artist: Palais Schaumburg
title: Das Single Kabinett
personnel: Holger Hiller, Thomas Fehlmann, Timo Blunck, Ralf Hertwig, F. M. Einheit
tracklisting: rote lichter, gluecklich wie nie, kinder der tod (version), telephon, kinder der tod, aschenbecher
misleadingly lumped in with the numerous ‘Neue Deutsche Welle’ bands [German New Wave], Palais Schaumburg remain perhaps the greatest German alternative band of the very early 80s. ‘Das Single Kabinett', simply collects together their early singles to provide the neatest summary of where Schaumburg were at.
the basic ingredients were intriguing enough. treated rhythm boxes and wandering bass riffs, all topped off by Holger Hiller’s highly neurotic, occasionally deadpan, vocals. what’s key, however, are the powerful electronic effects and strange sampled noises that flick on and off throughout, serving as a taster to the excellent music that Hiller would put out as a solo artist later in the decade. drums make their debut on the (almost) catchy ‘Telephon’, with the rest of side two continuing to expand the sound. the inclusion of trumpet on both, the second take of ‘Kinder Der Tod’, and the Beefheart constructs of ‘Aschenbecher’, makes them particularly appealing and provides a good introduction to the sound the eponymous debut album that followed.
this mini-lp remains fairly hard to find. a sad state of affairs for music that deserves to be held in much higher esteem.