Die Atlantikschwimmer - 1985 MLP
Another feat of grand archival work from Statik Age, who seem to specialise in digging up lost artefacts from Europe's rich post-punk landscape. Die Atlantikschwimmer were loosely tied to the legendary Zickzack label, though like a great deal of the Neue Deutsche Welle scene, seem to have been lost to time. Their commitment to German language lyrics no doubt isolated them from a wider UK audience, though there's plenty accessible in lead singer Horst Toe's songwriting, favouring a similarly gothic brand of post-punk pop to that of The Sound, Five or Six, Xmal Deutschland++. What marked Die Atlantikschwimmer as their own proposition was the prominence of the accordion, a necessity born of an ongoing injury to Toe that curtailed his guitar playing. It's an interesting substitution, immediately speaking to their European heritage, but also turning them away from their synthpop contemporaries of the mid 80s - why the accordion and not keyboards? A poor commercial decision perhaps, but one that also makes them sound a little more alien as a result, an unintentional doubling down on their already outsider status, like a Strozsek of NDW. Punk histories stretch ever outwards...
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