Palais Schaumburg

BB 100CD BB 100CD

The influential German post-punk electronic pop band Palais Schaumburg has reunited in the classic line-up. Since its release in 1981, their debut album has remained in a league of its own: fleet-footed and peculiar, abstract and pop, amateurish and savvy, it showed real alternatives to the then-pervasive crude search for identity found in the "new German wave." The band, which consisted entirely of divergent personalities, has reunited in this formation to rediscover their common ground, further develop, and to perform live. In this post-sampling era, with the current, dynamic changes in the creation and reception of music, their statement has lost none of its fascination. Anyone who sees and hears the combination of idiosyncratic bass riffs (Blunck), bizarre yet catchy rhythms (Hertwig, Blunck), Fehlmann's shrill horn and synthesizer fanfares, and Hiller's seemingly atonal staccato guitar work and oblique lyrical conglomerates, will immediately comprehend the influence of this band. Therefore, Bureau B are very pleased to reissue the important original works of Palais Schaumburg in an appropriate and extended format. What do we mean by that? Well, in addition to the actual album, this reissue includes a second CD/LP containing all the pieces that the band recorded prior to their debut album (all of them now available for the first time on CD), and a previously-unreleased recording of a concert in Holland. A lavish booklet includes rare photographs and liner notes by Chris Bohn, editor of The Wire. In 1980, two students met at the Hamburg Art Academy: Thomas Fehlmann, who appreciated art and music and wanted to connect them, and the musician Holger Hiller, who had escaped the fractious Hamburg alternative scene, preferring the art school's Conservatory of Music. The spirit of the early New German Wave blew through the country, the first independent labels vied for innovative artists, and the West German post-punk scene began to take shape. Hiller and Fehlmann brought in FM Einheit (from the band Abwärts) on drums and the Californian Chris Lunch on bass. But only shortly after the first single, with Timo Blunck's bass riffs and the adept drumming of Ralf Hertwig, did the band establish its classic line-up. Palais Schaumburg played numerous gigs in this line-up and recorded a second single -- then on the indie label Zick Zack. The recording of the album was enhanced by the British producer David Cunningham (Flying Lizards). Soon the music giant Phonogram came along waving a contract. Though it was predictable that the album would not exactly be a commercial success, its special position in German pop music soon became clear. The attention the album received was considerable, given the "awkwardness" of the music. These days, alongside the central works of the famous Krautrock bands, it is one of the most sought-after albums of German avant-garde music internationally.