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Do not adjust your sets. Take a step back from the tracking. This is the sound of Germany’s musical youth let loose on cheap synths and pawnshop guitars. A record of a disparate scene of squat pop-stars, artschool upstarts and committed non-musicians who redefined German music in the first half of the 1980s. By the dawn of the new decade, punk had burnt out in a frenzy of feedback, reshaping the musical landscape before burrowing back into the underground for a period of reinvention. But the scorched earth it left behind proved to be fertile soil, nurturing a new movement grass-rooting through Germany’smajor cities. For the first time the country had its own youth culture, spilling out of the squats of Hamburg and West Berlin, occupying the art scene in Düsseldorfand Köln and congregating around independent record shops stocked with angsty import 7”s.
Empowered by punk’s DIY spirit, these kids valued conviction over competence, opting to ignore the industry and make music for themselves, sung in their own language. Even the cats we now call krautrock, revolutionary though they were, mostly sang in English, adopting the lingua franca of rock & roll as a shorthand for authenticity for a native crowd who wouldn’t have it any other way.This new scene rejected the expected, celebrating freedom of expression above all else. Armed with unconventional instruments, newly affordable electronics and rudimentary recording gear, they worked from the ground up, building basic rhythms and simple melodies into mutant grooves and following their imagination wherever it took them. The result was a genrefluid wave of fusion pop pulled from funk, punk, jazz and reggae; united in attitude rather than aesthetic. Lyrically, the groups explored the serious and silly, embracing the irreverence of dadaism to deliberately displease the earnest alternativen of the older generation.
It features Der Plan, Palais Schaumburg, Carambolage, Deutsche Wertarbeit, Pyrolator, Conrad Schnitzler and more.