Zwischenfall :: Heute EP (Dark Entries)

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(April 2010) Some records make you grimace; any music zealot has been there. You hear a snippet, Youtube, in a mix, wherever, and immediately fall head over heels for it. A b-line for Discogs.com uncovers it’s $200. The patient eBay rummaging route is a possibility, but that can take years. It seems that this must have record will never be had. Or will it? Zwischenfall’s Heute EP is one of “those” records. Thankfully a record label has seen fit to re-issue this new wave gem, Dark Entries.

Zwischenfall are of that new wave elite. The group had only two releases and by the time the second was released their sound had become studio polished, losing the power and energy of their first. Heute was released on Front 242’s short lived Mask label. The 12″ opens with “Atemlos.” The track is a blend of upbeat snares and downbeat vocals with arching synthlines creating an apprehensive juxtaposition. “Heimatlose” is a quirky post punk piece. Light key taps and brass blend over rippling lyrics. “Millionen” is arguably one of the tracks of the EP. Powerful and uncertain the track is emblematic of how before their time this 1982 outfit were. Cutting lyrics slice through synthesizer and snare leaving the listener in the mood for more. Thankfully the b-side doesn’t disappoint. “Flucht” is an equal contender for the track of the EP, some might remember it from Intergalactic Gary’s Sistema Intergalactico. A synthesizer rawness exists throughout with guttural lyrics. It is a piece that epitomises the downtrodden energy of the early new wave artists. The track would later be completely revamped for Zwischenfall’s second EP, losing almost all of its positive aspects in the clinical production process. Dark Entries have managed to secure two unreleased tracks for the 12″ too. The first, “Tausend Jahre,” is a measured blend of guitars and electronics. The production of the original has been cleaned up by George Horn at Fantasy Studios but keeps old of the grit of the original sound. The final track on the 12″ is a really nice addendum, “Katastrophe;” the demo of “Flucht.” The synthlines are there, but pitched down with different vocals, always interesting to see the birth and early development of a great piece.

Sadly my German isn’t up to much. Zwischenfall, depending on context, translates into either an event or an accident. It’s interesting to look at the group bordering these antonymous lines, as their sound is along such boundaries of non-definition. Zwischenfall were trailblazers though they more than likely never wanted to be. They are a group endemic of great music at the cusp of new wave. Their music was, to a great extent, made without insider influence, mainly because their weren’t many influences out there. Patrick Codenys of Front 242 probably saw this, and that’s why the EP saw the light of vinyl. It has been twenty seven years since this visionary 12″ was released. It sounds even more groundbreaking today.

Heute EP is out now on Dark Entries.

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