Tocotronic Bookmark and Share


At the start of the nineties Arne Zank and Jan Müller met while playing with the band ‘Meine Eltern’. In 1993 they met singer Dirk von Lowtzow and they founded Tocotronic (the name is based on the gameconsole Tricotronic, the predecessor to the Gameboy). In 1994 they gave their First official gig in Hamburg at the Roten Flora theatre. This was followed by a first single ‘Meine Freundin und ihr Freund’ release don their own label. In 1995 the band was able to record an entire album called ‘Digital ist besser’. Their lo-fi punksound made them a popular act at the small rockclubs in Germany and Austria.

It took until their third album, released in 1996, before the band actually had their first hit in the German charts. A year later political outspokenness found the band performing at the -benefitconcert ‘Wildwasser e.V’. Tocotronic never made a secret of them supporting humanistic goals and the anti-fascitic movement. The music got more complex over time, their lyrics less direct, resulting in a sound that was compared to that of "Pavement" on Tocotronic's 1999 album "K.O.O.K". In 2000 a remix album was released followed by a compilation. In 2001 singer Von Lowtzow starts a soloproject with Thies Myhter (from the band Stella) called Phantom/Ghost. In 2002 the band started working on the self-titled ‘White Album’. It featured dreamlike songs; metaphoric, heavily produced, highly polished, and formed a complete step away from their early works In 2003 the band celebrated theur tenth anniversary with a special CD/DVD compilation. In 2004 Rick McPhail (lead guitar, keyboard) became a steady member of the band also adding his influence on the 2005 album. At this time the band also performed at the ‘Projekt P’ festival in Berlin for creating political awareness under young people. In July 2007, Tocotronic released ‘Kapitulation’. Also, around this time, the band announced the end of their working relationship with long-time label "L'age D'or", and consequently ‘Kapitulation’ was released by Vertigo Berlin, a sublabel of Universal music. In the same year they contributed the track ‘Aber hier leben, nein danke!’ for the ‘Move against G8’ sampler. In 2010 'Schall und Wahn' was released. After heavy touring the band returned to the studio in 2012 for what turned out to be their magnus opus.

On the web:

- Tocotronic's official website: http://www.tocotronic.de/

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Prāta Vētra (Latvia)

The Scene (Netherlands)

What do we think:

DB: Tocotronic is gathered in the genre Hamburger Schule. With other Hamburg exponents like Blumfeld and Die Sterne Tocotronic has turned out to be the most succesfull. To my opinion because they developed over the years from a Lo-fi punky band to a more mature pop/rock band. Somehow they form a sort of mixture between Placebo and alternative German rock. .


- Digital ist besser - 1995

- Wir kommen um uns zu beschweren - 1996

- Es ist egal, aber - 1997

- K.O.O.K. - 1999

- Tocotronic - 2002

♪♪♪ - Pure Vernunft darf niemals siegen - 2005

♪♪♪ - Kapitulation - 2007

♪♪♪♪ - Schall und Wahn - 2010

♪♪♪♪♪ - Wie wir leben wollen - 2013

♪♪♪ - Tocotronic (das rote album) - 2015

♪♪♪ - Die Unendlichkeit - 2018

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


Like us on
Your newsletter
Do you want to receive our monthly newsletter? Just tick in your e-mail adress below and stay in touch.

You will receive an e-mail message (sorry, in Dutch) that you have to confirm.