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Am Rhein


"As a sequel to Wieleicht this is -- in the original words of D.Diedrichsen -- the fabulous 'White Album' of Germany's underground rock in German. S.Y.P.H.s second offering on the the Ata Tak label and S.Y.P.H.'s last album in more or less its original formation with Harry Rag (vox), Uwe Jahnke (guitar also with Fehlfarben and Toon), Jojo Wolter (bass) and Ralf Bauerfeind instead of Ulli Putsch on drums. In conspiracy with the groups Mittagspause and Fehlfarben S.Y.P.H. projected Germany onto a punk and Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave) plane which other groups later dissected and commercialised. S.Y.P.H. is primordial punk, Dada in its best sense as well as Trance-Rock which no 'weed' can beat. Like no other band from the legendary early 80s scene in Düsseldorf, S.Y.P.H. -- (Smashed Yankee Pummels Homo or Save Your Pretty Hearts) -- assimilated influences from Can, the Kinks to Pere Ubu with unrivalled originality and anarchism. S.Y.P.H.s Am Rhein moves playfully in the groove. The long trek from Industriemädchen(Industrial Girl) in the late 70s to Picknick im Grünen (Picknick in the Green) is artfully dealt with. S.Y.P.H. 87 no longer stands out there alone and colossal, but for magicians meandering through 1000 ideas, building bridges from island to island, emptying out the pop marshland's sludge and enabling the essentials to come into view. And somewhere between a psycho pop odyssey and nursery rhymes, their music comes over as completely uncramped -- an aural rural sculpture. The music is a concoction of rock, film, literature and experimental -- it's all there. And yet there is a concept to all this -- a critical standpoint to what officially and what unofficially exists or happens. The group's ingenuity lies in their skill to come out with the absurd without the intellectual need to make sense where it doesn't exist, with a result that the only meaningful element is what remains in the music itself."