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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Die Gehirne - Ihre großen Erfolge 1983-85 [Tapetopia - 2020]

Tapetopia is back with another East German, homemade tape rarity, Die Gehirne's Ihre großen Erfolge 1983-85. Die Gehirne is Claus Löser and Florian Merkel, and this is their art/punk/noise/avant-garde weirdness entry into the East German scene. Originally 35 copies handed out with others in the scene, Tapetopia brings this unheard oddity to the masses.

With their microphones turned on, Claus Löser and Florian Merkel set about to record pretty much anything that came to their heads. Even once in a while something resembling a song pops up! Not that that's the basis of art, by any stretch, but it does come as a surprise when song-esque moments arise. Based on freedom of sound and thought, Die Gehirne use all manner instruments and non-instruments alike to bring forth their expression. Sometimes light and fun, others serious any punky, the sounds coming forth on Ihre großen Erfolge cover the spectrum and waste no time doing so. Using the punk aesthetic for timing,  the songs top out at about two minutes and don't overstay their welcome. Well, sorta. For the most part, Die Gehirne's raucous aimlessness ends quickly enough to not raise any alarms, but on a few tracks, their atonal, free-form zaniness seems to drag on, no matter the run time. However, this project should be examined under the microscope of when it was recorded and where. What seems out of place and lame by today's standards cannot compare to early/mid 1980's East Berlin behind the wall. With that in mind, what Die Gehirne put out is pretty interesting stuff, and definitely something making waves in its time and space.

Tapetopia digs deep yet again for their sophomore release, Ihre großen Erfolge 1983-85. Bringing these super rarities to the masses, this label is doing their part for music, art, and world history. While some of the recordings may not hit home, they're very important pieces of German culture. Die Gehirne is most likely the least likely to have one of their tapes re-released almost 40 years later, but that makes it even more special.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Paul Casey
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