‘Das Wasteland : Berlin Vol 1 and 2’  Various artists : fascinating comp of Berlin music‘Das Wasteland : Berlin Vol 1 and 2’

Various artists 

 vinyl /CD/DL

A fascinating document of the creative overdrive in Europe’s most fast forward city and a compilation of the weird, wonderful and engrossing.

Martyn Goodacre is the legendary photographer whose snaps in the NME helped to define the grunge and Britpop era and beyond. Some of his photos of Kurt Cobain have become iconic and you will see them on T-shirts everywhere.

In the past few years he has re-located to Berlin and with his love of music still intact he has put together this fastening document of the music culture in what is perhaps Europe’s most creative city.

What started off as a single, low-key Berlin-themed release, with local artists such as Drab City, Hello Pity, Martin Klang, Stony Sugarskull and Otto von Bismark, has morphed into a double gatefold, 17-track monster epic with pals like Tim Burgess getting berlin resident the legendary Anton Newcombe to remix is Doors Of Then and Art Brut donating Good Morning Berlin as well as cult hero King Khan track which has equal rights campaigner John Burl Smith reciting a heart-wrenching epic based on his Invaders movement – Smith was with Martin Luther King just before he was assassinated.

The also legendary Mark Reeder gave two tracks that he produced, the Chinese band, Stolen, and another with Alanas Chošnau, who is a Lithuanian singer and songwriter. Not forgetting the others: Berlin Diaries, Mustilide and a new Saint Leonard song and also features local luminaries including Stony Sugarskull, Hello Pity, Berlin Diaries and Otto Von Bismark, as well as international artists such as King Khan and Saint Leonard.

The album reflects the city that never sleeps and its equal measures of Hope and melancholy and is a patchwork of interesting sonic experiments from the names and a fascinating portal into all the arid and wonderful that bubbles away just below the surface in this most charismatic of cities.

As someone else aptly said, ‘this album is a sonic Polaroid of Berlin’s musical culture.’

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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