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various - German Punk & Wave 78-84 Vol.1 (Deluxe Box Set)
**Staggering 5LP + 10" boxset covering the German punk, wave and minimal synth scene of the late '70s and early to mid '80s - limited to 600 individually numbered copies for the world** This is Vinyl On Demand's first volume of what looks to be a comprehensive retrospective mining a dynamic phase of German music between 1978-1984. The legendary boutique label here gives focus to unreleased tracks, demos and rare cassette material from 11 bands: PVC, White Russia, No More, Didaktische Einheit, MDK, Din A Testbild, Odd Band, Poison Dwarfs, Funtastiklons, and Die Gesunden. You'd be forgiven for finding it a daunting prospect, price tag considered, but we can assure you with confidence that there is an absolute ruck of incredible material to be discovered within the six white walls of this boxset. For us, we first turned to the tracks from Berlin's legendary Din A Testbild unit, who counted Gudrun Gut, Klaus Schulze and Frieder Butzmann in their ranks at one point or another, and who provide five tracks of embryonic Digital wave which have stood the test of time like a slowly oxidizing memorial. Sharing a taste for acrid electronics, the Poison Dwarfs side contains 13 fractiously brief but brilliant ideas, ranging from dystopian machine sequences to strange-wave charms and one unforgettably melancholy 5min+ piece 'Frequenz7'. Their plate is shared with the NDW weirdness of Funtastiklons, who would appear to be so underground even the internet doesn't know about them! The best we can tell you is their eight tracks approximate a more psychotropic Der Plan, all plastic melodies and waltzes with a boz-eyed slyness. We really ought to shout about the The Didaktische Einheit and Off Band side too. The former's five tracks span oscillating synth slurry to early, Joy Division-esque motorik punk, while the latter is a freeform clash of NDW and Musique Concrète disciplines. Ohhhh, and then there's the Die Werkpiloten / No More vinyl... Die Werkpiloten bowling us over with eight tracks of melancholy but funky NDW including the sublime seven minutes of 'New Arrangements', and No More's side of darkened post-punk including the amazing 'Suicide Commando'. We could really rattle on about this all day but there's work to be done! If you've been inspired by the Minimal Wave compilation or the groundswell of recent minimal synth reissues, this set is an absolute MUST! A huge recommendation.