Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Thank you Gene for your unforgettable charachters, you will always shine bright in my memory as an essential source of inspiration!

Friday, 5 August 2016


Du bist schön von Hinten
mit ein paar Metern Entfernung
Schön bist du im Nebel, wenn du gehen musst
Bitte, bleibe nicht bei mir
Zeig mir deinen Rücken
Am Schönsten bist du, wenn du gehen musst

Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich,wie soll ich, mich nach dir sehnen
wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets bei mir bist?
Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich mich nach dir sehnen?
Jeden Tag, jede Nacht, jeden Tag, jede Nacht bist du bei mir

Löse dich in Luft auf
Hiterlass keine Spuren
Zeig, wie du aussiehst, wenn du nicht mehr bist
Ich bedanke mich herzlich
Ich hatte viel Spaß mit dir
Aber ohne dich war es auch nicht schlecht
Vielleicht besser sogar

Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich,wie soll ich, mich nach dir sehnen
wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets bei mir bist?
Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich mich nach dir sehnen?
Jeden Tag, jede Nacht, jeden Tag, jede Nacht bist du bei mir

Schick mir ein Foto von dir
Oder eine Postkarte
Geh, es ist vorbei

[from the lyrics of "Schön von Hinten"]

Bungalow Records was a Pop / Electronica label founded in 1996 by Berliner DJs Holger Beier and Marcus Liesenfeld, a.k.a. Le Hammond Inferno:

«We have always been passionate about music, towards the end of the '80s we started playing in an indie band and DJing at the same time, combining our strong passions for Pop and Dance music. That was a very fertile period for the Club scene in Germany and we were very busy organizing a series of parties that have entered into the history of German clublife. Parties attended by Saint Etienne, Towa Tei of Deee-Lite, Stereolab... At that point we ended up being a reference point and many people were interested in the creation of a label. We actually had never thought about it, but our encounter with Christof Ellinghaus of City Slang has made this possibility a reality. We founded Bungalow and slowly we tried to learn how to manage a record label.»

[from an interview published on Blow Up magazine, issue #26/27, July 2000]

For a few years, until the early '00s, Bungalow was a very prolific and cool label. Their compilations "Sushi 3003" / "Sushi 4004" marked the first time a western indie label delved into the cutting edge Japanese Club-Pop scene:

«...the initial spark was the moment we listened to "Twiggy Twiggy" by Pizzicato Five and later Towa Tei's "Future Listening". We were hearing a new, never heard craziness in playing around with Pop music. The first thing that came to our simple minds was: there must be more. So we contacted journalist and Nippon-Mania-Man Olaf Maikopf and had the quite naive idea to travel to Japan and put together a compilation of modern Japanese Club-Pop. After running through the streets of Tokyo for some 10 days, meeting about 35 record companies and even more bands, we were totally confused and had to carry tons of CDs and LPs back home (much to the pleasure of the Lufthansa customs agents). Back home we slept for a month and then compiled "Sushi 3003" as an introduction to Japanese Club-Pop and concentrated on giving a wide overview of what has been going on in Tokyo in the last 10 years.»

[from the "Sushi 4004" liner notes, 1998]

Bungalow gave us the chance to (re)discover the soundtrack works of German composer Peter Thomas; they also licensed most of Combustible Edison releases in Europe and brought Stereo Total to international success and fame, album after album.

Among others, they released lovely CDs by Czerkinsky, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Yoshinori Sunahara and Bertrand Burgalat, and other little wonders from the German underground like Pop Tarts, Dauerfisch, Mina... For this and all the rest, thank you Bungalow!

The "Pool Series" was a... series of 12" records that explored the more Dance-oriented side of the label. They were released in a simple brown cardboard sleeve with a sticker containing all the pertinent details.

The cover design was changed at a later stage, and the last five issues offered a different design, with all information printed directly on the sleeves and no sticker at all.

The second issue in the series was Stereo Total's "Schön von Hinten", released in 1997. The single was also published on CD - with a different track order - in the regular Bungalow catalogue.

Althought the remastered tracks presented here use the CD single as source, they are sequenced according to the track list of the original 12" vinyl release:

01. Schön von Hinten (Rimini Mix by Brezel Göring) (2:37)
02. Schön von Unten (Andreas Dorau, Michel und DJ It) (4:37)
03. The Other Side of You (Momus & Laila France) (4:23)
04. Schön von Hinten (Halb-Remix by Hermann Halb) (3:14)
05. Schön von Hinten (Sons of '68 & Jan Bontempi) (2:36)
06. Schön von Hinten (Original) (2:49)

All tracks were remastered in August 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

"Schön von Hinten" seems to be a sort of farewell song and at the same time looks like a praise to a man's butt... Uhm, which of the two... Maybe both?

Side A opens with the "Rimini Mix" by Brezel Göring. Curiously enough, at the beginning of the song you can listen to Françoise Cactus speaking Italian announcing that «This song is by Stereo Total and is entitled "You're Beautiful From Behind"»... This remix turns the original into a cheap dance anthem and I can easily imagine it being spinned in some clubs during the most drunken hours somewhere on the Adriatic Riviera...

In their "Schön von Unten", Andreas Dorau (...of Die Doraus Und Die Marinas fame...) along with the mysterious DJ It and a certain Michel, opt for an 8bit treatment and I must admit that I don't like it that much, no.

Side B opens with the beautiful reinterpretation by veteran Momus & Laila France. The original is given new lyrics, both in English and French, and is a small educated masterpiece. A lesson to learn for everyone dealing with a remix duty.

Hermann Halb's "Halb-Remix" uses a few effects to create a feeling of estrangement, but musically I wouldn't say that it's quite interesting as it doesn't add much to the original.

In my opinion Sons of '68 & Jan Bontempi is an alias for Stereo Total themselves... Of course I may be wrong, but their version sounds like a garage rehearsal and the voice belongs to Françoise Cactus beyond the shadow of a doubt...

The record ends with the original song as heard on the album "Monokini". With the exception of the aforementioned Momus & Laila France cover, and despite the various remix treatments, I believe that this is still the best version and one of the trademark songs of the early Stereo Total. Now, if only I could figure out where that percussion loop was sampled from...

A short Stereo Total biography 1993-1997 is available here below. The following clips offer a preview of the remastered 12"/CD single; the promotional videoclip of the original version of "Schön von Hinten" is also included as a bonus, enjoy!

During winter 1992-93, Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring were living in the same neighborhood in Berlin and the legend has it that they casually met while shopping in a bakery in Adalbertstraße.

Françoise was about to close her experience with the French girl-garage-punk-R’n'R-Band Lolitas (...they released six albums in Germany and France and toured all over Europe and America, for more information about them have a look here...) and Brezel was keeping himself busy with an Experimental-noise-copyright-ignoring-tapeloop-soundeffects project called Sigmund Freud Experience (...he released three vinyl records under this guise, 100 copies each...).

In 1993 they started playing together. Their first recording was a ten minute cooking-recipe, in which all ingredients had sexual connotations. The recording is sadly lost... In 1994 they started rehearsaling and recording in Hamburg at the Alien Sound Studio of Peter Stein, and began to perform concerts in small venues in Berlin and Germany.

In those early days, the band logo consisted of two tits that were originally painted on a mix-tape Françoise made for Brezel entitled "Stereo Total", and I easily guess this is how the band's name was born... The logo was later shown on the backside of their first album "Oh Ah"; here you can have a look at the inlay-card of the CD version.

At that time the line-up included Françoise (vocals and drums), Brezel (vocals, guitar, organ and synthesizers) and Lesley Campell from Scotland (distorted guitar). With their unusual mix of music influences and languages, it wasn't easy then to find a record label... The band used to play French Chanson, Disco, Rockabilly and Garage in a very minimal, simplified, essential way, often with self-built guitars and cheap electronics; lyrics were both written in French and German.

At last, in 1995 Desert Records released their first 7" EP entitled "Allo... J'ecoute...", available here on Stereo Candies. This single is strongly linked to Lolitas, in fact the track "Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais" was recorded in New Orleans by Alex Chilton - who had produced the group's "Fusée d'amour" back in 1989 - and "Avec ma valise" was originally included on "Séries Américaines" in 1987.

During the same year, Palestinian bassist Ghazi Barakat, a.k.a. Iznogood - ex member of the Hardcore / Experimental combo Burst Appendix - joined in and for some time the band became a quartet.

Schön von Hinten" was also released as a CD single with a different track order...

In January 1996, Stereo Total finally released their first album entitled "Oh Ah", which included tracks recorded during 1994 and 1995 at the aforementioned Alien Sound Studio in Hamburg, and a lot of 4-track home recordings.

The CD version of the album was published in Germany by Peace 95, while the vinyl edition came in the form of a 2.000 copies limited edition LP on Little Teddy Recordings; these were divided into four different colours, with respectively 500 copies in black, translucent red, translucent blue and clear translucent.

The album spawned two singles which, once again, were divided equally betweeen the labels: Little Teddy Recordings released "Dactylo Rock" in the form of a CD single that included remixes by - among others - Chrislo HaasA Certain FrankAlec Empire and Le Hammond Inferno, while Peace 95 took care about the release of the "Miau Miau" 7" EP, which also included a few unreleased numbers and is available here.

At the same time, a 500 copies white label 12" blue vinyl of "Dactylo Rock" marked the beginning of Stereo Total's tenure at Bungalow. Compared to the original CD single, the 12" offered an improved track list. Its printed transparent sleeve and the limited pressing make it a collector's item.

Before the end of the year, after a tour through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland the band split and Stereo Total became a duo again... In 1997 Angie Reed started collaborating with Françoise and Brezel, and her name became officially associated with the group when their second full-lenght work, entitled "Monokini", was released.

"Schön von Hinten", one of the most memorable tracks on the album, was issued as a single - both as a 12" vinyl and CD - and is the subject of this post.

Stereo Total 1997: Françoise Cactus, Brezel Göring and Angie Reed

More information about Bungalow Records and Stereo Total is available here:












The "Pool Series" will continue in the next months. All your inputs are welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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