Kommando Stuhlgeist Ton Steine Scherben Family K.I.Z.
at the House of World Cultures
Kommando Stuhlgeist Their bands were named 3tot or Keine Ahnung, Die Firma or ichfunktion, Herbst in Peking or Frigitte Hodenhorst Mundschenk. Or Magdalene Keibel Combo, after the streets where the Stasi headquarters and People’s Police Presidium were located. In 1987, they met in a cellar in East Berlin for the musical collaboration that they sometimes give the name Kommando Stuhlgeist. Andrea Hüber-Rhone, Trötsch, Jens-Uwe Haupt, Benno Verch, Key Pankonin, Jacob Enderlein, Egon Kenner, and Bert Papenfuß come from the “magnetic tape underground” of communist East Germany. At the beginning of the 1980s, a subcultural scene formed there in living rooms, garden plots, and churches – comprising Punk-inspired musicians, samizdat authors, and performative visual artists. The musicians tinkered with new sounds, self-built instruments, and recording equipment consisting of simple cassette decks. The style mixtures ranged from “Avant Punk” through New Wave and electronic experiments to Dub. The texts meandered, like the band names, between playful nonsense as a refuge, encoded criticism, and simple scorn. The cassette, the magnetic tape, was the medium for a subversive disregard for the system. What was created musically at that time still has its effects today – in the “Trashfoodpunk’n’Roll” of ichfunktion and the brutal German-Metal of Rammstein.
Ton Steine Scherben Family “Keine Macht für Niemand” – “No Power for No One”… this song by the “Scherben” (“shards”) was the anthem of a whole or at least half a generation after 1968. ”Macht kaputt, was Euch kaputt macht” (“Destroy What Destroys You”) – with this song, Ton Steine Scherben became the leading band of a leftist, alternative political spectrum. It accompanied hundreds of demonstrations and political actions. This band shaped German-language rock, anticipated Punk, and gave the New German Wave powerful impulses. In the mid-1970s, when TSS with its front man Rio Reiser developed ever subtler lyrics and music, with jazz and folk elements, they continued to make their hopes for changes clear. A new folk music remained their goal, one that would sing of social realities and utopias, rather than of sanctimonious contentment. About 20 years after the band dissolved and a decade after Rio Reiser’s death, the music commune Ton Steine Scherben is back on the stage as a family. “Every sentence that the Scherben ever sang is still true,” Jan Müller of Tocotronic recently opined, but one couldn’t present it the same way today. The media critiques of the first TSS Family performances see things differently: they speak of goose bumps from the first chords and of contents that are more timely than ever in a globalized world.
K.I.Z. Their nom de guerre stands for “Cannibals in Plainclothes” or “War Criminals in Straitjackets”, alias “Artists in Prison”. Their album “Rapdeutschlandkettensägenmassaker” (“RapGermanyChainsawMassacre”), with what may be the longest title in German Rap history, created as much of a furor as their mix CD “Böhse Enkelz”. The crew from Kreuzberg district calls itself a “ghetto boy group”, which is as far beyond seriousness and irony as their lyrics are: “I only want to demonstrate against war for promo reasons. I want fur coats from endangered species, fans who have their faces operated into mine” these cannibals rap on the track “Wir werden jetzt Stars” (“Now We’re Becoming Stars”). €8000, Tarek, Maxim, and DJ Craft say they promote understanding between nations; after all, even Punks dance the Pogo at their performances. The goal of their lyrics and their cooking shows with pork and beef halves: “We want Hartz 5” (the next version of social welfare).
6 p.m. Rage, Music, and Resistance: discussion with members of Kommando Stuhlgeist, Ton Steine Scherben Family and K.I.Z. more...
from 7p.m. films: Cries and Whispers - a Rock Report / Die Erben der Scherben (The Heirs of the Shards) more...