Hersh Dagmarr is a London-based Queer singer/songwriter and visual artist. His visceral inspiration from the grand Weimar Berlin era mixed with his own experience as a club kid from the noughties and the 2010s evolved into a unique blend of jazz, dance and electronic avant-pop with elements of cabaret mixed in.
“My interest in music is quite polar. It’s equally coming from a faraway past and a rather distant future. Like some kind of haunting past life.”
A French native and originally a cabaret and jazz singer, Dagmarr started featuring on indie house and dance music tracks as a vocalist. His collaborations culminated with the remarkable “Jack the Boxx”, with French Italo disco DJ producer Kiko, released on German music label International Deejay Gigolos, which became an underground cult classic and where Dagmarr slams.
The temptation to give life to his own inner visions brought Dagmarr to start composing, producing and crafting songs – Hersh Dagmarr was born. Again.
Mise en abyme lyrics guide through swirly raunch: this is Noir Disco from the basement.
His first single, the neo discoid “I Want to Be Alone”, is being released in August 2019.
A story about conflicted urges of isolation and communion, a celebration of reclusion and an unavoidable reference to Greta Garbo, the silent movie superstar, whose desire to retire from the world became a signature.
The following EP “Jojo’s Night” is a crystalline and crafty neo cabaret song and an ode to a defunct club in a dilapidated London. “Brewer Street in London’s Soho is where I first had the feeling of belonging . Mark Moore’s Electrogogo night at Madame Jojo’s to be more precise.” The Ep comes with two remixes, the high energy “Blue Light Pabst” mix and the cinematographic and menacing “Disco Noir” mix.
The last song on the EP, the jazz-house flavoured “Stunned”, a road story tale where two fugitive lovers literally end up just disappearing from the surface of the Earth. “Gone. Just like that. My favourite theme in the world.”
“Privileged Life”, the third EP was written with Kurt Weill (one of Dagmarr’s main musical influences) “Alabama Song” in mind. He wrote it from the perspective of a Bordello owner who welcomed the son of a very wealthy family. “Don’t ask…”
“Olden tales from the ground floor. What they do to Mommy’s boys in the low, low world”, sings Dagmarr, as the tense twisted piano chords and witchy strings carry the neo-cabaret song.
The EP comes with two other original songs. “Make Believe”, a futuristic disco funk where Dagmarr croons what sounds like a blasé atheist manifesto and “Hooker”, a pulsating downtempo house song, which is probably being played in one of the Bordello’s backrooms referenced in the song “Privileged Life”.
“Glitter Down the Cliff” is a tale more or less inspired by HG Ballard’s Crash.
The romantic “thrill of a screeching tire” and the fantasy of a waltz in the air from behind the wheel is musically dressed in a tango jazz lullaby ending abruptly with an ultimate swerve down the precipice. The song comes with three electro remixes.
In “Summer Nights” Dagmarr depicts the vengeful story of a scorned lover’s return in a political context so inflamed that “the whole house burns down”. Built around a synth hook, the dance song goes crescendo and climaxes into the inevitable conflict resolution: fire. The “Le Moko” remix of the song is an invitation to an erotic ritual ceremony.
On Feb 8th 2021 Dagmarr releases his new single “Belongingness”, a jazz-house celebration of inclusivity and the universal feeling of belonging. That unique feeling of communion that can only happen in a club on a dance floor when the music is too good and the energy is high and the time has paused. A collective trance.
“This was going to be a jazz tune but I said to myself: Scrap it. If I’m gonna write a song called Belongingness it has to be a full-on dance track.” The song comes with an extended dub mix.
On and on and more to come. Stay tuned for more tales from the ground floor…or is it a whisky bar?
Besides his own music production, Dagmarr regularly hosts a cabaret show called “Dagmarr’s Kabarett” in which, accompanied by a pianist, he performs classic tunes from the global cabaret songbook with an emphasis on Kurt Weill’s repertoire. “I was there during the grand Weimar era… I’m telling you.”