DAF on C81, the first NME tape

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the notion of C86, a cassette tape that was released by and published with British music magazine NME (New Musical Express) in 1986. C86 gave name to a genre within independent music, also called (or at least related to) twee.

A bit lesser known is the first tape ever to be published with NME, the similarly named C81. Not surprisingly, this tape was released in 1981, in January, in collaboration with the Rough Trade record label off-shoot Rough Tapes.

C81 is a diverse compilation of timeless classics, seldom heard quality music, and a few songs that just feel rather old at this point. It's playlist contains jazz, poetry, pop, punk and Robert Wyatt. Cabaret Voltaire are on it, the Buzzcocks are on it, and so are Pere Ubu, Scritti Politti, Subway Sect and Orange Juice.

But we'll focus on one specific track right now.

(Play it, or click the logo to go to the download page)

This is Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft's 'Kebabträume', (or 'Kebab traume', 'Kebab-träume', elsewhere) and it is a brilliant version, with all the raw energy we associate with DAF before the 'pure electronic' era.

The song was recorded live in concert at the Electric Ballroom in London in February 1980. As this tape was released in January '81, it actually precedes the release of the first Kebabträume single with a month or two, and the 'Für Immer' album, that contains another version of the song, with more than two years.

A bit of fingerspitzgefühl there, it seems, on the part of NME and Rough Tapes.



I just realised that I haven't introduced you to Qee-vo yet. So, without further ado - here he is!

In Booji Boy mode:

In Mark Mothersbaugh mode:

Now, I'd like to see some Kraftwerk Qees. Preferrably a series of four, two of them with exchangeable heads - allowing you to switch from simulating the classic Kraftwerk line-up to the current one, by just replacing the factory mounted Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür heads with the heads of Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmidt (sold separately).

More about the Qee-vo here.
More about Qees here.
More about DEVO here.
More about Booji Boy here and here.


The Stylophone

In 1981, Kraftwerk used the Stylophone to perform the track "Pocket Calculator". The Stylophone is a simple, battery operated instrument - you play it by touching it's metal keyboard with a stylus, thereby closing a circuit and generating sound. The device, marketed as a 'pocket electronic organ', was created already in 1967 by Dübrec, a british company. Dübrec closed down in the early eighties. By then, around 3 million Stylophones had been sold, mostly through toy stores.

The inventor of the Stylophone was Brian Jarvis, and his colleagues in Dübreq were Burt Coleman (managing director), and Ted Coleman (brother to Burt; artwork and finances). Dübreq got it's name from their original line of business, to dub and record movie sound tracks. I assume the umlauts and the "q" were added to create a certain "continental Europe" mystique.

The company employed australian musician/artist/comedian/childrens entertainer Rolf Harris (go here to see his Stylophone orchestra) to promote the invention. This rather funny quote from the now defunct "Stylophone Collectors Website" serves well the purpose of explaining his impact:
It almost seemed too good that such a person was around at the time the Stylophone was conceived, just imagine how it would have faired if Dübreq asked the Manic Street Preachers to promote the Stylophone, or maybe Nirvana, or even The Spice Girls. No one today has the sort of universal appeal that could sell millions of Stylophones to the kids of the world.
Since october 2007, the Stylophone is once again manufactured and available for purchase. The current product is a slightly updated version of the original, basic model. In addition to the On/Off, Vibrato and Pitch controls, the new version features three different sounds (instead of one), a volume control, and an mp3 input, that allows you the pleasure of playing along with your favorite songs.

I actually bought one last week for about £15, and it is quite enjoyable. Here it is! Look at it shine there, above my brothers rather murky carpeting.

While on the subject, you need to take a look at this video recording of Kraftwerk playing "Pocket Calculator" live in 1981. Check out the Stylophone action! Karl Bartos, the second person from the left, is handling it like there's no tomorrow. Also, don't miss Florian Schneider's vowel face action towards the end.

Related: Kraftwerks future live setup.


Fat Bankroll-boken

Sorry, this one has to be in Swedish only. But scroll down for some text in english and an exclusive mp3 mix.

Kollegorna på det gamla nätfanzinet Fat Bankroll, www.fatbankroll.nu, har till slut lyckats avsluta evighetsprojektet att samla ihop de bästa artiklarna i bokform. Det blev en 452 sidor tjock bok, "Fat Bankroll - Arkiv 2000-2005", som nu säljs via Vulkan.se. Läs mer och beställ här.

Den tjocka, fina, vita boken innehåller bland annat ett handritat flödesschema över Kraftwerks medlemmar genom åren, en intervju med den japanske Kraftwerk-covermakaren Houten 3, samt relaterade konsertrecensioner från Paris 2002 och Stockholm 2004. Dessutom intervjuer! Grill-recept! Richie Blackmore i Japan! Beastie Boys! Satanist-techno! Ståålfågel! MF Doom! En punk-karta! Atom Heart! Dr Pepper! Lego! Norbergfestival-yra! Fennesz! Soundclash-spelet! Träd, gräs och stenar! Nittiotals-wrestling! Danska snacks! Andreas Tilliander! Tiki-kultur!

Det är naturligtvis precis hur bra och precis hur mycket som helst. Köp!


And as a bonus, here's a mix ("Gubbsynt - återkomsten") that was done exclusively for Fat Bankroll back in 2004 - a feeble attempt to find some way to use all the techno versions and remixes that suddenly were released by all of the electronic has-beens.


1. The Human League - Overkill Disaster Crash (V.1)
2. Laibach - Tanz Mit Laibach (Johannes Heil "Crucified" Remix)
3. Nitzer Ebb - Let Your Body Learn (Terence Fixmer Remix)
4. Throbbing Gristle - United (Two Lone Swordsmen remix - Vocal Version)
5. DAF - Der Sheriff
6. Kraftwerk - Aéro Dynamik (Alex Gopher/Etienne De Crecy Dynamik Mix)
7. Nitzer Ebb - Control I'm Here (The Hacker Remix)
8. Suicide - Death Machine
9. Suicide - Dachau, Disney, Disco