a disappointing remake. It’s lacks the energy and pensive character of the original.

The song faded into obscurity in North America but reemerged in recent years as DJS and music fans dig for deeper cuts for their Halloween season playlists. FunHouse Radio is no exception. The remastered English version is in rotation for the season.

“Miau Miau” by Stereo Total on The Network Awesome Show

How is it that we first hear a woman speaking English with a thick French accent and then she starts singing in perfect German? Stereo Total were a duo from Berlin. Françoise Cactus was raised in France before relocating to Berlin in the 1980s. Sadly she died of breast cancer in 2021. The other half of the duo, Brezel Göring is apparently from Berlin.

Of course today is another #Caturday and this song is apparently about cat behavior but I think it’s really a metaphor about a cheating lover. We play the album version of the song on our live stream all the time. Love this!

Both played a number of different instruments during their time as a group. They switched between and blended many different genres, but here we have them sounding something like The White Stripes with a stripped down garage-rock drum, vocal, and guitar performance.

This live performance was recorded in July of 2012 for a European TV show. MEOW!

-Wacky Alex

Making Music With Your Mouth: Sound Poetry, Beat-boxing, Scat-Singing, & Scottish Mouth Music. How do they compare and contrast?

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) was a German artist, graphic designer, typographer, set designer and poet. From 1923-1932 he published an arts and poetry magazine called “Merz”. What this blog is concerned about are his works of Sound Poetry.

In 1926, after a trip to Prague, he was inspired to work on his epic sound-poem called Sonate in Urlauten which he performed throughout Europe for years afterward. The sound poem depicts phonemic and syllabic expressions according to the German language. These were not words. They were sound elements from the language. The performer was expected to read every sound off the paper but improvise and interpret things like pitch and tempo.

This is an example of what the sound poem looks like and paper. Keep it mind that the letters represent German sounds not English.

Here are two short samples, as voiced by the man himself.



Now compare that to this bit of Jazz Scat Singing by the great Ella Fitzgerald.

To take this a step further, consider this example of Scottish Mouth Music.

People can do a lot with their mouths. Here is a famous example of The “Human Beat Box” style of rhythmic mouth sounds once used widely in hip-hop. It’s currently a global phenomena and does not show signs of abating. Here is a collection of mostly young people demonstrating their skills on TikTok

Take yet another turn, and here is an example of sampling mouth sounds and then triggering them with a computer or keyboard. Kraftwerk’s “Music Non Stop”.

For good measure, here is a more modern recording of Kurt Schwitter’s work.

What do you think about all of this? Leave you thoughts in the comment section below!

– WACKY ALEX