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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 13 - 11/14/97

What's So Funny About/Indigo

This is the brand new release from Sandow after three years of silence. Sandow was one of the first bands in the East German alternative scene back in the days of the GDR. They were founded 15 years ago in Cottbus. Their first recordings were featured on a compilation which was the very first punk record to be released in the GDR. So they became icons for the underground scene. In 1988 they wrote a song called Born In The GDR which was a take on a Bruce Springsteen concert where thousands of members of the socialist youth organization FDJ sang along his song Born In The USA. The Sandow song was a fitting description of what many people felt at that time and became a real hymn in East Germany in the time of the big political changes (1989/90).

After the unification of Germany, Sandow refused to play the song at their concerts. They felt it would evoke a false nostalgia, but they wanted to look forward into the future, not backwards. Five albums and several projects later it seems they've changed their minds. Currently Sandow are touring in Germany with a new program which focuses on the still not satisfying situation in Eastern Germany seven years after the unification. At the same time they released this new CD and its highlight is a new version of their old hit Born in the GDR. They added some lyrics to account for the new context in which they put the song. The song is highly synthetic, with machine beats and synthesized, bombastic orchestral sounds. A hymn for the rising pride of the East Germans who will be the winners in the next millennium - at least that's what the Sandow track suggests.

Three other tracks are more conventional Sandow songs. That means highly dynamic and dramatic rock songs with some experimental bits thrown in the mix. Even though the song titles Nebel (Fog) and Neue Nebel (New Fog) are similar, the songs are not musically related.

Often the Band uses their guitars quite innovative with feedback, or even as a percussion instrument to produce strange noises. They also include samples and other modern production equipment. But only two of the tracks can be called "experimental". Bulgarien 1 is one of them, six minutes of drone that makes you calm. Probably it was just the intro to another song (titled Bulgarien 2 ?), because in the end a more rhythmic guitar starts, but suddenly the song fades out. Definitely just an intro was the last track, Anschlag Ouvertüre. It slowly builds up tension until the climax - the end. Why they put it on the end of the disk remains a mystery. A sign of things to come, perhaps?

The disk contains only six songs, but it's sold as mini-CD for a lower price, so don't worry about that. The songs are long (five to eleven minutes), so you'll get 42 minutes of music, which is nearly the length of a standard album. I would recommend this album to everyone - so look out for it!

Copyright © 1997 Lonely Locke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Sandow article/review: Stachelhaut What's So Funny About...

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