Back to Magnetbanduntergrund DDR! w/ Ronald Galenza, Frank Bretschneider, Bert Papenfuß and more at Roter Salon Berlin / Friday, 26.05.2017
As a release event for the excellent compilation MAGNETBAND Experimenteller Elektronik-Underground DDR 1984–1989 that came out recently on Bureau B, the Volksbühne presents a multi-media reading with concerts.
Inspired by Punk and Post Punk, vibrant scenes dedicated to independent self-actualisation by means of sound circulated on self-distributed cassettes, in the 80s the cheapest and fastest medium, were developing not only in the FRG but also in the GDR (=DDR). The artefacts from that era tell of a stance of refusal in practice, and of the possibility to charge up on a high level, in spite of everything. „Magnetband“ features 14 exciting experimental-electronic pieces from the GDR that originally have been released between 1984 and 1989 on cassettes only.
The protagonists – musicians, painters, poets, filmmakers, performers… (often all at once) – were openly and unbiased crossing genres and jumping back and forth between various styles, having already taken their internal leave from state and society as they had done externally anyway. Disillusioned, and often ready to jump towards the West, these border crossers defined themselves rather somewhere between non- and anti-political, pursuing selfactualisation strategies by means of an extended niche existence. They took refuge in the search for ways of creative self-assertion and communication, looking out in sensual despair, utilising sounds of rage, linguistic wit and a passion for tinkering.
Driven by ubiquitous boredom, equipped with plenty of time and free of economic restraints (or rather possibilities), labour was performed with no regard to the final product, hardly documented and almost never published. With the partial opening of state controlled media and cultural sites accompanying the beginning agony of the State, conditions changed. Suddenly there was radio airplay of supposedly illegal cassettes, and weird noise performed at Palast der Republik, in the end, even full albums by these so-called “other bands” were released on the stateowned label AMIGA. The collapse following soon after relieved the activists remaining in the country of the quandary of continually having to re-position themselves. Many took different roads, some leading to Rammstein, others to Raster-Noton or groups like To Rococo Rot and Tarwater.
The artefacts from that era tell of a stance of refusal in practice, and of the possibility to charge up on a high level, in spite of everything. Between being excluded and self-exclusion, truly wayward (twice literally) sounds and means of expression were developed. “Congruent with the absurdity of real existence”, as lyricist and scene node Bert Papenfuß put it. Papenfuß, together with Ronald Lippok, Bernd Jestram and Bo Kondren, themselves active musicians then and now, compiled two companion CDs accompanying the long soldout Zonic special edition “Spannung. Leistung. Widerstand. Magnetbanduntergrund DDR 1979-1990”, released by Verbrecher Verlag/ZickZack in 2006, of which the more experimental-electronic pieces are herewith available on the music market for the first time
Back to Magnetbanduntergrund DDR! w/ Ronald Galenza, Frank Bretschneider, Bert Papenfuß and more
Friday 26th May 2017 | 22:00
Roter Salon in der Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte