Monday, 23 April 2018

1-A Düsseldorf - Konigreich Bilk (1999)

Only a few months after Fettleber, 1-A Düsseldorf's second album appeared.  Named in tribute to a district of Düsseldorf, Konigreich Bilk saw Thomas Dinger and Nils Kristiansen expand to a trio, with Steffen Domnisch now credited for synth & vocals.  As noted before, 1-A Düsseldorf had been on the go for over a decade before these CDs started to emerge from Captain Trip, and it's not clear when the material was actually recorded.  The presence here of a soundscape piece titled Bagdad 91 might suggest tracks being recorded over a longer period before release - or they could've just been commemorating the Gulf War a few years after the fact.  Who knows.  Anyway, to the music on Konigreich Bilk.

As with Fettleber, the overriding focus is very much 'unfocused', and this album starts on an even weirder note than anything on the debut, with an old-timey (and uncredited) record of Home On The Range being paired with some metallic clanging.  After that, the more typical sounds of heavily flanged guitar and an odd rhythm track make up Unschlitt, with more melodic keyboards being introduced in Im Märzen Der Bauer.

There's a bit more variety in the sound here compared to Fettleber: The title track sounds like an attempt at mid-tempo heavy rock with vocal samples, and Music Is Love Is Music with its more eerie vocal sound brought to mind Jaki Liebezeit/Phantom Band's Nowhere for me.  The almost Indian-sounding influence of Schlaf Mein Engel is another cleaner, more accessible track, and the album ends with a fifteen-minute slow, dreamlike crawl through wandering guitars and slurred vocals.  There would be another two 1-A Düsseldorf releases in Thomas Dinger's lifetime, that I'll definitely get hold of at some point - especially the Live album, as it features la! NEU?'s Viktoria Wehrmeister on vocals.



  1. I have found this fratricide infighting over band names rather petty and unworthy of such distinguished musicians.. or were they really? I can't help it now, this knowledge has shifted my perspective as listener of these recordings. To me they seem to be but the excrements of a much nobler process now long dissolved.

    1. I know the brothers definitely had their issues with each other, and I'm glad they (somewhat) made up in the 90s (will post Goldregen soon, I love how gentle most of it sounds) - but I do think Hans Lampe has a lot to answer for. Even just a few years ago, still blocking the use of the name La Düsseldorf... time to let it go! FYIW I think Thomas' use of the 1-A name could've been affectionate - but equally you could be right, may have been a swipe at Klaus.

  2. Thanks for keeping the Dinger ethos alive... never could figure out what the Captain Trip material is so unrecognized. la! NEU? is clearly the elder Dinger's third best band, and 1-A Dusseldorf is pretty cool, too. Regarding 1-AD, you should definitely hear Pyramidblau if you haven't already - Thomas isn't on it, but it's got Viktoria, and is maybe their most consistent album overall. Cheers. - Phallus_Dei