Gorilla Aktiv- Umsonst Ohne Risiko WAS SOLL DAS SCHALLPLATTEN LP
My favourite underground NDW find of late and a fine example of how us music bloggers work. Thank FM Shades first for this one. I knew nothing about this group until the excellent Nur Für Erwachsene 7" post, which was a response to the style of music posted here. Since then, I've tracked down a rip and upped the full re-issued Umsonst Ohne Risiko collection, partly to return the favour. These reissues were so absurdly limited in quantity that they are now collector's items themselves (all 300 copies of this one sold out quick). So 2003's Nur Für Erwachsene 7" and 2005's Umsonst Ohne Risiko LP can now rightfully be heard both here and at FM Shades. These two were compiled by a fellow record obsessive Franck, founder of the Punk-Disco database, and released on his Was Soll Das Schallplatten reissue label. These gather all the Gorilla Aktiv cassette material released between 1982 and 1983, the two years in which they operated, even including the third demo previously deemed lost. Having done my homework like a good boy, I can now reveal to you, in English, the full Gorilla Aktiv story.
Formed in 1982, Gorilla Aktiv (formerly known as Bex and then Fingerfarben) were Tommi Eckart, Nick Deinhardt, and Ian Moorse, an unsigned New Wave trio from Munich. Tommi Eckart was initially a member of Munich punk rockers Alternative Arschlöcher (featuring Lorenz Lorenz), which translates exactly as you thought it might. Once the DIY cassette movement hit its stride in the early 1980s, Tommi teamed up with Nick Deinhardt in 1981 to produce a homemade C-20 cassette of industrial-electronic music under the name Der Kohlenklau. This material can now be found on an LP reissue from 2003, another collectable Was Soll Das Schallplatten re-release.
Ian Moorse, the son of film producer George Moorse, was an actor. His roles included a part in Eckhart Schmidt's psychological-horror Der Fan (1982), a cult movie about a girl's obsession and love for a German New Wave pop singer turned nasty! Music-wise, Moorse was initially a member of Lorenz Schröter's Lorenz Lorenz performance group, their most famous piece being '3 Minuten Ei', three minutes of Lorenz screaming 'egg', a performance of which was included in Richard L. Wagner's (Sounds writer) Dreiklangsdimensionen Teil 1 & 2: Dokumentation über die Neue Deutsche Musik, a TV documentary from 1982 for BR (Bavarian television), which allegedly received many viewer complaints. A performance of '3 Minuten Ei' from the Kreuzberg SO 36 venue can be found on the Berlin Super 80 DVD. Lorenz's 'Honecker In Cambodia' can be heard here. Moorse co-wrote Elaste with Lorenz himself, the self-announced 'King of Munich', which was the group's fanzine from the late 1970s. Moorse could later be found jamming with No-Wavers Mauvais Temps, and also writing, with Richard L. Wagner, on the controversial state of the fashion and music scene in Munich in 1982, for Sounds magazine. Here is the original article.
Gorilla Aktiv debuted in 1982 on the underground cassette circuit with a homemade C-10 tape, labeled Die Andere Seite ('The Other Side'), for their own Va Bene fanzine. It featured four songs, reissued as 2003's limited edition Nur Für Erwachsene 7", and now available for download at FM Shades. A second tape known only as 12/82 (No Aarhus No.5), was dubbed the following year on a C-20, which sold mainly on the underground cassette market in Denmark. This excellent material is gathered on Franck's wonderful but absurdly limited (in terms of quantity) Umsonst Ohne Risiko LP collection, released last year, including the unreleased third demo tape (scroll down for download). I'm amazed this did not reach vinyl back in the day. Every track here has a real bite and edge to it, and, with a respectful nod to DAF, shows just how well the punk influence lent itself to the electronic New Wave. In 1982, the group were included on Michael Tesch's Spex tape sampler Die Vizeweltmeister ('The Vice-World Champions'), and Lorenz's own München Ist Die Beste Stadt Der Welt! ('Munich Is The Best City In The World!') compilation, featuring the earlier Der Kohlenlau and Mauvais Temps material from the local punk scene.
Gorilla Aktiv disbanded by 1986, playing their farewell gig at the Tanzlokal Größenwahn venue. Tommi Eckhardt went on to produce hits for Andreas Dorau such as 'Demokratie' and 'Das Telefon sagt Du', before finding fame in the 1990s as a dance producer, and, secondly, as the male half of pop duo 2raumwohnung. For all the long lost NDW cassette releases of the era, you can scroll agonisingly through Franck's collection, but bear in mind there was a good reason (hopefully, surely?) the majority of these were neglected and long forgotten. I can't help thinking something tells me otherwise. (