13 14 MP3s below the jump.)
UPDATE: Don't believe anything I wrote in this post. Jump to the comments if you are interested in real information. Thanks to all the helpful readers who not only know so much more than I, but also supplied the missing Mittagspause MP3.
Following the leader, I will jump in and present a prank which proves that even Germans have a sense of humor. At least if they are Austrians called Xao Seffcheque, a name which sounds mysterious and foreign in every language. Apart from many other projects, Xao was a member of the great band Fehlfarben, Germany's answer to Wire and Gang Of Four.
In 1980, an amazing compilation hit the German streets, under the title "Sehr gut kommt sehr gut" (hard to translate, something like "real good hits real good"). It featured well-known bands like Kraftwerk, DAF, Der Plan, Mittagspause, and KFC, but it also had some mysterious unknown names like the band Nachdenkliche Wehrpflichtige (Thoughtful Draftees), contributing the song "Ist Free-Jazz heilbar?" (Is Free Jazz Curable?).
As you might have guessed, it was all a prank, recorded by Xao Seffcheque, with the help of some musicians of the bands listed. It was meant as a satire of the K-Tel style compilations of Neue Deutsche Welle, criticizing the commercialization of this new wave of German music, long before it lead to the eventual demise of NDW around 1984. Some (or maybe all) copies have a "Beware, Satire!" sticker on it, and a blurb that Kraftwerk wasn't involved in the recording. Still, many people believe that it was a genuine compilation. But honestly, all this information serves only as a thinly veiled excuse to post some good music. Here you go, the complete album as MP3, with a little info:
- Geldschweine - Sehr gut kommt sehr gut (MP3, Greedy Pigs - Real Good Hits Real Good) Fake K-Tel commercial with lots of short audio samples
- Xao + die Pest - Fortschrittsträume (MP3, Xao + the Plague - Dreams of Progress) One of Xao's real bands, this track is an alternate version of the Mittagspause song "Militürk" with different lyrics. The original was covered by D.A.F. and Fehlfarben, and the Fehlfarben version became a big hit in Germany. The original lyrics are either racist or an attack on Turkish nationalism, I am still not quite sure after more than 25 years. In this new version, Atatürk is replaced by Atatak, a legendary German underground label, as the feared future ruler, and instead of "We are the Turks of tomorrow" they sing "We are the hippies of tomorrow". Don't worry if all of this doesn't make sense to you, you are getting old.
- Vielleichtors - Bring Deinen Körper mit auf die Party (MP3, Perhapstors - Bring Your Body To The Party) I don't think this is a real band, but they could have made it big, very funky groove.
- Mittagspause - Es hat keine Disco hier (MP3, Lunch Break - There Is No Disco Here) Legendary Düsseldorf punk/new wave band, precursors of Fehlfarben. Thanks to yragentman for sending me the missing MP3.
- Sternhagel - King Kong (MP3) I think this is another imaginary band. This song is all about making love and moaning, epitomizing the German version of sexy.
- Not Mean Themselves - Wrong Colors (MP3) Might be another made-up band, doing a strange Eleanor Rigby cover. Wonderful pop music.
- Wirtschaftswunder - Hinweise zum neuen Klang (MP3, Economic Miracle - Tips For The New Sound) Pretty famous German NDW band with the good cheap synth sound. How can you go wrong with Casios?
- Der Plan - Fehlplan (Wir sind so müde) (MP3, The Plan - Failed Plan (We Are So Tired)) Everybody should know Der Plan, the German answer to the Residents, and this sounds remarkably genuinely fucked up, as if it was really done by them.
- Siluettes 61 - Mannesmann (MP3) Don't know anything about this, the song consists of someone counting over strange synth sounds.
- Lemminge - Why we hate the Residents (MP3) Another "Eleanor Rigby" cover, done in Residents style. Self-referentiality and postmodernism pushed to the absolute limits.
- Die nachdenklichen Wehrpflichtigen - Ist Free-Jazz heilbar? (MP3, The Thoughtful Draftees - Is Free Jazz Curable?) The band name may sound ridiculous and obviously made up, but it was the time for band names like this. A drill sergeant repeating "I don't have anything to say, you don't have anything to ask" over freely improvised noise. Very cool.
- D.A.F. - Sample & Hold (MP3) I hope that everybody remembers "Dance The Mussolini" by D.A.F., the disco smash hit which finally brought fascism back to the German dance floor. Classic minimalist electro trash with a steady beat to invade Poland to.
- Der KFC - Endlösung (MP3, The KFC - Final Solution) Legendary Düsseldorf punk band, short Nazi song. An exercise in recontextualization.
- O.R.A.V. - Punksupermarkt (MP3) A weird audio drama about a guy who is shopping for music in a punk supermarket. Play this on your next party and let the people recognize the short audio snippets. The end is a locked groove with a guy saying "How many records do you still want to buy?"
If you wonder where Kraftwerk is, the very short electronic intros are attributed to them, titled "Stalagmit 1-12". And remember, whatever you do, DON'T MENTION THE WAR!