Some cities are synonymous with a musical genre. Mention Memphis, and it’s remembered as the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll and later, Southern Soul. Philadelphia is famous for Philly Soul and disco. Chicago is synonymous with blues and house music. New Orleans gave us Dixieland and R&B, Seattle grunge, Plainfield P-Funk, Washington Go-Go and New York hip hop and disco. Then there’s Detroit. It’s famous for techno. Over the Atlantic, Britain and Europe has given the world their fare share of musical genres.

Liverpool gave the world The Beatles and Mersey-beat. The Midlands was the birthplace of heavy metal. A decade later, Coventry spawned T-Tone. Over the English Channel, Europe has been a musical hotbed. 

One of France’s most famous musical exports was ye ye. It was born in Paris. A decade later, Euro Disco was born in Munich. Another German city, Dusseldorf, is famous for electronic pop music.

Dusseldorf in the seventies and eighties was synonymous for electronic music. Some of the best electronic music came out of Dusseldorf. This includes La Dusseldorf, Harmonia and Eno, Der Plan, Daf, Neu!, Teja, Die Krups, Rheingold and Makrosoft. These are just a few of the artists that feature on Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf. It’ll be released on 10th October 2014 by Berlin based, Groenland Records. For anyone interested in electronic music, then  Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf will be a music have. You’ll soon realise why.

Opening  Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf is La Dusseldorf’s Dusseldorf. La Dusseldorf’s was founded by Klaus Dinger after Neu! split-up in 1975. Neu! had just released Neu 75, but wasn’t a commercial success. This resulted in Neu! splitting-up. A year later, Klaus Dinger returned with his new band La Dusseldorf. It featured Hans Lampe and Thomas Dinger. They released their eponymous debut album in 1976. It was produced by Conny Plank and La Dusseldorf. On its release on Nova Records, La Dusseldorf wasn’t a commercial success. Despite this, La Dusseldorf is a vastly underrated album. Dusseldorf is proof of this. Atmospheric, moody and hypnotic describes this fusion of ambient, Krautrock and rock.

Wolfgang Reichmann’s musical career began in 1966. He was a member Kraftwerk and Neu. After that, he became a member of Düsseldorf based band called Streetmark. Then in 1977, Wolfgang embarked upon a solo career. His debut album was 1978s Wunderbar, which was released on Sky Records. One of the highlights is the title-track. It’s a mixture of ambient, experimental and electronica that has an inherent ethereal beauty.

A collaboration between two musical pioneers, Harmonia and Brian Eno was a tantalising prospect. After all, Harmonia were one of the most innovative German groups. Brian Eno was a musical legend. After leaving Roxy Music, he became a pioneer of ambient and electronic music. Harmonia and Eno collaborated on Harmonia 76’s 1997 debut album Tracks and Traces. It features the slow, mesmeric and hypnotic Luneburg Heath. Without doubt, it’s one of Harmonia and Eno’s finest hours.

Der Plan were founded in 1979 and were together until 1993. During that period, they were responsible for some truly groundbreaking music. Proof of that is Wir Werden Immer Mehr. It’s a fusion of electronica, post punk and eperimental. The song never found its way onto any of Der Plan’s albums. Instead, this hidden gem is tucked away on one of their compilations Geri Reig Und Normalette Surprise which was released in 1996. It’s an irresistible reminder of what Der Plan were capable of. 

DAF, or to gve them their full name, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft were formed in 1978. They released six albums between 1979 and 1986, before making a comeback in 2002 and releasing their seventh album Fünfzehn Neue DAF Lieder. That was DAF’s swan-song. One of the finest albums was their third album, 1981s Alles Ist Gut. It was produced by none other than Conny Plank. Alles Ist Gut’s best known track is Der Mussolini, a track that’s synonymous with DAF.

Neu!, just like Can and Kraftwerk are, without doubt, three of the most important, influential and innovative bands in German musical history. Even today, their influence can be heard in modern music. Incredibly, Neu! only released five albums. Hero is a track from album Neu! 75, which was released in 1975, on Brain Records. After that, Neu! split-up. It would be another twenty years before Neu! released Neu! 4. Neu! 75 and Hero in particular, is a poignant reminder of one of the most innovative bands at the peak of their powers. 

Teja Schmitz is a name that might not be familiar with most people. However, back in 1981Teja released Säuren Ätzen Und Zersetzen. There was no label involved. In true punk style, Teja released Säuren Ätzen Und Zersetzen, which featured Säuren.  Since 1981, the track lay undiscovered. Then in 2013, Snowboy Records released this glorious fusion of ambient, avant garde and electronica as a limited edition of 200. Now, at long last, Säuren is finding the wider audience it deserves. It’s a real find. This make me to wonder where Teja released any more music?

Die Krupps are one of those bands whose music constantly evolved. They weren’t a band who stood still. Their music ranged from noise, EBM, industrial and then during the nineties, headed in the direction of heavy metal. Back in 1982, Die Krupps released their sophomore album Volle Kraft Voraus! It featured Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn where electronica, Krautrock and post punk unite to create mesmeric, dramatic track. So good is the track, it’ll have you digging deep into Die Krupps’ discography.

Liaisons Dangereuses only released one album. That was their 1981 eponymous album, which was released on the TIS label. It features Los Niños Del Parque. The best way to describe Los Niños Del Parque is dance-floor friendly. Drum machines and synths drive this hypnotic track along. It sounds like a forerunner to techno. Later, swaggering vocals are added, as elements of post punk and synth pop combine. This works. However, even with the vocals, the track would’ve worked. Especially given the hypnotic, proto techno arrangement.

Wolfgang Flur was a member of Kraftwerk between 1973 and 1987. The Karftwerk influence shines through on I Was A Robot, which Wolfgang released as a single in 2014. It’s a truly innovative track. Elements of electronica, jazz, Kraurock and dance music melt into one, creating a truly timeless track. Without doubt, I Was A Robot is one of the highlights of  Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf.

Rheingold released three albums and several singles between 1980 and 1984. After that, nothing was heard of them until 2007. That’s when Rheingold released Electric City-Düsseldorfer Schule. It features 3Klangsdimensionen. It’s something of a slow burner. The track takes time to reveal its many delights. Understated and featuring a heartfelt, soulful vocal, the arrangement combines elements of ambient, electronica, funk and Krautrock. This proves the perfect introduction to Rheingold. one of Germany’s best kept musical secrets.

Michael Rother is a member of German musical royalty. His career began when he joined Spirit of Sound. He left Spirit of Sound in 1970 and was briefly a member of Kraftwerk. When he left Kraftwerk, so did Klaus Dinger. They formed Neu! and released a trio of albums between 1972 and 1975. Neu! split-up in 1975. Two years later, Michael released his debut album Flammende Herzen. It was released on Sky Records in 1977. One of the album’s highlights was the title-track Flammende Herzen. It’s a fusion of ambient, electronica, Krautrock and rock that has a beautiful, wistful sound.

Closing Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf is MakroSoft’s Electricity. Previously, MakroSoft has only released one album, Stereo Also Playable Mono. That was in 2006. It didn’t feature Electricity. It’s something of a hidden gem where synth pop meets social comment.

The thirteen tracks on Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf are a tantalising taste of the music that Dusseldorf gave the world. There’s so much more to the Dusseldorf music scene than these tracks. That’s why Groenland Records have to make Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf the first in a regular compilation series. Surely, more instalments in this series must follow? I hope so. After all, the influence of Dusseldorf electronic music scene can’t be understated.

Without the electronic music coming out of Dusseldorf, groups like OMD, Heaven 17 and Depeche Mode might never have existed? Their music is inextricably linked to Dusseldorf’s electronic music scene. It’s not just eighties synth groups who were influenced by Dusseldorf’s electronic music scene.

No. Several generations of bands have been influenced by German music, including the music coming out of Dusseldorf. One of the most influential bands on Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf are Neu! Along with Can and Kraftwerk, they’re perceived as the golden triumvirate of German music. Many British groups, including Primal Scream, have been hugely influenced by the golden triumvirate. So have several generations of electronic music producers. No wonder.

The music on Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf is best described as important, innovative, influential and inspiring. It resulted in artists and producers rethinking how they approached music. This is still the case. As a result, interest in German music is at an all time high.

Recently, the have been reissues of some of the most important releases in German musical history. This includes Can, Neu!, Kraftwerk, Holger Czukay, Michael Rother and Conny Plank. A number of books have been written about the German music scene. 

This includes David Stubbs’ Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany. Then there’s Rüdiger Esch’s book Electri City-Electronic Music from Dusseldorf. It’s the perfect companion to Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf, which will be released on 10th October 2014, by Groenland Records. For anyone interested in electronic music, German music or the Dusseldorf music scene, then Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf is essential listening. No wonder. Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf, features some of the most important, innovative and influential music in German musical history. That’s why Electri City-Electronische Musik Aus Dusseldorf is sure to be one of the best compilations of 2014.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: