June 11, 2008

Celebrate Euro 2008 With Swiss Artpunk!

Grauzone.jpgThis week on Rummage, we decided to celebrate Euro 2008 - which is currently being played in Switzerland and Austria - by delving briefly into the world of Swiss "artpunk" with four tracks - two from bands "back in day", one from the mid-80's, and another from the the early 90's.

First up was Kleenex, an all-girl post-punk-pop band who cheekily named themselves after a proprietary local brand of tampons, were forced to changed their name to LiLiPUT, and became the latter-day face of early Swiss punk thanks to a Kill Rock Stars compilation released in 2001.

Kleenex - Hedi's Head

Although Kleenex have gained all the subsequent hipster approbation, the big stars of the Swiss scene back in the early 80's were Grauzone. An outfit who took their cues from the French cold wave sound of the time but also threw metal-shredding guitar, squealing saxophone and video game sounds into the mix. Here's their signature tune which apparently became a top 10 hit in the German speaking world. (Trivia: this track was recently given the lounge treatment by Nouvelle Vague.)

Grauzone - Eisbar

The final two tracks are from the more free-jazz-influenced, art-damaged end of the Swiss music. 16-17, who are currently experiencing a minor reissue-based revival, have been cutting an abrasive sax-skronk-lead swathe through the local scene since 1983. Think Borbetomagus with more driving rhythms... Finally, there's Alboth who deal in avant-metal shtick with piano taking the place of the guitar. The overall effect is reminiscent of John Zorn's Naked City outings.

16-17 - Direkt B
Alboth - Villiger

For more information on the Swiss artpunk scene, check out this post on WFMU.

Posted by Warren at June 11, 2008 06:31 PM | Punk