DIN A TESTBILD
Few bands of the German post punk/new wave era can lay claim to "cult" status, but DIN A TESTBILD most certainly can. Formed in 1978 by Mark Eins and Gudrun Gut, the combo played a significant role in defining the avant-garde music of Berlin and were among the pioneers of Electroclash, long before the genre even existed. In the year they started out, DIN A TESTBILD played at the opening of the legendary Berlin underground club S.O. 36 and in 1980 they appeared at Hamburg's first "In die Zukunft" (Into the Future) festival, organized by Alfred Hilsberg. "Abfall/Garbage", their first single, is emblematic of the entire West Berlin music scene from 1978–1982. The group also participated in the seminal "Geniale Dilletanten" event at the Tempodrom in Berlin (1981). Their contribution to German underground cinema and the art scene cannot be captured in a few simple words. Such is the measure of the cult and legend of DIN A TESTBILD.
Exactly 30 years after the release of their debut LP "Programm 1" on Klaus Schulze's IC record label, the Berliners have picked up the thread of their album series with "Programm 6" in 2010. Mark Eins is joined by long-term members Nutty Norman and Ralf Zimmermann, as well as Axel Brand, plus guest musicians Gerrit Meijer, the legendary Berlin guitarist of the band PVC and vocalist Bettina Schoch.
DIN A TESTBILD aim straight for the dancefloor on "Programm 6": driving basslines, hypnotic grooves, dark harmonies, mechanical sounds, expressive shouts. All given an extra-special flair through the sporadic intervention of industrial instrumentation such as Gerrit Meijer's metal machine guitar or Nutty Norman's chaoscillator and, on occasion, even through Bettina Schoch's rousing vocals.
The album plays without a pause – DIN A TESTBILD weave an intense, danceable, electronic, expressive aural collage. Digital Sound Art is the name the band give to their "acoustic backdrop for the third millenium", a concept which should not hide the fact that analogue instruments are very much at play here, with trash guitar to the fore. Mark Eins has this to say about his music: "It's not a question of melodic arcs, but of acoustic perception and entertainment on the highest plane. It's about the challenge, not the standard. Self-discovery, not self-affirmation in a modern, intelligent world. Man is far superior to the computers of this world, because he can feel, experience happiness, because he thinks, reflects, can change or continue his train of thought. Fun and enjoyment for body and soul, without esoteric pretensions. Art is entertainment is pop."
Here are some examples: Neu Berlin / Grasshopper / Get Started / Under My Skin