NDW Week – Freitag: Die Doraus Und Die Marinas – Blumen Und Narzissen

Andreas Dorau ca. 1981 – Ilse Ruppert

Today we wrap up with an artist that I have just heard 31 years after the fact! Actually, I remembered reading about his  left-field hit single “Fred Vom Jupiter” somewhere quite recently, but I recalled that only after I bought the CD of “Blumen Und Narzissen” last month because basically, it had the Ata Tak name on it and that was good enough for me! You may remember that Ata Tak is Kurt [Pyrolator/D.A.F./Der Plan] Dahlke’s indie label, and I’ve always been peripherally aware of it since buying yesterday’s CD from Der Plan in 1990.  The Story of Die Doraus Und Die Marinas is an unlikely one but bears repeating here since it is not likely to happen again.

Andreas Dorau was a 16 year old student who wrote and performed a song with his  female classmates singing called “Fred Vom Jupiter” that managed to sell 20,000 copies in 1981 in its initial indie release on Ata Tak before being picked up by Telefunken for even more sales! The record was produced by Dahlke and Frank Fenstermacher, both of Der Plan, with art by Moritz Richert, the other member of the band. So this was apparently a school project that spiraled out of control and onto the German charts. To the extent that his tutor claimed that his school was entitled to the royalties! When your teacher is acting like a record label lawyer, it’s time to change schools!

Bureau B | GER | CD | 2012 | BB87

Die Doraus Und Die Martinas: Blumen Und Narzissen GER RMCD [2012]

  1. Tulpen Und Narzissen
  2. Einkauf
  3. Junger Mann
  4. Reisen Um Die Welt
  5. Fred Vom Jupiter
  6. Nordsee
  7. Ich Hab Das Glück
  8. Ernst
  9. Lokomotivführer
  10. Alter Maler
  11. Arrivederci
  12. Auch Die Heimat Ist Nicht Mehr Schön
  13. Der Lachende Papst
  14. Sehnsucht Nach Dem Osten
  15. Negermuskeln
  16. Sommer Im Dornrosental
  17. Wir Basteln Uns Ein Auto

The album is wildly eclectic and touches on numerous genres. Most surprising is the cut “Einkauf” which is the only example of German ska I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. The full breadth of New Wave styles are tried on by the young Andreas, who has a natural way with a melody. That the ska tune, complete with horn section comes right before the sprightly synth pop of “Junger Mann” shows that he wants to give give everything a try. I’ve since read that he wanted to release many singles with each of his favorite labels. I guess Ata Tak were the first and it just snowballed faster than anyone could have predicted from there.

“Fred Vom Jupiter” is certainly cheerful with its cheerfully cheesy synths and motorik rhythm box serving as a counterpoint for the vocals of Die Marinas. The song, about a spaceman who gets to make time with all of the earth women sounds remarkably like the sort of thing that Daniel Miller was simulating with his faux-teenaged synthpop “band” The Silicon Teens, but this is the real thing! It’s not surprising that Miller later licensed the record for release in the UK on his Mute label!

Unlike The Silicon Teens, Dorau brings a lot more dimension to his music. “Nordsee” [North Sea] is a fantastically melancholic number that sonically recalls what NYC avant gardists Thick Pigeon were doing in The States concurrently and ends up sounding like the better material that Depeche Mode would be recording on their second album later in 1982! It’s certainly very similar in feel to a track  like “See You.” It’s followed by “Ich Hab Das Glück” [I Have The Luck] a furious little piece of synth punk that has a completely arbitrary cold edit ending that’ll make your head spin.

The final cut, “Arriverderci,” is a heartbreak ballad that just happens to sound like Grace Jones “Walking In The Rain,” complete with  the feline riddims of that tune. That gives the listener some indication of just how eclectic this album is. The 2012 remaster I bought has six bonus tracks, and the first of them is the B-side to “Fred Vom Jupiter” is “Auch Die Heimat Ist Nicht Der Schon;” an amazing instrumental that sounds like a first cousin to the Human League’s early instro “The Dignity of Labour, Part 1!” The rest of the bonus tracks seem to be unreleased material; mostly instrumental; some very brief.

The period from ’79 to ’83 in Germany was basically analogous to the Post-Punk phase that swept the UK during the same time. The commonalities were the idea to try anything; the rule book had been burnt by Punk. Also, the eclecticism of mixing genres and new technologies that were coming on line to create something new certainly held in the German territory as well. What gave the NDW its own edge was that this was German culture examining itself with the second postwar generation grabbing the reins of the studio and seeing how they fit into the Western musical zeitgeist without burying their own identity.

The days of singing in English were abandoned, at least for a little while, to let Germany be itself. Finally, all of these acts, from noise to pop, put forth their ideas with a strong visual arts and or performance component. The German tradition for art movements certainly made the NDW a synthesis of the visual and musical filtered through the lens of their culture.  By 1983, it all came to a halt when the eighties started, much like it happened in the UK. The days of being audacious, underground, and artistic would take a back seat to cold hard cash going forward.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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11 Responses to NDW Week – Freitag: Die Doraus Und Die Marinas – Blumen Und Narzissen

  1. Echorich says:

    Great week Monk!! Need to investigate this album. Simply mentioning Silicon Teens and Thick Pidgeon are reason enough!

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  2. ronkanefiles says:

    Nice that this material remains “available” – for years, the only way to get this album on CD was from Japan.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Ronkanefiles – Well, Wave in Japan was my point of entry to the Ata Tak label, years after the fact. If you hadn’t found me that Mari Wilson “Marigold” CD 22 years ago I might be still adrift in space right now. The Bureau B label is going nuts on both the Berlin and Düsseldorf schools with extensive reissues as well as current material from all of your favorite Krautrock and NDW titans. I have to say I’m enjoying everything I have bought on Bureau B recently! I’m enjoying You’s “Electric Day” even as I type!

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      • Echorich says:

        ELECTRIC DAY!!! Always thought this would be the music Florian Schneider would make locked in the studio on speed! Ghastly 70’s album art though….

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        • postpunkmonk says:

          Echorich – But it’s perfect ghastly 70s album art, isn’t it? When I saw this I thought to myself, “German, beards, synths, and cheesy airbrushing… this may be good!” Just as I would have in the late 70s… and it was! Don’t be so hard on the cheesy airbrushing. Sometime in the late 80s, another graphic designer I know said “computers are the new airbrush” and that was sooooo right. As for You, I’m hearing a lot of Tangerine Dream in those grooves. Ralf would never allow guitars in KlingKlang no matter how much speed Florian had ingested!

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  3. Factual facts of the story of “Fred” are rather accidental and scarce. Who told you all that?

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Monika Düttmann – Thanks for your question! The “Fred Vom Jupiter” backstory information came from the Bureau B press kit for the album to be found here.
      The only release in Discogs.com that lists production credits for the album can be found here.

      My promo copy from Bureau B does not list production credits [or very much information at all].

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  4. Well, maybe those were flawy already. Some things: Ata Tak has been the label of all 3 members of Der Plan, not just Pyrolator. The artist you call “the other member”‘s name is Moritz Reichelt, not Richart. The production of “Fred Vom Jupiter” was in fact done in school. Der Plan, again all three of them, did the final mix. The school teacher rightfully demands credits for the song, because he actually wrote it. Same goes for the lyrics that were really written by a bunch of kids in that class together. If you open the GEMA files of this, you’ll get as composers: Andreas Dorau and Olaf Maureschat. For the lyrics you find Nicole Kahl (one of the Marinas), Juergen Kreffter, Birgit Masur, Munoz Valderama and Natalia Maria. Dorau is not even registered in this section. Trivia about the song include the fact that Andreas Dorau hates it and never plays it on his concerts, although it is still his biggest hit.

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