4 Nov 23
7:00 pm


Magnetizdat East. comparing underground cassette scenes

The tape cassette was a common medium to circulate sub- and countercultural sounds behind the Iron Curtain. This is true for the GDR, as currently presented in the Verbrecher Verlag publication “Magnetizdat DDR”, but also for the other brother countries of the Eastern Bloc. Soon to be read in the anthology “Unearthing the Music” (Spector Books), which serves as a starting point and occasion for a public eastward expansion of the cassette tape underground investigation. “Magnetizdat East” thereby brings together outstanding figures from that era for discourse. The live program sees them engage on stage with current sounds.

Before the live shows, Tamás Rupaszov, Mikoláš Chadima as well as Bernd Jestram, who founded the first GDR cassette edition Assorted Nuts together with Ronald Lippok in 1984, discuss the similarities and differences of the respective Magnetizdat scenes, flanked by Henryk Gericke, who runs Edition Tapetopia, and is an author and DJ, and Alexander Pehlemann (Zonic/Leipzig), co-editor of “Magnetizdat DDR” among other many other curatorial, publication and musical projects. Moderated by Natalie Gravenor (Soundwatch).

Magnetizdat DDR / HU / ČSSR. Comparing underground cassette scenes

Bernd Jestram (Rosa Extra / Aufruhr zur Liebe/ Ornament & Verbrechen / Tarwater / None Ho)

Henryk Gericke (Too Much Future / Edition Tapetopia)

Tamás Rupaszov (Trottel Records / Trottel, Budapest)

Mikoláš Chadima (Fist Records/ MCH Band, Prague)

Alexander Pehlemann (Zonic / Magnetizdat DDR, Leipzig)

Moderation: Natalie Gravenor (Soundwatch)

Herr Blum The son/father duo of Thomas and Jürgen Wagner from Hönow in Berlin’s Far East, who from 1987 onwards attracted attention with performances that mixed electronic-based post-punk with wild action painting. While live art now happens in a smaller format and as multi-media, Thomas Wagner, who in 1989/90 was still active in the experimental duo Tom Terror & Das Beil and later participated in a myriad of projects, is currently primarily on the road with the updated version of his 1983 punk band Rosa Beton.

None Ho Behind this new project, which alludes to Samuel Beckett by name and experiments with neo-Kraut tendencies, is a veritable East underground who’s who: Rex Joswig on vocals and sound fx (Herbst in Peking/ Apregarde Dub Orchestra / Grenzpunkt Null), guitarist Michael Lapuks (Distant Shore/ Amazing Astronauts), Bruno Große on drums (Infamis) and Bernd Jestram (Tarwater / Apregarde Dub Orchestra / and many more). The premiere of the resulting sonic constellations promises to be exciting.

MCH Band Mikoláš Chadima morphed from prog to punk in Prague with Extempore at the end of the 1970s. From 1982 on he experimented with industrial sonics with the MCH Band. Last, but not least, he operated Fist Records, probably the East’s earliest cassette label, since 1975. At the same time, he networked with the West. In 1981, for example, he performed in London with Chris Cutler and members of This Heat and The Work. But his border crossing also encompassed setting German texts to music with the MCH Band, including those of the ex-GDR dissident Jürgen Fuchs. These were last performed on Alexanderplatz in 2019, sung by Mona Mur. Also on hand as special guest is Jiří Krivka on guitar, whose former band Zikkurat, which combined punk with improv and a dose of absurd humor. Chadima and Zikurat already made noise at the Prague Jazz Days in 1979, organized by the famous Jazz Section.

Trottel pres. Talayapa Founded in 1982 as a punk band, Trottel debuted in France in 1989 with intricate hardcore and released on X-Mist in the early 1990s. Their increasingly psychedelic sound found a home on their own label Trottel Records, which previously operated illegally as part of the punk international by means of cassettes. The current project Trottel pres. Talayapa is the minimalist derivative, reduced to drums, samples and bass, but performed at a consistently high energy level.

Dance to Magnetizdat sounds East/West at the after show party featuring Nic Sleazy and the Zonic Zound Zystem.

Zonic, panke.gallery, Edition Tapetopia, Edition Iron Curtain Radio, Verbrecher Verlag, Spector Books, Soundwatch, Unearthing The Music

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