Deutsche Wertarbeit

BB 047CD BB 047CD

There are times when the name of a musical project is in perfect harmony with the sounds emanating from it. And there are times when it is not. Take the 1981 album Deutsche Wertarbeit by keyboarder and composer Dorothea Raukes, which is rather an example of the latter. No stomping of military marches, as the title may imply, but six beautiful synthesizer treasures gathered together on the only solo album she would release, artfully unifying the so-called Düsseldorf School (Kraftwerk, etc.), the Berliner School (Tangerine Dream, etc.) and elements of Jean Michel Jarre's music with the sounds of the inceptive 1980s. From the hypnotic to the cosmic, sometimes pulsating, sometimes evincing saccharine melancholy. The cool, almost technical artwork does not really fit the warm, sensitive music, either. Dorothea Raukes was not exactly an unknown quantity when the album appeared. She had been playing keyboards and writing for the Düsseldorf rock band Streetmark for years. The group -- as was typical of the period -- operated on democratic principles, which meant that she was never quite able to follow through on her own musical ideas one hundred percent. A solo album, however, would allow her to do just that. One of the reasons why it turned out to be a purely electronic album was Raukes' sponsorship deal with Korg, giving her access to the full range of the company's gear. Listening to Deutsche Wertarbeit, those familiar with the history of Streetmark will find themselves reminded of Wolfgang Riechmann's solo LP Wunderbar (BB 027CD/LP), which appeared three years earlier and traced a similar musical pattern. Wolfgang Riechmann himself had been a member of Streetmark not all that long ago. Nonetheless, the two projects were entirely separate and had no immediate influence on each other.