Computer Beat

With their first album Rheingold from Düsseldorf had a massive hit with the minimal and elegant Dreiklangsdimensionen (Triad Dimensions), the second album was a soundtrack for the bizarre puberty-cannibalism flick "Der Fan", in which Rheingold singer Bodo Staiger himself played a new-wave musician who gets killed, cooked and eaten by a fan.

The sound was a mix of rough, electro-punky pop with dark and experimental soundscapes. "Fan Fan Fanatisch" and "Das steht dir gut" are blueprint electro-clash 18 years before it was "invented".

With their third long-player it was hi-concept-time. When "Dis-tanz" was released in 1984 it turned out to be a very expensive and slightly disappointing album. Gone was the minimalism of the debut and the frenetic power of "R".
"Computerbeat", was supposed to become a big hit, but it flopped together with the album.
1984 was the year of Alphaville and Duran Duran. The extra artificial sound of Rheingold was suddenly "out".

Ironically, "Computerbeat" sounds very now and much less dated than other mid-eighties productions. The breakdown at 3:05 floored my back in the day. Enjoy a bonafide piece of forgotten, but authentic 80s.

After the flop of "Dis-tanz" the band disbanded. Bodo Staiger went on to produce techno tracks and partner Lothar Manteuffel later teamed up with ex-Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos to form Electric Music.
Last year, Rheingold reformed to release a collection of tribute songs to fellow Düsseldorf bands, like themselves, Kraftwerk, Propaganda, Fehlfarben, etc.

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