OST‐KRAUT! For the first time this two‐volume double CD series ‐ a long overdue addition to our KRAUT! edition ‐ comprehensively documents with studio and live recordings the history of Progressive music in the German Democratic Republic! Please, note: liner notes in German! 2‐CD (Digisleeve) with 76‐page booklet, 28 single tracks. Total playing time approx. 140 min.
After the great success of the four‐part double CD edition ‘KRAUT! The Innovative Years of Krautrock, 1968 ‐ 1979’ on Bear Family Records®, it was obvious to honour the progressive music of the GDR for the first time with a similarly elaborate release! Admittedly, this series is a bit of a misnomer ‐ the term ‘Kraut’ was completely uncommon in the GDR music scene, just as ‘rock’ was still dubbed ‘beat’ there until the mid‐1970s.
However, since about 1970 ‐ and largely unnoticed in the West ‐ many GDR groups played extremely ‘progressive’ music under this label. Since artists and bands in the GDR had to pass a state aptitude test before they were allowed to earn money with their music, the pioneers of GDR prog often came directly from the music academy ‐ with corresponding craftsmanship. The often sympathetic dilettantism of Western colleagues of the early ’70s was an alien phenomenon to them.
In those days, live concerts developed into a real competition between bands to play songs from progressive Western idols like Colosseum, Yes or Emerson, Lake & Palmer faithfully down to the last syncopation ‐ whereby the socialist brother countries, especially Poland and the CSSR, also provided important impulses for the GDR scene. Despite all this, no band in the GDR called itself progressive at the time, if only because the term was otherwise occupied by state cultural policy. In 1970, for
example, the youth radio station of the GDR’s German Broadcasting Corporation tried to sell Ludwig van Beethoven and Ernst Busch to its listeners as the true progressives ‐ in clear demarcation from the western rock underground, which was defamed as a ploy of the capitalist music industry. These were the last offshoots of a cultural policy from above that had banished almost the entire, then still young GDR beat scene into the underground by the end of 1965.
In contrast to their GDR colleagues, the musicians in socialist brother countries like Hungary, Poland and the CSSR did not suffer from a beat ban in the sixties ‐ their technical and stylistic advantage was now correspondingly considerable. This did not go unnoticed by the music producers at the radio station and at AMIGA, the GDR’s only ‐ and of course state‐owned ‐ record company for underground music. Some of the recordings on this compilation provide examples of the ‘development aid’ of
groups and performers from the Eastern Bloc given to the GDR scene, especially in the first half of the 1970s. They often re‐recorded their successful songs from their home countries in German, which ‐ as you can clearly hear ‐ they sometimes knew more and sometimes less.
The first part of the edition ‘Ost‐Kraut! ‐ Progressives aus den DDR‐Archiven’ (East Kraut! ‐ Progressives from the GDR Archives) brings together on two CDs the crème de la crème of the rock scene of the GDR and the then socialist foreign countries with recordings for AMIGA and the Deutsche Rundfunkarchiv (DRA). All the tracks were recorded between 1970 and 1975 and were stylishly compiled by journalist and East German rock connoisseur Marcus Heumann. The history of progressive rock in the GDR is vividly reflected in the 80‐page accompanying book with numerous illustrations, photos and biographies of the bands and musicians.
This small series is not intended to be a ‘best of’ compilation. Bear Family Records® documents what happened in official, media‐present GDR rock off the mainstream by means of well‐known tunes and some rarities from the German Broadcasting Archive that have never been released on record before.
Tracklist CD #1
01 Peter Holten Septett ‐ Weiter, Weiter
02 WIR ‐ Zeit *
03 Die Skalden (Skaldowie) ‐ Kennst Du das nicht (Czasem kochac chesz) *
04 Bayon ‐ Input *
05 Rote Gitarren ‐ Wachsein im Dunkel
06 Ekkehard Sander Septett ‐ Märchen *
07 Puhdys ‐ Steige nicht auf einen Baum
08 Joco Dev Sextett ‐ Stapellauf (Erstfassung)
09 Pavol Hammel & Prudy ‐ Schluss mit den Märchen
10 Uve Schikora und seine Gruppe ‐ Deine Augen
11 Bürkholz Formation ‐ Sei kein Vulkan
12 Zerbrechlicher Schwung ‐ Omega
13 Breakout ‐ Ich hab die Sonne (Na dnie mych oczu) *
14 Collegium Musicum ‐ Hommage à Johann Sebastian Bach
Tracklist CD #2
01 electra combo ‐ Tritt ein in den Dom
02 Nautiks ‐ Wir gehen am Meer
03 Lift ‐ Roter Stein
04 Blue Effect ‐ Clara *
05 Klaus Renft Combo ‐ Was mir fehlt
06 Kati Kovács und die Juventus Gruppe ‐ Wind, komm, bring den Regen her
(Add Már Uram Az Esöt)
07 Panta Rhei ‐ Gib dir selber eine Chance
08 Hungaria ‐ Die Farben der Natur
09 Ein ferner Punkt (Jak Znikajacy Punkt) * / Die Skalden (Skaldowie) ‐ Die
10 Set ‐ Eisen
11 Illés ‐ Hier stand die Sonne hoch
12 Klosterbrüder & Stern Combo Meißen ‐ Gedanken an Fusion: Aktivität
13 Jürgen Kerth ‐ Nacht unterwegs
14 Modern Septett Berlin ‐ Sagen
* denotes tracks first time on CD or vinyl LP
GENRE: Progressive Rock/Jazz Rock