♫♪  Teja - “Säuren Ätzen und Zersetzen”

Today, Grönland Records — the label responsible for releases like Gang of Four’s Content and the first official CD issues of NEU! — is releasing Electri_city - Elektronische Musik Aus Düsseldorf. It’s a 13-track documentation of Düsseldorf’s bustling, exploratory period from the early 70s to mid 80s, which gave rise to a highly influential, wonderfully hybrid form of analog electronic pop music. Lesser-known artists like MakroSoft, Liaisons Dangereuses, and Der Plan make appearances, but most of the tracks are from the constellation of artists revolving around Düsseldorf’s most well-known act, Kraftwerk. This includes not only members of Kraftwerk (Wolfgang Reichmann, Wolfgang Flur) and its more lauded outgrowths (NEU!, La Düsseldorf, Harmonia), but also even Kraftwerk’s hairdresser.

His name is Teja Schmitz, and according to the liner notes by Rüdiger Esch — who also wrote a companion book to the compilation — he owned a dressing salon near Kraftwerk’s Kling Klang studio, where he would cut their beautiful Düsseldorfian hair. Apparently, Teja later borrowed a synth from Kraftwerk and self-released a 7-inch around 1981 that was limited to 500 copies (which was re-released last year by Snowboy in an edition of 200). The comp features the single’s A-Side, “Säuren Ätzen Und Zersetzen,” a hazy, repetitious track whose ambient sounds and minimalist structure place it somewhere along the nexus of kosmische and Neue Deutsche Welle, with even a dub influence seemingly mixed in. It’s a rare document from an otherwise well-documented scene, one whose influence has become increasingly pronounced with each passing year. Listen to the track here:

Electri_city - Elektronische Musik Aus Düsseldorf is out today on CD and on vinyl (with an abbreviated tracklist), courtesy of Grönland Records. Check out the compilation’s trailer here:

• Grönland Records: http://groenland.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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