20200916

Ralf Hütter and the first Suicide album

Have you ever noticed the record in the little stand on the floor there next to Kraftwerk's Ralf Hütter in this iconic photo? Ever wondered what it is?
The photo was taken in fellow Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider's apartment in Düsseldorf, probably in 1979, and (now this will come in handy for those of you who didn't read the title of this post) what we're seeing there in the wire record rack is the back sleeve of the the self-titled debut album by Suicide, the pioneering electronic New York duo of Martin Rev and Alan Vega.
Now, have you ever paid attention to the turntable next to Ralf? The record player that's also visible in this photo, taken from a different angle? Wish you knew what it was? Florian Schneider's deliciously chunky phonograph? 
You're in luck today, my friend. I'm here to tell you that it I've pinned it down. And what it is, is a Micro Seiki DDX-1000. 

Micro Seiki was a Japanese manufacturer of high-precision metal parts. In the mid 70s, they decided to enter the turntable market. And so they did, with one of the most elaborate and considered record players seen. It was the DDX-1000 – according to Micro Seiki a 'highly sophisticated turntable for discerning music lovers in pursuit of the ultimate in disc reproduction'. The DDX-1000 allowed you to mount up to 3 separate tone arms at different, dedicated mounting points, all isolated from the turntable itself. 

The company ran into financial difficulties in the 1990s and stopped making turntables (thanks, Compact Disc) but the company is still in existence as a precision engineering workshop. 
If you were in the market to to purchase a used Micro Seiki DDX-1000 today, you'd end up paying somewhere around €3000. 

There are a few other images available that show Florian's flat at the time. And it's clear that Florian has many interesting and beautiful things. But what are they? Who designed the living room suite, the sofa and the chair? What's that triangular, probably mid century side table next to where Ralf is sitting? 
And what exactly is in that impressive looking rack next to the record player? 
Is that a clock on the left hand side in his sleeping alcove? And what's that standing on top of the TV – looks a bit too small but could it be an early VCR? 
Speaking of things, it is said that these black and white panoramic photos of Florian's apartment were taken using a Horizont camera. Horizont (or Горизонт) was a Russian swing-lens panoramic camera manufactured from 1967-1973. 
Foto-Quelle, a subsidary of German mail order and department store giant Quelle and once proudly 'the biggest photo house in the world' sold a version of the Horizont camera intended specifically for the German market. It was called Horizont Revue, and given the prevalence of Foto-Quelle catalogues in Germany at the time, it seems likely that this is the model that was used. 

20200508

Robert Görl & DAF – Ich denk an dich


DAF's Gabi Delgado sadly passed away on the 22nd of March. Between that and the passing of Kraftwerk founder Florian Schneider 30 days later, the world lost two of its most progressive minds. Two pioneering artists, both with a revolutionary impact on music as we know it. Without them, the world, and Düsseldorf, is an emptier place.

At the time of Gabi's passing, DAF was still playing live. A few gigs were postponed recently due to the ongoing pandemic. But as it turns out, DAF had bigger plans than that. They were planning a new album, to be completed this summer. It was to be a mix of new compositions, recorded on the fly, and rediscovered hidden gems from their past – unreleased tracks composed in the 1980s but never released.

Today, 47 days after the untimely death of Gabi Delgado, the first of these "left-overs" was made public. Dedicated to the memory of Gabi, it's called "Ich denk an dich" and it's beautiful.



Written in 1981/1982, when the DAF members shared a flat on Holland Road in London, "Ich denk an dich" could just be a remarkable preview of what is to come.Robert Görl has committed to produce the rest of the previously unheard compositions from the 80s. We're looking forward to hearing more of this.

"Ich denk an dich" was produced by Robert Görl with Frankfurt DJ/producer Sylvie Marks. Marks produced some rather epic trance techno with Pete Namlook as Synsyl in the early 1992. Notably, Robert Görl and Namlook were to collaborate just a few years later, releasing two alums under the name Elektro on Namlook's Fax +49-69/450464 label. Marks remixed Marusha in 1995, and started collaborating with HAL 9000 in 1998. Sylvie Marks and HAL 9000's most recent collaborative release, a tape entitled "The Analogue Circles Vol.1", was released in 2018.

Whether Marks is involved in producing further unreleased DAF tracks with Robert Görl, remains to be seen.

20160602

Robert Görl - Glücksritter

With Gabi Delgado churning out music, some might have wondered what his DAF colleague Robert Görl has been up. We saw him release the digital single "Schwarze Engel" on iTunes and Napster in 2009, and he posted the track "Rachel" on Soundcloud in 2011. But apart from that, not much has been made public.

Schwarze Engel:


Rachel:


Well, it turns out that he's got a new album out now. The album is called "Glücksritter" and it looks like this:



Weirdly though, in this particular case, having a new album out doesn't mean that it's been released. At least not in any traditional, physical (or digital) format. Instead, "Glücksritter", will only be performed live. A few live recordings have surfaced on YouTube, and it sounds rather promising. Hoping to see this released in some format, that doesn't necessarily involve travelling to Germany and attending a gig, at some point.

This is apparently the tracklist:

1. Kleines schwarzes Ding aus Tokyo
2. Die Nacht ist so kurz
3. Schwarzer Boogie Boogie
4. Zeig mir deine Rose
5. Mareen
6. Schieb das Kind
7. U.S.Acidboys
8. Nachts gehörst du mir
9. Der Tod will schwarze Stiefel sehen
10. Glücksritter
11. Mein bester Freund ist schwul
12. Schwarzer Engel, du bist so schön
13. Ich bin verliebt in eine unbekannte Frau

And here's a chance to listen some of that new stuff:




For more information, look up Glücksritter on Facebook.

And if you're keen on the album design, get your Glücksritter merch here.

This is the first post on Düsseldorf Hbf in almost 3 years, by the way. Blog lives!

20131208

Gabi Delgado in the news

The recent news that DAF singer Gabi Delgado is about to release his first solo album since 'Mistress' came out, which was about 30 years ago, makes us hope for more of the latin lover/street dance funk he did in in 1983. We celebrate the news of the impending release with a few videos.

The first one captures Delgado's performance of his solo single 'Amor', on ARD's Formel Eins show in 1983.



And this second one is the official video for that other solo single he did back then, 'History of a Kiss'.





20120822

Kraftwerk 45 RPM




The Vinyl Factory will exhibit 45 iconic 7" Kraftwerk single covers from The Mott Collection, at their gallery in Chelsea, London, from September 12th to October 5th.

They will also publish a book with pictures of the 45 sleeves. With the book comes a 7" single with a 2009 interview with Kraftwerk.

Printed in the book, it seems, will only be a photo of the front of the sleeves. No labels, no backside, no detailed information - making it just a little bit pointless in the Discogs era, and it's horribly expensive at £80.

Still, I'd probably buy one if I could afford it.


Event page on facebook here
Vinyl Factory page here

20120503

D.A.F. by Jean-Louis Le Tacon

In 1982, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft performed a set at L'ENTPE, an engineering school in the outskirts of Lyon, France, with a drum kit and an awe-inspiring wall of cassette decks. 

The performance was filmed and edited (babies) by Jean-Louis Le Tacon for French national TV channel Antenne 2, now known as France 2.

And here it is:



The year before, in 1981, Le Tacon did a short film called California Cauchemard (roughly "California Nightmare") that, if I understand it correctly, was shown before a Tuxedomoon concert in Poitiers. Haven't found that one online though.

Le Tacon CV in French here.

20120216

Giorgio Li Calzi feat. Wolfgang Flür



Follow-up to a post from a few months ago, about Wolfgang Flür and Nitzer Ebb's Bon Harris joining forces:

I learned from a comment to the Harris/Flür post, that the lyrics to their song was actually lifted from Flür's "Greed", a song intended for his so far unreleased second Yamo album, "Eloquence" - an album that has been mentioned in interviews since at least 2004.

The same story applies to this song, "Freaking Out", by italian trumpeter Giorgio Li Calzi. The song is taken from his album "Tech Set", that was released in 2004. The lyrics were lifted from a song from "Eloquence" and are credited to Flür. Not the best song ever, but that's not the point now is it?

Freaking out feat Wolfgang Flur

Click above to listen.