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STANDOUT TRACK: No. 2, “Anna Winter Stasi,” a bouncy indie-rock track with terse guitar riffs and shuffling drums, plus a buzzy digital melody that breaks out at the end. The lyrics imply a narrative: “Makeup on your dress/Fake like we’ve just met,” sings Trevor Kampmann, who played and recorded everything on the song himself. Good luck sorting out a story, though.
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: “It’s lyrically confused. I don’t write down lyrics,” says the 35-year-old Kampmann, who recently moved back to D.C. after living in several other big cities. “I sing off the top of my head in one take, and that becomes the song.” He’s a little more certain about the song’s title, which mashes up the names of a famous person (Vogue editor Anna Wintour) and Communist bad guys (the East German secret police). He acknowledges that the pairing is “brutally silly” but says he’s fond of such combinations, such as Bruce Nauman’s homonymic 1985 etching Violins/Violence. HollAnd’s album title also springs from similar inspiration, he says.
ONE-MAN SHOW: Kampmann has been recording as hollAnd for about a decade, after using the moniker See Saw for most of the ’90s. His early projects were known for their experimental, four-track sound, but “Anna Winter Stasi,” like many songs on The Paris Hilton Mujahideen, is crisply presented. That part of the process is “completely premeditated,” says Kampmann, who has worked as a producer, engineer, orÔªø remasterer for Cat Power, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, and many other bands. “Thinking in sonic terms is what I do for a living, so it’s always nagging me.”