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Stumm

by Detlef Funder & Bernd Sevens.

With this release TAL delves deep into the very beginnings of Düsseldorf’s post punk scene of the early 1980s. STUMM was the duo of Detlef Funder and Bernd Sevens who both would become pivotal figures in the tape underground movement of West-Germany, when they launched the SDV label in 1986. Individually they went on to produce boundary defying works as Konrad Kraft and Seventh Day respectively.

releases May 26, 2023

The material on this album was recorded by Funder and Sevens quite casually in 1980 in a rehearsal studio in the centre of Düsseldorf. Right from the beginning the two young musicians incorporated the atmosphere of the space in order to document the process of their sound experiments on a 4-track tape machine. For those recording sessions, which are now released for the first time ever on vinyl and download, Funder and Sevens managed to get their hands on a very rudimentary set of equipment consisting of merely a Korg MS 20 synth, a Roland CR 78 drum machine, a few electronic effects and a drum kit. The urgent and rough sound of the recordings imbues their production with a characteristic and era-specific edge that’s hard to imitate today. Spontaneity and understatement were key elements in the brief creative period of STUMM. The recordings still have a uniquely dizzying quality and are somewhat of a basic blueprint for a lot of industrial/techno and post punk which was about to loom in all corners of the world. These tracks are also a testament to the vivid spark of a period in time that would soon be radically changed through the rise of digital technology.

Bernd Sevens: “Around 1980 there was a great musical awakening. Punk, New Wave, Industrial and of course Dub Reggae — the electronic music blew us away. Everything we heard influenced us. Back then, cassette tapes were cheap and easily available. We could record our ideas on the spot and then copy and distribute the tapes. That’s how it started. Giving it a go, experimenting, trial and error. The music you hear on the record was spontaneous and had no concept. Our collaboration was also not intended to be a permanent project. You could say we were dilettantes setting out on our journey, making it up as we went along. It felt like a beginning.”