Boomkat Product Review:
On a real roll right now, Bureau B cook up a killer retrospective for Xao Seffcheque, the Düsseldorf-based Austrian artist with a mean line in NDW persiflage, coming hot on the heels of their excellent Sammlung - Elektronische Kassetenmusik, Düsseldorf 1982 - 1989 survey and Conrad Schnitzler’s Filmmusik volumes - some of the labels best in years!
Between 1980-82, Alexander Sevschek a.k.a. Xao Seffcheque was responsible for a run of outstanding (if overlooked) releases combining synths, drum machines and playful vocals in a genuinely punkish snook at the rising wave of NDW bands such as DAF, Liaisons Dangereuses and Palais Schaumburg. This prodding, sardonic attitude - manifest in a fake compilation of covers, Sehr Gut Kommt Sehr Gut and the rollicking Ja - Nein - Veillicht (Yes - No - Maybe), which includes the amazing Du und ich - may have assuaged Seffcheque’s commercial success, but left us with a body of work which perhaps endures so strongly in the modern world because of it.
We were first alerted to the stonking anomaly Du und ich by a Powell DJ set, which makes a lot of sense as both artists approach their respective wave style with a similar blend of nonchalance, adroit talent and prodding humour. That deadly cut is included in this set tucked next to select aces from Gut Kommt Sehr Gut (1981) and Ja - Nein - Veillicht (1981), taking in the revved-up and say jag of Good Friends (feat. Julie Jigsaw), which sounds like some long lost NYC no wave gem, plus rabid rock ’n roll in Pogo à Gogo, and a totally messed up take on The Residents in Why We Hate the Residents, and likewise with DAF in the rictus gibber of Sample & Hold (Wer bitter I’m Munde hat, kana night süßpricken).
Compare this stuff yourself with anything else from that era and it’s patently more unhinged, daft than practically anything else coming out of the Ruhr in the really ‘80s, yet you get the underlying sense that he did made this music because it matters. But then again, he might just be taking the piss? Ambiguity is the spice o’ life!
RIYL Powell, V/Vm, Felix Kubin