4D - Fauve Moderne/Sex Appeal 10" + bonus tracks

(Click on the picture to download.)

Big up user oldskool, who generously hooked me up with these tracks! About the source for one of the bonus tracks he'd like to add: "This (even back in 1982) ultra rare cassette was a gift from Andrea Kühler, one of my very, very best friends, who died just three weeks ago."

A couple of moons ago, I used the flexi-disc version of 4D's Fauve Moderne for one of my compilations of German post-punk and new wave. In the comments, oldskool provided some additional information, including what probably amounts to the complete 4D discography. I did a bit more digging (well, I mainly followed the links from this discogs entry and I'll probably lose a few nerd points now for not having done so the first time around) and unearthed the following:

4D were a shortlived project involving two of the guys from wacky German synth-pop outfit Supersempfft/Roboterwerke (read up on them over here), who custom built one of the first programmable drum computers. I actually used to own their Best Of, but eventually sold it off on eBay. The music was mostly quite lovely, with endearingly weird, inventive arrangements and sweet'n'crisp textures, but I just couldn't get over the horrible vocals. Here, have a listen yourself.

The Fauve Moderne 10" is just flatout great though. I've already heaped praises on the B-side's incredibly suave, francophile/phone new wave funk. But the A-side Sex Appeal is equally superb with its reggae-inspired teutonic skank, its dub effects and the singer's cool, detached crooning in German and French.

What Is Going On? from the above mentioned tape is yet more goodness, albeit in a harsher, more dissonant and spaced out style. We know Major Tom's a junkie-spaced out that is, not floating in outer-space on hash cakes-spaced out. Unfortunately, oldskool lost the cassette and only digitized this one track.

The second bonus track Dreidimensional is my least favourite of the bunch. Still, it's a solid piece of early eighties minimal synth-wave and it further shows the band's range. Dreidimensional was taken from a volume of The New Wave Complex, a series of semi-legit CD-R comps that you can grab over here, by the way.


This blog is not dead yet...

... although it probably started to smell a little bit funny recently. But I've got some new uploads in the pipeline already, including all my covermount cds from the defunct UK garage/grime/dubstep magazine Deuce, Oktember by Wolfgang Voigt/GAS, both albums by Reinhard Voigt's Sturm project and some Fennesz niceness, so stay tuned for more posting action in the near future. In the meantime you might probably want to check out my new blog Mixtapes'n'Blurbs for, well, exactly what the somewhat uninspired title says plus other assorted music-related stuff. I've also been neglecting it a bit due to being occupied with matters of the heart (in the best possible way), but plans are that it's going to be updated at least once a week. So stop by and feel free to drop a comment to let me know how (or if) you like it.


Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh - Berlin 12"

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More (tangentially) Neubauten/Alex Hacke related post-punk action from early eighties Berlin. Hacke was a member of an earlier incarnation of the band and can be heard on a couple of tape releases. He was not involved in this 12" though, the Komandoh's only vinyl release apart from contributions to a few compilations and one soundtrack album.

It's the kind of bleak, monochrome post-punk you'd expect to come out of the grey Mauerstadt, with a riffing saxophone, angular, martial rhythms and theatrical, overwrought vocals that straddle a thin line between crazed anguish and bizarre wackiness. Not quite essential, but pretty good stuff nonetheless.


VA - Cassettencombinat Berlin 1980 - 81

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"On the one hand, West Berlin provided a home for people who had run away from other places where their creativity was being stunted. On the other hand it was a paradise for all kinds of exhibitionists and posers, because it was possible to become someone pretty quickly – simply because it was a village-type community and also because no one could check up on your background.

"Reinventing both yourself and music. That was the nature of the time and the basic concept of the
Neubauten: "We will push the boundaries of music till there's no music left." Our aim was to totally destroy music."

Quoted from an interview with Alexander Hacke

Three slabs of vinyl
collecting tracks originally released on the tape label Cassettencombinat, compiled by label boss and Sprung aus den Wolken member Kiddy Citney
and available for a hot minute or two from Vinyl On Demand. Some of it doesn't really go anywhere (though that was probably the whole point), some of it hasn't aged too well (though it probably wasn't meant to last anyway). Thing is, this music was part of an incredibly fertile underground scene that was more about the creative/destructive process than about the results. It's a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, I guess.

I'm becoming a bit of an Alex Hacke fan though. Most of the tracks he's involved in still hold up remarkably well, conveying a sense of the place and time of their creation and transcending it at the same time due to a keen musicality and sense of structure and, you know, some interesting ideas beyond simple Krach. Interesting to compare the Borsig plus Sprung aus den Wolken/Aus Lauter Liebe/Ohne Untertitel tracks to the Sprung aus den Wolken/Ohne Untertitel stuff without his input: it's sort of interesting, but ultimately just period pieces.

Also pretty fantastic are Leben und Arbeiten
(featuring guitarist Jochen Arbeit, later of Die Haut and a Neubauten member since 1996) with their unnerving, bass driven proto-noiserock and the total nutters of the Frau Siebenrock Combo.

Like most of the German post-punk stuff I posted, I grabbed this one from Soulseek, so once again thanks to the original ripper/uploader.


Alexander von Borsig - Hiroshima

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Seriously lagging behind with fulfilling this request... Anyway, it was suggested that I put up some rips of complete releases by Neubauten-related bands and projects, so that's what the next couple of posts will be dedicated to.

Alexander Hacke - the hardest working man of Berlin's post-punk underground? As well as joining Einstürzende Neubauten at age fifteen in 1980, he was a member of Sentimentale Jugend, Sprung aus den Wolken, Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh and P 1/E, released a slew of solo-works (mostly on cassette) as Alexander von Borsig and Borsigwerke and cropped up on releases by Mona Mur, Die Haut, Blässe, Christiana/Christiane F. or Crime & The City Solution.

This 12" was released on the short-lived, Hamburg-based label Supermax in 1982. Four tracks of astonishingly original and fully developed sounding noise/industrial experimentation, the highlights being the sad, scary and bizarrely gorgeous title track and Japanisch, a dub version of the song Japan, Japan by Hamburg art-punkers Abwärts (whose percussionist FM Einheit would also become a Neubauten member in 1983).


We're Late For Class - A Collection

As you may or may not have noticed, I added a link to the blog of We're Late For Class to my linklist a while ago. They're a free improv collective giving away their music for free on the net which is a pretty cool thing to do and would be reason enough to give them a bit of hype. Their new album is a sort of Best Of 2007, collecting nine tracks from the nineteen web releases they shared last year and a Faust cover version.

You're in for a treat of hazy psych-rock jams, motorik workouts and cinematic mood pieces. Oh, and the guys give this advice: "We’re Late For Class is all improv and pro-herb, so an altered state of mind is highly recommend for optimum listening pleasure." To which I must add that I'm not much of a smoker myself (not because of some moral issues, just because da sensie tends to mess with my body in unpleasant ways) and I'm still enjoying this collection quite a lot.

Download via Share On All or Divshare