Boomkat Product Review:
First ever reissue of a pivotal Berlin new wave opus; Programm 1, the debut album by Gudrun Gut (Einstürzende Neubauten, Mania D, Malaria!) and Mark Eins’ Din A Testbild duo.
Formed in 1978 during the twilight years of the Berlin School of Electronics, Din A Testbild emerged as pioneers of Berlin’s new wave with the patronage of Berlin skool caretaker Klaus Schulze, who produced and mixed the duo’s debut at his studio, and also issued it on his Innovative Communication label in 1980.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can now hear that Programm 1 stood way out from the pack at that time, lifting slivers of American and UK new wave and licking them into a quintessentially forward, exploratory Berlin sound that would soon seep outwards into the cosmic DJ sets of Danielle Baldelli and DJ Mozart, as well as informing the aesthetics of swathes of Berlin acts to follow.
The variety of each track reflects the flux of style and pattern of that era, jamming from Devo-gone-motorik disco in Die Siebziger to pensive, zig-zagging industrial synth music in DNS of Time, and a jaw-dropping gem in the reversed loops and spindly guitars of No Repeat, which is almost worth admission alone.
Urwald-Liebe follows into a more smacked out sort of VU-via-Suicide worship spangled with Berlin-eyed synths, and Age Is A State of Mind opens a window of icily refreshing synth minimalism following the excesses of the ‘70s, whilst She’s So Nice also bridges the two eras, recycling elements of Schulze’s own The Looper Isn’t A Hooker into a trippier 5 minute avant-pop format.
You may think you’ve heard it all before, but this isn’t just-another-classic-synth-reissue; it’s a really killer record that stands up beyond the shelves of completists and neeks, and sounds as good as ever even 35 years after release thanks to a fine master by Rude 66.