Gertie Bauer und die Jungs

Die Ersten Zehn Jahre

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Gertie Bauer und die Jungs was a fake band, the idea of Dieter Schlensog, founder of the German avant-garde record label Nur/Nicht/Nur. Schlensog was hiding behind the moniker Berserker as the project's producer. Die Ersten Zehn Jahre, an EP, was Gertie Bauer's only released recording. This is a crudely recorded album. Some parts date as far back as 1984. The listener is treated to sound collage, bits of avant pop, post-punk, early industrial, and doo wop, some free improvisation, and some over-the-top madness -- all with a voice constantly interrupting to shout "Gertie Bauer und die Jungs." References to Frank Zappa's album Lumpy Gravy, to early Einsturzende Neubauten, and to Can are in order, plus a pinch of Bauhaus. The album gets more and more interesting as the sound gets better from one track to the next, peaking on "Himmel," a strong piece with treated repetitive vocals, fuzz guitar, and haunting bass drum. "Frenetic Schlagers" was an underground curiosity in Austria in the mid-'80s. If Schlensog had continued with the project, Gertie Bauer might have found a niche somewhere between Zappa, Einsturzende Neubauten, and the Sisters of Mercy -- as odd-sounding as that may be.

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