Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Ende vom Lied: East German Underground Sound 1979-1990
(Play Loud!, 1990/2016, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-10-11

Ende vom Lied: East German Underground Sound 1979-1990 Cover art

In the aftermath of 70s progressive music and the primal scream that was punk, many artists tried other avenues of expression through blending of music with poetry or painting. In the West we had the advent of New Wave and New Age music. Behind the wall in the German Democratic Republic (AKA East Germany), they had limited exposure to the music of the free world, so their search for new means of expression was a tightrope walk between subculture and dictatorship. The new compilation Ende vom Lied (The End of the Song) is a collection of 24 tracks spanning 1979 - 1990 from various East German artists operating below the radar. Most likely you will not recognize any of the names, so there is no point in listing them. But what is interesting with this collection is the genre-spanning range of music (punk, new wave, new age, electronica, avant-garde, psychedelia, and progressive jazz) that was happening during this period in East Germany. I visited East Germany in 1989, six months before the Wall came down, and the only music I was exposed to at that time was their awful popular dance party music. Listening to these different songs and groups, I hear references to Joy Division, Die Tödliche Doris, MX80 Sound, Der Plan, Sex Pistols, The Go-Gos, HP Lovecraft, Chrome, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, and dub. Of course there are several raucous and screaming punk songs, but there is an oompah brass ditty, “Keiter Schwaß,” that is amazingly engaging. Bascially there is something for everyone on this compilation. Plus it presents an interesting musical slice of history when the European world was quite different from what it is today.


Filed under: Archives, 2016 releases, 1990 recordings

Related artist(s): Various Artists

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Van der Graaf Generator - Real Time – Impossible reunions by not-so-spring chickens are now becoming fashionable. This is due in part to both Cream and Van der Graaf Generator taking the live stage the same week for surprisingly inspired...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues