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ABC

The alphabet according to Mark Reeder as in AMIGA: The state-run worker and farmer record label of Communist East Germany. Previously responsible for feeding that poor, under-privileged population with party-line fodder for forty years. Musical excitement was generated by a selection of working class smash hits, such as bird songs of the GDR, or numerous records by the NVA (National People’s Army). These shared the shelves with generally insipid imitations of western pop music. That said, some of their home grown attempts at rock and pop, like Muck, Silly, Puhdys, City, and Karat did have their own particular style and became cult in their own way. In the latter half of 1989, I was invited by AMIGA to produce an album for their first English singing indie band, Die Vision, in the Brunnenstraße Tonstudio. The band’s name revealed their obvious musical direction and I believe I was chosen not simply because of my connection to Factory Records but also for the fact that the Stasi wanted to test me and my production skills. Initially, the band wanted me to make them sound like Joy Division, but I just wanted them

British expat Mark Reeder has been sewing the historical seeds of synthpop and trance across national and political boundaries for over thirty years. An early associate of Factory Records, Reeder helped form FAC darkwavers Shark Vegas on the political fault line that was Wall-era Berlin. After producing various postpunk acts on both sides of the Iron Curtain, Reeder founded the groundbreaking trance label Masterminded For Success (MFS), releasing some of the most important electronic music of the early nineties. An avid remixer, Reeder has most recently reworked synthpop icons Depeche Mode and Anne Clark (among others) for his surround sound album Five Point One. Left: Mark Reeder, photographed in Berlin by Luci Lux.

to sound like no other GDR band. Either way, it was a very rare opportunity for me to be allowed into this fascinating Frankenstein’s monster of a recording studio. More or less every piece of equipment in the place was self-made or had been cobbled together from bits and pieces. There were other difficulties to test your nerves too, such as regular power surges or drop-outs. These caused the multitrack tape recorder to instantly jump-switch all channels on to record mode, erasing any previously recorded tracks. As it was a communist country, I also had to work in shifts. One day I would have to start at 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., the next at 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. I discovered some of the other producers of marching music all wanted the early shifts, and so I easily managed to talk them into giving me their late shifts so I could work through the night. A few weeks after I had completed a couple of demo mixes, I was told the album had over thirty thousand pre-orders. The head AMIGA A&R even drove me around Pankow in East Berlin one night in his Trabi, optimistically showing me around grand old houses that I could possibly buy

with the money I was going to be earning from the projected record sales. It was all quite bizarre, because in the West I lived in a shoddy little flat in Kreuzberg. During the making of this album, the German Democratic Republic really started falling apart. We finally finished recording the last track for Torture on November 2, 1989. The next week the Berlin Wall fell and with it, I unknowingly became the first and only Englishman ever to have had the privilege of making an album in East Berlin and, at the same time, the last album of the GDR.

as in BATS: Sonic wonders. Incredible creatures and captivating and thrilling to watch. I always get excited when I see a bat, swerving and moving at super high speed. As a kid, I loved the camp sixties Batman TV series and I still do. I’m also into the thirties Dracula films with Bela Lugosi and Hammer Film’s sixties version with Christopher Lee. EB 3/2012   33

Electronic Beats Magazine Issue 3/2012  

While the plural of anecdote might not be data, our current collection of monologues and stories certainly makes for good reading. In fact,...

Electronic Beats Magazine Issue 3/2012  

While the plural of anecdote might not be data, our current collection of monologues and stories certainly makes for good reading. In fact,...

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