Sunday, November 27, 2005

cult of the week - Pyrolator

artist: Pyrolator
title: Inland
year: 1979

label: Warning Records

personnel: Kurt Dahlke (all intruments)

tracklisting: minimal tape 1/2/3, it always rains in wuppertal, inland 1, minimal tape 1/8, danger cruising, inland 2, inland 3, minimal tape 3/7.2, barenstrasse, a have a good ride, inland 4, nord atlantik
cotw say… 

despite being a contemporary - and member of - of other groundbreaking acts of the Neue Deutsche Welle ("German New Wave") genre, Pyrolator (aka Kurt Dahlke) has not been afforded the same level of recognition as the likes of Der Plan or Palais Schaumburg. he deserves much better.
by subtitling this instrumental debut album as 'muzak for daily live' (sic.), Dahlke probably did more harm than good, for 'Inland' is not some sub-par, Enoesque throaway, but rather a quite brilliantly recorded slice of experimental analogue moodyness. true, there are moments of engaging muzak, such as one or two of the 'minimal tape' pieces, but Pyrolator really excels on the mannered, melodic synth gurgles of tracks like 'Danger Cruising' and 'Have a Good Ride'. the album succeeds by squeezing real warmth from the synths, making even the occasional atonal track a remarkably pleasant trip (field recordings also help to add atmosphere here and there). the range of timbres expressed throughout will simply put any analogue synth fan into seventh heaven (especially on side two), and arguably challenges more well-known albums by the likes of Thomas Leer and Bernard Szajner for the title of...well, who knows what.  

inland, but truly out of this world.

erik -


Both Kinds said...

I am happy to see Pyrolator featured here, he really deserves to be rediscovered. There are some other great but nearly forgotten German musicians from the fringes of the NDW movement, like Kosmonautenträume, Xao Seffcheque, and S.Y.P.H. to name but a few. I just wrote a review of some weird German Christmas music by these guys with a few mp3 tracks on my blog Both Kinds Of Music, please check it out. (Sorry for the shameless plug, but it is for a good cause...)

Erik - cult with no name said...

Yeah, the NDW scene was a mixed bag. It's certainly true that there were loads of fantastic groups that were overshadowed by a few key figures. Pyrolator are amazing.