Populäre Mechanik

Kollektion 03: Populäre Mechanik Compiled by Holger Hiller

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Kollektion 03 is the first widely available release of music by Populäre Mechanik, an experimental post-punk group led by Conrad Schnitzler collaborator Wolfgang Seidel (aka Wolf Sequenza) in the early 1980s. The group combined offbeat new wave rhythms with elements of jazz and dub reggae, sometimes with spoken vocals. The deconstructed rhythms of songs such as "An die Hoffnung" and "Wiedereingegliedert" almost make the group sound like a German counterpart of the Residents, while adventurous dub excursions like "Scharfer Schnitt No. 1" approach reggae in a manner not unlike Adrian Sherwood. The group crystallizes the elements of their sound best on "Als Sie Ertrunken War," which starts out with an upbeat, pulsing rhythm, jazzy vibraphone and horns, wailing guitar, and spacy, echo-covered singing. This dissolves halfway through, however, giving way to a weightless, free-floating jazz trip. Schnitzler contributes to the disc's final two tracks, "Fabrik" and its immediate reprise "Fabrik (Slight Return)," which combine industrial drum machine beats with warped vocals, drunken horns, and off-key piano plunking. The album ends up being yet another fine document of a previously unexplored corner of the seemingly endless '80s experimental cassette underground.

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