Various Artists - Deutsche Elektronische Musik Volume 3 (3xLP Vinyl)

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This latest instalment in Soul Jazz Records’ successful Deutsche Elektronische Musik series delves deeper into the German nation’s vaults to bring a fascinating new collection that again brings together a selection of classic German electronic and rock groups, including Neu!, Cluster, Popol Vuh, La Düsseldorf, Agitation Free, alongside a host of rare tracks by lesser known artists which includes Michael Bundt, Bröselmaschine, Dronsz, Achim Reichel and others.

The music of Deutsche Elektronische Musik 3 ranges from the introverted pastoralism of Hans Joachim Roedelius and Bröselmaschine, to the angular and futuristic electronic experimentations of Klauss Weiss, Pyrolator, Deuter, Michael Bundt and others, to the proto-punk of La Düsseldorf and the heavy space, progressive and cosmic rock of Missus Beastly, Niagara and Dyzan.

The music on Deutsche Elektronische Musik 3 was all recorded in the 1970s up to the early 1980s, at a time when forward-thinking German electronic and rock groups were searching for a new musical identity in order to separate themselves from both the cultural legacy of post-world war two Germany as well the ‘cultural imperialism’ of USA and UK rock. In this process German groups created some of the most unique and inspired music, the defining motorik beat alongside a host of ethno-musical influences from far afield – including Turkey, India, Brazil – as well as the musical and futurist possibilities of developments in electronics and technology itself.

Deutsche Elektronische Musik 3 is released as a heavyweight 3xLP, deluxe double CD pack and digital release. The new extensive sleevenotes are by David Stubbs, who is the author of the acclaimed book, ‘Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany’ (Faber & Faber).


It's been a few years since volume 2 was released and I have to say that my appetite for this magical period in German music has only grown and grown as a result. I have previously reviewed the other two compilations and again I can say that the standard has been maintained. The first volume possibly has a slight edge but all are definitely worth investing in. Here are three reasons for taking the plunge. Firstly the sound quality on all these releases is absolutely stunning, so hard to believe that some tracks go back over 45 years. Full marks to the mastering and audio restoration guys, this is the best sound I've heard on recordings of this vintage. Secondly, if you are getting the CD, as I did, then you get a really informative 26 page booklet with great notes from the acclaimed author David Stubbs. The print is (for once) perfect size for comfortable reading and you will find yourself dipping back in regularly as you become more acquainted with the music - I wish all CD booklets would aim for this 'gold standard'.
But what of the music? Well yet again Soul Jazz Records have perfectly balanced the more familiar with a number I have never heard of. There are many great tracks but I'll just pick out a few that I really enjoyed: Klaus Weiss (I was so impressed that I went straight out and downloaded the full album - Open Space Motion), Dorothea Raukes (who appears here as Deutsche Wertarbeit and as part of Streetmark) & Roedelius (Lustwandel). Then as I drove to work today through particularly awful rain and sleet the sound of Michael Bundt's 'The Brain of Oskar Panizza' perfectly fitted the dark and threatening mood of the weather. It was followed by the delicate and sublime beauty of Popul Vuh to raise the spirits.
Most of the choices are either good or great but I did dock a star for the odd track or two that aren't really up to the rest. The lengthy 11 minutes of 'And the waters opened' by Between is for my taste somewhat over indulgent and experimental. Each to his own I guess.
Finally I did note on the front cover that it says "That's all Folks!". Maybe this is to be the final part of a wonderful trilogy - I'd like to think not.

By: Paul Millington

A1 Klaus Weiss - Wide Open Space Motion
A2 A.R. & Machines - I'll Be Your Singer, You'll Be My Song
A3 Deutsche Wertarbeit - Deutscher Wald
A4 Dzyan - Khali
A5 Missus - Geisha
B1 Alex - Derulé
B2 Agitation Free - In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise
B3 Georg Deuter - Pearls
B4 Michael Bundt - The Brain Of Oscar Panizza
C1 Popol Vuh - Ja, Deine Liebe Ist Süsser Als Wein
C2 Novalis - Dronsz
C3 Bröselmaschine - Schmetterling
D1 Neu! - Neuschnee
D2 Between - And The Waters Opened
D3 La Düsseldorf - White Overalls
D4 Klaus Weiss - Constellation
E1 Achim Reichel - Tanz Der Vögel In Den Winden
E2 Roedelius - Lustwandel
E3 Pyrolator - Die Haut Der Frau
E4 Cluster - Hollywood
F1 Streetmark - Passage
F2 Niagara - Rhythm Go
F3 Michael Bundt - Neon

Soul Jazz Records

If you like PIL, Julian Cope, Pink Floyd, LCD Soundsystem, Sonic Youth, Stereolab, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, David Holmes, Primal Scream, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin or The Fall then you will love this compilation.