Over the past 40 years, Germany has produced (and continues to produce) an extraordinary group of electronic music pioneers. Most everyone is familiar, of course, with Kraftwerk, formed back in 1970. But Germany has continued to generate musical prodigies each decade. During the 1980s when most folks were bopping along to New Order or Aha’s “Take on Me” (admittedly great music), a real new order of electronic dance music was being established in central Europe, as talented German artists such as Sven Vath, Oliver Lieb, Paul van Dyk, Torsten Fenslau, Peter Namlook, Thomas Heckman and others were creating a sound influenced by, but generally light-years ahead, of the 80′s synth pop/new wave. Oliver Lieb’s 1989 track “System” under the name “Force Legato,” and Torsten Fenslau’s groundbreaking track “Alone It’s Me” under the name “Abfahrt,” (German for “Departure”) - regarded by some as the greatest electronic track yet produced for example – signaled a new era of music and single-handedly fueled the expansion of a new style of electronic music in many parts of the globe, including the southeast U.S.
This writer had an opportunity to expose the Bay Area (northern California, US) to this sound while a DJ at KZSU, 90.1, Stanford’s innovative radio station. During that time, I received numerous calls with questions about the central European music. Not surprisingly, most of the local populace who listened to electronic music (trip hop was popular at the time) had never heard a sound quite like it. For some, it was “too intense.” For others – Monster Loop included, it was an exhilarating musical breakthrough. Examining the phenomenon deeper, one must acknowledge the contribution to the burgeoning European techno scene from the U.S. “Acid House” movement, which originated in Chicago and Detroit. The Germans – and Frankfurt deserves special recognition along with Berlin, Cologne, and other German cities – however, harnessed and processed the powerful American Acid House sound as if it were a raw material. And, in the process, the Germans created something entirely original. There are some who follow the history of electronic music who claim that, without the contribution of the Germans at this time, electronic music would have met the same fate as disco.
In the spirit of celebrating the country’s many musical accomplishments, we have attached this tune-widget with 5 contemporary German electronica tracks. We hope you enjoy.
Recently we came upon an ambitious website that attempted to list every subcategory of electronic music. The site listed well over 200 subcategories, at which point our eyes became tired so we decided to record music instead. We’re not sure which of the 200+ categories we’d place the following tracks; we just like to hear them played at clubs. We hope you enjoy them as well. Warning: don’t let the beginning of certain of these songs lull you into a false sense of passivity! Oh, and put on some headphones will you?! Wait until you get to Aum Project – momma mia!!
- Booka Shade (Germany) - City Tales
- EricM (South Africa) – Addicted 2 Music
- Corselectro (France) – A Corsica
- Aum Project (Spain) – On Time vs. Digital Tribe
- Juce (Portugal)- Converge (by Mozam – Juce Remix)
- Havana Acid Club (Norway) – BOXID 128
- Celestina Robot (Puerto Rico) - Breakish