Monday, 1 January 2018
Klaus Dinger + Rheinita Bella Düsseldorf - Néondian (1985)
The solution was 'Klaus Dinger + Rheinita Bella Düsseldorf ' - cheekily keeping the band name tucked away alongside the name of their biggest hit to help with public recognition, and a new set of musicians accompanying Dinger on the most electronic, and most polemical (at least until first album La! NEU?), music of his career.
As mentioned above, this album saw Dinger at his most acerbic and politicised, taking shots at German society and his contemporaries (Pipi AA) and at US foreign policy (America). Your mileage may vary as to whether setting diatribes like these (and an update of Cha Cha 2000) to bouncy synthpop was the best idea - I still feel that the other tracks, either instrumental or mostly-instrumental, work much better. The best thing about America might be the guest slide guitar from Bodo Staiger, who had briefly been a member of 70s Dinger protégés Lilac Angels - more from him later this week.
For a fuller review of Néondian, see this one that I wrote for Julian Cope's Head Heritage about 14 years ago. It makes me cringe a bit now - the general tone of reviews on that site (not least Cope's) was infectious on me in a way that now feels like pretense, and it's waaay long (FFS, do some Uni work, stop sitting in the library writing album reviews!), but hey ho. The urls I mention are unfortunately dead.
The 're-arranged' running order saw America and Pipi AA trading places, Jag Älskar Dig promoted to the first half of the album, and the addition of three bonus tracks. Two of these are from the last proper La Düsseldorf release, a 12" that appeared in 1983 - I say 'proper', they're not even band tracks - Ich Liebe Dich was a solo track by Klaus that became Jag Älskar Dig on Néondian with minimal tweaking (if any), and the dark and quirky Koksknödel was a solo track by Thomas Dinger - more from him next week.
Lastly, Geld 2006 (Internet Warm-Up Version) was a trailer for the release of 'Viva 2010', a reworking of La Düsseldorf's second album, with the Japanese-German musicians with whom Dinger spent his final years. I can remember Dinger's old website first claiming that 'Viva 2000' was imminent for release, then it was to be 'Viva 2004' - it didn't appear in 2010 either, likely due to Dinger's recent death. His heiress Miki Yui, responsible for the two Japandorf releases, is apparently still planning to release the 2000s Viva at some point. Hopefully the finished Geld was a step up from the demo here, in which they (with guest Herbert Grönemeyer) largely seem to be singing over the original 1978 track with the addition of some Japandorf-era guitar. Who knows when we'll find out.