Instant Music


"For a quarter of an hour, Zürich was the navel of the world . . . Contrary to legend, even back then, it was often those with a musical background who were the most successful. One such example, Henrich 'Wüste' Zwahlen, who had learned the violin, attended a jazz school and went into prog-rock before joining the Nasal Boys, one of the first punk bands in Zürich. The scene included the female band Kleenex, whose minimalism was praised by the London music press, while the world's most important rock theorist, Greil Marcus, wrote an ode highlighting Zürich's role as the birthplace of Dadaism. A fertile ground for the militant youth movement that exploded in 1980 and stirred up the city of banks, Protestantism, and boredom with raw wit and expressive violence . . . In Zürich's underground, the duo Aboriginal Voices caused a stir at that time. A couple, good-looking, styled, looking cool into the cold neon light, with a danceable beat and sequenced electro sounds, to which Micheline gave a very unique touch when she sang in French and English. Micheline had a classical piano education, had left home early, worked as a lighting technician in a strip joint and at Booster, the hottest boutique in town. Voilà: a musician who was as stylish as she was tough. She was already playing with Wüste in the band Doobie Doos, a band where everyone played an instrument they didn't master. In 1980 the Aboriginal Voices were formed, initially with vocalist Magda Vogel (of later UnknownmiX fame), who was trained as a classical singer. Frustrated by organizational friction and constant hassles with band lineups, Wüste and Misch decided to do everything as a twosome: self-mixed, self-styled, self-produced. With the top-of-the-line Linn drum machine clocking the beat, Wüste's guitar and Micheline on the Yamaha synthesizer created a unique sound of danceable electronic music . . . They had an interface built for the legendary Roland MC-4B, who sequenced the modular Roland System 100M but where one output controlled a light show synchronized with the sound. A pioneering act that fit well into the DIY spirit of punk, with its self-distributed tapes and fuck-you attitude towards the cretins of the music industry. Consequently, only two cassettes and an EP were released. There was something futuristic about the sound, the vestiary style and the electronics, while the attitude remained rebellious. Of course something so deep in the Zeitgeist wasn't meant to last. Wüste moved to New York, Micheline stayed in Zurich, both still active in the music scene to this day..." --Thomas Haemmerli