Sunday, November 29, 2015
This is tonight's show which starts off with a feature on punk in the DDR. You can download the show here.
AUSSCHLAG - Kack Zukunft (Ostklotz Musikverlag)
We started off with AuSSchlag who are from Bitterfield which was an industrial town known for its chemical production. From the arts standpoint, in 1959 there was a conference that sought to connect the working class with the artists of the day. But punk was outlawed in East German in 1981 and punks were branded enemies of the state. AuSSchlag were one of the first recorded bands from East Germany. They started in 1983 and this recording is from 1984. The song translates to mean “Shit Future”.
According to an article titled “Did Punk rock have an impact on the wall coming down”
In the late 1970s, there were only about two dozen punks in all of East Germany. A handful of teenagers in East Berlin picked up on the sound via John Peel’s show, broadcast on British forces' radio in West Berlin. The first self-styled punks ripped their clothes and crafted homemade patches with slogans on them—often just band names like Sex Pistols or the Clash, but also critiques such as “destroy what’s destroying you” and the logo of Poland’s Solidarity movement. Though punks ran into constant trouble with the police, they initially had few aspirations beyond drinking heavily and wishing they were in London.
The first-ever East German punk concert took place in March 1981, inside the Yugoslavian embassy—something of a liberal oasis within the police state. (Two sons of Yugoslavian diplomats were in the band.) One hundred punks attended. A wave of bands sprung up in East Berlin later that year, including Planlos and Namenlos, and in the coming year they began to play illegal shows in artist studios, attics, and basements, and in their makeshift rehearsal spaces.
An East German government report from 1981 pegged the number of punks nationwide at 1,000 with 10,000 more “sympathizers”—this in a country of 15 million. Authorities began to worry and the state bore down hard: Punks experienced arbitrary detainment, brutal police beatings, and invasive searches of apartments and other spaces where they congregated. The police also began to recruit informants—often by extreme coercion. Finally, before the end of 1981, the “punk problem” was eventually passed over to the dreaded Stasi, taken up by the division charged with fighting political opposition.
“1981 and 1982 were like 1976 in England,” says Henryk Gericke, who sang in punk bands back then and in recent years curated a museum exhibition on Eastern punk. “You would go to these illegal parties in tiny spaces with 20 or 30 people pogoing around—your heart was in your throat when you got ready to go into one of those parties. It wasn’t intellectuals who would go on to join the literary scene or whatever. These were really hard kids, a lot of whom ended up in prison and were then ‘bought’ out of jail by West Germany.”
Reacting to the violence and harassment inflicted on local punks, a few protestant churches in Berlin stepped in to offer shelter, legal aid—and free beer. The church’s umbrella soon opened over punks in other cites as well. B
This next band is called Namenlos which translated to mean Nameless. Namenlos are credited with playing the first punk show in East Germany which was called “Punkfestival der DDR” and took place on April 30, 1983 in Halle. The band was arrested and sent to prison by the Ministry of State Security which attracted a lot of attention within the punk scene and within church groups. The band was released in September 1984 and reformed and then detained again a year later. Members left the DDR and the band went back and forth with various projects. The song we are going to hear is called “DDR Staatsgrenze“ which means East German border. We all know that the Berlin Wall was the main representation between the east and the West and Namenlos were from East Berlin. This comes from a collection of recordings between 1983 and 1989.
NAMENLOS - DDR Staatsgrenze (Nasty Vinyl)
PLANLOS - Moderne Zeiten (Self-Released)
NINA HAGEN AND AUTOMOBIL - Das, well ich so schon bin (Amiga)
Nina Hagen was the first German punk artists I ever learned about. I didn’t realize she was from East Berlin originally. At the age of four she began studying ballet and was considered an opera prodigy. Her father was a filmmaker and her mother was an actress. Her step father was an anti-establishment singer/songwriter. She went to Poland and upon her return to East Germany she joined a few bands eventually teaming up with Automobil which would become the band that she wrote the most memorable songs. The song I know her most for is a song called “TV Glotzer” which is a cover of the Tubes song “White Punks on Dope”. If you have never heard that song you should dig it up. The song I want to play for you is from her first recording which was released in 1974. Given how early this recording is the recording has earned Nina Hagen the moniker “Godmother of punk”. The song we are going to hear comes off of an album titled “Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen” which translates to mean “You forgot the colour film” and is a subtle dig at the sterile gray communist state. I chose a song off this because it is lesser known but you can see the transition in this proto punk era and East Berlin had a band that played that kind of material. Here is a song from that release called “Das, well ich so schon bin” and demonstrates the theatrical hard rock compositions that Nina Hagen was known for on her first three releases. You can see a video of Nina Hagen performing the title track of this record and they shot it in black and white to go along with the meaning of the song.
SCHLEIM-KEIM were a punk band from Eufrat, which is near Leipizig. They formed in 1981 and played their first show on December 11, 1981 at the Erfurt Joahnnes Langue House, which was the first punk show Erfurt. They mostly played ecclesisatical workshops hosted by the churches. The band built their own instruments which will help explain how the sound is rough. The guitar was built with cables from a bicycle used as strings on the guitar. The drummer was able to buy a kit by selling brass knuckles to hooligans and was able to get enough money to buy pieces of the kit. Aggressive Producktions releases a split by the band which is known as the first punk record from East Germany. The split was called “DDR von unten/eNDe “ which means “DDR from below”. Otze and Klaus were brothers and lived on a farm. When the record came out the Stasi rounded them up and detained them in solitary confinement for a number of months. Otze the songer was questioned for 13 hours straight. The crime they committed was illegal contact with enemy forces and anti national agitation, which were trumped up charge because the person who smuggled the tapes out was Sascha Andersen from the band Zwitschermaschine. A great history of the band lives at http://www.killfromtheheart.com/bands.php?id=1796 . We are going to play a song from that called
SCHLEIM KEIM – Untergrund und Arachie (Aggressive Producktions)
ZWITSCHERMASCHINE – Untergrund Ist Strategie (Aggressive Producktions)
So Zwitschermaschine were on the split with Schleim-Keim. They were instrumental in pulling this together. Sascha Anderson from the band was later revealed that he was working for the Stasi, the East German secret police and was put in to infiltrate the East German punk scene.
Rosa Beton were from East Berlin. They were considered for one of the first punk releases. This recording comes from a live show that became a demo.
ROSA BETON – Berlin (Self-Released)
PARANOIA – Kidpunx Verpiist Euch (Robin Hood)
In 1982 a band from Dresden formed called Paranoia. They played East Berlin, Karl Marx Stadt, and Leipzig. In December 1984 they recorded a cassette called “Here We are for everyone who needs a cult band”. The demo got out to Bremen and to a label called Weird System, but the sound quality was too rough so they didn’t release it. However word got back to the Stasi that this recording was in the West and so the band was penalized and needed permission to play shows. Sascha Anderson got them a regular rehearsal space to practice in, but the band wound up breaking up in 1985.
In 1979 a band called Die Deutschen Kinder (The German Children) started up in Eisenberg. The band started writing songs in 1981. Most of these are rehearsal recordings. But they are pretty good. In this collection they do a punk cover of “Forever Young”, but they call it “Forever Punk” which breaks into “If the Punks are United”. It’s a clever medley.
DIE DEUTSCHEN KINDER - Für Immer Punk
L’Attentat were a band from Leipzig. They formed out of an earlier band known as HAU which was an acronym that stood for Half Milled Anarchist Underground. HAU started in 1982, the bassist was arrested. The band re-built from other bands at the time and then the singer was turned into the Stasi by the guitarist who was a paid informant, but this was only found out later. The band became L’Attentat and did this recording which was smuggled out to X-Mist who released it in 1987. The release was called “Made in the DDR”.
L’ATTENTAT – Bürgerkrieg (X-Mist)
WUTANFALL - Wann ist es denn soweit (Self-Released)
“Burgerkrieg” translates to mean “Civil War”. That was followed up by a band that was one of their predecessors and actually wrote that song. The band is called Wutanfall which translates to mean “Tantrum”. We played a live track called “Wann ist es denn soweit” which gives you also an idea of the crowd and the scene. They existed between 1981 and 1985.
In 1986, a band named Die Skeptiker formed. They were from East Berlin and they were part of a group of bands that criticized life in the GDR. The band is still actove today. This is from their first Studio recording called “Schreie”.
DIE SKEPTIKER - Verkannte Welt (Self-Released)
BUNTE TRUEMMER – Quit Holding Out (Self-Released)
BUNTE TRUEMMER are a punk band from Bad Liebenwerda which is a spa town near Dresden. This is a demo they recorded in 1988. Some of the lyrics for this song come straight out of “London Calling”. This is a song titled “Quit Holding Out”.
In 1988 a band called K.V.D. released their first recording called “H..I.V. Positiv” They are from Halle Germany which was the first city to hold an illegal punk festival in the GDR which took place in 1983 at the Altar of the Christ Church. KVD were a band that came out of this scene.
KVD - Wir lieben das Bier (Schlemihi)
ABFALLSOZIALPRODUKT - Krieg In Leipzig (Self-Released)
This comes off a compilation of bands from East Germany called “No Future” that came out in 1992. The band is from Leipzig. They started up in 1989 and existed for a decade. They are referred to as punk legends.
UMSTURZ IM KINDERZIMMER from Freiburg that existed between 1990 and 1994. This was taken from a collection of the band’s first two years of work found at http://hc-punx.blogspot.ca/2013/12/umsturz-im-kinderzimmer-demo-90-91-tape.html.
UMSTURZ IM KINDERZIMMER - Wir sind das Volk (Self-Released)
UNITED ATTENTAETER – Verräter (Self-Released)
An East German band named Die Anderen were playing a gig in Berlin the night the wall came down.
In the Soviet Union and Hungary and Poland, change came from the top down and represented the triumph of a reform-from-within-the-system mentality. Only in hard-line East Germany did change come from outside and below, catalyzed by grassroots protests. At the end of the day, East German intellectuals sought incremental change designed to create a society that, at base, shared a utopian vision with the dictatorship. Perfect the system, reform the system. Punk ideology, such as it was, rejected utopianism and maintained the simple, practical goal of casting off the shackles imposed by dictatorial institutions: Destroy what’s destroying you.
And that’s what happened, as the scale of street protests ramped up through the fall of 1989, forcing first the ouster of longtime head of state Erich Honecker and then the lifting of travel restrictions on citizens of the GDR. The importance of the youth-oriented church-based underground in causing these changes was emphasized by recent evidence showing the East German government planned to open the wall even before the massive, million-person demonstration on Alexanderplatz on November 4, 1989.
When at the end of an evening press conference on November 9, East German official Guenter Schabowski casually announced that travel directly from East Germany to the West would be permitted immediately, East Berliners swarmed to the city’s checkpoints. By 11:30 p.m. that cold Thursday night, the gates have been opened at Bornholmer Strasse and Checkpoint Charlie. Other checkpoints follow.
As November 9 turned to November 10, the streets began to fill with revelers.
“We partied all night there,” says Toster. “The club was right near the checkpoint at Heinrich-Heine-Strasse, and we stood there—Easterners greeting other Easterners entering the West.”
“We drank with friends and wandered the streets,” says Dafty. “I went back home to bed in the morning, green in the face after what seemed like 20 joints and 700 beers.”
Toster and Dafty also made a decision there and then. Die Anderen was breaking up. The wall was done and so was the band.
DIE ANDEREN – Berlin (Self-Released)
Runners up to last week's best of November set
LEATHER – Coffee Drinkers (Self-Released)
WOUNDED KNEE - Tanec duchů
VACATION – Decaying (Self-Released)
AUSMUTEANTS - Echo Beach (Hozac)
GATTACA - Dej všem co chtějí (Contraszt! / Halo of Flies / MFL)
HALDOL – Time is not on our side (Self-Released)
FZ-10 – Hixteria (Self-Released)
NO NEGATIVE - Feelin' the Heat (Self-Released)
CENTURY PALM - White Light (Deranged)
UNREAL THOUGHTS - Minds at Work (Self-Released)
FOXMOULDER - Needless-Anxious (Zageme Beach)
MOLLOT - Black Boots (Self-Released)
Tonight’s demo feature is from St. John’s, Newfoundland. In a review in the October issue of MRR the reviewer says the tape opens skewing towards the S.H.I.T. of current hardcore, with pogoable 1-2 drums over some dynamic guitars and reverbed vocals, tough but not thickheaded. The latter half slips comfortably into the charms of an earlier time with a more straight forward thrashing style that reminds me of Jerry’s Kids and Urban Waste in parts. The tape closes with a Rudimentary Peni cover so there’s that too. You can download the demo at their bandcamp page.
ANIMAL CRIMES – Who Lied (Self-released)
ANIMAL CRIMES – Aggro Culture (Self-released)
ANIMAL CRIMES – Lock Down (Self-released)
ANIMAL CRIMES – V.O.T.D. (Self-released)
ANIMAL CRIMES – God’s Speed (Self-released)
ANIMAL CRIMES – Teenage Time Killer (Self-released)
New unreleased Career Suicide song
CAREER SUICIDE – Cut and Run (Self-Released)