Rooms are very useful. Especially if you’re not into being outside. Sometimes a room is like a bowl, in which flour, eggs and sugar become a tasty cake. The room I have in mind is located in Landau in der Pfalz, a small town in the southern Rhineland Palatinate, best known for its wine and climate as the Tuscany of Germany.

Before the Deutsche Bahn (German’s public train franchise) shut down the countryside parts of its railway system, Landau was a big station. Following its closure, it became very attractive to homeless people and alcoholics. If you could  pass by unmolested, you found a place where no one cares much about noise. The basement, a former social area for Bahn employees, was cheap to rent. It became the bowl in which boredom and ego combined to create its own tasty garage-rock cake.

Hardcore and punk were already popular in the province. The new space underneath the train station became a commonly used rehearsal space. Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by the possibilities of sound recording. I remember remember building a recording studio in the attic of my parents house out of old diaper-cardboards. When I installed a small recording studio next to the rehearsal room, there was no money to buy new equipment, so I again used what other people wanted to get rid of. No diaper cardboards this time. I used old broadcast equipment from a local radio station instead.

Pre-Ebay, it was possible to get some  great gear from Studer, Telefunken and Siemens, companies of the golden era of German broadcasting.  But as you will notice listening to the music, the quality of the equipment was not necessarily expressed in the results. The principle I adopted for the bands I recorded during this time was “get it done.”

Most recordings where done in a very short time. The idea was one night-one song which included writing, recording and mixing. I always liked the idea of making recordings in a documentary style, capturing the sound as well as the situation. Tape is perfect for that, because you can’t do too many overdubs (if any.) The impatience of many bands recording there, plus the lack of possibilities (and knowledge) helped to create some nice recordings.

The band with the highest output was probably the Crime Kaisers. We recorded a ton of songs, a full length LP, and a handful of 7“s. Many other recordings have not found their way to vinyl. I most regret the fact that the A-Teens never did a proper release besides a split 7“.

The Real Turds changed their name to the Royal Turds after the bass player left the band. Out of the frying pan into the fire. “Leibstandarte Tracy Lords” is a great song. It was released as a 7“ in 2003. Trend was the longest existing band from the train station room. We recorded several 7“s, plus three full-length albums, the last one being a 2008 release on Warner Music. This was done in a Berlin studio. “Bauchschuss” and “Thälmann Tombola”,  two Landau-era songs from the first recordings, are included in the mix.

The predecessor of Trend was Scud. The singer of Scud and the drummer of the A-Teens formed the Rammers together with the ex-guitar player from Team Cobra. As with most small town bands, it was a typically incestuous situation. But it’s nice if you know each other. If you see the songs as children, they where crippled anyway. The results of ten years of recording in Landau are some vinyl records, a few CDs and a ton of unreleased old tapes. I went through them all, and made this local, Landau-area mix. Enjoy!