Saturday, April 16, 2005

cult of the week - Palais Schaumburg

artist: Palais Schaumburg

title: Das Single Kabinett

year: 1981

label: ZickZack

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

cotw say…

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.


gerireig said...

Palais Schaumburg, along with bands like Der Plan, Pyrolator, and Die Todliche Doris, was part of a wave of creative pop music emanating from Germany in the '80's. I loved the klunky funk, the smeared horns, and the complete unpredictability of their eponymous album. My alltime favorite time and place for adventurous pop music.

Erik - cult with no name said...

Hi Gerireig (nice Der Plan reference there),

Yes PS were awesome, even the later stuff without Holger Hiller is great I think. If you like PS, then be sure to check out for more of the same. Pyrolator coming soon...