Saturday, 21 October 2017

Schlaflose Nächte ‎– "Flüstern / Move" (Armageddon Records ‎– AS 019) 1981



Fittingly, James Last was the last German featured in the short Die Or DIY? trip around post-punk Germany......not that the King of Schlager has anything to do with post-punk in the slightest. He did however do a tune called "Schlaflose Nächte" on one of the myriad of albums that he produced in his lifetime. I get sleepless nights (English for Schlaflose Nächte) thinking of all those empty land-fill sites that James Last products could have filled adequately;and the billions of tonnes of natural resources that could have been saved had he not existed......but then we wouldn't have had the "Silver Machine/Children of the Revolution/Schools' Out" medley would we?
I first heard the words "Schlaflose Nächte" on the John Peel show, and I thought, 'Ah, another of those German groups innit?'.....but no, they were apparently Dutch? Singing in German(maybe because they had German members?), and having an unhealthily large amount to do with everything German.Hanging out with Einsturzende Neubauten, recording in Berlin, but slowly turning to the trendy  British style Industrial Funk of the 400 Blows, and 23 Skidoo variety.
This British released single, is a good example of where they were creatively in '81, its very post punk funk with an industrial smell about it. Pretty good indeed.

DOWNLOAD and cure those sleepless nights HERE!

Friday, 20 October 2017

James Last ‎– "Non Stop Dancing 1973" (Polydor ‎– 2371 319) 1972


If there's one thing Germany does better than efficient transport systems, reliable cars, and......sorry, can't help it.....start world wars. It's 'prime cheese' like James Last, the Schlager king of Europe. 
In the midst of all the inspid funk-less naff-ness, there were some moments of accidental musical subversion; a prime example being the opening medley of glam rebel anthems from the likes of Hawkwind,T-Rex, and Alice Cooper. No-one quite had the rare talent to squeeze every drop of Rock'n'Roll out of a tune like James Last.Draining all life from these mildly rebellious ditties with his vapidly anemic arrangements. This medley did far more to destroy the Rock monolith than Punk Rock ever did.The Punks boasted of making those Rock Dinosaurs extinct by, ironically, and falsely, as it turned out; playing 'Rock'?!......James Last did it by sucking out rock'n'roll's blood like a muzak vampire,and spewing it down the toilet of populism.Not that i can ever imagine anyone actually dancing to this, "Non-Stop Dancing 1973",(released in 1972...uh?), was basically a Schlager version of Yes's "Tales From Topographic Oceans", the end of Rock.......the death rattle being 'Punk Rock'.After that fizzled out in 1978, it was all showbiz from then on as intelligence went underground.
Hearing Lemmy's vocals on Silver Machine replaced by a limp brass section is nothing short of hilarious,beaten only by the cabaret club guitar solo,and the canned audience noise. It's up there with The Residents version of "Satisfaction" for anti-rock power. James also manages to murder the shit out of all my glam heroes. Slade, T-rex and Glitter all get the 'last'treatment. Alice Coopers' teenage angst anthem,gets transported, rightly, back into the silly showbiz bracket that Alice /Vince himself has inhabited since,well...since 1973!
This was intended as party music in the seventies(not that I'd want to go any party that played this in 1973) , for different reasons than it is now. Now it should be called "Non-stop Laughter 1973".
Thank you Germany for your continued atrocities against humanity like the musical Zyklon B that is Schlager!Sometimes we all need a reminder about why we had to go and do it ourselves and this is it! Accidentally great stuff.

Tracklist:

Potpourri(4:50)
Silver Machine;Children Of The Revolution;School's Out
Potpourri(4:38)
Hello-A;Black And White;Standing In The Road
Potpourri(4:29)
Easy Livin';Coming Closer;Popcorn
Potpourri(3:29)
Run To Me;The Guitar Man
Potpourri(4:20)
I'm On My Way;Michaela;Viva España
Potpourri(5:07)
Mama Weer All Crazee Now;Long Cool Woman; In A Black Dress;Pop That Thang
Potpourri(4:42)
Sylvia's Mother;Join Together;Bottoms Up
Potpourri(4:50)
Nothing;Theme From Shaft;Thunder And Lightning
Potpourri(3:09)
Goodbye To Love;Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me
Potpourri(4:29)
Wig-Wam-Bam;Let's Dance;Rock And Roll, Part 2.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Campingsex ‎– 1914! (Schmockstajn ‎– SH 1) 1985


Unless it means something relevant in German, "CampingSex" is a fucking awful name for a group.
Not a good start.
They are another German band that gets name-dropped as 'influential' ,for some reason unknown to your scribe,by anglo-american show-offs who like to impress with their (lack of) knowledge of the German music scene(like me);most famously by serial record collector nerd, Thurston Moore. Can't see for the life of me how this group influenced Sonic Youth in the slightest, maybe Sonic Youth influenced CampingSex?....more likely.
The music is that post-post-punk goth rock stuff that was so common in 1985, like The Birthday Party, whom I suspect was a major influence here.
Very dated and of its time, and not likely to be subject of a revival any time soon.....but ,as i said, they are cited as somewhat 'Influential'?

Tracklist:

A1 Nichts
A2 Guten Morgen
A3 Schuld
A4 Liebe
B1 Schließ Die Tür
B2 Fall Ich Hinein
B3 Und Sie Alle
B4 Die Welt Geht Unter


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Palais Schaumburg ‎– "Das Single Kabinett" (Zickzack ‎– ZZ 145) 1982


Here's Palais Schaumburg's early singles on Zick Zack, all collected on to one convenient disc. Rarely for Germans, they look as good as they sound, no leather trousers, muscle shirts or spikey mullets to be seen.
These early singles have a more prominent Synth-punk element than their later work.

Tracklist:

A1 Rote Lichter 2:34
A2 Glücklich Wie Nie 2:34
A3 Kinder Der Tod (Version) 1:54
B1 Telephon 2:44
B2 Kinder Der Tod 3:09
B3 Aschenbecher 2:37


Palais Schaumburg ‎– "Palais Schaumburg" (1981)


The thing about German groups is that they may have made some interesting experimental pop, but they never looked good. Sartorial individuality never matched the music.....except for Palais Schaumberg, who obviously nabbed their image from the Postcard-type groups of the UK;Orange Juice, Josef K and the like.The music has little in common with Edwin Collins and his chums, and more to do with the funkier side of UK Post-Punk. In the video for "Wir Bauen Eine Neue Stadt", the group were even witnessed doing some 'German Dancing', which is a sight to behold.
The album sleeve is unerringly glossy and colourful for the times, suggesting major label interference;but interestingly it was produced by Flying Lizard and This Heat collaborator David Cunningham,which may explain it's compatibility with the contemporary UK scene of the time.......didn't help sales though.
Probably the best of the mainstream Neue Deutsche Welle bands. 

Tracklist:
A1 Wir Bauen Eine Neue Stadt
A2 Die Freude
A3 Gute Luft
A4 Ahoi, Nicht Traurig Sein
A5 Grünes Winkelkanu
B1 Morgen Wird Der Wald Gefegt
B2 Deutschland Kommt Gebräunt Zurück
B3 Hat Leben Noch Sinn?
B4 Eine Geschichte
B5 Madonna


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Various Artists ‎– Lieber Zuviel Als Zuwenig (ZickZack Sommerhits 81) (Zickzack ‎– ZZ 45) 1981


The ironically sub-titled "Lieber Zuviel Als Zuwenig (ZickZack Sommerhits 81)" on Hamburg based Zick Zack, has very little to do with summer as we know it. Maybe a lot to do with the summer of the "Neue Deutsche Welle"? Not that a lot of the acts on this record would admit to being part of it of course.....quite rightly.
It starts off with a danceable slab of British style Post-Punk then descends into a melange of  electronics,industrial,avant garde,straight new wave, and proto-goth.
Good to see the inclusion of a rare X-Mal Deutschland track, whose singer,Anja(can't remember her surname), was as close as one got to a teenage celebrity crush (Phwoooar!).I was also a great fan of her two note flat singing style,diametrically opposed to the vomit inducing over-singing of todays dumb 'X-Factor' generation....I prefer the 'X-Mal' Factor myself.
Frankly, anything with "Die Todliche Doris" and the lovely Anja on it, has to be good ...ja?

Tracklist:

A1 –Front "Blech Und Liebe" 2:34
A2 –Kosmonautentraum "Nr. 10" 3:02
A3 –Aus Lauter Liebe "Ein Herz In Not" 2:45
A4 –Falsche Fahnen "Mutti, Ich Und Die Sonne" 0:02
A5 –Die Tödliche Doris "Überlieferung Josef Pfeuffer 3.6.76" 2:30
A6 –Abwärts "In The Summertime" 2:38
A7 –Andy Giorbino "Sxmmxr Zx Kxrz" 1:45
A8 –Saal 2 "Strandgefühle" 4:40
A9 –Nachdenkliche Wehrpflichtige "You Say You Don't Love Me (Tribute To Pete Shelley)" 3:25


B1 –Palais Schaumburg "Aschenbecher" 2:38
B2 –Einstürzende Neubauten "Bakterien Für Eure Seele" 3:44
B3 –Andreas Dorau "Sommer Im Dornrosental" 1:35
B4 –Die Zimmermänner "Ich Werde In Der Sonne Immer Dicker" 2:00
B5 –Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle "Eingeschlagene Schaufenster" 2:59
B6 –Vielleichtors "Ohne Titel" 2:05
B7 –Wirtschaftswunder "Eis" (Live) 2:30
B8 –X-Mal Deutschland "Kälbermarsch" 2:39
B9 –Die Radierer "Madagaskar" 1:17


DOWNLOAD the summer hits of 1981 HERE!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Various Artists ‎– "Denk Daran!" (Überblick ‎– SM 001) 1980


Well at least we know what Adolf and Eva got up to after faking their deaths and escaping to Argentina in a U-Boat; they recorded the opening track for "Denk Daran!".
Another Dusseldorf-ish self-financed,compilation of German New Wave, both conventional and experimental.Probably the worst track is the Beer Hall Punk of 'ZX',which has one scrambling for the skip button; and the best is a pick from Der Plan's 'Residents' impression,Pyrolator's minimal disco pastiche ,and Don Bartnick, with his recreation of an electronic 'Funny Farm'.

Tracklist:

A1 –Adolf & Eva "Det Is Nu Wehf" 2:37
A2 –Croox "24. Dezember" 2:51
A3 –Don Bartnick "Der Neue Messias" 3:15
A4 –Not Mean Themselves "Frozen" 2:58
A5 –Der Plan "Schnee-Christel Unterm Baum" 3:58
A6 –Xao Seffcheque & Die Pest "Sternhagel" 3:30
B1 –Pyrolator "Ein Weihnachtsmann Kommt In Die Disco" 4:07
B2 –Vorsprung "Weisses Trauma" 2:00
B3 –Rigoletto "Neulich, Weihnachtsabend In Der Nähe Von McDonalds" 1:31
B4 –Lemminge "Leise Stirbt Man Im Schnee" 1:26
B5 –S.Y.P.H. "Schneewitter" 5:35
B6 –ZK  "Nieder Mit Dem Weihnachtsmann" 5:00
B7 –3125 / Padeluun "Eisflacker" 1:04


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Various Artists ‎– "Das Ist Schönheit......Hamburg Mai '80 " (Art Records ‎– 1073) 1980


 "Das Ist Schönheit" translates as 'That's Beauty', which this hand painted double 12" compilation is indeed.Included within were various inserts and drawings by Walter Thielsch and/or Thomas Fehlmann, to complete a very 'arty' presentation indeed. Apart from being a thing of beauty, it has a lot of experimental electronics on it,all produced by the late great Konrad Schnitzler at the Academy of Arts in Hamburg.

It's mainly very 'Krautrock' era influenced electronica, that would not be out of place on one of Herr Schnitzler's own releases.So don't expect any undiscovered Minimal Wave classics to slap on the turntable in your night club.

Tracklist:

A1 –Peter Reitberger "Untitled" 5:07
A2 –Rima Lucia Mardoyan "Synphonie Nr. 1" 5:02
A3 –Walter Thielsch / Thomas Fehlmann "Untitled" 2:24
A4 –Rainer "Oehms Kommilitonen" 1:06
A5 –Holger Hiller / Angela Marcus "Untitled" 4:51
A6 –Karin  "Untitled" 3:21
A7 –Insook Untitled 0:39
B1 –Oliver Hirschbiegel "Billy Sagte..." 3:54
B2 –Saskia Czchoch "Untitled" 4:27
B3 –Insook "Untitled" 3:45
B4 –Insook "Untitled" 4:34
B5 –Jürgen Heimes "Untitled" 5:07
C1 –Karin  "Untitled" 3:57
C2 –Saskia Czchoch "Untitled" 1:57
C3 –Jürgen Heimes "Untitled" 4:57
C4 –Angela Marcus "Untitled" 2:28
C5 –Angela Marcus "Untitled" 3:37
C6 –Jelle Fargo "Untitled" 2:35
C7 –Katharina Baumann "Untitled" 2:08
C8 –Claus Böhmler "Falckenstein" 2:22
D1 –Oliver Hirschbiegel "Mama Ist Schuld" 2:20
D2 -Fehlmann/Thielsch/Rademacher "Untitled" 0:14
D3 –Walter Thielsch "Taken" 3:29
D4 –Holger Hiller "Sentimental" 2:06
D5 –Holger Hiller "Untitled" 1:50
D6 –Fehlmann/Thielsch/Rademacher "Leichtes Heizöl" 2:45
D7 –Fehlmann/Thielsch/Rademacher "Blumentritt" 2:37
D8 –Fehlmann/Thielsch/Rademacher "Wenn Mut Bestraft Wird" 1:43
D9 –Fehlmann/Thielsch/Rademacher "Frisst Mammi Farbstoff" 0:56
D10–Fehlmann/Thielsch/Rademacher "Kinder,Der Tod Ist Gar Nicht So Schlimm" 2:09


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Pyrolator ‎– "Inland" ( Ata Tak ‎– WR 002) 1979


Pyrolator appeared on one of those Klar!80 compilations didn't he?So here's his 'cult' debut album from 1979.
This album has been bigged up over the ensuing decades to become the 'Pet Sounds' of Electronica. It does have one thing in common with Brian Wilson's magnum opus however, that it is,'OK', just ok. God only knows (see what I did there?) how these things happen,but this is no more inovative or original or political than Gary Numan's 'Pleasure Principle' or John Foxx's 'Metamatic. This is where being German is an advantage; whereas Numan and Foxx are dismissed as 'pop' acts,mainly because they bothered to actually write songs; Pyrolator is regarded as a cool underground act, and his obscurity adds extra kudos for the hip kids.
Quoted as being the 'Best Political Album without words', I can't for the life of me see any specific political angle at all on these backing tracks.
As a member of the less serious dada synth act, Der Plan,Kurt Dahlke, was seriously moonlighting with his collection of synths.Recording a mountain of these very warm analogue instruments with an almost icy precision that i find pretty boring.
I don't dislike it as much as 'Pet Sounds' however,I quite like it.Its another one of those albums that get hyped up over the years to become more than it actually is....which is a very competent,professionally put together collection of electronic experiments that lacks that certain quality of humanity.....maybe that was the Political statement?

Tracklist:

1 Minimal Tape 1/2.3 2:47
2 It Always Rains In Wuppertal 3:19
3 Inland 1 3:04
4 Minimal Tape 1/8 3:33
5 Danger Cruising 3:19
6 Inland 2 1:43
7 Inland 3 2:55
8 Minimal Tape 3/7.2 4:23
9 Bärenstrasse 3:31
10 Have A Good Ride 2:43
11 Inland 4 2:36
12 Nordatlantik 1:54

Bonus Tracks:

13 Der Volksmund Wird Beatmet 4:21
14 Struktur 01 2:27
15 November Mühlheim 2:02
16 Ok Margo 4:21
17 Die Einsamkeit Des Langstreckenläufers 8:24
18 Struktur 22 2:24


Friday, 13 October 2017

Various ‎– "Klar! 80/82 Alles Oder Nichts" (Klar! 80 ‎– b/u 17) 1982


There's some 'name' acts on this Klar!80 compilation cassette....they got S.Y.P.H., and Der Plan spin off electronic act, 'Pyrolator'. Apart from that there's the usual mix of obscure Neue Deutsche Welle ,experimental Post Punk and minimal electronic tracks. It's all good stuff indeed.

Tracklist:

A1 –Aqua Velva "Mildred" 2:30
A2 –Pyrolator "Vati Es Brennt" 4:20
A3 –Die Zwei "Kleiner Mond-Rap" 5:00
A4 –Ja ! Ja ! Ja ! "Die Wahrheit" 3:30
A5 –Xao Seffcheque & Der Rest "Mir Fehlen Die Worte" 4:00
A6 –Roter Stern Belgrad "Blas Dein Knie Ein" 3:40
A7 –Boss & Beusi "Small Talk" 1:25
A8 –TSE TSE F /RSB "Ohne Titel" 5:20
B1 –Aqua Velva "Schau Dabei Nicht Auf Die Uhr" 3:40
B2 –und Piloten "Umsturz" 4:00
B3 –Strafe Für Rebellion "Blaue Mlg" 4:20
B4 –Europa "Dein Zauber" 3:45
B5 –Shampoo (2) Frühling 0:30
B6 –S.Y.P.H. Wie Ein Filmriß 7:20
B7 –S.Y.P.H. Herrlich Anonym 2:26


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Various Artists ‎– Der Klar! 80/81 Sampler (Klar! 80 ‎– buhuu 7) 1981


More incredibly obscure German New Wave/post punk/minimal electronica from impossibly obscure German New Wave/Post Punk/Electronic groups on the unbelievably overlooked cult cassette label Klar!80.
We've heard a few of these natives of the Dusseldorf area before on the "Massa" compilation and the other Klar!80 compilations,but as always there are some new gems unearthed, like 'Klang Da' and cut rate Neubauten clones 'Hans'.


Tracklist:

A1 –X-Wo / Der Papst -Untitled
A2 –Hans -Untitled
A3 –Roter Stern Belgrad -Untitled
A4 –Eraserhead -Untitled
A5 –Klang Da -Untitled
A6 –Dilette -Untitled

A7 -P.Projekta / G.Ranzz - M1-12
B8 –Klang Da -Untitled
B9 –Plan X-Untitled
B10 –Eraserhead -Untitled
B11 –Hans-Untitled
B12 –Roter Stern Belgrad-Untitled
B13 -Der Rest -Untitled

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Various ‎– "Klar! 80 Sampler 2 - Sample And Hold" (Klar! 80 ‎– buhuu 11) 1980



The same three bands who were on the "Massa" triple 12" release on Klar!80 can be found on this cassette compilation from the same legendary Dusseldorf based cassette label.
They are inevitably joined by more german post punk greatness from the Neue Deutsche Welle flood around 1980. The Bimbo Band are particularly fine I may add.

DOWNLOAD loud and Klar HERE!

Blässe / EKG / Roter Stern Belgrad ‎– "Massa" (Klar! 80 ‎– Klar! I/1/2/3) 1981



This 3x12"-set in printed dispatch box,like a teutonic cardboard version of "Metal Box",featured three groups from Dusseldorf' with styles varying from Jazzy Punk, to Gang Of Four influenced post-punk,to minimal electronic.
Blässe are the ones to slap the 'Jazz' label on because they have a Saxophone in the line-up;but it has more to do with american No-Wave than anything Jazzy.
EKG are more your conventional minimal Post-Punk outfit,with a tight rhythm section ,choppy guitar and barked vocals.Kinda like DAF meets Delta 5......a fine combination methinks?
Roter Stern Belgrad are the least dated sounding band here. They could be from 2017, with their analogue minimal electronic bleeps and squelches.I could imagine the cool kids dancing to this.....whether that's a recommendation I doubt it,but it is an observation on its timelessness.
Altogether I can't fault this shared cardboard extravaganza.None of these bands were ever heard of again beyond a few compilation appearances and live tapes.......now that,I like. 
Tracklist:

A1 –Blässe "Zitteraal" 2:45
A2 –Blässe "Bora" 4:41
A3 –Blässe "No Oberbilk" 2:13
B1 –Blässe "De-Montage" 3:28
B2 –Blässe "Ready Made" 3:08
B3 –Blässe "Blaue Orange" 2:10
C1 –EKG "Liebeslied" 3:56
C2 –EKG "Niemand Ist Sieger" 2:41
C3 –EKG "Muscheln/Schnecken" 2:23
D1 –EKG "Immer" 5:30
D2 –EKG "24 Bilder" 3:19
E1 –Roter Stern Belgrad "Wegwerfliebling" 5:27
E2 –Roter Stern Belgrad "Abend Stern Chant" 5:21
F1 –Roter Stern Belgrad "Afars & Issas" 7:20


Monday, 9 October 2017

Einstürzende Neubauten ‎– "2 x 4" [ROIR (Reachout International Records) ‎– A-133] 1984



A bunch of live Neubauten recorded at various places during 1982, approaching the peak period for the group,and released on american cassette only label ROIR. They were in the process of recording their next album ,"Zeichnungen Des Patienten O.T." for 'Some Bizarre', which saw their rising star fall as the music press didn't receive it very magnanimously.After the brutal headkicking of 'Kollaps' it had seemed like a disappointment.It was indeed all downhill from here, as they became more controlled and structured,as they slipped uncomfortably down the slippery slope to avant-garde acceptability,and coffee table favourites for bank managers everywhere.It happens to the best of us I suppose?

A1, A4: Belgium 1982
A2: Berlin 1983
A3: Hamburg 1980
B1 to B3: Berlin 1982
B4: Amsterdam 1982


Tracklist:

A1 Fleisch "Blut/Haut" Knochen
A2 Sehnsucht (Nie Mehr)
A3 Womb
A4 Krach Der Schlagenden Herzen
B1 Armenisch Bitter
B2 Zum Tier Machen
B3 Sehnsucht (Still Stehend)
B4 Durstige Tiere


Einstürzende Neubauten ‎– "Stahldubversions" (Eisengrau ‎– Rip Off ‎– Rip 6) 1982



Neubauten in dub, or New Buildings in dub; rather like a German reference to Pere Ubu's observations on housing in the United Kingdom, "Dub Housing". The same kind of dub housing in post war Germany was referred to as 'Neubauten'. So Dubbing up the group that bears the same name as those prefabbed hutches was the next logical step.
Hitting a large steel fuel tank with a sledge hammer just asks to be fed through a Roland Space echo and tweaked,and its done to great effect on this C-20.But unlike reggae based dub, these tracks sit up and beg your ears for attention, and don't outstay their welcome.
A Lot of these recordings formed the basis for later tracks:
"Liebesdub" is a variation of "Jet'm".
"Sado-Masodub" is basically "Tanz Debil" from 'Kollaps'.
"Rivieradub" was used on "Zeichnungen des Patienten O.T."
"Mikrobendub" is an early version of "Mikroben".

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Einstürzende Neubauten ‎– "Stahlmusik" (Eisengrau ‎– 1002, Rip Off ‎) 1980


Steel music (Stahlmusik), it says on the label to accurately describe the non-music registered on the cassette tape within. The early version of this album even had a steel case, like Metal Box, but in a cassette version.
Yes they used their environment's raw materials to create this racket.As African tribesmen make drums from hollowed out trees etc, Neubauten used Industrial waste, like suspension springs,steel pipes, industrial plastic containers, shopping carts  and old fuel tanks.The west's traditional folk instrument, the electric guitar, also makes an appearance, more as a percussion instrument than a thing of melody. Its a form of ethnic expression, a post industrial age folk music.
The name translates,as if you didn't know, as 'Collapsing New Buildings'; which is appropriate, as this group were,along with Throbbing Gristle, responsible for collapsing the Rock'n'Roll myth....until they became 'Rock Stars' that is!?

Tracklist:
A1 Energie
A2 Eisenmolekül
A3 Alphabet
A4 Tier
B1 Schönheit Der Geschwindigkeit
B2 Arbeit
B3 Kein Bestandteil Sein
B4 Kristallines Eisen
B5 Gut(Mit Dem Kopf An Die Wand)


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Einstürzende Neubauten ‎– "Live In Kunstkopfstereo" (Eisengrau ‎C-46) 1980



So, after Die Haut and Nick Cave,we naturally move on to where the Cave man found another future 'Bad Seed'.Namely Blixa Bargeld,guitar scratcher and cat impressionist with Einstürzende Neubauten.This is an early cassette recorded at the first Neubauten show at the "Moon" club in West Berlin on April 'fools' day 1980.
Don't expect any power tools and percussion instruments made from Industrial junk here.They were a far more conventional noise act in those early days;but were soon to do more than any other contemporary pop group,and thats stretching the term somewhat, to deconstruct what a conventional rock/pop group could be.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Die Haut ‎– "Burnin' The Ice" (Paradoxx Records ‎– PA 5502) 1983


Oh Dear, it's say "Contains Shocking Lyrics" on the sticker. Whether that means shockingly bad lyrics or otherwise I wouldn't like to say, but they were contributed and sung by none other than the Van Morrison of Gothic Crooners himself, Mr Nicholas Cave.
The Birthday Party had made a fashion statement by moving to West Berlin to fit in with their tiresome 'miserable sod' image. It was there that Mr Cave met The Skin(die Haut)....sounds like a terrible schlock horror film. 
The results of this conflagration are somewhat better than most of the Birthday Party back catalogue.
This is where Cave found his drummer victim, Thomas Wydler, for his endlessly repeating 'Bad Seeds' project.

Tracklist:

A1 Stow-A-Way 7:14
A2 Tokyo Express 2:57
A3 Truck Love 3:51
B1 The Victory 3:43
B2 Pleasure Is The Boss 3:50
B3 Dumb Europe 6:30
B4 This Flame Will Never Die 1:18


Thursday, 5 October 2017

Die Haut ‎– "Schnelles Leben" (Monogam ‎– 008) 1982


Die Haut, or translated, The Skin, were/are a Berlin group who played some kind of disjointed Post-Punk surf music instrumentals,with more than a nod towards Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. Contained a future 'Bad seed' on drums apparently.
Good stuff.

Tracklist:

A1 Wilde Pferde 0:57
A2 Our Captain Speaking 1:51
A3 Spanisches Öl 1:10
A4 A. Karina 4:27
B1 Gefährliche Nächte 3:48
B2 Ticket Brasil-New York 1:57
B3 (Never Going Back To) 5th Avenue 3:38


Abwärts ‎– "Der Westen Ist Einsam" (Mercury ‎– 6435 155) 1982


As Abwärts seem to be unexpectedly popular, it seems logical to post the second ,and major label released, studio album. Which is an altogether more polished product than their debut;but still an entertaining example of the West German post-punk world.I'm always suspicious of a garish/glossy album sleeve.Stinks of over-investment, albeit an investment i'm sure Mercury/polygram never got back....I hope.

Tracklist:

A1 Beim Erstenmal Tut's Immer Weh 3:08
A2 Papier 1:43
A3 Stein 3:39
A4 Das Wort Zum Sonntag 4:45
A5 Aus Einem Gartenhaus 3:24
B1 Agent 2:27
B2 Deprimiert 2:27
B3 Sei Froh 3:38
B4 Tierlieb 3:22
B5 Affentanz 3:00


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Abwärts ‎– "Amok Koma" (Zickzack ‎– ZZ 10) 1980



From the city that gave us the Beatles, Hamburg, came Abwärts in about 1980. Their greatest contribution to pop music was that they provided a couple of members of Einsturzende Neubauten.
Abwärts themselves were a standard German Post-Punk band who sang in that slightly annoying German raspy timbre that was well suited for barking orders, but not for singing pop, or Punk; rather grates on the ears.
Nonetheless, cheese grater voices aside, the music is reasonably inventive and reminds one of Wire, with bits of Pink Flag and the more punky parts of "Chairs Missing".
I've added single "Computerstaat" to the end of the vinyl rip by the way.
Ps..a small largely irrelevant item of interest is,I remember that photo that they nicked for the cover. There was also a small child falling with the girl.I'm pleased to say the child survived the fall by, unfortunately, landing on the young lady featured here, who alas died!

Tracklist:

Amok
Maschinenland 2:57
Karo 1/4 08/15 Hoch 2 0:34
Monday On My Mind 2:38
Shanghai Stinker 2:45
Bel Ami 2:01
Verzählt 2:58
Softly Softly 1:58
Koma
Unfall 4:00
Mehr 4:27
Türkenblues 3:52
Neon Kind 3:20
Ich Bin Stumm 2:16
Japan - Live 3:52

Computerstaat 3:11

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

S.Y.P.H. ‎– "S.Y.P.H." (Pure Freude ‎– PF 15) 1981



No it's not cif's debut album repackaged, it's their third(?) LP with the same title as the first....such imagination.I do however like the idea of naming all your albums after yourself, like Peter Gabriel did on at least for three occasions in his back catalogue. S.Y.P.H did it only twice. The first eponymous album from the year before was more forward looking than this one strangely enough. This 1981 self-titled outing sounds like Can's "Soon Over Babaluma"(not one of their best I may add), especially the side long 'Little Nemo'.It even has Holgar Czukay on Bass and in the producers chair.So S.Y.P.H. managed to become their favourite group's younger and dumber brother within a couple of years of trying.Some going that.

Tracklist:
A1 Die Deep 1:18
A2 Hänschen Horror 1:11
A3 Lämmerschwanz 1:57
A4 Nachbar 12:39
A5 Satarasch 2:52
B Little Nemo 18:03


Monday, 2 October 2017

S.Y.P.H. ‎– "Pst" (Pure Freude ‎– PF06CK3) 1980


Cif get pissed?
Whether it's pissed in the British sense of the word, in other words, Drunk; or, in the American sense ,Angry?.....more likely it's the onomatopoeic version, 'psst',as a whispered noise to gain someone's attention. Maybe they should have made a louder noise, because hardly anyone knew Syph existed.
Holger Czukay(RIP), he of CAN, knew they existed, because he produced/mixed and played on this record. And the group reciprocated by playing on his 1981 miesterwerk,"On The Way To The Peak Of Normal"(which you can find by clicking here).
This is SYPH's best record I reckon, so H.C. must have sprinkled his magic CANned fairy dust over the group and the music alike.In fact there are a few tunes that have a certain late period CAN feel about them, among the decidedly post-punk tuneage that dominates the first half of the album.

Tracklist:

A1 Euroton 0:52
A2 Einsam In Wien (Lustlos) 5:32
A3 Moderne Romantik 3:01
A4 Lametta 3:50
A5 Modell 1:47
A6 Alpha & Vieta 1:35
A7 Nachbar 3:15
B1 Regentanz 8:43
B2 Stress 6:45
B3 Do The Fleischwurst 4:26


Sunday, 1 October 2017

S.Y.P.H. ‎– "S.Y.P.H." (Pure Freude ‎– PF 04 CK 2,) 1980

S.Y.P.H. obviously had pretensions to move beyond their musical ability and quickly marched on from incompetent Punk Rock to incompetent Post Punk, with a splash of Disco? The B-side of this album betrays an obvious flirtation with their Krautrock forebears; something that had been echoed in British post punk at around the same time.So does that make this a fashionable statement for 1980 or a healthy display of inspired development? Probably both.

Tracklist:

A1 Zurueck Zum Beton 1:58
A2 Industrie-Maedchen 1:24
A3 Lachleute & Nettmenschen 2:15
A4 Unreif Für Die Zukunft 1:54
A5 Mercedes 1:22
A6 Chess Challenger 3:09
A7 What Happens? 2:44
A8 Heute Norm - Morgen Tod 1:45
A9 Untitled 1:28
B1 Partir 3:50
B2 Kein Ziel 12:32
B3 Kisuaheli 7:17


S.Y.P.H. ‎– "Viel Feind, Viel Ehr" (Pure Freude ‎– PF 001) 1979


If there was ever a good reason for the UK to leave the EU(and there isn't by the way!),it would have to be the homogenizing of product names so they can be pronounced in all languages. So, all those classic British products of the seventies got their names changed. For example, Marathon became the awful "Snickers", "Opal Fruits" became the even more terrible "Starburst", "Oil of Ulay", became "Oil Of Olay"(!?), and 'Jif' ,the lemon scented mild abrasive surface cleaner, became fucking "Cif"!....which just so happens to be the way to pronounce S.Y.P.H. .....yes, 'Cif' not 'Jif'.
S.Y.P.H.themselves,not 'Cif',were an early German 'punk' group rather than a lemon scented bog cleaner, and they produced this very D.I.Y. sounding EP in 1979.It's largely a very rudimentary attempt to emulate a 'punk' sound, but with a hefty nod backwards toward the better 'Krautrock' combos, in what appears to be someone's living room.Track 1 has the classic white kids try to do reggae but end up with some completely abstract version of that lilting Jamaican riddim;like The Stranglers "Peaches" or The Clash's hatchet job of "Police and Thieves".Nearly every 'Punk' band made an attempt,but only maybe "The Ruts" could actually achieve it;maybe because they were secretly excellent musicians (Boo!).
I'm sure S.Y.P.H. is an acronym for something,and there were even tongue-in-cheek explanations put forward by the group;but the real version will probably remain a mystery......and so it should.

Tracklist:

A1 Industrie-Maedchen
A2 Europa
B1 Moderne Romantik
B2 Klammheimlich


Saturday, 30 September 2017

Das Synthetisches Mischgewebe ‎– "Works" (Das Cassettencombinat ‎– 005) 1982


Everything is in English on this sleeve except for the band name which translates as "Synthetic Mixed fabric"?? Like you get with those cheap pull overs that one buys in Primark for six quid; made at gunpoint in Vietnam by some malnourished kid for a penny a day. 
Alas, mixed fabrics rarely keep you warm during winter. A bit like this tape? 
Its recommended to wear a 100% woolen fairtrade sweater when listening to this during those bleak winter months. Its cold electronic scraping drones tend to induce a frigid lonely feeling in the casual listener.Like squatting in the boiler room at your local synthetic fabric or garbage recycling factory.

Tracklist:

A1 Mary's Penis Operation
A2 Dead But Thinking
A3 Future
B1 Tierversuche
B2 Past
B3 Tones Of Sculls And Bottles
B4 Flesh


Friday, 29 September 2017

TASS II ‎– "Unter-Haltung" (Das Cassettencombinat ‎– 008) 1983





What? Another Synth duo? Both of them called Thomas?
Nice hissy cassette fuzzed minimal synth tunes on the legendary Das Cassettencombinat label.
There's even a rare example of Minimal Synth Dub hidden among the murk, "Impression"; Herr Augustus von Pablo goes electronic.Probably only one country does reggae worse than Germany, and that's France.Unbelievably clueless.And then there's the dancing!!! Shocking.

Tracklist:

A1 Necrophil Deadvoice 3:23
A2 Oh God Oh My God 4:44
A3 Radio Message 4:39
B1 Unterhaltung 4:46
B2 Sound Of Nubia 3:30
B3 Impression 3:54
B4 Endsynphonie 2:06


Die Gesunden ‎– "Die Gesunden" (Innovative Communication ‎– KS 80.028) 1982


Every country had their take on the Suicide Synth duo template.The UK fused it with pop and soul,France made it artistic,USA punked it up, Belgium made it into a national obsession and Germany made it hard and ,dare I say it, aggressive? Along with the low countries they helped create the genre of EBM for the alternative Disco crowd.
DAF being the obvious example, and they had their imitators.One of which was 'Die Gesunden',who actually supported DAF on tour in 1981.
Their take on the German synth duo was much lighter than their mentors', but it still retains that darkness and those raw synth sounds that made DAF great (up to a point).
They were signed to Klaus Schulze's label, Innovative Communication,and it sounds like they were allowed access to KS's vast synth collection.There are some polyphonic pads cropping up on some of the track, ruining their minimalism.There's no room for Kosmiche in this kind of stuff Klaus.I'm sure he would have had his ten penny's worth of influence as he was the star in the building.
Still it's an obscure classic of minimal electronica.....including the obligatory heavy breathing into the microphone. 

Tracklist:

A1 Instru-Mental 2:10
A2 Die Gesunden Kommen 3:25
A3 Der Weg Zum Erfolg 3:20
A4 Krieg Und Frieden 3:19
A5 Sometimes / Manchmal 3:37
B1 Baby Love 3:15
B2 Leutnant Miller 3:50
B3 Galaxy 3:28
B4 Atmen 2:40
B5 Film Musik 2:10


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Die 2. Liga - "Sessions, Live, and Studio 1980-81"






Not only did West Germany have their own Residents (Der Plan), they also had their own version of The Prats too. Modestly called Die 2. Liga (The Second Division), they formed a 'Punk' group(average age 12)played a few live gigs,did a session for Rondo Records, and released a very limited edition tape( a limited edition of 5 I am told!)
This stuff was (re-)released on limited edition vinyl a couple of years ago, but thanks to Die or DIY's German chum, Michael Festerling, we now have far more tracks than on those impossible to find discs.
Punk Rock had a fine tradition of including everyone excluded from such previously exclusive fashionable cliques, like the reprehensible 'Bromley Contingent' in the UK. 
The likes of Eater, The Prats, and The Fatal Microbes would have been excluded, along with the women, from many other youth cults.
We can now add Die 2. Liga to this roll of honour, as champions of German 'Outsider Punk'.
Basically they sound like The Prats, but with better equipment, and they sing in German.    

In the words of Dirk Moll, the drummer, 

"We were founded in 1980 and had our first appearance at the Unterstufenfest (lower school party ?!?) at our high school. All members of EA80 were there ,too, through which we were also motivated to form a band and always appeared as a supporting band with them.
An exception was the gig with ÖSTRO 430 and ZK (see photos).

Our average age was “12″.

In 1983 we disbanded due to lack of perspective and because we were too old."


(NB...
standing,enviously, in the middle of the photo left to the girl with the white jacket Campino of ZK .He is now the singer of the what most people seem to consider as 'punk rock superstars' „Die Toten Hosen“)

2. Liga were:

Mario Bocks guitar, 

Marcus Hardelauf vocals;

Holger Zander bass (not on the (studio ?!?) recordings, though);

Martin Kircher bass ( on the (studio ?!?) recordings and vocals on „Jungen und Technik“) and 

Dirk Moll drums.

Tracklist:

Rondo Session 1981
01. Hänschenklein
02. Männerwirtschaft
03. Jungen+Technik
04. Beton
05. Vater
06. Bewusstsein

Split-Tape with EA80
(Studio 06.01.`81)

07. Tod
08. Bewusstsein
09. Sportler
10. Groß +Klein
11. Männerwirtschaft
12. Disco Fucker
13. Beton

(Live 07.06.`80 at NGM*)

14. Gedanken 1
15. Tod 
16. Männerwirtschaft
17. Disco Flippies
18. Bauer Putzig
19. Mona Lisa
20. 1 sek Lied
21. Hänschen Klein
22. Tarzan
23. Bewusstsein

(Live 20.09.`80 at Haus Zoar**)

24. H. Klein

* Neusprachliches Gymnasium Mönchengladbach, Germany

** Haus Zoar, Mönchengladbach, Germany

DOWNLOAD from the premier league of kiddie punk HERE!

Der Plan - "Normalette Surprise" (Ata Tak WR007) 1981


Don't feel much like writing anything this morning, so all you need to know is it's Der Plan; who sound like a more minimal synth style,less humouristic German version of the Residents.....which is no bad thing. Lots of vintage synth's, and tunes that don't outstay their welcome.

Tracklist:

Leb doch
Renate
Meine Freunde
Sie Hat Mich Verlassen
Pausen-SassaWenn
Der Sonne Ist Verblüht
Kleine Schlager-Revue
Frl. Nicol
Ich Bin Ein Komputer
Robot-Bolero
Generäle Essen Erdbeereis
Das Insekt
Wat's Dat?
4 Stapfen im Schnee
Zuruck in die Atmosphare
Rot Grun Tot
8 1/2


DOWNLOAD for a normal surprise HERE!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Der Plan ‎– "Geri Reig" (Warning Records ‎– Warning 003) 1980


Der Plan went electronic for their debut album, with a mixture of Minimal Synth classics and lots of mucking about in the studio. There are some silly voices used, like their American equivalents and likely inspiration, The Residents. Alas they are hindered by that famous German drawback, a terrible sense of humour. Our Teutonic cousins should stick to what they're good at, efficient hard electronics, of which there are several examples on this rather good LP. Humour in music has always been a dangerous flirtation, that has rarely been pulled off. Just leave the larking about to someone else please.

Tracklist:

A1 Adrenalin Lässt Das Blut Kochen
A2 Geri Regi
A3 Persisches Cowboy-Golf
A4 Gefährliche Clowns
A5 Kleine Grabesstille
A6 Der Weltaufstandsplan
A7 Hans Und Gabi
B1 Commerce Extérieur Mondial Sentimental
B2 Was Ich Von Mir Denke
B3 San José Car Muzak
B4 Erste Begegnung Mit Dem Tod
B5 Ich Bin Schizophren
B6 Nessie
B7 Gefährliche Clowns (Manisch Idiotisch)
B8 Die Welt Ist Schlecht


Monday, 25 September 2017

Der Plan - "Untitled EP" (Kind Attack Records AAP 001) 1979


Every country had their Residents clones; Renaldo and the Loaf in the UK, DDAA in France, Julio Iglesias in Spain, and 'Der Plan' in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Except, this debut EP from 1979 is like proper unhinged experimental rock rather than our favourite minmal avant-gardists from Louisiana.
Robert Gorl from DAF was in the line-up for this recording, I assume on Drums? Soon to leave for more successful areas  with DAF chum Gabi Delgado.
Der Plan would soon buy more synthesisers,start wearing silly costumes, and prance around the stage getting 'weird', becoming West Germany's Resident Residents Clones.

Tracklist:

Side A
1-5 Untitled
Side B
1-5 Untitled

DOWNLOAD is der plan HERE!

Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft - "Live FU Berlin 01/11/1980" (Bootleg)


As DAF is an anagram of AFD!......To mark the reappearance of the far right in the German Reichstag for the first time since Hitler shot himself(although its a matter of interpretation as to whether the Nazi party was indeed right wing or, left wing; i think there's a long discussion on that subject on one of the Ramleh posts in the comments section- "Pumping" I believe?) . Here's something from the positive end of the spectrum as far as German culture goes.
DAF were never afraid to confront the ghosts of German History, they were part of the real alternative Germany, not the racist bigots in the AFD
Don't be put off by the cover(They certainly dressed like Germans!), this is pre-duo DAF, so its good, if a little lo-fi. Its an audience recording, but still decent quality, with a bit of room ambiance for good measure.
So...FU, Trump,FU Farage, FU Le Pen and F whoever is leading the AfD as i've heard there's a split already(Shame).

DOWNLOAD the real alternative for germany and FU  HERE!