Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Six Degrees of Sauerkraut -- Part V: Das Böse Zwillinge

One night after an early 70s Tangerine Dream show in Zürich, Klaus Schulze, Edgar, and I were walking the pre-dawn streets, tripping on JJ-180. As the sun rose, two little Kinder ran up to us, offering to shine our boots, and begging for money. Klaus stopped in his tracks and asked the two little ones why they were up so early? Where were their parents? As it so happened, the two children were orphans, twins in fact. 

Klaus, claiming he had seen a vision of the future, decided he would take the two children back to Berlin, which he promptly did after adopting them. He named the boy Phaedra Jumbotron (or P.J. for short) and the girl, Stella (after his beloved Großmutter). 

P.J. and Stella were raised during the electronic revolution, by the Godfather of the scene. He loved them very much. However, as the twins reached their teenage years they grew disenchanted with Klaus' electronic meanderings. They longed for a more structured sound. So in 1980, they ran away to Düsseldorf, where they recorded their own album, Psychotron, with Thomas Dinger. They called themselves Schaltkreis Wasserman.

Klaus never forgave P.J. and Stella for their poppier sounds, and has since referred to them as the "Das Böse Zwillinge," or "the Evil Twins" in English. They became the German Electric Underground scene's Tomax and Xamot. However. Psychotron was a true masterpiece and foresaw the direction electronic music was heading in the 80s and beyond. My favorite track on the album is "Zeit Un Raum" which means "Pass the chilie." Check it out by clicking on the title of this post. You can actually hear how Schulze did exert some residual influence on the sound. It's sad he couldn't see beyond his own wounded pride. This was a sound that was still pushing the boundaries in its own way. Such a tragic tale, such a fine piece of glimmerlight musik.

Pass die Bohnen!

1 comment:

PJ Wassermann said...

Hey, the Evil Twins are alive and kicking - Schaltkreis Wassermann is back on stage!
The Schaltkreis website