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Wow, this is really good. A short lived but highly effective pairing of Tom Dokoupil and Walter Dahn, two (at the time) young and wild characters immersed in the krautrock and emerging dance music underground. Released by Bureau B in 1981 ‘La Freiheit Des Giestes’ is a quirky collection of electronic dance tracks that showcase the possibilities of computerised sequencing and synthesis. As with much of the music coming out of Germany at the time Dokoupil and Dahn adhere to strict set of rules to guide the creative process. On this occasion all the music was recorded in a weekend with an imposed limit on instrumentation and a creative process that ‘adhered to a duality of contrasts’ hence the name which translates as ‘La Freedom of the Spirit’.
When I first heard this I could barely believe it dated back as far as 1981. Sure, the technology was beginning to emerge (although it was still very expensive) but the sequencing and processing on this album is so complex and involved, I basically have no idea how it was done. The arps and rhythm sequences are so impressively mechanical yet melodically complex and the use of additional instruments such as guitar and melodica give it little New Wave/Post-Punk edge, like a prototype Gang Of Four remix. On top of that it seems to stand apart from the serious output being generated by their contemporaries at the time. It shares common ground with electronica, D.A.F, funk and Cold Wave yet it’s much more playful and fun to listen to bringing to mind Heaven 17 related project B.E.F with it’s splicing of film quotes and insistent tempos. Personally this approach really resonates with me so it’s a great find.
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- La Freiheit Des Geistes by Die Partei
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