Alu: Autismenschen CD

C.I.P. is extremely honored to present this release by Alu, a German electronic band from the early 1980s. For a loose music analogy, think Suicide, Esplendor Geometrico, or Throbbing Gristle and you'd be in the right ballpark. I initially contacted the members of Alu about reissuing their amazing live LP, "Licht." They said they had an unreleased first studio LP they would be more interested in releasing, and how did that sound to me? It sounded like one of the most incredible opportunities I've had presented to me.
In his liner notes to this CD, David Tibet--who was key in reissuing recordings by Sand (which featured two members of Alu)--says: "Moving savagely away from [Sand's] trippy, inner-space explorations, ALU inhabited a colder, more paranoiac country than their predecessors. Yet [with Sand] I hear the beginnings of the alienated schizophrenia that comes so intensely to the fore in the material released by ALU during their brief life, as well as on this remarkably unsettling album that was, until now, never released.... ALU possessed a sharp, cutting and motorised beat with the guttural sound of those at war with anything around them. The hallucinations of SAND had given way to something far colder, far darker. Harsh, uncomfortable, arrhythmic within its own metronomic rhythm, loveless yet full of passion, ALU were, like SAND, unjustly overlooked--almost forgotten. Perhaps in these apocalyptic, crepuscular years their time has, at last, come."
If you have ever enjoyed German experimental music from the late 70s to early 80s, this will unquestionably be of interest to you. And, for aficionados, there will be an extremely limited edition (50 copies) available exclusively through the C.I.P. website which come with an *original* vinyl copy of the "Licht" LP (from 1982).
No need to be ashamed if you have never heard of Alu, a German trio, that came from the band Sand. Their 'Golem' LP was one of the classic krautrock records of the seventies and later on released by World Serpent on CD. After Sand broke up, Johannes Vester and Ludwig Papenberg formed Alu, sometimes together with Nadja on vocals. They released two LPs, one 7" and two cassettes, in the period 1981-1985. I remember owning one of the LPs and the 7" (don't know why not anymore, but that's a different story), which had a strong rhythm-box, synth, guitar and vocals, all in a pretty raw fashion - world's apart from the Sand sound. 'Autismenschen' is not a re-issue of any of the old stuff, but rather the first LP that was never released, from 1981, except for two tracks, 'Bitte Warten Sie' and 'Liebe Machen' (which is a cover of 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' from Willie Dixon), which are now included on this CD too of course. In recent years there have been many young musicians wo rking in 'electro' music, the synth-rhythmbox stuff from the eighties, but you may call me a retro freak, I prefer the old stuff, like Alu, or The Screamers or Suicide, with whom Alu has in common that they both combined the speed and energy of the punk rock, combined with analogue synthesizer stuff. Some of the more lengthy pieces, such as 'Halt Dich Fest' sound, with lenghty guitar doodlings show their krautrock background, but Alu is at their best in their shorter pieces: a screamy voice, full of doomsday paranoia, a continuous rhythm-box, simple melodies on the organ and guitar in a distorted mood. The real stuff that can't be beaten by a groove-box and microphone. The best re-discovery of 2005!--Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly


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