All of your favorites, in one place.
ALU's inception as descendants of the psychedelic group Sand, founded by Ludwig Papenberg and Johannes Vester, comes in 1980. Their first single "Bitte Warten Sie!" appears on their own label Der Letzte Schrei! in 1981. Even on these early recordings, the project's sonic orientation is discernible: sequencer-driven, simplistic rhythmic structures layered over fragments of free text, a common thread tracing ALU's musical contours through various successive metamorphoses. Although the band emerged from Berlin's cassette underground, their brittle sound is closer to the likes of Nocturnal Emissions or Cabaret Voltaire in England than to their German counterparts. The first realignment came in 1981 when vocalist Nadja Molt joined the group. Her voice cuts deep furrows into the tracks, at times lurking ominously in the background, elsewhere virtually exploding out of certain tracks. Logged by the band as ALU II, this phase fails to produce any studio recordings, but two live LPs Störfaktor I - Alus Riskantes Experiment 31.7.81 im Risiko (1981) and Licht (1982) survive as audible witnesses. Ludwig Papenberg left before 1982 reached its conclusion; Vester and Molt continued as a duo, now called ALU III, resolutely pursuing the principles of concentrated improvisation and maximum creative autonomy. On the live cassette, Geistige Erneuerung (1983), the band outlined their philosophy, "We aim to store as many sounds, noise and rhythmic frameworks as possible in our synthesizers and drum machines as we allow them to unfold naturally when we play live. Words and vocals are snapshots, spontaneous phenomena." Two other cassettes were released the same year, Ungesunde Traumbilder and Attrition/Alu. These proved to be the final studio recordings before ALU exited the scene with a concert at Fabrik in Hamburg, entitled Performance und kein Ende in 1986. The ALU oeuvre thus covers seven years of divergent creativity, yet the group's inner compass never wavers. ALU represent understated understatement, their music touching on genres such as electro, techno or IDM which would only materialize years later. Repetitive sequences sound like taut loops, their frequencies tuned to allow the original sample to shine through in skeletal fashion. Die Vertreibung der Zeit is more than a mere historical document; in order to understand the bigger picture of contemporary club culture, this collection is an essential piece of the puzzle.