The Foreign Correspondent – Stories About German Rock Music # 24

Just two months ago I have written in this series about the so-called Hamburg school. And Dirk has rightly asked, why I have mentioned Tocotronic with no word in this connection. The reason is easy: Tocotronic are worth to be written it only about them. They released their first record nearly 20 years ago and I have to agree to Dirk that this one is a masterpiece.

They are angry young men of the German Indie pop, the model boys of the so-called Hamburg school – Tocotronic count to the most important German tape of the 90s.
In the end of 1993 the Hamburg punk musicians Jan Müller (bass guitar), Arne Zank (percussion) and the guitarist incurred from Freiburg and singer Dirk von Lowtzow found Tocotronic (named after a Gameboy precursor) and begin with it a pop phenomenon of nearly British magnitude. The Hamburg music scene numb at that time in selfreference celebrates the first concerts the volume like a revelation: The unconventional hairstyles, the corduroys, sportjacket-style, the politeness of the announcements are appreciated and admired.

The tape publishes published by the author Rock-O-Tronic a single whose title line “I Would want part of A youth movement being” short time later on house walls and in a Blumfeld song finds again. Over Blumfeld head Jochen Distelmeyer originates the contact with the label L’Age D’Or which takes over the distribution of the single and accompanying T-shirts.

In the beginning of ’95 the debut album appears ‘Digitally Is better‘ and puts a landmark in the German-speaking Indie pop history: Trashy Post-Grunge à la Dinosaur Jr., moving-melancholy snapshots of the youth everyday life provide with identification-donating texts, partly punkiges Sloganeering, partly. The pop-intellectual press cheers at the expression of a new generation and this time the generation sees also in such a way: A 2-week club tour carries the name Tocotronic about the town borders of Hamburg in the consciousness of young, furious people.

For me her political statements were far less important than her music. About the years away the tape has developed steadily and has added to her formerly guitar-oriented sound a melancholy mark.

Tocotronic – Freiburg
Tocotronic – Wir sind hier nicht in Seattle, Dirk (Dirk, we are not here in Seattle)
Tocotronic – Digital ist besser (Digitally is better)
Tocotronic – Let there be rock
Tocotronic – Pure Vernunft darf niemals sterben (Pure reason may never win)


One thought on “The Foreign Correspondent – Stories About German Rock Music # 24

  1. Yes, (their debut LP is) a mighty record indeed, Walter! To me, 'Seattle' is the best song on it …. and this is not because it is namechecking me …

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