I like mysteries and secrets. I love finding an obscure record and then finding out as much as I can about it. The Eleven Pond / Pond / Red Violet trifecta (with their shared members and similar sounds) is a perfect example of a mysterious puzzle unfolding and being solved through research, tips, phone calls, and emails. Finding the frontman of Short Wave Mystery five years ago with only the first names on the back of the record cover was another high achievement in my hobby as a musical gumshoe. I would apply to become a record detective, but I don't think that job exists.
Sometimes, though, I'll discover a record that piuques my curiosity... and which completely frustrates me with its utter lack of information. Here is one such record, forwarded to me by Josh from Dark Entries (whose friend found it in a thrift store). I don't often share records I don't own, but I'm making an exception here.
This is a self-released LP, ostensibly from a German band in 1986. Ahhh, if only it was that easy. Josh's friend is German, and pointed out all the misspellings (most noticeably where it says "side swei" (even I know it's "zwei"!). OK, that's... interesting. So what? Well, there is also no GEMA copyright on the record or sleeve (although since it is DIY with silkscreened sleeves, who knows if one would have been necessary). After a bit of sleuthing myself, I located this record on an archive of US copyrights. So, perhaps this is a US-based band masquerading as a Germans? Moreover, this was found in a bin full of San Francisco new wave records - perhaps this record was released in my very own backyard, under my nose and the collective noses of the entire Bay Area?
Or are we just completely deluded in our suspicions about this release - after all, there are plenty of Americans who can't spell, so why can't there be poor-spelling Krauts? It's questions like these that drive me to find out more, more, MORE! Of course, there are no inserts. There are no personnel credits (not even on the sleeves). So, I'm sharing this record because A) it is an excellent album that's a cross between synthpop, experimental electronics, industrial, and darkwave, and B) perhaps somebody, somewhere can shed some light on this obscure, unknown release.
It's been solved already, by the very person who found this in the thrift store!
He looked further into the US copyright site at http://cocatalog.loc.gov.
He found a tape release from the band, which credits "Hans Schiller".
"I looked for Hans Schiller on Discogs - he's behind all the Kode IV stuff (industrial music).
Now check out the artwork of their first self released cassette: You see the exact same lines and airplanes, and the black & white font. The lines that I thought resembled a swastika are actually the number "4". Duhhhhh. Well, the bad news is that Hans Schiller died in 1994 according to the Discogs website. His partner's name is "Peter Ziegelmeier" (another German name). It looks like he runs "Ceiba Records" on Haight Street, which I am not familar with. I guess he'd be the one to talk to... Definitely Bay Area!!!"
So, I tip my hat to a record detective who is better than I. Great work, and maybe next time I pass Cieba Records on the way up to Amoeba, I'll bug Peter Ziegelmeier!
Kozmonaut: Fleig LP
1986, Vier Productions
A1 The Mann (English Version)
A3 Tidal Meditation
B1 Die Stimme Aus Dem Universum
B2 Arabisch Nacht
B3 Einer Kleiner Walzer
B4 Lieben Ist
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