La Düsseldorf: 1A Düsseldorf was intended, in 1975, to mean "the best Düsseldorf", until it was written down as "1a", and noting the resemblance to "la", they hit on a more appropriate name, and the rest was history for the brothers' main band.
By the 90s, Klaus was playing with la! NEU?, who were creating lengthy, freestyle jams using keyboards and guitars, but still frequently retaining recognisable song-forms. There were no such concessions to structure on Fettleber: hazy, rattling flanged guitars, weirdo electronics and rhythms, samples and tape manipulation were 1-A Düsseldorf's MO. Nils Kristiansen's vocals, first heard on second track Olala, are equally free-form, dreamlike mumbles, only occasionally making any sense. The longest track, Rock, consists of rock only in the spoken instances of the title, and otherwise just lets a Kraftwerk/Tangerine Dream-like synth sequence run on.
The next pair of tracks are as strange as the album gets. Gibsen features more free-form synths and sequences, a repeated spoken sample and other noises, and Gevogeltes adds various avian noises into the impenetrable, varispeed mix. Fettleber does settle down at the end though, pointing to a slightly more accessible way forward in subsequent albums (with further members contributing). The title track is based on a simple melodic guitar part, and the closing Kostprobe 3 sounds like a digital update of Kraftwerk's Tanzmusik. All in all, an absolutely fascinating and criminally underrated part of the Dinger family album.
mega / zippy