VA - Cassettencombinat Berlin 1980 - 81

(Click on the picture to download.)

"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.