Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Ata Tak, 1979; available with bonus tracks
CD: 18 tracks, 59:48
Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke began his career in Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (specifically on PRODUKT DER...) and ended up dividing his time between his solo work and Der Plan. This, the second release on the Dahlke-founded Ata Tak (again, after PRODUKT DER...!), is his first solo venture. Unlike the later AUSLAND, this finds Pyrolator completely on his own. His arsenal of machines is quite impressive - an early Italian synth, an organ, a Korg MS20, two mics, and a tape setup. Interestingly, this completely instrumental album was intended as a protest piece against prevailing cultural views in Germany! The pieces themselves cover a lot of ground in a krautrock-influenced industrial way. The four "Inland" tracks, as well as "Minimal Tape 1/2.3", are surprisingly harsh masterpieces of early synth noise. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are the dreamy ambient "Minimal Tape 1/8" and a couple of catchy synthpop numbers (my favorite of these is "Danger Cruising", which sounds remarkably like its name). "Bärenstrasse" and "Nordatlantik" round out the stylistic diversity with pioneering bits of dark ambience. The six bonus tracks are very worthwhile as well, with the droning "Die Einsamkeit Des Langstreckenläufers", "Struktur 01" and "Struktur 22" being particularly delightful. Most of these were recorded prior to INLAND, but soundwise they are along similar lines. While this is much more minimal (and nowhere near as lighthearted) than anything else Pyrolator ever did, it's a wonderful and enjoyable slice of eccentricity. It's also my favorite Pyrolator solo release, but nervous fans might want to start with AUSLAND or Der Plan's GERI REIG before going INLAND.