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An expressionist poem from 1911 at the head of a press release in 2023? Did some ChatGPT make that up? Hardly. Jakob van Hoddis' poetry moved YELKA guitarist Daniel Meteo a lot as a young person and came to mind during the recording of "Krieg & Ferien", that briefly translates into "War & Ease", the third YELKA album this year. And so the poem became the title for the ten-minute closing piece: an improvised one-take funk jam with an uncertain outcome. YELKA's new album may have so much in common with Tolstoy's novel "War & Peace", to which the album title quite obviously alludes, that it was created in a time in which we all - for well-known reasons - have to deal with Russian society more than we have in a long time. But the Berlin trio - besides Meteo it's Christian Obermaier on drums and Yelka Wehmeier on bass and vocals - was more concerned with other questions in the reflection of pop music: Is this lived escapism (i.e. ease?) or subculture, i.e. is the fight against mainstream declared here (i.e. war)? Or does one only condition the other? Does subculture in the end also only offer ease from the mainstream? Or does it automatically become mainstream in case of success?