Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Sammlung: Elektronische Kassettenmusik Düsseldorf 1982–1989
(Bureau B BB236, 1989/2017, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-04-15

Sammlung: Elektronische Kassettenmusik Düsseldorf 1982–1989 Cover art

In the early 80s, with the rise of affordable electronics and recording equipment, cassette culture took off. Anyone with a few dollars could set up a home recording studio and create music. Fanzines popped up to review and promote this new and experimental post punk music. This new Bureau B compilation album gathers 13 examples from the Düsseldorf cassette scene, spanning 1982 - 1989. Taking what Throbbing Gristle, Human League, and others were doing in the UK, the Düsseldorf creative minds produced their own version. Of course, most of the music on this compilation is typical of what you heard on cassettes in the 80s, mostly amateurish, lo-fi, experimental, obscure sound sources, and occasionally inspired. For example, Ettlinger’s “bzw” Casio composition with its cheezy electronic beats and tones is fairly typical of the mid 80s. Dino Oon’s “Nr. 6” with its crashes, reverbed chords, interacting harmonics, and cavernous sound reminds me of my own paltry attempts at abstract compositions. Kurzschluss’ “L’Inconnu” starts with a promise of developing into something like Human League’s “Black Hit of Space,” but never does. It isn’t until we get to track 9 and the Wooden Barrows’ “Zyklus VI” that you hear a composition that shows some structure and promise. The only band name I recognize on this compilation is Strafe für Rebellion. Their composition “Boston” incorporates rhythmic muffled sounds, a rocking creaking swing (?), howling wolves, and a sudden disturbing growled voice “the cashbox is empty” that repeats. And then it ends abruptly. “Boston” is no doubt the most experimental and best track on the disc. So if you missed the cassette culture in the 80s, this compilation will give you a great introduction.


Filed under: Archives, 2017 releases, 1989 recordings

Related artist(s): Various Artists

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Wigwam - Some Several Moons – Jim Pembroke and Wigwam were one of those acts who occupied a welcome place between rock and progressive music in Finland. Pembroke’s songwriting style is an easy match to much of Nektar’s...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues