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Friday, Jun 03 2016 | 03:11
Image: 1603716 Bewegliche Ziele is the new single from Plaza Hotel.

A – Bewegliche Ziele
B – Schön Sein In Uniform

12inch (180g vinyl + Old School Tip On Single Cover + Download Card + Printed Inner Sleeve)

It's 1981. Everything seems possible in the realms of music. The barriers between genres are
being willfully torn down, punk is discovering the synthesizer, the drum machine is replacing
the drummer and no idea is too absurd to pursue. The winds of change are blowing from New
York to London, Berlin and Tokyo and there's a palpable, uninhibited spirit of optimism in the
air turning music industry on it's head. People are experimenting with novel equipment,
bands are springing up like mushrooms, line-ups disband and regroup. A whole generation is
being inspired by a do-it-yourself mentality, creating an unprecedented knowledge of how to
produce music. Every artist seems to be full of ambition, conquering new frontiers whilst often
participating in several projects simultaneously. When today, we look back at this time it
appears as an unintelligible mess with no economic viability, but 30 years ago it was simply
the sheer desire for artistic freedom, self-fulfillment and the urge to have control over one's
own creative work that was the driving force.
Let's take the guitar player, Wolfgang Spelmanns. After leaving DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische
Freundschaft) in December 1980, his head was full of ideas and an exuberant compulsion to
express himself in as many ways as possible. A singular focus is impossible. One of these
endeavors is a visit to Werner Lambertz's studio in Düsseldorf. While the first few takes, of what
later would become “Bewegliche Ziele”, are being recorded, the main object is putting
Lambertz's self-designed modular percussion computer to the test. But the shenanigans don't
end here. Soon after, Jaki Liebezeit, the drummer of Can, is invited to jam freestyle over the
programmed beats. New technologies and innovative methods have drawn the attention of
Liebezeit, challenging him to play as monotonously as if he were a machine himself (or a
computer in this case). It takes him less than 90 minutes to ad-lib two stunning drum tracks for
Spelmanns' still nameless project. Spelmanns however, is not in a hurry to finish the tracks.
Unlike the bustling drummer, his focus has a much broader horizon. Instead he wanders off
and forms Mau Mau, a new band with his old flat mate and former partner in DAF, the bass
player and member of Düsseldorf group Fehlfarben, Michael Kemner. Consequently, the
recordings are left to the side and almost forgotten about.

Almost. Two years later, living in West Berlin, Spelmanns remembers the tapes and brings
them, along with his girlfriend and singer Claudia Sennlaub (alias Tabu), to the Caet Studio
on Kreuzberg's Mehringdamm. Vocals and the guitar are recorded and in-studio synthesizers
are enthusiastically thrown into the mix allowing the two songs to finally take on a concrete
form. “Bewegliche Ziele” and “Schön Sein In Uniform” are mixed and mastered by none other
than Charly Steinberg, the founder of Steinberg GmbH and developer of one of the first DAWs
(Digital Audio Workstations), Cubase.
Having had mainly negative experiences with major labels (i.e. Polydor), and seeing how his
friends at Ata Tak music publishing, are swamped with bureaucracy and paperwork,
Spelmanns decides to independently press the record on four different-colored discs at Pallas
pressing plant. Totaling only 1000 copies, the records are released on the ad-hoc label
Delphin in early 1983 and are delivered straight to the door step of his apartment on
Pücklerstraße. Leaving the musician, although gaining ground by leaps and bounds in the art
scene, reduced to single-handedly supplying Berlin's record stores with his release. No wonder
that only a few of the colorful discs find an audience and the potential success of Plaza Hotel
is all but nipped in the bud.
Amazingly, the record continues to be rediscovered time and again, throughout the years’
time. By a diverse mix of DJs and record collectors from all sorts of different countries, origins
and scenes. They all take a personal interest in “Bewegliche Ziele”. From die-hard NDW fans to
New Wave analysts and never-tiring sound explorers like the infamous, Dutch record collector
Tako Reyenga. It is him who plays one of these rare copies, sometime in 2010, in Düsseldorf of
all places, in the Salon d'Amateurs, one of the world's hippest underground clubs, in front of a
broad-minded audience. In short “Bewegliche Ziele” (played on 33rpm instead of 45rpm)
becomes a signature tune not only at the Salon, but on dance floors of every boutique club
operating outside of mainstream territory all around the world. About the same time
Jazzanova member and co-founder of NOTES ON A JOURNEY, Stefan Leisering stumbles
across the 12” in a crate in Canada. Back in Berlin he plays his discovery to his buddy and
Jazzanova co-partner Alex Barck. Falling for the song's magic as Leisering does, Barck
rearranges, what was perviously considered complete, the third edition of “Computer
Incarnations For World Peace” just to fit this exceptional tune into the already fine selection.
Spelmanns himself, now living in Bremen, working as a video artist and leading the Generic
Art Ensemble, definitely didn't expect this to ever happen. Three decades after its initial
release “Bewegliche Ziele” is finally finding its listeners and revealing its long hidden spell. It's
the same with “Bewegliche Ziele” as with a lot of this time period's music long forgotten or only
released in a very limited capacity: Today, with hindsight, it gains new meaning and an
extensive resonance. Over the last few years Plaza Hotel's skewness, the graceful peculiarity,
the courageous experimentalism is being explored by new and younger groups and can be
heard in current music again. Meaning “Bewegliche Ziele” could have easily be released in
2016. NOTES ON A JOURNEY thought the same and decided, that not only freaky record
collectors should be able to, for extortionate prices, enjoy this timeless, fascinating piece of
music on vinyl. So we have brought Plaza Hotel back to life, in all its glory. Available from 15.07.2016
Need assistance?

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