Jugend forscht - More Post-Punk and New Wave from Germany

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A follow-up to my first compilation of German post-punk. While that collection runs the full gamut from chart successes to fairly obscure tracks, from the catchy and song-oriented to the far-out and experimental, this one focuses mainly on the electronic and/or left-field side of things: minimal synth-pop by Bal Paré, Stahlnetz and Andi Arroganti, icy electro-goth by Matthias Schuster, leftfield new wave by Deo, Christiane F.'s 99 Records/Zé-style avant-disco (composed by her then-boyfriend, Einstürzende Neubauten guitarist Alex Hacke), Tommi Stumpf's lo-fi synth-punk and full-on avant noise from Geile Tiere, Sprung aus den Wolken and Strafe für Rebellion.

01. Bal Paré - Rien Ne Va Plus (Year ?)
Matthias Schusters (of Geisterfahrer fame) synth-pop band. Not quite as good as Geisterfahrer or most of Schuster's solo output, they're usually at their best (and most charming) when they're doing their francophile electro-chanson thing.

02. Andi Arroganti - Bleib bei mir (Year ?)
Probably the most prolific exponent of the DIY cassette underground, Andi churned out dozens of tapes as a solo artist and with his groups Altes Eisen and Duotronic Synterror. I think he's quite a bit overrated, but he does have his moments. This slightly goofy and totally catchy piece of minimalist synth-pop is definitely one of them. Taken from the 2003 vinyl release Mono - The Best of Andi Arroganti.

03. Geile Tiere - Liebst du mich? (1981)
Not much info out their on these noiseniks. It seems like they were essentially a duo, sometimes aided by a host of guests, and actually had a background in performance and media art. Obviously, they pursued a self-consciously amateurish non-musician angle, similiar to the Geniale Dilettanten movement around bands like Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Tödliche Doris and Strafe für Rebellion. Most of their stuff is only historically interesting, but this extremely creepy track with its punishing beat and pounding bassline still sounds pretty amazing.

04. Matthias Schuster - Ritual IV (1981)
More stunning electronic moodiness by our man from Hamburg. Taken from the Ritual 12" which is included as bonus tracks on NLW's reissue of the Atemlos LP.

05. Stahlnetz - Wir sind glücklich (1982)
Incredibly punchy and propulsive, Conny Plank-produced synth rock that has "hit potential" written all over it. Oddly, the keyboards & drums duo squandered their best song on the b-side of the single Vor all den Jahren, which was a minor hit.

06. Christiane F. - Wunderbar (1982)
Probably best known as Germany's most famous junkie, Christiane F. recorded this gem of a dubbed-out new wave disco track for the Californian punkrock/new wave-indie Poshboy. Unhappy with the results, she did a new version, re-titled Süchtig, for her EP Final Church. This track is the unedited 12" version of the original American release and although I have yet to hear the later version, I can't find anything wrong with this one.

07. Tommi Stumpf - Seltsames Glück (1985)
Another amazing Conny Plank production: tight and super-aggressive proto-EBM with punk attitude from the former frontman of KFC, one of the first German punkrock bands.

08. Geile Tiere - Whiskey Bar (1980)
Mucking about with Brecht/Weill's Alabama Song. Fun.

09. Deo - Exakt neutral (1981)
From their only LP Deo, released on Klaus Schulze's Innvative Communication imprint. Nothing on that album comes close to the sheer brilliance of this slice of new wave minimalism though.

10. Bal Paré - Raumpatrouille (1982)
A cover version of the title theme of a German b/w science fiction series from the late sixties, composed by lounge music and soundtrack collector favourite Peter Thomas. The lo-fi synth treatment only adds to the retro-futuristic charm of the original.

11. Strafe für Rebellion - Lo state presente politico e morale (1982)
I guess that a lot of those artsy German post-punk bands where more about the creative process as such than about making records as definitive artistic statements. So, detached from their original context, the records are for the most part quite unlistenable. Not so this amazing piece of, well what exactly? Post-industrial chamber music maybe? Anyway, definitely one of my favourites on this compilation.

12. Sprung aus den Wolken - A-i-akcam la (1982)
With Neubauten members Hacke, Einheit and N.U. Unruh amongst its ranks, it's no wonder that this lose Geniale Dilettanten collective's sound reminds a bit of early Einstürzende Neubauten, albeit without the steel percussion - and without Blixa's charisma obviously. Again, a lot of it is only historically interesting and not really worth a second listen, but some of the results are pretty compelling.