200 lurkers

The 200 lurkers are a band-project based in Cologne, Germany that has won a small but dedicated following all over the world in the past three years. Essentially, the 200 lurkers consist of singer|songwriter Philipp Hofmann whose vision guides the project and who records much of the material in his home studio, supported by a host of collaborators. The music of 200 lurkers combines guitar-based singer|songwriter tunes with judiciously applied samples. Much it has a wistful, melancholy feel, but is buoyed by an innate sense of whimsicality that is reflected in the delicate instrumentation and Hofmann's unique voice. Charmingly off-kilter melodies carry along lyrics full of exceptional imagery: with all manner of references to exploding beehives, celestial bodies, and birds with nacreous wings, they often depict a duality of the ordinary miraculousness of life wrapping around a pearl of bitterness and loss. Musically, the 200 lurkers straddle several genres from twee pop to new folk to alt-country, though there are as many differences as similarities between these styles and the lurkers: Hofmann is fond of incorporating unconventional musical instruments or technologies (such as water glasses, children's toys, distorted recordings of his or his friends' voices, or archaic drum machines), and each song is of its own character and temperament, defying easy classification. Even though their songs have not been actively promoted yet, the band has already won a considerable am...

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