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Artist: DORAU, ANDREAS
Title: Arger mit der Unsterblichkeit
Format: CD
Label: Bureau B
Country: Germany
Price: $18.00
"In 1988, in a club in Munich, German pop legend Andreas Dorau heard a kind of music which was completely new to him. He remembers it like this: "While we were producing Demokratie, acid house kicked off. It hit me right between the eyes. It was the most incredible thing for me!" Things really took off shortly afterwards, when somebody in England came up with the notion of looping and editing recorded music by other bands. Dorau: "You could pick out your favorite passages from a song, choose the best of the 50s, 60s and 70s and build more or less the perfect song." Endless possibilities! Production techniques were also advancing apace. In 1991 a sampler capable of sampling two minutes cost around 300 Deutsche Marks. Just a few years earlier, such a device would have set the buyer back 10,000 Marks. And so Ärger mit der Unsterblichkeit (Trouble with Immortality) was fashioned in the living room of Doraus new musical companion, his congenial partner Tommi Eckardt. Eckardt played in a band by the name of Die alternativen Arschlöcher (trans. "The Alternative Assholes") and would later find international fame as one-half of the pop duo 2raumwohnung. A new era, a wonderful time. Dorau: "Our rave rigmarole left live audiences nonplussed. Once the album was released, I was seen as some kind of sick character." Others have been tarred with the same brush, have they not? Often, all too often, the best. Includes two bonus tracks." - Bureau B

Artist: DORAU, ANDREAS
Title: Aus der Bibliotheque
Format: LP + CD
Label: Bureau B
Country: Germany
Price: $23.00
"LP version with CD. Many musicians dedicate their albums to a person who is close to them (a so-called "muse," often female) who has inspired or is said to have inspired the artist. Or a mysterious, mythical place. In rare and unusual cases, a record is sometimes dedicated to a person who is now estranged from the artist. So far, so boring. Until now, of course. Andreas Dorau, in contrast, has dedicated his new album to a completely different place, a completely different muse: the public libraries of Hamburg. To be precise, the main library on a street called "Hühnerposten." Dorau has spent much of his free time here in recent years. "The library is the little internet for haptic people," said Dorau. "And why should I spend money on books, music or DVDs, if they just gather dust?" Thus, he found the subject matter for this new album: the section for Hamburg History, where he found a passage on the horrific serial killer Fritz Honka ("Tannenduft"); in the science department, on the equally essential and popular element hydrogen ("Wasserstoff"); or simply pondering while gazing out the window ("Bienen am Fenster"). Even the journey there was enough to merit a potential hit ("Faul und bequem"). Taking a taxi to the lending library -- now thats style. The lending library can also lend a helping hand when it comes to music. It costs (almost) nothing. CDs, sheet music, its all there. So instead of hunting for curios at flea markets or researching in the rather non-sensual Internet, Dorau ended his trips to the library by filling his designer plastic bags with CDs. And at random: "greatest hits" of long-forgotten American beard-bands, recent releases from the ghastly field of "indie rock," top ten atrocities from five years ago, etc. But why that? Dorau: "I wanted to find the good moment on each CD, perhaps a certain harmony, analyze it, and then, well, maybe borrow it for my own songs." So basically the meta-level of the lending library. Or maybe its rather the realization of the old alchemists dream of using filth in order to produce gold? Aus der Bibliothèque is the first album Dorau has recorded with a band since 1987. "On my last album Todesmelodien from 2011, I was already experimenting with the idea of a band sound. I wanted to amplify that on this record and create my own band sound." The band sound was provided by Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen, brothers in spirit and, incidentally, also friends of the lending library. Doraus version of a singing and sounding library was created in the studio of the gewöhnliche Gentleman Zwanie Johnson using banjos, saxophones, guitars, drum machines, an old piano, a Höfner violin bass and a great deal more. The result: poppy Krautrock, Beatles-esque sunshine-pop, soft-rock and electronics." - Bureau B.

Artist: DORAU, ANDREAS
Title: Blumen Und Narzissen
Format: LP
Label: Bureau B
Country: Germany
Price: $18.00
"If it had been up to Andreas Doraus teacher, "Fred Vom Jupiter," his biggest hit, would never have seen the light of day. The 16 year-old Dorau wrote the song during project week at school and his tutor was of the opinion that the composition was therefore the intellectual property of his institute of learning. Luckily, the teacher in question didnt get his way. And, as they say, the rest is history. In the year 1981, the small, cool Düsseldorf label Ata Tak first released "Fred Vom Jupiter" as a single, selling 20,000 copies in the space of a few months, followed up by the Blumen Und Narzissen LP. It is a strange album, for the most part conceived and executed by a 16 year-old on a family holiday in the mountains. And what is even more extraordinary: it was successful. For Blumen Und Narzissen was a pop album, and when one considers the time (1981) and place (FRG) of its creation, then nothing would have appeared to have had less of a chance of success than a pop album in Germany. The mainstream charts were led by the Smurfs and Ernst Mosch, bars and discos resounded to the sound of Deutschrock and blues, while beyond the mainstream, well-meaning tree-huggers and punks ruled the roost -- two marginal groups whose seriousness was a bore. A tiny niche was occupied by Doraus soulmates, the likes of Der Plan, Palais Schaumburg et al, but in this very niche they were destined to remain. Blumen Und Narzissen is -- even decades later -- a great album. Dorau had actually planned on issuing not just the one single on Ata Tak, but ten further singles, each on a different independent label he admired. Thus Blumen Und Narzissen sounds just like that: a collection of singles. "Nordsee," "Junger Mann," and "Tulpen Und Narzissen" certainly had the potential to become hits. Connoisseurs will note parallels to the golden years of pop: singles, a girl group (Die Marinas), a passion for style. And now? Not much has really changed. The German charts continue to showcase an equally gruesome parade of local talent. And because good pop music is good pop music, Blumen Und Narzissen has found and will continue to find fans both at home and abroad. Both strange and contrary, Blumen Und Narzissen sounds neither old-fashioned nor 30 years old. On 180 gram vinyl with a printed innersleeve with photos and liner notes." - Bureau B.

Artist: DORAU, ANDREAS
Title: Demokratie
Format: CD
Label: Bureau B
Country: Germany
Price: $18.00
"German new wave (Neue Deutsche Welle, NDW) reached its peak in 1983. In the public eye, Andreas Dorau was considered an important representative of NDW. But the sensitive artist had no desire to be thrown in the same basket as the terrible monstrosities of what had become a commercially exploited trend. Not that he felt any closer to the contemporary "underground" music of the day. "All far too dark. I didnt want to have anything more to do with music. Back then underground music wasnt allowed to be melodic. The dominant belief was: melody = stupid. And I wanted melodies." Dorau turned his back to the music business and moved to Munich and took his film studies seriously. Until one day, Ata Tak founder Moritz Rrr called him up and asked Dorau if he fancied an informal exchange of ideas with artists from Berlin, no strings attached. He did fancy it, and slowly but surely, he began to have fun again with music. At the same time, Dorau amassed a formidable record collection, largely from the 1960s. And so names like The Left Banke, Van Dyke Parks and The Move rotated on his record player. The idea to make a new album dawned on him gradually. Dorau recorded, discarded material, wrote lyrics, overdubbed, arranged, discarded more material. So, he would rearrange, one track after another, so on and so forth. It was clearly a painstaking process. Says Dorau: "I wanted to create pop music, as far as possible without guitars, simply different." Baroque pop/Roy Wood/Michael Nyman/melodies/no guitars, or thereabouts/electronics/Mayo Thompson also gets in on the act: an interesting mix! Includes two bonus tracks." - Bureau B

Artist: DORAU, ANDREAS
Title: Die Doraus & Die Marinas Geben Offenherzige
Format: LP
Label: Bureau B
Country: Germany
Price: $18.00
...Antworten Auf Brennende Fragen. "After the success of his debut album Blumen Und Narzissen (1981), featuring his "Fred Vom Jupiter" hit, German new wave/pop upstart Andreas Dorau was urged by his new record company, Teldec, to come up with a sophomore effort as soon as possible. To bridge the gap, Dorau first released a single entitled "Kleines Stubenmädchen," a jaunty number with amusing lyrics and a professional, radio-friendly production. But Dorau had not reckoned with the sensitivity of the censors: the humorless sexism detector ruthlessly raised the alarm amongst the radio stations. Those making the decisions at Teldec had the odd idea of asking Dorau to record an apology or explanation on cassette for radio programmers to play either before or after the incriminating song. Dorau could have filled a whole cassette to clarify the subject, perhaps even upholding a claim to artistic freedom. But -- doffing his cap to the spirit of punk -- Dorau naturally rejected the suggestion. A shame. Teldec lost interest in Dorau and the album was released on CBS -- minus "Stubenmädchen," of course. A far greater problem loomed, however: the musical landscape of the Federal Republic of Germany had changed since the release of Blumen Und Narzissen. Major record companies had radically commercialized what Alfred Hilsberg had once benevolently termed "Neue Deutsche Welle" (NDW)/German New Wave (thinking of bands such as Fehlfarben, Der Plan, D.A.F.). They remolded rock bands into new wave bands, wrote idiotic ditties and had clueless jumping jacks and jills perform them. One can imagine that Dorau did not exactly jump for joy when he realized he was about to be lumped in with the rest of them. The relationship between Dorau and his sophomore work was clouded from the word "go." And it still is. Although it is actually a really good record: from the psychedelic lyrics of "Polizist," "Sandkorn" and "Texas" to beautiful observations of daily life ("Feierabend"), the music meanders its way through snappy pop, bossa nova, exotica, disco and new wave. A certain, unique strain of psychedelia courses through the whole album, detectable in the cover, the lyrics and the instrumentation. Of course, theres a world of difference between Die Doraus Und Die Marinas Geben Offenherzige Antworten Auf Brennende Fragen (trans. "The Doraus And Marinas Give Openhearted Answers To Burning Questions") and the "idiots of NDW." But try explaining that to the man on the street. By the way: "Kleines Stubenmädchen" is included on this re-release as a bonus track, along with three others. On 180 gram vinyl with a printed innersleeve with photos and liner notes." - Bureau B.

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