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listen to new German post-punk comp curated by Optimo’s JD Twitch

JD-Twitch-Kreaturen-Der-Nacht

The post-punk era was a creatively rich time, inspired by the volatile political climate, the excitement of something new, and the boundless DIY aesthetic. While UK and American bands are the most well-known, there was amazing music being created in other countries too, like Germany where the Cold War loomed especially large and produced a lot of dark, angry bands. A few groups — like Xmal Deutschland and DAF — did manage to score international record deals, but for many more the language barrier and means of distribution kept a lot of it from the world’s ears. “Although we had a small underground scene, it was very vibrant,” explains Gudrun Gut of Malaria! “Bands like Die Haut, our first band Mania D., Malaria!… we organised gigs ourselves, hung around together in a handful of clubs…Germany didn’t have a real music industry like the US or UK back then.”

A new compilation, titled Kreaturen Der Nacht, sheds light on the era (1979-1984), with tracks from acts like Christiane F, Die Haut, Malaria!, Mania D, P1/E, and more. It was curated by JD Twitch of Optimo who says while the time of this comp was not directly inspired by what’s going on in the world today, there is some correlation. “The music on this compilation is from a time where the Cold War and a sense of dread was all pervading, particularly of course for many of the protagonists on this record who being in Berlin were at ground zero, and encircled by a wall. I would hypothesise that in many ways the strength of liberal democracy and the bonds between liberal democracies at that time were strong, partly in reaction to the geo-political forces of the era. Currently we live in a time where those bonds are loosening, if not already broken and the very idea of liberal democracy is in danger of ceasing to exist. Much as my teenage years were filled with a fear of nuclear destruction, I felt a lot safer and more optimistic at the time most of this music was being made than I do now.”

If you’re a fan of this era, and like groups like PiL, Gang of Four, The Slits, Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Birthday Party, and The Pop Group, you will find lots to discover on Kreaturen Der Nacht. There’s some of the more well-known groups of the era (Malaria!, Mania D, Die Haut), minimal wave (Weltklang, Sprung Aus Den Wolken), skeletal funk (Exkurs, Aus Lauter Liebe, Christiane F), dark n’ dubby groups (P1/E, Populare Mechanik), twee pop (Andreas Dorau), Kraftwerk-influenced synth-prog (Stefan Blöser), and more. Not all of it is sung in German, either. For those buying Kreaturen Der Nacht on vinyl or CD, there are extensive and informative liner notes with new interviews with members of the groups, plus rare photos and more. The comp is out Friday (order yours) but you can listen to the whole thing right now, below.

Kreaturen Der Nacht tracklist:
1. LEBEN UND ARBEITEN – AMANITA
2. MALARIA! – YOUR TURN TO RUN
3. AUSSERHALB – ZEITZELLE
4. DIE HAUT – DER KARIBISCHE WESTERN
5. AUS LAUTER LIEBE – PINGELIG
6. MANIA D – TRACK 4
7. EXKURS – FAKTEN
8. CHRISTIANE F – WUNDERBAR (JD TWITCH EDIT)
9. SPRUNG AUS DEN WOLKEN – DUB AND DIE
10. P1/E – UP AND ABOVE / UP AND ABOVE DUB
11. FRANZ ERLMEIER & FRITZ KÖSTLER – ÖFFNEN SIE MAL IHRE TASCHE
12. POPULÄRE MECHANIK – SCHARFER SCHNITT (No. 1)
13. ANDREAS DORAU – FRED VOM JUPITER
14. WELTKLANG – VEB HEIMAT
15. STEFAN BLÖSER – VOYAGER ONE
16. MATTHIAS SCHUSTER – AN RAH ROBEEL

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