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Checkpoint Charlie - Fruhling Der Kruppel (1978)

Checkpoint Charlie to swego czasu bardzo znane miejsce na mapie "podzielonego" Berlina - punkt kontrolny i przejście ze między zniewolonym NRD i wolnym światem. Punkt mieścił się na ulicy Friedrichstraße, na skrzyżowaniu z Zimmerstraße, w samym sercu Berlina podzielonego wówczas murem berlińskim. Oficjalna nazwa przejścia po stronie NRD-owskiej brzmiała właśnie Zimmerstraße.

Taka nazwę przybrała też grupa niemieckich "freaków" i stworzyła zespół muzyczny. Trudno jednoznacznie zdefiniować muzykę, którą proponowali. Zwykle przypisuje się im łatkę krautrockowców, ale chyba niekoniecznie da się ich wsadzić do tej szufladki. Jest to raczej muzyczny happening i eksperyment.

Checkpoint Charlie (named after the notorious checkpoint in the Berlin Wall) have often been acclaimed as the first truly German rock band. They originated from Karlsruhe, and, as early as 1967, they were performing their own uniquely groundbreaking “Terror Rock” music in German! An extremely radical political rock band, especially so in their early days, Checkpoint Charlie were also innovators along with Floh De Cologne and Ton Steine Scherben of a unique German form of rock, blending all sorts of music into a complex and often aggressive rock music.

Their debut (roughly translating as “Good God - It’s A Hell Of A Noise”) was very extreme, and rather difficult to come to grips with, notorious for its bizarre theatrics and scathing lyrics, but with numerous brilliant musical vignettes contained within.

Many years on, and with only two members in common, and Wilfried Sahm (from Poseidon) adding his bluesy psychedelic guitar, the later albums saw more refinement instrumentally, with complex progressive rock styles (akin to Oktober, Lokomotive Kreuzberg, et al.) making headway against the theatrics, especially so on FRÜHLING DER KRÜPPEL, which featured keyboards strongly, and lengthy instrumental sections venturing on to Grobschnitt realms even. The eponymous live album (known as “Die Durchsichtige” aka “the transparent one” in English, because of the Faust like clear package) showcased them vividly blending angst-punk and complex prog with a brash polit focus.

Throughout, even into the 1980’s, Checkpoint Charlie have proven to be amongst the most uncompromising of Krautrock bands, notably on KRAWALL IN SCHWEINESTALL (“Uproar in the Pig Sty”) a very Floh De Cologne-esque album that is especially worth investigation. However FEUER & FLAMME (which comes with a match-book on the front cover, and a burnt insert) is arguably a bit too angry for its own good! After this the band folded, with Sahm going on to the remarkable Schäggi Bädsch.

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