V/A – Trumpett Sounds

In the last few years there has been a renewed interest in minimal analogue electronic music from the 80’s. For its second release, Enfant Terrible plunged deep into the Dutch underground and ended up on the isle of Texel. Here stands a secret bunker called ‘Panzerbunker Tonstudio 194’, home of Trumpett, a legendary tape label. Trumpett searched in their archives and came up with eleven tracks from the period 1981 – 1983, which are now released on vinyl.

The result is not only an interesting historical document, but also a record which is still enjoyable today, despite (or thanks to?) the obvious lo-fi recordings and minimal equipment. You can hear references to acts like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, early OMD and Human League. Repetive rhythms, melodic sequencer parts, weird synth sounds and dry vocals mostly with not too serious lyrics.

Most tracks are quite melodic and accessible to modern ears, with a few more experimental structures, like the spacy opener by Ende Shneafliet. It is followed by the nice Kraftwerk-like song ‘Wählerisch!’ by The Actor (known for the cult hit ‘Deutsches Mädchen’), which will do well at minimal parties. Thrômboh and another piece by The Actor continue with atmospheric yet catchy tracks. The sound gets darker and more industrial with Doxa Sinistra, while Ende Shneafliet’s ‘Aeroplane’ is slow and melancholic, an excellent piece.

The pace gets faster with a monotnous instrumental piece by Trumpetto & Einstein, who start the B-side. The Actor’s ‘Unreal personality’ has a pleasant nostalgic wavy sound with desperate vocals, the same goes for ‘Session Zeitgeist’ by Ende Shneafliet, it evokes indeed the feeling I have of the early 80’s. The record is finished by more experimental electronic soundscapes created by Doxa Sinistra and A.Van Garde.

Hopefully the dusty minimal vaults are not empty yet, because material like this Trumpett lp has not lost its force and can certainly be appreciated by a new audience.

artist: V/A
label: Enfant Terrible
details: 11 tracks, 2005 [enfant02]