Skip to content

BAADER MEINHOF- s/t 7″ (VC / Hut, UK, 1996)

You know, the music of the 90s more or less steered clear of me. This would be one of the few exceptions: Luke Haines’ short lived BAADER MEINHOF project.
The album (containing another, one-sided 7″) and the 7″ here are simply fantastic. In a telephone interview you can find online, Haines says that the title track came out of nowhere when he was in hospital, heavily on painkillers. It felt like dreaming, he said (remember what I wrote about dreaming and reality in the Negative Approach post?). Vague memories from his childhood somehow arose and were transformed into music and I must say that what he does on the album is absolutely congruent with my own fantasies from the years of terrorism in the 70s: Those disturbing news and pictures on television. The vaguely comprehended and the imagined. Who could tell the one from the other?
I remember us kids playing “Entebbe” on the playground. The big swing there was the airplane and those sitting on it were the kidnapped. Others played the terrorists, with wooden sticks or plastic guns in their tiny hands. An other group was the police, storming the swing, which in fact was a plane, taking out the gangsters, freeing the captives. I frankly don’t remember where my sympathies were, but the terror of the RAF and the «Bewegung 2. Juni» was a very dominant theme back then, even though I don’t believe kids my age understood any of the political background. But the tension was perceptible, the images were everywhere. Spray painted RAF logos, “shemaghs” – «le fond de l’air était rouge», like some said. Maybe it all molded together with exciting music, violent movies and the imponderabilities you are thrown in at that age, when structures generally were harder and punishment of a graver sort was never far.

I saw «Carlos» on DVD last week (the almost 5 hours long director’s cut). Now the movie does have its weak points, but I must say that I found the depiction of the atmosphere incredibly well done, in so many details (one scene, when they shoot a swiss cop while playing “Sonic Reducer” on the car’s stereo, is mind boggling). This made me think of posting something from BAADER MEINHOF. I first did some internet research, but quickly realized that what I found and would find is not what I was looking for. I wanted to have the vibe represented. Not “authenticity” (which is the ultimate dream), but the vibe. Luke Haines, same age as mine, got the vibe, that’s how I see it. So I took the LP, which has the lyrics printed on the innersleeve and was amazed, especially with those impressions from «Carlos» still being fresh. How precise, yet open and imaginative! Here’s the words to “Meet me at the Airport”:

«I met a man, he was a trader
and he did a cargo at 10,000
over Jordan
It’s not for Gods love
It’s not for cocaine,
When you’ve decided – Meet me at the airport

So we talk for hours
and we talk religiously
and he said “could I take out
every woman and child in a border town”
For the right to be governed-
waste them without mercy.
When you’ve decided – Meet me at the airport

Do it for God – do it for Allah
put your faith in Captain Muhmad and Al-Fatah
I met a man – he was a prophet
When you’ve decided….»

Buy the album now. It’s easily available and it’s truly perfect.

This one goes out especially to Tomasso, who’s a ghoul and a genius of (and not so much at) music (just like me).

Baader Meinhof.mp3
Meet me at the Airport.mp3

13 Comments

  1. Thomas

    *tearsinmyeyes* thx, my fellow ghoul. this is turning out to be quite a saturday! what a treat!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Jun-11 at 16:34 | Permalink
  2. jeff

    wow the religious instructions are quite disturbing, now it makes me wonder who would actually meet (me) at the airport..

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Jun-11 at 16:59 | Permalink
  3. Sheitan

    Congratulations! Another intelligent and inspiring writeup like you won’t find it elsewhere. Just out of curiosity: Are you writing for any papers etc.? The last couple of blogs you’ve had here are amazing.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Thanks a lot, Sheitan. I wish I would be writing for some kind of paper, but I never got any offer based on this blog. Just people telling me I should write a book, which is something I’m working on, but which is what in german you call “breadless art”. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Tomasso Reply:

    Which is always better than artless bread.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Bread can never be hard – being without bread is hard. etc. etc.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Jun-11 at 17:06 | Permalink
  4. TimD

    I love the title track. Maybe it’s the cheap iPad speaker but I hear Joe Strummer in the vocals. The lyrics of the second track are brilliant, but for me wasted on the lazy music. Very cool post.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Jun-11 at 19:30 | Permalink
  5. Adamski

    I read Luke Haine’s book recently. It was quite an amusing read about his life in music & his hatred for all that Britpop nonsense his band (The Auteurs) were associated with at the time.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Jun-11 at 00:02 | Permalink
  6. biopunk

    Never heard before, and I really liked it.

    Now I’m off to find my ‘Renegade’ album…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Jun-11 at 06:01 | Permalink
  7. elisa

    this is so far from everything i’ve ever heard (and so great!) that i think i wouldn’t ever hear it if it wasn’t for you,so thanks again and again and again…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Jun-11 at 23:10 | Permalink
  8. Tomasso

    what i really – REALLY – like about baader-meinhof (the band) is the way haines emulates what bands like NEU! (and to a lesser extent CAN, HARMONIA or CLUSTER) stood for without ever resorting to copying or mimikry. in a way it’s what FUJIYA & MIYAGI are doing nowadays (although they have dinger’s monotone staccato beat down pad), but even better in the way he appropriates the essence of kraut with what went down at the same time with terrorism in germany (i think it’s more than a coincidence that he namechecks baader-meinhof – and not the rote armee fraktion).

    it would be my guess that assayas has treid to do the same with CARLOS. i don’t really care about the historical inaccuracies. the project itself is something of a marvel just to have been pulled off from the production and logistical side (530 minutes running time, 12 languages, etc. – WHO DOES SHIT LIKE THAT???), but i also really LOVE how he approaches the time and places, how he makes this an ode to amphetamine induced sleeplessness. if terrorism had really been that fucking SEXY i would wanna be one in a heartbeat. just look at nora von waldstetten’s lingerie! damn! still, it’s only the second best movie about that era of terrorism. nothing touches barbet schroeder’s “l’avocat de la terreur” about vergès and the history of modern terror (after which you have to seek out all the great old schroeder stuff, beginning with “La vallee/obscured by clouds” (FLOYD!!!) and “maitresse”.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    I love the gigantism in “Carlos” – you rarely see that since the end of the sword and sandal movies of the 60s. it’s not so much the historical inaccuracies I mourned, it’s the narrative that sometimes comes across a bit sloppy. And, sorry bout that Thomas, I disagree on the subject of sexyness too: What makes “Carlos” so great in my eyes is that the movie deconstructs the “sexyness” and points out the architecture of powers.

    Not so sure about the “essence of Kraut” either …. Krautrock would be the perfect example maybe to illustrate how absolutely non-essential music actually is, with the countless various shapes it came in.

    “No God” in culture translates as: “No essence”. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Jun-11 at 15:00 | Permalink
  9. Tomasso

    Well, “Carlos” tells the story of Mick Jagger, if you will: the superstar with the inflated ego and big guns and big cock who thinks nobody will ever be able to fuck with him, while not realizing he’s already being surpassed by history (and in the end has prostate problems, no less – a treppenwitz of history). A tragedy told as bitter comedy: in the end not even the secret agent men in the cars outside of Carlos’ house can tell each other apart.

    Still, I liked the swagger and sexiness.

    Narrative sloppiness. Not sure about that. It might come with the size of the subject and a lack of time to finish it. It might be part of Assayas’ instinct not too fall to much in a narrative trap. I’d say the looseness is part of the package.

    “essence of kraut” = the bands mentioned. Wouldn’t those be the ones that come to mind when thinking of “kraut” (not Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream). In the end it’s all a cosmic joke anyway.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    …. but having read Keith Richards’ “Life”, you know that Jaggers cock is rather tiny. 😉

    [Reply]

    Thomas Reply:

    That’s what Richards says.

    Still, if I think of Carlos in the movie he reminds me of a mix between Jagger (international rock superstar) and Otto from “A Fish Called Wanda” (gettin high on his on armpit smell) .

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Not so sure about that. He’s rather portrayed as a murderous tool, powercrazed and shallow.

    [Reply]

    Tomasso Reply:

    that’s what i’m saying. it applies to jagger as well as to otto.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Jun-11 at 15:48 | Permalink
  10. J. Low

    Again, thank you for posting such great (for me undiscovered) music! The write-up is very inspiring, too. As the last few. It’s always worth stopping by and reading your thoughts about the music, the historical context and your personal stories behind that posts. Really have to check out “Carlos”, sounds damn great to me (530 minutes? Fuck, yeah!). Concerning Baader Meinhof: I need the album and the 7″ on vinyl. Now!

    [Reply]

    Tomasso Reply:

    hi j.

    yeah, check out the movie. actually it’s 330 minutes, not 530 minutes (my bad). still LONG, but worthwhile. check out anything by assayas – he’s one of the best working directors. i absolutely LOVE “demonlover” and “irma vep”. “clean” is worthwhile, too. and “summer hours” just may be his masterpiece – it’s very different, just a family meeting up in summer, but you’re hooked after five minutes. stunning cinema.

    [Reply]

    J. Low Reply:

    hey tomasso, thank you for the recommendations! never heard of assayas before, there is demand to change this. i guess i’ll start with “carlos” (330 minutes is still long enough, haha) and then will check out the other movies you’ve mentioned, too. my second love, besides the music: movies! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    I’m gonna tell your girlfriend!

    [Reply]

    J. Low Reply:

    erich, she already knows 😉

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Jun-11 at 14:37 | Permalink
  11. KevinCoed

    Thanks for this. Despite not being a fan of Haines’ work with the Auteurs, I recently read his book and this project sounded intriguing.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Jun-11 at 19:23 | Permalink
  12. GraemeSTL

    Well, hell, a 90s band that I actually like!!! By the way, is there any chance of a repost of the 2 PICNIC BOYS tracks pleeeze?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Jun-11 at 21:12 | Permalink
  13. circusmoo

    a “murderous tool” but one who self satisfies his ego and instincts for the majority of his life before time passes him by. at least he is showcased as such in the movie.

    Hainesworty: i thought the music was (a step up into) a cut n paste pop job which had nothing to do with german ideologies — or a palestinian state within u.n. recognized 67 borders — and sonic sized would certainly conjure a syd dream of bolan sliding the pile from underneath… as produced by visconti in his heyday.

    this blog certainly seems a suitable place to find diverging and contradictory musical tastes. the perfect antidote for the immediacy of time. or is it the other way around?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 20-Sep-11 at 23:05 | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *
*
*