Thursday 31 October 2019

AG. Geige ‎– "Trickbeat" (klangFarBe ‎– 008.) 1989

AG Geige's second cassette (get first here!) was actually,eventually, released on the DDR state label for such low brow popular musics such as this, Amiga. The signs were that the state was losing control with all this Glasnost and Perestroika nonsense.
There were several versions of this album,so the first 16 tracks come from the CD version released in 1990, and all the bonus tracks come from the original cassette release on KlangFarBe.
I dunno if the Stasi were keeping notes,so maybe the files at Stasi HQ could help with the track listing.
A fine album, or double album this is. An avant-abstract electronic rock post-punk collage of the highest proportions that should,in an ideal world, find its way into many a good boy or girls christmas stocking this yuletide. After all, Santa Claus is nothing more than a glorified member of the supernatural Stasi,with his sinister elves spying on our kids,taking notes as to who's been naughty and who's been nice.
Christmas was,after all invented in Germany,alongside Industrial Genocide,Methadone,Crystal Meth,National Socialism,protestant Christianity and,yes Indeed, the perfect Police State in the form of the DDR.They should be prooooouuuuuddddd!


1 Das Möbiusband / Zeychen Und Wunder 2:04
2 Triebwerk 1:16
3 Felix 1:34
4 Kosmonauten 2:42
5 Fingerwalze 2:58
6 So Sollte Es Nicht Sein! 2:30
7 Küchenlied 5:53
8 Das Scheusal 3:29
9 Déjà Vu (Snap Mix #2) 2:51
10 Hasensong 1:35
11 Schöner Leben 3:43
12 Rohleder's 2:10
13 Maximale Gier 3:13
14 Nach Hause (Instr.) 1:35
15 Gesichter 3:02
16 Stadt-Fisch 1:46

Bonus Tracks:(not necessarily in this order)

Paß Gut Auf! 3:01
Wir Lebenden 1:08
Teufel-Trompke 1:23
Kuechenlied 5:58
Das Scheusal 3:33
Dirigent 2:15
Perfekte Welt 3:24
Untitled 1,2,3,4,&5
Nasenwalzer 2:23
Echo-Strand 2:32
Dicker Junge 1:35
Déjà Vu 2:51
Hasensong 1:30
Fischleim 2:09
Mammut 2:14
Nachts Unterwegs 5:04
Astronauten 2:05

Mondauge 2:34

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Heinz & Franz / A.F. Moebius ‎– "Alle Aufnahmen / Eine Auswahl" (KlangFarbe ‎– 007.) 1987

We can easily slag off the German Democratic Republic from the western political and intelligence service angle,but, the previous regime to that one would have had Heinz and Franz publically beheaded for making this tape. It seems the Socialist Unity Party of Germany,as they were called, turned a blind eye to this underground music scene.Which is a far more liberal approach to subversive art than you would have found in many other Soviet satellites,such as Czechoslavakia for example, where musicians were frequently imprisoned and constantly hassled.The most famous of which were the Plastic People Of The Universe (coming up when we finally leave the DDR behind), whose Zappa inspired lunacy was rather unpalatable for the local authorities.
I can sort of understand the intrusive methods of The East German state.In their eyes they were trying to protect their socialist untopia from the insideous influence of the outside world.And one of the most effective ways to undermine any kind of political philosophy is through art,especially Pop Music.Not that Frank Bretscheider made pop music however,but the roots were certainly anchored in the forbidden world of anglo-american pop culture.
This split tape,shared between Frank Bretschneider and Heinz Havemeister, and Frank Bretschneider as A.F.Moebius,is yet another minimal electronic rock mash-up of the kind you frequently found in West Berlin's underground music.It would have been relatively easy to tune into west German radio, which I'm sure was illegal, but forbidding it was not exactly enforceable.
Listening to this excellent cassette,its evident that Bretscheider and friends may have incriminated themselves.Luckily the Stasi were far too unhip to notice.


Side A: Heinz & Franz - Alle Aufnahmen

1–Heinz & Franz Beim Docteur 1:12
2–Heinz & Franz Kochkäse 1:44
3–Heinz & Franz Leitungsmasten 2:44
4–Heinz & Franz Blutrausch 1:37
5–Heinz & Franz Forellen Fischen! 3:07
6–Heinz & Franz Der Budder 1:26
7–Heinz & Franz Replik Des Druiden 3:01
8–Heinz & Franz Jemand 0:57
9–Heinz & Franz Mein Junge Niest 2:15
10–Heinz & Franz Blinde Liebe 1:30
11–Heinz & Franz Schlafen 3:56
12–Heinz & Franz Verflixter Raoul 1:27
13–Heinz & Franz Lubminer Nächte 2:31
14–Heinz & Franz Drachen Steigen Immer 2:13

Side B: A.F. Moebius - Eine Auswahl (1985-1987)

15–A.F. Moebius Laura 2:29
16–A.F. Moebius Art-Mart 2:08
17–A.F. Moebius Da & Weg 1:25
18–A.F. Moebius Antipoden 1:50
19–A.F. Moebius Blau 1:42
20–A.F. Moebius Erika 2:34
21–A.F. Moebius Das Ei 1:55
22–A.F. Moebius Industrial 2:21
23–A.F. Moebius Im Kopf 2:23
24–A.F. Moebius Böser Traum 1:47
25–A.F. Moebius Jhö-A-Bäh's 2:26
26–A.F. Moebius Elektro 2:21
27–A.F. Moebius Das Nämliche 1:54

28–A.F. Moebius Na Uhle ? 1:16

Monday 28 October 2019

Christian Heckel & Frank Bretschneider ‎– "Berlin Bei Nacht - (Eine Elektrische Text Musik Collage)" (klangFarBe ‎– FBk 003) 1985.

Frank Bretscheider's mangled electronica, assisted by the text of Christian Heckel, and the voices of the 'Kummers',last seen in AG Geige;delivered as a collage in the tradition of "Lumpy Gravy",L. Voag and "Canaxis".
The Berlin by night bit,or,rather, East Berlin by night,probably refers to the time of day it was recommended to make subversive sounds like this without attracting the attentions of the more unsavory sectors of DDR society.
Studio Sonnenklang,where all these KlanFarBe tapes were made, was highly likely to have been bugged by the Stasi anyway.So the Karl-Marx-Stadt branch of the Secret Police wasn't so bad after all it seems.Maybe Bretschneider could claim the Stasi tapes and make a volume two,or an extra collage for the deluxe reissue whenever it appears?

DOWNLOAD bretscheider bei nacht HERE!

Sunday 27 October 2019

Die Magdalene Keibel Combo ‎– "Das Gemeine Reitbein" (Self Released) 1988

Another excellent band name to be jealous of,which comes from a combination of two streets in east Berlin. Magdalene refers to the Magdalenenstraße, the former headquarter of our mates the Stasi (state security service of the GDR);and Keibel refers to the Keibelstraße close to Berlin Alexanderplatz, the central police station.
A keen sense of irony is evident in these band moniker sources,and one can only marvel at the subversive nature of the abstract avant rock minimalism on show on this self_released cassette.
Most of the normals who populate this bizarre rock insist that music can't change the world.Partly true,if the music was made by the 90% that make up the factory fodder that enables this mad system to perpetuate and make our lives verging on the pointless.
Music that wades upstream of accepted taste and morals,no matter how twisted, is, a Philosophy.Which perperates and leeches into the cultural water-table for all to drink.It even eventually penetrates the mind sets of those with 'Camp Guard' syndrome,bastards that they may be,or,nore openmindedly, just victims like us.
Examples have to be set,be it capital punishement for collaborators in genocide,or underground musicians communicating to the oppressed that there may be another better way of life.Whatever that may be?Its a subjective view and could mean the DDR was going in the correct direction,either before or after the wall came down.Don't ask me.


01 Tschaka 1
02 Und wieder zieht ein Wetter auf 1 - Vorstellung
03 Tschaka 2
04 Er hat's geschafft
05 Tschaka 3
06 Klaus Kinski
07 Happy ...?
08 Herzschrittmacher
09 Sak Sak Sak Sakrowski 1 (Sakrowski gegen Lorenz)
10 Wir sind dein schlechtes Gewissen
11 Der blonde Hans
12 Instrumental 1
13 Instrumental 2
14 Tom Dooley
15 Immer an der Wand lang
16 Instrumental 3
17 Berggeist
18 Sak Sak Sak Sakrowski 2
19 DaDaDaDam
20 Graf Zahl
21 Und wieder zieht ein Wetter auf 2
22 Instrumental 4
23 Du hast mich angeschmiert
24 Macht's gut

Saturday 26 October 2019

AG Geige ‎– "Yachtclub + Buchteln" (KlangFarbe ‎– 006) 1987

AG Geige were an East German experimental band, formed in 1985 in that hotbed of underground musical activity,Karl-Marx-Stadt. They were kind of German new-wave gone correctly wrong, mixing together elements of Floh De Cologne and Der Plan with all sorts of electro-pop and Krauty underground styles.
Any group who has members called Olaf Bender, plus Jan and Ina Kummer has to be worth a listen....surely?
Naturally Frank Bretscheider was a member too,so musically one has a reliable reference,and its a experimental as fuck.
If Olaf Bender isn't the perect name for an East German gay porn star then I don't know what is!? for Jan Kummer,i'll leave that one up to your own filthy, filthy imaginations to contrive.


A1 Eine Frikadelle 2:55
A2 Glückliche Reise 4:39
A3 Papagei Der Jungen Leute 3:49
A4 Elektrische Banane 2:54
A5 America 4:30
A6 Melodie & Harmonie 1:42
A7 Schnitz 2:13
A8 Die Vier Söhne Der Frau Fanghänel 3:07
A9 Frühstart Erlaubt 3:52
B1 Beklagenswertes Los Einer Waise 3:57
B2 Die Waldschleiereule 2:53
B3 Das Grauen Der Geige 5:31
B4 Zick-Zack 2:39
B5 Zwölf Trombonen 2:22
B6 Yachtclub & Buchteln 5:09
B7 Stadt-Elegie 2:29
B8 Bruder+Schwester 4:08

Friday 25 October 2019

The Karl Marx Stadt Studio Big Band - "Schlimmer Finger" (Self-Release) 1989

Wow! What a band name!?
A big rival to  the Friedrich Engels Political Myth Orchestra no doubt(I made that one up). The Karl Marx Stadt Studio Big Band were the closest the DDR got to a UK DIY equivalent.Sounding not too dissimilar to The Instant Automatons,or Danny and the Dressmakers, the KMSSBB,comprised of nearly all of the participants in the Karl-Marx-Stadt underground,yes even Claus Loser was in it!.
Don't you just wish you were in a band called 'The Karl Marx Stadt Studio Big Band'?...I know I fact i'm thinking of stealing 'Schlimmer Finger' for my next conceptual music project.Dunno what it means but i think it may be rather rude?
In 1989,the wall was coming down and the authorities were losing control,so Punk Rock could finally come out from under the floorboards,and the true oppresion of freedom was to take over.
A lot of former East Germans struggled with the tyranny of choice when they crossed check-point Charlie only to return a few days later, traumatized by the capitalist jungle.
It ain't easy in the west y'know.Every man for himself stuff.No nice man in a uniform to tell where you're living and working.No guarantees of a Job or a home.A dog eat dog nightmare which makes communism seem like the loving arms of a Nanny in comparison.Sometimes you get what you ask Donald Trump.

A1 Sambalita 2:20
A2 Aussenposten 4:20
A3 Stülpnertraum 3:20
A4 Highway Song 2:55
A5 Hutzenjagd 2:55
A6 Karlsberg Elegie 6:20
A7 Katerle Im Wunderland 2:25
A8 Downtown Boogie 2:40
B1 Übergang 8:30
B2 Damals War's 3:00
B3 Ich Bin Blues 5:30
B4 Ausbrand 4:30
B5 Bataille Gewidmet 2:55
B6 Selterknall 3:25
B7 Für Die Geschichte 1:00

Thursday 24 October 2019

Stein Im Brett ‎– "Vater Alfons Erzählt" (klangFarBe ‎– 004.) 1986

I always thought that 'Vater' was spelt F-a-r-t-e-r,....oh how we laughed,and kept up the fine English tradition of childish purile humour and an almost total ignorance of foreign languages.
Travelling down the autobahn I could often be heard pointing  out the Ausfahrt signs at the exit junctions, shouting in a German/English accent not unlike Franz Liebkind from The Producers,"AUSFAHRT VERBOTEN JA!".......ahh come oooonnnnnn,its hilarious,and always will be......unless you're German,when virtually nothing funny is hilarious.
Especially unhilarious was life in soviet puppet state the Deutsche Democratic Republik, when 'Jokes' were especially thin on the ground.What could Communist Comediens possibly find to take the piss out of without blurring equality red lines;although I'm sure Anti-American jokes were allowed for sure and the joke teller in line for another Karl Marx comedy award.
Yeah, I know there'll be plenty of ex-inmates of the DDR ready to tell us what jolly japes they got up to in the Stasi social club raffle before the curfew;...just let me enjoy myself at your expense,i'm well aware that Germans,both east and west, do indeed have a sense of Humour.....its just very,VERY, subtle.

Oh Yeah...the music.
Stein and Brett were the Hall and Oates of Abstract Iron Curtain Electronica.Matthias Stein and Frank Bretschneider(again!)are the exact opposite to Hall and Oates' frankly despicable blue eyed soul,and exist, surely, to rebalance the physics of reality and cancell out the horrors of "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)".
Well mr Hall and Oates, I can't go for you,no can do!
Bretschneider and Stein, yes can do.

DOWNLOAD and smell my farters ausfahrts HERE!

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Kriminelle Tanzkapelle ‎– "Glückliche Jahre" (klangFarBe ‎– 002) 1985

Another project involving KlangFarBe maestro Herr Bretscheider is the minimal abstract electronica of  Kriminelle Tanzkapelle.Every track is a dark monotonous symphony of foggy oppression that only living somewhere like Karl-Marx-Stadt in cold war DDR could create. This makes the industrial musings of those in the West sound like the spoilt bleatings of ungrateful brats in comparison.
I notice a mention of the late and beyond great Alan Vega on the insert.This stuff is yet another offpring given birth by Frankie of course I exempt Suicide from any accusations of being spoilt brats.
I suppose we all live in our own personal East Germanys in our minds...."we're ALL Frankies, we're All burin' in Hell"(A.Vega 1977)

DOWNLOAD the sound of your own personal communist satellite state HERE!

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Frank Bretschneider ‎– "Scombermix" (klangFarBe ‎– FBk 001) 1985

Frank Bretschnieder was the East German equivalent of  Alain Neffe,if not in profile, but in the amount of significantly weird and scrambled up musiks that he managed to squeeze onto the medium of ferric-oxide coated tape.
This,for all intents and purposes, was Frank's debut album,on his own frankly(pun intended) superb cassette label 'klangFarBe', from the lovely DDR town of Karl-Marx-Stadt,with its delightful post war Soviet architecture and a horrifying disembodied monument to the great man himself......check this postcard as if taken directly from a line in the Pistols' "Holidays In The Sun" pop hit.
Hmmmm, lovely ain't it?
There are places like that all over Europe,but at least they had the excuse of being bombed to fuck .There are also towns like this in the USA and the only bomb attack they ever had was on 9/11,Anything over 50 years old gets demolished and a post modern brutalist skyscraper gets erected in its place. Hmmmm,sounds like what actually happened to the Twin Towers;demolition then erect an immense human-free edifice in its place. That said, The World Trade Centers were one of thee worst examples of brutalist architecture and deserved a couple of passenger jets crashing into them if you ask me....which you ain't,but I gotta write something irrelevant for the recording I'm writing about or I wouldn't be me would I?
Frank gives us a bunch of what can only be described as 'Experimental Electronica" at its abstract best. Its amazing that Frank was never arrested for making music like this,just like it was amazing that The Eagles were never arrested in the west for their crimes against western culture.Not that Bretschneider was guilty of such heinous crimes as 'Hotel California',but one had to be careful in Democratic Republic not to stray too close to decandence or a bohemion lifestyle,or you may find yourself pencilled in for a re-education program.

DOWNLOAD a postcard from Karl-Marx-Stadt HERE!

Monday 21 October 2019

Various Artists ‎– "Melodie & Harmonie / Musik Aus Karl-Marx-Stadt" (klangFarBe ‎– 005) 1986

Not all the music in the DDR was released on the State labels,but if you wanna to put your own challenging,politically unacceptable work, you had to...yup......Do It Yourself. Behold the liberation of the audio cassette.Even more so than in the west, where the people were oppressed by the need for profit rather than by an ideological totalitarian regime. Thoughts were repressed in this gloomy remanent of the reich,and if you wanted to express them without a lurking Policeman taking notes in the corner,then you had to escape to the west which usually ended up in an east german cemetary.
An easier way to escape this enclave was to smuggle cassettes into the west.This was,somewhat, less risky.
Behold the KlangFarbe label from Karl Marx Stadt,founded by Franck Bretschneider.Of course you can't call anything after Karl Marx anymore,so the town was charmingly renamed Chemnitz after the collapse of the regime.
So here's a taster of the Karl Marx Stadt underground from 1986.This is what the real East Germany sounded like.Gloomy,abstract,miserable and minimal.Not the kind of thing that would have been state was officially 'miserable' in the glorious DDR.

DOWNLOAD your own personal berlin wall HERE!

Jürgen Ecke ‎– "Sound-Synthese" (AMIGA ‎– 8 56 171) 1986

DDR synthesist,Jürgen Ecke, dared to do what even Paul 'N.N.N.N.N.Nineteen' Hardcastle would never consider with a Fairlight.Almost every horrible eighties production value has been turned up to the max on this East German manual on how NOT to do electronic music.
Like a soundtrack for a bad 80's Madonna Movie, or the music for an endless love-making scene in Miami Vice, the music spews forth hefty Gated Reverb snare sounds,with the despised Fairlight sampler Orchestral Stab.
It smells of the "Well we've bought all of this latest equipment so we might as well use it......a lot" syndrome.....and yes there's a syn-drum in use too. 
Its absurd datedness make this album almost avant-garde its unintentional self-parody;but also charming in its quaint cluelessness.When this hit the dancefloor (singular tense is intentional) of downtown East Berlin,the Polit Bureau would have lapped it up as a demonstration of how socialism is more than capable of keeping pace with the west in all technological areas; be it Chemical Weaponry,mass surveillance techniques or Popular Music styles."You Young people WILL be happy,and You will DANCE with your socialist Joy!!"


A2 Auf Der Suche Nach... 5:00
A3 Irritation 2:54
A4 Der Letzte Tag 4:40
A5 Über Allem Ist Ruh' 4:14
B1 Über Dem Nördlichen Wendekreis 4:04
B2 Bolero 3:53
B3 Kulmination 3:02
B4 Der Ewige Traum Des Ikarus 3:59
B5 Illumination 3:55

Saturday 19 October 2019

Servi ‎– "Pas De Deux In H" (AMIGA ‎– 8 56 344) 1988

Liking the artwork again!?.... what's going on there?
A saucy young communist lady relaxing in an art gallery looking at some really shite paintings, then reaching for a photograph of our hero's in Servi slotted into the inside jacket pocket of a....Dummy!? This is the kind of extreme art statement that can bring down walls. Just as David Hasselhof did after his world chamging concert in Berlin in 1989. So combining the 'Hoff' with Servi on their respective sides of the Berlin Wall,was so powerful that the thing had little choice but to crumble before the power of Pop Music.
Naturally, the 'Hoff' has a problem with self-delusion and auto-agrandising Psycopathy,as well as being a shit actor, and musician toboot;but, Servi aren't that bad, in fact they're was is known in the world of understatment as 'Not Bad'.
While the youth of the UK danced the second summer of love away on drugs and elctronic tunes played by forty year old DJ's in a field around the M25.The youth in the German Democratic Republic had to make do with this bunch of television intermission tunes.One can now appreciate them as coming from a place that we could never possibly comprehend having lived our lives in a liberal democracy that prides itself on promoting freedom,even if we are not really free at all. Of course I refer to the 'Prison without walls' concept of control.A slavestate where our feudal lords like to pretend that the slaves are the ones in control,when the fact of the matter is that we control each other;trapped in a capitalist machine embodied as a flaming car racing downhill to the cliff edge with no brakes and no-one at the wheel.Like Dogs, the human race need a leash and a master to bark orders, or the dog will run into the road under an oncoming Bus. Also like Dogs, we, without fail,tend to destroy the things we hold most precious.Our Planet, the natural world, and,the thing we adore most of all,.....ourselves.
A Good,but unintentionally weird album,from a good but unintentionally weird former country. 


A1 Tagtraum 1:58
A2 Entdeckung Von Augen-Blicken 3:09
A3 Sie 0:58
A4 Pas De Deux (Begegnung) 3:02
A5 Menetekel - Zeichen An Der Wand 3:01
A6 Ernüchterung 9:16
B1 Solitude 3:48
B2 Worte Suchen 7:27
B3 Ein Lächeln Auf Deinem Gesicht 2:29
B4 ... Und Nach Dem Satz: Ich Liebe Dich, Ist Die Stille Die Gleiche 7:59
B5 Abendlied 1:53

Friday 18 October 2019

Servi ‎– "Rückkehr Aus Ithaka" (AMIGA ‎– 8 56 229) 1986

Servi were duo Jan Bilk,(no relation to Acker) and Tomas Nawka; formerly of the Rock group version of Servi. Thankfully they switched to Electronica around 1986,and produced this Vangelis,Jean Michel Jarre type album.
Opening tracks "Thetis" and "Hellespont" are the standout tunes here,the rest of the album is a mixture of ambient electronics,Kosmiche Musick,disco stompers, and failed Soundtrack themes;but, still one of the better DDR Synth releases.There are some terrible eighties drum sounds like the ones used in the BBC's "Eastenders" soap,but these are mostly nullified with some lush synth sounds,and a limited dose of experimentation.


A1 Thetis 3:42
A2 Hellespont 4:58
A3 Symplegaden 3:13
A4 Kirkes 10:22
A5 Medea 3:17
B1 Chiron 4:36
B2 Sirenen 3:46
B3 Laistrygonen 4:57
B4 Nausikaa 4:57
B5 Leukothea 5:34

Thursday 17 October 2019

Pond ‎– "Planetenwind" (AMIGA ‎– 8 56 049) 1984

Scientists from behind the Iron Curtain undoubtedly did some human cloning experiments. Not only to create an army of expendable super-soldiers,but musicians also.A couple of these experiments involved cloning Vangelis from some of Demis Roussos's back hair and an alternate Georgio Moroder extracted from a casually disguarded pair of Donna Summers  Tena lady absorbant underpants. The two resultant dopplegangers were placed in Berlin School wanna be's, but from the very wrong side of the wall, 'Pond'.The evidence of their existence on this recording, although not credited of course, can be found on tracks 2 and 3, "Cassiopeia" and "Zeitmaschine",where Vangelis's double Helix's genetic memory insists that they play the 'Theme to Blade Runner' note for note and Moroder's disco chromosome assumes its dominance by unleashing a previously unreleased moroder track upon a disbelieving world.
Nope, not a smidgen of a credit offered forth for either of these blatant rip-offs;but in a communist state, intellectual property is very much ,the property of the state.Anything otherwise is Theft,and subject to the greater crime of egregious capitalism.
Founded in East Berlin by a couple of Fuchs (pronounced 'Fucks'),Wolfgang and Frank Fuchs, 'Pond', were one of the earliest of few Electronic combo's from the German Democratic Republic,but they lacked the darkness of your Klaus Schulze's and your Tangerine Dreams, vearing unerringly on a collison course with the Vangelis's and Jean MIchel Jarre's of this world.Another couple of Fuchs in my opinion.
I suspect the state officials in attendance would have issued instructions to portray East Germany as a 'happy' place,where the musicians wanted to produce uplifting melodies for the endlessly ecstatic workforce to play in their downtime in front of their one channel black and white state provided TV's after a long smoky journey back to their allocated residemnce in their state provided Trabant.This album is a state provided Trabant,but like the Trabant, it has its uncertain charms.


1 Planetenwind 18:30
2 Zeitmaschine 3:00
3 Cassiopeia 3:55
4 Jumbo 4:35
5 Sturmglocke 3:45
6 Supernova 3:00

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Reinhard Lakomy & Rainer Oleak ‎– "Zeiten" (AMIGA ‎– 8 56 111) 1985

It's 1985, and the German Democratic Republic,rather undemocratically as it seems, is still in the grips of the most thorough Police State that has ever been.But at least everyone had a job,somewhere to live,and a crap car. The Stasi probably made a recording of Lakomy making this recording,which likely still exists in the Stasi HQ,waiting for the deluxe reissue of this album in the west.
On this one, Lakomy, and buddy Oleak,get more experimental with their imported DX-7....never one of my favourite synths, but they seem to make it sound electronic rather than emulating a bank of digital horns as most of the chart-bound sounds of 1985 preferred.
The cover references several Hammershøi style open doorways which pass through several walls,almost daring those trapped in that drab communist existence to pass through these symbolic walls into the mysterious room at the end where the slavery is much more subtle...'The West', and so-called freedom.
In the west we are our own personal Stasi,voluntarily existing in a prison with no walls.
To quote W.S.Borroughs, "An efficient Police State doesn't need Police".In some ways that makes the DDR a more honest form of oppression,and a victim of its own sucess.
Oppression aside, Lakomy's previous "electronics" albums are fairly accessible outings typical of the era, much of this album belongs in the experimental category. The first three minutes of "Gleichzeit" and much of "Klangzeit" resemble the abstract 60s/70s computer music of academia: atonal and sparse, dissonant,whereas "Ruhezeit" wouldn't sound out of place on an early '80s Tangerine Dream album.
This was not at all endorsed by Erich Honecker of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany,but the fact that you could make a record like this in the DDR,seems to suggest it weren't all shite.You could curl up with your alloted Stasi tail,and listen to some pretty cool electronica of an evening.Leaving all the paranoia behind for forty minutes.....then back to the normal recorded conversations and video taped sex.Even spys need a time-out every now and again.


A1 Gleichzeit 10:02
A2 Raumzeit 6:15
A3 Ruhezeit 5:14
B1 Klangzeit 9:30
B2 Hochzeit 8:52

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Reinhard Lakomy ‎– "Das Geheime Leben" (AMIGA ‎– 8 55 893) 1982

The Handsome ,yet ,Modern Young Gentleman that was Reinhard Lakomy

Lakomy was well known in the DDR for releasing all sorts of projects,such as nursery rhymes, books for children and,more significantly, records in such various styles as Jazz,Schlager ,disco,and euro-pop,among many other atrocities. So it wasn't astonishing that he made the first release of Berlin School style  electronic music in East Germany,of which "Das Geheime Leben" was it .Only about a dozen years after Tangerine Dream's debut in the western part of this subjucated country, followed closely by Pond and others later.

Rumour has it that he heard a Jean Michel Jarre album(Which is one more than I've ever managed!?) and away he went.After such a traumatic experience most of us never regained our mental faculties again, but somehow Reinhard managed to retain his perchant for such progressive electronics until the wall came down and ruined everything.It was Illegal to be unemployed in the Soviet Bloc, so I suppose he had to say he was doing.... something? was either that or Jail.Now that's what I call artistic motivation.


A Das Geheime Leben 21:15
B1 Es Wächst Das Gras Nicht Über Alles 11:24
B2 Begierde Und Hoffnung 5:40
B3 Das Unendliche Rätsel 3:30

Monday 14 October 2019

Reinhard Lakomy ‎– "Der Traum Von Asgard" (AMIGA ‎– 8 56 021) 1983

From the East Berlin school of electronics,on DDR state label, Amiga. Reinhard Lakomy provides us with some Tangerine Dream inspired electronica with fine socialist morals.
Its full of gorgeous analogue electronics that never escaped until the wall came down and piles of cheap Amiga vinyl was snapped up up by rich westerners. Most East German music was, of course, pure shite.But a few nuggets lay amongst the squalor...this being one of them.Active in various genres, Reinhard was the most published musician in the DDR,but didn't discover his true mojo until he made this couple of electronic Kosmischer albums.Truly worthy enough to be awarded the 'Karl Marx Order for exceptional merit in relation to ideology, culture, economy, and other designations'?
The Karl Marx Order Medal that Reinhard Lakomy was never awarded!

....good cover art too. 


Der Traum Von Asgard 11:45
Die Gotischen Narren 9:20
Möglichkeit Einer Ouvertüre 3:27
Orakel 6:04
Sodom 11:32

Sunday 13 October 2019

Jaan Rääts ‎– "Marginaalid" (Мелодия ‎– C10-16031-2) 1981

You're never more than a few feet away from a Rääts, so they reckon.
Indeed, there's a classical composer hiding out in every kitchen,especially in Estonia it seems.
Nearly every decent experimental composer in the former Soviet Union seemed to come from this gloomy Baltic state....which explains a lot of the music's famed bleakness.
In comparison to Rääts multitudinous other works, side B is positively joyful.Thanks to the influence of much younger chum Sven Grünberg, formerly of prog band 'Mess', who lent him his synth collection,and played on it.
Side A is a typically uber-heavy Jaan Rääts style experimental neo classical piano piece.A pity he didn't do two sides of experimental electronica,but, hey,at least we get to be thought of as 'Intellectual' when we're overheard playing "24 Marginal Notes For The Piano".......once!


A 24 Marginal Notes For The Piano, Op. 65 (28:27)
B Electronic Marginalia, Op.65-a
Featuring [Electronic Realization] – Jaan Rääts, Sven Grünberg (22:07)

Saturday 12 October 2019

Erkki-Sven Tüür ‎– "Oratorio Ante Finem Saeculi / Symphony No. 2" (Мелодия ‎– C10 27187 009) 1988

Not many ex-prog rockers got to work with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra Of The Ministry Of Culture (on tracks: B1, B2), but Erkki-Sven managed to get given the nod.There's nothing the USSR's Ministry of Culture would like more than one of the Soviet Unions youngsters getting into writing the odd symphony,so Erkki leaving his degenerate past behind in favour of neo-classical compostion would score him plenty of privileges;one being access to their rich depth of classical musicians and the use of the odd Symphony Orchestra.
On side A he only has the use of the Estonian Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Oratorio Choir to get his ideas across.
There's a bit of the 'Omen' soundtrack about it, think Jerry Goldsmith, and probably some Bartok and Stravinsky influences?
Whatever, its rather brilliantly bleak and creepy.A horror movie soundtrack in the waiting......if it hasn't been used already?
Would have been better released as In Spe's third eponomously titled Magma influenced album in my opinion.It did get him signed to ECM after the wall came down, so here a career maketh.

Oratorio "Ante Finem Saeculi" (1985) (for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra)
A1 Tempus I
A2 Tempus II
A3 Tempus III
A4 Tempus IV 

Symphony No. 2 (1986-87) (for symphony orchestra and tape)
B1 Vision
B2 Process

Friday 11 October 2019

In Spe ‎– "In Spe" (Мелодия ‎– C60 23199 000) 1985

In Spe's second album had the same eponymous title as their first,which is a tad confusing,but it can add to sales as its possible to buy the wrong album, then buy the other to rectify your glaring error. It was a popular tactic for Peter Gabriel's solo work,and even The Plastic Ono Band's debut, which had two versions each by John and Yoko respectively, that had the same title and the same cover(with subtle differences).
The main man from the first 'In Spe' album, Erkki-Sven Tüür,had left to persue a career of artistic fulfillment as a proper neo-classical composer. So the remaining members had to try and do a crash course in neo-classical prog.Which to a large extent they achieved,despite the dodgy concept of the Typewriter as part of a 'D'!?..whether that was the letter 'D',or the sound of the machine was in 'D', or if there even is a 'D' on a Russian cyrillic keyboard,its not explained.What is sure,however, is that they were never heard of into that what you may.


Концерт Для Пишущей Машинки Ре Мажор/
Typewriter Concerto in D

A.1 Allegro Vivace E Marcato 5:45
A.2 Largo Molto Tranquillo 6:10
A.3 Allegro Agitato 5:27
A.4 Finale 0:50
B1 Ощущение Вечности 6:03
B2 Рондо Сломанной Руки 4:34
B3 Не Будет Предано Забвению 3:48
B4 Vallis Mariae 3:30

Wednesday 9 October 2019

In Spe ‎– "In Spe" (Мелодия ‎– С60 19367 001) 1983

More Estonian Prog, with leanings towards the Neo-Classical trend of Estonian modern composition that augmented the record collections of many a social climber in the nineties;filed next to 'Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares' and Arvo Pärt's 'Tabula Rasa'.
In Spe contained one Erkki-Sven Tüür as composer-in-chief.Later to be seen hob-nobbing with all those serious chaps on ECM. Was even pretentious enough to use the word 'Symphony' in the titles of his neo-classical outings,including the opening suite on side one.
All that aside, this is a classic of Estonian prog, and may even be the best symphonic prog album to come out of the Soviet Union.


1.Симфония для семи исполнителей/Sümfoonia seitsmele esitajale/Symphony For Seven Performers

1a Ostium 4:27
1b Illuminatio 6:35
1c Mare Vitreum 8:30
2.Antidolorosum 4:47
3.Солнечный челн 9:00
4.Борьба сфер 7:20

VSP Projekt ‎– "VSP Projekt" (Мелодия ‎– C60 28195 004) 1989

Another proggy projekt featuring Sven Grunberg was Estonian prog rock super group VSP Projekt,which also featured members of other proggy bands from the Soviet Baltic states, such as In Spe, Radar,Ultima Thule,and Ruja.
I hear the unfortunate sound of a fretless bass on here, so you know that they are serious in their objective of making a smoothly conceptualised Jazz Rock Fusion masterpiece.One that Erkki Sven Tüür of 'In Spe' describes as 'Rock music with a sense of distance and even alienation'......thanks for that Sven. I like a bit of alienation,and the six string fretless bass certainly alienated me.
It does have that bleakness that only scandinavian bands,including the Baltic States, can really understand,and it looms large in most of the music that emanates from this suicide rich region.
So join us as '...that lonely spectator of an empty metropolis ,in an endless field of snow',.....I paraphrase mr Tüür once more....he's good isn't he?


Mees Sarvega 4:58
Oktoober, Oktoober 5:17
Tuulepealne 7:03
Mälumäng 5:03
Hilineja 8:41
Kuulaps 2:25

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Mess - "Sven Grünberg’s Proge Rock Group Mess(1975-76)" (Bella Musica ‎– BM-CD 31.4199) 1995

Sven Grünberg was in a Estonian progressive rock band called, ironically, Mess;which I hope was a piss-take of 'Yes'? This mess was founded by Sven and the splendidly named Härmo Härm in 1974.However, Despite the many years of the band's existence and many live performances, Mess didn't release a single studio album because of the contradictions of their musical style with Soviet ideology; only in 1995 did Grünberg manage to release a compilation from several surviving Mess recordings,of which makes up this CD,recorded from 1975-76.
I've always had a soft spot for bands that exist for decades yet never release any product, like Keiji Haino's the beyond excellent 'Fushitsusha',and the also excellent 'Mess'.
Mess's sound is a spaced-out experimental type of prog,thats a cross-hybrid between the more cosmic end of Krautrock and the darker,spacier, side of British progressive Rock.Further strengthening the Baltic states claim to be the home of Soviet music,where all the most interesting commie prog,or 'proge'(i'm sure that's a typo,but a good genre name nonetheless) bands came from.
Sven eventually got his 'professional' status which enabled him to get a record released on Melodiya under his own name,the soviet-kosmiche electronic classic, "Hingus".

1 Overture/Avamäng 1:48
2 Green Hearths/Rohelised Leed 7:16
3 Bright Mornings/Valged Hommikud 6:31
4 To The Clouds/Pilvini 4:19
5 Pond/Tiik 9:43
6 Story/Lugu 6:09
7 Alone/Üksi 4:39
8 Ask Yourself/Küsi Eneselt 10:39
9 Sky/Taevas (Coda) 2:40

Monday 7 October 2019

Sven Grünberg / Свен Грюнберг ‎– "Hingus / Дыхание" (Мелодия ‎– С90-16301-2) 1981

Luckily, Soviet Estonian prog legend, Sven Grünberg, formerly of commie prog band 'Mess', got to muck about with the Melodia, in house, EMS Synthi 100 too. The results of which can be heard on this Electronic Cosmic classic. Its like drifting in space waiting for your oxygen to run out after a malfunctioning computer had jettisoned you from the air-lock into the eternal something.
Fittingly its called 'Breath',so it can't be bad,unless its your last one on the million year journey towards the Black Hole at the centre of our Galaxy.



A1 Hingus I (Breath)
A2 Hingus II (Breath)
A3 Hingus III (Breath)
A4 Hingus IV (Breath)
B1 Teekond (Journey)
B2 Valgusois (Flower Of LIght)

Edward Artemiev /Э. Артемьев ‎– "Метаморфозы / Metamorphoses" (Мелодия ‎– С 10—13889-90) 1980

When Eduard Artemiev, Yuri Bogdanov and Vladimir Martynov got their clammy hands on the massive, British made, Digital/Analogue synthesizer Synthi 100  by EMS systems as owned by "Melodia", the result was "Metamorphoses - Electronic interpretations of classic and modern musical works".Which consisted of electronic interpretations of ‘classical’ and neo-classical pieces by Claude Debussy and Monteverdi among others . Yuri Bogdanov features on every track, on some tracks together with Edward Artemiev, among others. Other tracks feature Vladimir Martynov.
The record was made with the basic concept of a kaleidoscope: it's interspersed with pieces of various styles, genres and eras. For example,for these pieces the authors wanted to show a variety of ways to use a synthesizer, starting with the direct simulation of now or once existing instruments, to the establishment of new not yet known sounds. Thus, the record is like a small musical walk through time,as realized by the SYNTHY100 synthesizer.

Yes, the only synth I know of with a built in Oscilloscope!?
There were only thirty of these beasts made,and luckily for Iron curtain dwelling modern composers the state label shelled out the 6.5 grand necessary to purchase one of these mighty beasts in the late seventies.....of course the BBC Radipphonic Workshop had one since 1970. Now dodgy pop stars all over the planet salivate at the prospect of finding one of these in the local thrift store. Billy Corgan has one....but don't let that put you off.

The Synthi 100....they don't build 'em like this anymore!?


A1 Ветер На Равнине = Le Vent Dans La Plaine 4:25
A2 Я Молод И Радостен = Io Mi Son Giovinetta 2:15
A3 Почему Ты Спрашиваешь? = Why Aske You? 2:32
A4 Весенний Этюд = Spring Etude 5:20
A5 Сарказмы = Sarcasmes 1:20
A6 Канопа = Canope 2:15
B1 Летний Канон = Summer Cannon 2:25
B2 Утро В Горах = Morning In The Mountains 3:30
B3 Гольдберг-Вариации № 5 И 8 = Goldberg Variations Nos. 5 And 8 1:44
B4 Паруса = Voiles 4:44
B5 Движение = Motion 8:35

Sunday 6 October 2019

Edward Artemiev / Э. Артемьев ‎– "Moods / Картины-Настроения" (Мелодия ‎– С10 21077 002) 1984

Moving on from soundtracks for communist cheating at sports.I promised more of the Neo-Classical electronica,of Eduard Artemiev.So here's Eddie treating us to the shorter side of his composition spectrum, with epic tracks combining synthesisers and real instruments, plus more chilled out ambient affairs.Rather like a doomier Klaus Schultz or Tangerine Dream, these are from his soundtrack work for Soviet cinema,and works like a more traditional album with more light and shade for those with short attention spans,like Communist Party Officials or American Presidents.

From the music to the films:
«Сибириада» [Sibiriada] (A1, A4, A6, B1),
«Куда уходят киты» [Where The Whales Are Gone] (A2),
«Лунная радуга» [Moon Rainbow] (A3, A7),
«Ночь рождения» [Night Of Birth] (A5),
«Инспектор Гулл» [Inspector Gull] (B2),
«Жаркое лето в Кабуле» [Hot Summer In Kabul] (B3, B4),
«Охота на лис» [Hunting The Foxes] (B5)
«Загадки перуанских индейцев» [Mystery Of The Peru Indians] (B6)

Tracklisting :

1. Fire
2. Constellation Of Past Times
3. Training Ground
4. Native Shores
5. Lullaby
6. Reminiscences
7. City
8. Crusade
9. Dream
10. Hot Summer
11. Meditation
12. Hunting
13. Top Of The World

Kosmischer Läufer ‎– "The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83 - Volume Four" (Unknown Capability Recordings ‎– UCKL004V) 2018

While working as a sound editor for DEFA in the 1970’s and 80's Martin Zeichnete led a secret, parallel life writing music to train and inspire East Germany’s athletic elite. This fourth compilation of Zeichnete’s work will take us on a cosmic voyage of both the body and the mind...
Side 1 of this collection contains a running program at 150 bpm taken from various years of the project. After the warm-up fanfare of ‘Zeit zum Laufen 150’ (1977) we launch into the sleek, motorik engine of ‘Goldene Tage’(1982). The second running piece ‘Lichtgeschwindigkeit’ (1983) comes from one of the final Kosmischer Läufer sessions where Zeichnete used a drummer and bass player in the studio. The haunting waltz ‘Der Leuchtturm am Ende der Zeit’(1976) provides a calming warm-down.

Side 2 give us a first listen to a different aspect of Zeichnete’s work.1978’s ‘Der Weg’ (The Path), was the culmination of his experiments to bring focus to athletes’ minds using music and images.

As Zeichnete recalls:

‘As early as 1974 we were looking to provide a mental stimulus for the athletes as well as physical. We began with alpha wave projection and used dream-machine-like devices with an instructor reading inspirational messages. These early attempts appeared to have no real value to the athletes so I progressed to making a film with a suitable soundtrack.
To view ‘Der Weg’ the subject would be comfortably seated in a darkened room wearing headphones. The film would be projected large-scale onto a concave wall filling their field of vision’.

The film began with a voice-over while a light pulsing gently at 10hz appeared on the screen. Once the subject was attuned to their surroundings the film then progressed as follows:

Phase I – Forst - As the music begins we see scenes of the universe, of life on earth and nature. We end up in a beautiful forest with sunlight playing through the leaves. This section evoked a sense of calm.

Phase II – Das Meer - The deepest part of the meditation. We are flying across the ocean as the sun is rising. Then we are under the sea. All is tranquil as we move among the shoals of fish.

Phase III – Heimat - We are now in modern East Germany. We see the country we love. We see the faces of the people we as athletes will represent. Positive messages appear on the screen.

Phase IV – Morgen - We see our fellow athletes training and winning great victories for our country. Captions on the screen tell us that this is our future!

Sadly, the film has been lost to time but it lives on in Zeichnete’s vibrant soundtrack.

Zeit zum Laufen!"


A1 Zeit Zum Laufen 150
A2 Goldene Tage
A3 Lichtgeschwindigkeit
A4 Der Leuchtturm Am Ende Der Zeit
B1 Der Weg (Introduction)
B2 Phase I - Forst
B3 Phase II - Das Meer
B4 Phase III - Heimat
B5 Phase IV - Morgen

Saturday 5 October 2019

Kosmischer Läufer ‎– "The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83 - Volume Three" (Unknown Capability Records ‎– UCKL003V) 2015

I suspect that most of the DDR womens athletic team trod that fine line between being a male while still retaining enough of the female to be considered a woman.
Andreas Krieger,was once known as Heidi Krieger,and competed as a woman for the DDR, winning the gold medal for shot put in the 1986 European Athletic Championships.Trouble was that Krieger was dosed up with so much anabolic androgenic steroids that she changed sex.
At the trial o
f the leader of the East German sports program and East Germany's Olympic committee, Krieger testified that the drugs he had been given had contributed to his trans-sexuality;the doping deprived him of the right to "find out for myself which sex I wanted to be."
Maybe it was a combination of this training music and the drugs that tipped Heidi into manhood? So be attentive, do not listen to this gorgeous Kosmiche musik at the same time as downing a few doses of anabolic steroids,or you may just change gender type.

As it says in the liner notes:
This third collection of Martin Zeichnete's secret work for the DDR's athletic elite comes in two parts. First, a running program (Tracks 1-3) at 164BPM finds Zeichnete at his most hypnotic, particularly on the motorik, rolling 'Jenseits Des Horizonts'. This set ends with the elegiac 'Für Seelenbinder', a song dedicated to Olympic wrestler and communist hero Werner Seelenbinder.
Particularly exciting is the second part (Tracks 4-10), a soundtrack to a lost animated film UCR obtained only a few months ago.
In the spring of 1976 Zeichnete learnt that the NOK der DDR hoped to launch a bid to bring the 1984 Summer Games to East Berlin. Excited, he returned to DEFA in Dresden where he and an animator colleague conceived ‘Traum Von Der Goldenen Zukunft’ (Dream Of The Golden Future), a 20-minute cartoon they hoped could be used to promote the bid. An inspired Zeichnete composed the music in a week. The bid and thus the film were abandoned and the music was cast aside where it lay hidden and forgotten. Until now.


A1 Zeit Zum Laufen 164 2:54
A2 Jenseits Des Horizonts 10:13
A3 Für Seelenbinder 4:14
B1 Traum Von Der Goldenen Zukunft (Theme) 1:32
B2 In Der Stadt Und Auf Dem Land 2:16
B3 Der Traum Des Mädchens 3:29
B4 Der Traum Des Jungen 3:42
B5 Unterwasser 1:11
B6 Ankunft Im Stadion / Das Rennen 2:31
B7 Die Turnerin 1:36
B8 Siegerehrung / Abschied Von Der Zukunft 5:32

Friday 4 October 2019

Kosmischer Läufer ‎– "The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83" - Volume Two (Unknown Capability Recordings ‎– UCKL002V) 2014

Todays drugged up East German athlete in the spotlight, is the one and only Marlies Göhr.That sprinter with the strange short staccato stride style,hairy armpits,and terrible hair-do's, that dominated womens sprinting in the 80's.Incredibly she was the only East German athelete to have tested positive for drugs,androgenic steroids, in 1975 as a 17-year-old.Yes, Androgenic drugs can have an effect on one's gender,so I suspect Marlies may have had to shave....her face...not her furry armpits.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Stasi (secret police) files suggested widespread official doping under the East German regime...surprise surprise.
However, I would prefer to believe that it was this training music that inspired our fav drug cheats to achieve dominance over the west rather than performance enhancing chemicals.
Volume Two is even better than volume 1,mixing up a bit of Kosmiche with a bit of Motorik,like a groovier Tangerine Dream.
All done without performance enhancing drugs......Shame on you Marlies Göhr, but you and your team mates brightened up those dour olympics in Moscow,and we missed your delightful villany during the tit-for-tat boycott in Los Angeles.Apparently she now shaves those armpits.....what a shame? in that other kind of shame, rather than the hang your head in shame variety.

Liner Notes:
Tracks A1 - B1 from a running programme at 172 BPM with warmup and warmdown pieces.
Tracks B2 - B6 were written to acompany the gymnastic floor excercise and finally tracks B7 - B8 take us onto the ice with two pieces written for the figure skating long program for Katarina Witt.

(More liner notes as a PDF HERE!


A1 Zeit Zum Laufen 172 3:13
A2 Morgenröte 9:51
A3 Flucht Aus Dem Tal Der Ahnungslosen 10:13
B1 Die Kapsel 3:22
B2 Die Libellen 1:29
B3 Mausi Mausi 1:30
B4 Walzer Der Roten Katze 1:34
B5 Chronik 1:39
B6 Der Hörraum 1:32
B7 Für Kati 3:53
B8 Weltraumspaziergang 4:13