mittageisen – anfang (beginning)

Text for booklet for the sampler ′Liebe + Anarchia: Switzerland 1978-1987′, compiled by Mehmet Aslan, planned release autumn 2020 by !K7music.

«Back to the musical future, which begins at the end of the 1970s in cities like London, Manchester, Sheffield and Berlin. Einstürzende Neubauten Berlin 1980 The ′front line′ of the cold war runs straight through Berlin. The buildings on both sides of the wall are in weathered brown-grey, except for the area around the Kudamm and Berlin Mitte. In the western part of the city, neon signs illuminate the night, while in the east the grey layer is even thicker, not least because of the lack of financial support from the Alies.
These desolate facades of the two systems, together with the special political status and geographical location, form a dystopian backdrop. The ideal location for the virtual film with ′anfang′ (beginning) being the soundtrack to the opening sequence showing the protagonist on his way to a concert at SO36 in Kreuzberg.

Bruno W, initiator of mittageisen, visited Berlin for a few weeks in 1980. Especially, the impressions from districts east and west of the Wall, generally not intended for visitors, influenced texts and music of mittageisen. Nine of the songs written during this time, then recorded in Switzerland in the autumn of 1982 and released as an LP in early 1983.

The name ′mittageisen′ is based on a photomontage by John Heartfield (1891-1968). The 1935 picture with the original title ′Hurrah, die Butter ist alle′ (Hurrah, There’s No Butter Left!). It shows an obviously Nazi-minded family sitting at a table and eating various objects made of metal. The trigger was a sentence of a speech by Hermann Göring: “Ore [iron] has always made an empire strong, butter and lard have at most made a people fat.
This Heartfield collage was originally used as the front page of the ′Arbeiter Illustrierten Zeitung′ (Workers Illustrated Journal) published on December 19, 1935. It was also the inspiration for the single ′metal postcard′ by Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1979.

mittageisen developed an uniquely individual music style using an analog synthesizer (Korg MS-20), coupled with a drum machine (Roland CR-78 and TR-808) and bass amplifier, as well as guitars and bass played by Daniel S and Markus Sch.
In 1983, the self-titled mittageisen LP was ′Record of the Week′ in Sounds!, as Swiss national radio programme “Sounds!”, that to-date specializes in promoting new music. In addition, mittageisen songs from the album were played by radio stations in Germany, Netherland and Japan. Because of this airplay, mittageisen’s popularity increased tremendously and also cemented their reputation as being in the vanguard of German-speaking Dark Wave bands.

By January 1985, the musicians as well as the musical focus had changed and mittageisen released a 12″ maxi single with the songs ′automaten′ and ′neues china′. A highly danceable release and ‘automaten’ also became ′Record of the Week′ at various radio stations and music magazines. The record also found its way in to the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and became an indie disco hit in the UK and other countries.

After some concerts (e.g. with Liliput, The Vyllies, Propaganda) and some last demo recordings, the final formation of mittageisen split up in 1986. The double CD ′mittageisen 1981-1986 remastered′, with 19 digitally remastered tracks (including 6 previously unreleased) and a 24-page booklet, offers a comprehensive insight into the musical work of mittageisen.»