Various The Golden Age

This compilation by L'Age D'or, one of Germany's foremost underground labels, founded in 1988, highlights some great Deutsche pop and avant-garde. Many of the bands are guitar-oriented pop, like the Green Day-ish sounding Tocotronic, who push the distortion just a little further and screw with tape speed in a completely new way (very strange and inventive). Quirky electronica is to be expected from the German underground, but many of the bands, like Rexorevue and Stella, inject a playfulness that shatters the myth of ubiquitous German seriousness, especially on the latter's self-deprecating "Tomorrow I'll Be Perfect." It is interesting to see American forms of music reinterpreted through foreign filters. "Rollin' and Tumbin'" is a nasty take on shockabilly that bulldozes everything into the red on the ol' L.E.D. meter, while "Disjointing The Bird," by Hansplatzgumer, sounds like Pere Ubu over top of the "Dear Prudence" chord progression. At 22 tracks, this is great sampler for the musically adventurous. (L'age D'or)