Neue Deutsche Welle is largely credited as the catalyst that propelled German-language music into the pop charts. In reality, that’s something of a misnomer. Coined to describe music emanating from Hamburg’s DIY scene in the late ’70s, early examples employed cheap synthesisers and drum machines in the development of truly boundary-pushing music. Before Ideal and Nena, there were bands like D.A.F. and No More, but NDW wasn’t confined to Hamburg, or even Germany for that matter.
The latest release on Wiener Brut, sister label to Vienna’s better-known Neubau imprint, is a clear example of how the genre crossed international borders in its earliest form. Dedicated to unearthing ’80s DIY curiosities of Austrian origin, Radikalkur marks the label’s most exploratory excavation to date, a collision of Neue Deutsche Welle’s post-punk and new wave sensibilities, drum machine minimalism and angular proto-techno structures.
The handiwork of short-lived experimental project Aktionskunst Gerasdorf, A2’s ‘Atombombensichere Discos’ is a tightly wound workout. Uncompromising and way ahead of its time, Melanie Delval’s distinctive vocals careen over dense, surging rhythms that could have just as easily been recorded in gloomy Cold War Germany.
Radikalkur is out September 9th on Wiener Brut – pre-order here.