The times they are a changin’ for Anna Kohlweis. She has recently moved out of her Vienna apartment and pops in for a FM4 studio session from Klagenfurt, where she is staying for a few weeks before heading to the US. And it’s not so much touring that leads her abroad. In fact she is involved in various fields of art from painting, illustrating, music video making, drawing comics to making music unter the name of Squalloscope. For a start she grabs the guitar to play the stripped-down song “War Strategies” (that she released as Paper Bird, her former musical self), followed by “Caterpillars”, one of her few love songs. After having built up a multi-layered, elated atmosphere with her second tune, Squalloscope sounds extra grand with “Library Card”. This last track – about the absurdity of social norms and artifical problems that are imposed on a young, independent woman – might also explain, why Squalloscope likes to write songs about other things than love as well.
Many bands and music artists that stop by Vienna call at the rectangular, greyish Funkhaus in Argentinierstraße. They follow an invitation from Radio FM4 to do an interview or play a session in one of the beautiful recording studios. FM4 is a national radio station and has become indispensable for listeners of alternative pop music in Austria and parts of Germany (the close-by Bavaria). It broadcasts – besides the music – a rather high level of spoken word content (some of it produced in English) and frequently organizes concerts. Apart from FM4 the listed building, constructed in the 1930s, houses another well-known radio station operated by the public broadcaster ORF – Ö1. Ö1 is a cultural radio network that focuses on classical music, jazz, documentaries, radio plays, discussions et al. Further mentionable and integrated in the 1930s Funkhaus is the RadioKulturhaus, that stages concerts, literature readings, round table discussion and other cultural events. Talked so much about culture, hence, it is not surprising that the adherent café is named KulturCafé.