Hey friends and neighbors! I made it back. I’ve actually been home since Sunday, but I needed a couple of days to decompress and get back into the day-to-day groove. Or rut – whichever.

Berlin was awesome. I saw a lot of very interesting and historic-type stuff. I met a few cool people. And, all in all, I had a good time. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you care to see a few pictures, I’ve put some on my MySpace space. Scenery-type pictures. You’re not going to see any evidence of any drunken misadventures.

I picked up a couple of CDs while I was there, of course. The record stores I went into were much like indie record stores in the U.S. They actually carried a lot of the same stuff. I tried looking for alternative European releases, but couldn’t come up with anything that I hadn’t heard already.

Once I exhausted all of that, I thought I’d have a go at local (“local” in this case meaning “German”) music. I’m a big fan of the beer hall music, but only in a beer hall, so I decided not to buy any of that. A section I figured would be interesting to browse was German punk.

The German language, while lovely coming from a blond-haired, blue-eyed fräulein, can also sound harsh and guttural, which makes for an excellent punk language. I found a 1989 compilation titled Deutsch Punk Kampflieder (which I think translates to “German Punk Combat Songs”). I did a little bit of Googling and found that some of the bands on this disk were seminal German punk bands: Slime, Toxoplasma, and Canal Terror were among the top bands from this mid-to-late 80’s era.

I also found, at a site called Taringa!, a little bit of Deutschpunk history, if you’re interested:
In the 1980s, lots of new punk bands became popular in the scene and developed the so-called “Deutschpunk” style, which is not a generic term for German punk rock, but a style of punk music that included quite primitive songwriting, very fast rhythms and politically radical left-wing lyrics, mostly influenced by the Cold War. Probably the most important Deutschpunk band was Slime from Hamburg, the first band whose LP was banned because of political topics. Their songs “Deutschland,” “Bullenschweine,” and “Polizei SA/SS” were banned; some of them are still banned today, because they propagated the use of violence against the police or compared the police to the SA and SS of Nazi Germany.

All of these bands released their records on one of the leading punk labels in West Germany: Weird System Recordings from Hamburg, Aggressive Rockproduktionen (AGR) from West Berlin, or Mülleimer Records ("Garbage Can Records" ) from Stuttgart.

During this period, many bands were influenced by U.S. hardcore punk bands like Black Flag or The Adolescents. Those bands were also known for their extremely left-wing attitude and their aggression carried in their songs.
For tonight’s music, I’m going to drop on you some “left-wing” Deutschpunk music from Slime, Daily Terror, Canal Terror, and Toxoplasma. These bands range from a Rancid-type style to what sounds to me like the early 80’s SoCal punk bands. Generally, I don’t like listening to music in a language I don’t understand, but the attitude in this music is enough to carry it, even if you don’t know exactly what they’re saying.

Deutschland muss Sterben.mp3 Slime
Polizei SA/SS.mp3 Slime
99 Stunden.mp3 Daily Terror
Todesschwadron.mp3 Daily Terror
Maximierung des Gewinns.mp3 Canal Terror
Teenager Frust.mp3 Toxoplasma

I am going to leave it to you to translate the titles if you want. There are many, many Web sites that do free translation. My favorite is AltaVista’s Babel Fish, mainly for its simplicity – and it seems reasonably accurate.

Note: The above pictures, from top to bottom, are Stefan from Toxoplasma; a "Daily Terror" t-shirt, obviously; and a group shot of Slime.

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At 4:13 AM , Blogger bruder_grimm said...

I could say something to the titles...

Deutschland muss sterben means Germany has got to die and refers to an old soldier memorial. It says Deutschland muss leben, auch wenn wir sterben müssen. That means Germany has got to live, even if we have to die. But Slime says Germany has got to die, so we can live...

Polizei SA/SS means Police Sturmabteilung/Sturmstaffel, both Hitlers military units to help him to come to power.
99 Stunden means 99 Hours.
Todesschwadron means Deathsquad
Maximierung des Gewinns means Gain Maximum Profit
Teenager Frust means Teenager Frsutration.

At 6:55 PM , Blogger aikin said...

Bruder - thanks for the insight. I ran the titles through the interpretation Web site I mention, but I wasn't confident enough in the translations to post what I found.
thanks again!

At 3:24 AM , Blogger bruder_grimm said...

More than welcome! If you wanna dig out the roots of Deutschpunk you have to check out Ton Steine Scherben, a Berlin Band from the 70´s. Not even punk music, more Rock and Blues, but they kinda wrote the soudtrack to the Berlin-riots. Best tracks are Keine Macht für niemand!(no power for noone), Wir müssen hier raus(We gotta get out of here), Allein machen sie dich ein(When youre alone, they gonna get you). They were the idealistic foundation of Deutschpunk to come.


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