GDR from below - Punk Album
'DDR von unten' (GDR from below) was the first punk album produced in the GDR and brought clandestinely to West Berlin. This record is one of the few albums which is recognized as belonging to the underground music scene in the GDR.
The album was recorded near Dresden in the home studio of Andeck Baumgärtel using improvised equipment and techniques. The limited edition was a success in West Germany, but never released in the GDR. Nevertheless, it spread illegally in the GDR via cassette.
The impulse for creating the compilation album can be traced to Dimitri Hegemann, from the (West) Berlin city periodical 'tip', who met one of the bands which recorded for the album, 'Rosa Extra', in East Berlin in the early 1980s. Other bands such as 'Zwitschermaschine' (Twitter machine) and 'Schleim-Keim' (Slime Germ) were added to the album's list of contributors. Since members of 'Rosa Extra' were trying to acquire official classification as professional musicians at the time of recording, they had to surrender the masters of their tracks to the Ministry for State Security. Therefore, only 'Zwitschermaschine' and 'Schleim-Keim' - albeit using aliases - can be heard on the final album.
Although the Ministry for State Security had been aware of the album’s production for several years, repressive measures were only undertaken as the project was completed. The members of 'Schleim-Keim' were placed under Stasi surveillance after the recording was released and eventually arrested. While they were released shortly thereafter, their lyrics were sharply criticized as posing a fundamental threat to state order.Dimitri Hegemann was banned from entering the GDR and was forbidden from transiting to West Germany from West Berlin via the GDR.
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- Demeter, Laura