Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Teutonic Titans

Even in the Internet age there are bands who remain almost a total mystery. One example is a German outfit called Radio Telefunken Hamburg.

A few years ago a friend gave me a CD-R with some of their recordings on it. There were very few details apart from the titles, so I'm not even sure whether it was a complete album or just a random selection of tracks. Nor am I sure when it dates from, though I would guess mid to late 1980s. There are some obvious Kraftwerk influences and the track I have chosen today - "Checkpoint" - is also slightly reminiscent of Art of Noise's version of "Peter Gunn".

About the only other solid information I have is that Radio Telefunken Hamburg consisted of David Buxtehude and Jurgen Walter. I have found nothing about Buxtehude on the Internet - the friend who gave me the CD thought he had heard that he once played with The Icicle Works which seems a bit unlikely but you never know. There was a 17th century composer called Dietrich Buxtehude, so conceivably the musical gene has been passed down the generations.

According to Wikipedia there is a Jurgen Walter who is a German MP and a Hans-Jurgen Walter who pioneered the use of Gestalt theory in psychotherapy. Neither of these seem very likely candidates but the Gestalt man does look a bit like a Krautrocker.

Anyway, here is "Checkpoint". Let me know what you think and let me know if you have any more information about the band.

To finish off, here is a classic German Eurovision entry from the days when they still made an effort. From 1979 this is Dschinghis Khan with "Dschinghis Khan".

They seem to be a bit of a supergroup. Dschinghis himself is clearly Arthur Brown, the woman in the gold top appears to be Lisa Goddard, and the bloke at the front looks like he used to play second mandolin in Lindisfarne or superfluous rhythm guitar in Steeleye Span. What a mighty ensemble.

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