The year 1982 brought the encounter of René Glofke and Taymur Streng, also known as “Glofke” and “Strangler” in the local district chapter of the East Berlin punk scene. In Mahlsdorf, a suburb between Berlin and Strausberg, Taymur converted his large living room into an improvised recording studio; devices were modified, machines optimized. Many things he assembled himself by following wiring diagrams found in a magazine kindly published by the GDR military publisher and titled “Funkamateur – Praktische Elektronik Für Alle” (Radio amateur – Practical electronics for everyone). Besides the hand-carved creations of his own, the home studio also boasted synthesizers produced in the West, the technical capabilities and functions of which were considered revolutionary at the time. The studio quickly turned into a meeting place for several musicians from Berlin’s alternative scene. René Glofke first met Jörg “Joggy” Müller in 1985 in the environs of the East Berlin band Komakino. As is often the case, the men’s friendship was nurtured by a shared love for a specific musical genre. Their musical influences such as Tuxedomoon or Throbbing Gristle were not so important – the sound was instead based on the technical equipment available in Taymur’s studio. Uwe Niels von Geyer also got involved with Orchester recording sessions in Mahlsdorf. He was known as the doorman of the Haus der jungen Talente, where the East Berlin punk scene wasted their youth away. Geyer organized the band’s first and only gig before it even had a name. After Geyer’s exit, the name Mahlsdorfer Wohnstuben Orchester was established for the joint sessions at Taymur’s, a rather benign code name for marginal music in a peripheral district of Berlin. Around the Wohnstubenorchester’s hard core rotated other musicians, all of them active in their own bands.
The M.O.W. project also functioned as a reservoir for bands including Neuntage (tt 006), Die Vision or L’ambassadeur des ombres (tt 015). The present MWO compilation for tapetopia was distilled from the tapes “Nightfever In Mahlsdorf” (1987), “TOt” (1988), “Abgrund” (1988) and “Window” (1989). All four tapes had remained unreleased and copies were made only when friends asked. Now, more than 30 years later, it is celebrating its debut.
(from the liner notes by Henryk Gericke)
tapetopia is a series of releases based on cassettes from East Germany’s 80s underground, particularly from the East Berlin Mauerstadt music scene, featuring original layouts and track lists. For over 30 years after their initial “release” the music on these tapes was neither available on vinyl nor CD, but they were important statements in the canon of the GDR subculture. Despite the miniscule number of original cassettes in circulation at the time many of the bands were popular in countercultural circles, a factor that made them highly suspect among the government’s own inner circles. tapetopia is run from Berlin by Henryk Gericke.