DigitalZeitgeist

THE FACE OF TECHNO IN GERMANY TODAY
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TECHNOLOGY IN ART II

"Icons, Morphs & Samples" after all.

The era before "anything goes" is called Techno

I want to speak about the aesthetics of the German scene, especially the scene in Frankfurt. The Technoscene has little historical knowledge. Vinyl is still THE fetish, like the Multiple in 80ies art.The face of Techno with its clubs and raves, in contrary to the music side, has been stuck in the stone age. This remainder has its technological reasons. Production of grafix, fashion, flyers and CD-ROMs was hardly affordable until recently. Most flyers show sampled 60ies pop art.
Frankfurt morphed into new styles faster than any other German city - while paying homage to all-out capitalism. It was here when for the first time in Germany Techno changed to Trance, Ambient and Chill-Out. The XS-club had helped a lot in evolving music away from Hardcore -Techno, having morphed into a club on Mars as early as 1992, mainly through Station Roseęs Gunafa Clubbing. We found ourself in the future, exstatic, colorful, psychedelic, and digital. Rooms filled with computeranimations projected on giant screens replaced strobe-lit caves, and STRęs track "Modemocracy" together with Intelligent / Ambient Techno replaced Hardcore Techno, next to clubbers "virtual" clubbers joined us through the WELL and Internet. This first public Digital Wave lasted 1992 - 93, then the scene returned to the past.

The ambiance was back in the stone ages, in dungeons and industrial hangars filled with strobes and dry ice, smeared with analog paintings. The peak of the stone age has been celebrated in Berlin since 1994, while the scene in Frankfurt collapsed. Hardly any clubs stayed open, even the XS closed, almost no techno meetingpoints around for the Tschabo- and Ravehoernchen-society. Many artists left Frankfurt; others, like us, did not leave the studio at all, lived in Cyberspace or travelled, Digital Bohemian Lifestyle after all. (No year has been as digital for Station Rose as 1994; by producing 1 CD-ROM and 1 CDplus & our homepages.)

Yet Techno started so perfectly as a disembodied movement. The faceless face of Techno enabled the individual raver to get lost in a pulsating web of energy on the dance floor, to engage in nonverbal communication with others.

But the most extroverted DJs got trapped in the rock game, started playing the rockstar. They did not comprehend the de-personalized, decorating aesthetics of Techno. What started as "faceless" art, degenerated into a sort of heavy metal like ritual of self glorification. The return of the ego has finished off Techno within 2 years ! What remained were the "one nation / one tribe / one society / one family" - propaganda calls of the "Maydays". Time will tell if the German Techno - lobby will get off this track and if it will allow polytheism, or if it will carry on producing dorky hardcore, which would seal the fate of Techno in Germany.


at the end of chaper1: a fresh spirit is coming up in Frankfurt right now! In the summer of 95 the club XS reopened, now being called "BOX". GUNAFA CLUBBING/ INTERNET LOUNGE happened there this august, & was a big success. Here are the brandnew stills from this event:




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Next installment coming up soon!
stay Gunafa-tuned !
text, quicktake stills & artwork :Elisa Rose, May/September 1995.
english translation & soundz: Gary Danner
Hi8-videostills: Unreal/Axel Czarnecki
this text has been published full size in the book "TECHNO" edited by philipp anz + patrick walder, published by ricco bilger), in switzerland in 95.