Saturday, 21 January 2017

STEREO TOTAL "DACTYLO ROCK (SEKRETÄRINNEN-ROCK)" (1996)

Wenn ich dich sehe KOMMA
Denke ich DOPPELPUNKT
Der Junge macht mir Kummer
Ich möchte PUNKT PUNKT PUNKT
Dass er mir sagt GÄNSEFÜSSCHEN
Bitte komm mit zu mir
Ja, wann denn FRAGEZEICHEN
Heute um PUNKT vier

Oh oh AUSRUFEZEICHEN, es wäre so schön
Ausruf AUSRUFEZEICHEN KLAMMER AUF, KLAMMER ZU
Oh oh AUSRUFEZEICHEN, es wäre so schön
Ich in deinen Armen, GÄNSEFÜSSCHEN und PUNKT

Heute um PUNKT vier
SEMIKOLON seh ich dich
Du wirst mich abholen
Dann machen wir BINDESTRICH
Du sagst zu mir GÄNSEFÜSSCHEN
Bitte komm mit zu mir
Wozu denn FRAGEZEICHEN
Es liegt allein an dir

Oh oh AUSRUFEZEICHEN, es wäre so schön
Ausruf AUSRUFEZEICHEN KLAMMER AUF, KLAMMER ZU
Oh oh AUSRUFEZEICHEN, es wäre so schön
Ich in deinen Armen, GÄNSEFÜSSCHEN und PUNKT


[From the lyrics of "Dactylo-Rock"]


"Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock)" 12" single, front

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 this 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 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.


"Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock)" 12" single, back

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.

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: Peace 95 took care about the release of the "Miau Miau" 7" EP, available here on Stereo Candies, while Little Teddy Recordings released "Dactylo Rock" in the form of a CD single.

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 and, as you already guessed, today is the subject of this post.


A picture taken during the same session the produced the "Dactylo Rock" CD-single cover, 1996


Here's the track list for this release:

01. Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock) (2:34)
02. Dactylo Rock (MS 20 Dactylo by Chrislo Haas) (2:22)
03. Dactylo Rock (Tijuana Dactylo by Sons of '68) (1:48)
04. Dactylo Rock (Atatak-Mix by A Certain Frank) (2:36)
05. Dactylo Rock (Dactylo Pop by Pop Tarts) (2:07)
06. Dactylo Rock (Hyper Modern Jazz Mix by Alec Empire) (4:10)
07. Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen Inferno by Le Hammond Inferno) (4:44)
08. Dactylo Rock (Bossa Dactylo by Sons of '68) (2:20)

All tracks were remastered from the original CD single and 12" vinyl release in January 2017, and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artworks.

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


"Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock)" CD single, front

The "Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock)" 12" single was one of the earliest records released by Bungalow, the great Pop and Electronica German label founded in the mid '90s by Marcus Liesenfeld and Holger Beier a.k.a. Le Hammond Inferno. Compared to the original CD single issued by Little Teddy Recordings, this release offers an improved track list, with a total of eight tracks instead of seven.

The record is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. The number of each copy is usually written on one of the white center-labels, but the copy in my possession is not numbered, so I speculate that a few more than 500 copies exist, or maybe not all of them were numbered... The colour of the vinyl itself, the transparent stickered sleeve and the limited pressing make it a nice collectable item anyway.

Side A opens with the original version of "Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock)", a track that has become a favourite during live concerts and perfectly expresses Stereo Total's ability to create simple but very effective little songs. The German lyrics written by Françoise Cactus offer many puns based on the names of punctuation marks as used in written and printed text, and the basic rhythm track is aptly performed on a... typewriter!

Chrislo Haas, best known as founder of the seminal act Liaisons Dangereuses and early member of Der Plan and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, delivers a minimal remix which, according to its title, features electronic sounds created with the glorious Korg MS-20 synthesizer. On the CD single this remix is entitled "Chrislos Sekretärin", but the version is just the same.

A "Tijuana Dactylo" version performed by the mysterious Sons of '68 follows. As per its title, the song is played in a Lo-Fi Mariachi style with a faster tempo and French lyrics. In my opinion Sons of '68 is just an alias for Stereo Total themselves... Of course I may be wrong, but this version sounds like a garage rehearsal with guest trumpeteers, and the voice belongs to Françoise Cactus beyond the shadow of a doubt...

First side ends with the "Atatak-Mix" created by A Certain Frank, who are no less than the founders of the German Ata Tak label. Their version is close to the original, but adds interesting tape-machine noises, samples and dance floor-friendly elements.


"Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock)" CD single, back

As first track on Side B we find "Dactylo Pop" by Pop Tarts, a now disbanded young Pop/Punk German band that we'll hopefully be able to feature on this blog in the future. Just like much of their early output, their contribution was recorded live in a Lower than Lo Lo-Fi mode, with rough samples layered on top... You can't help but have a fondness for them!

An "Hyper Modern Jazz Mix" by Alec Empire follows. This version is entitled "Ausrufezeichen" on the CD single track list, but it is the same mix... I must admit that I'm not a big fan of Empire, although I enjoyed some of his earliest work, "Generation Star Wars" above all. I find the 13/27 rhythm track (...or whichever its time signature is...) mostly irritating, and in my opinion the only tiny vocal element sampled from the original is not enough to call this a remix: it is a completely different track and, although variety is usually a positive element when you collect several remixes in a single release, it doesn't fit quite well with the rest of the material, sorry.

Le Hammond Inferno, a.k.a. the Bungalow Records bosses deliver their "Sekretärinnen Inferno" remix, which is a cavalcade through different music styles that also offer a sample of their, ehm... sampling techniques and subtle sense of humour. Well done!

The single ends with another version created by the Sons of '68, entitled "Bossa Dactylo". As the title implies, the song is played in a vague Bossa nova style. Once again this seems to be a live recording and the lyrics are sung in French. Strangely enough this version was not included on the CD single, but was later added as a bonus track on the "Oh Ah" CD released by Bungalow in 1998, along with the aforementioned "Dactylo Pop" version created by Pop Tarts.

Here's the short credits list that appears on the CD single:

Mastering: C-Sa

Cover by Sabina Maria Van Der Linden.

Photo by Thomas Purwin.

Berlin '96


"Dactylo Rock (Sekretärinnen-Rock)" CD single, disc

The following clips offers a preview of the remastered single, enjoy four "Dactylo Rock" remixes by Chrislo Haas, A Certain Frank, Le Hammond Inferno and Sons of '68!









As a bonus, here's the original videoclip for "Dactylo Rock"...



...and a 2013 live performance of the same song filmed in Leipzig, enjoy!





More information about Bungalow and Stereo Total is available here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20130911023255/http://www.bungalow.de/index3.html

http://www.discogs.com/label/1125-Bungalow

http://rateyourmusic.com/label/bungalow_records/

http://stereototal.de

http://stereototal.stereototal.de

http://monokini.free.fr/index.html

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Stereo+Total

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereo_Total

http://www.facebook.com/StereoTotal

http://www.myspace.com/stereototal

http://soundcloud.com/stereototal


If you have any other useful information about Stereo Total - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

5 comments:

  1. DOWNLOAD LINK

    https://mega.nz/#!ENN...

    If you download this file please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know if the link is broken and I'll do my best to quickly fix it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. excellent music , excellent blog
    thank you
    Armand
    from beyond

    ReplyDelete
  3. How I love this band and the different versions of this song—I had the single 20 years ago but then lost it. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. this was one of the favorites of Jürgen Kuttner in his "blue moon" call-in show at tuesday nights on Berlin radio "fritz" (name of the station).
    at least he played it a lot at the time . great song. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey, thanks for your comments! More Stereo Total soon!!!

    ReplyDelete

Be nice, keep it clean, stay on topic, no spam, thank you!!!

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