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BAUMARKT - Kellerduell LP

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30 years after the band AG Geige disbanded, Baumarkt released their second album Kellerduell. Coincidence or concept? A search for clues in the poison cabinet of the major labels

Karl-Marx-Stadt on a sunny late autumn day: Jens Ausderwasch, singer of the band Baumarkt, sits at a tram stop and observes a construction hole. “The Kummers used to live here,” she says, taking a long sip of Kolle: “that was before it was a cultural capital.” Her colleague Florian Illing agrees: “There wasn’t even the Atomino back then.”

We are looking for the legacy of the so-called “other bands” and keep coming across connections to a group called AG Geige. The following can be found on the Internet: “Frank Bretschneider, Torsten Eckhardt, Jan Kummer and Ina Kummer founded the band in 1986. Although the members were not real musicians (which they openly admitted) they played first-class electronic music.”

The name Kummer is widespread in the East German band scene. Members of major names such as Blond or Kraftklub carry this name, but so do club owners. But others carry the spirit of the Chemnitz avant-garde forward. “We don’t know whether we have a direct bloodline to the Kummers,” Ausderwasch points out: “our parents remain consistently silent on the subject.” Illing adds mischievously: “In any case, it doesn’t bother us not to be called that.”

Since 2016, hardware stores have been shaping their own era - consistently ignoring the focus of the major labels. The group meticulously composed their second album over years of work. Its sound is full of cheap confusion, which is only surpassed by the poetic richness of the lyrics: it sings about the fountain in the backyard, your own fisheye, the queen of the sun in May. Hardware stores can be seen as an ideal example of a new German avant-garde. However, the Chemnitz gangs don't help: Kellerduell is released by the small Bremen label Latenz. “Every city has these special names - in Bremen it is the Bodzins,” announces its press office, “we take care of all the great musicians - no matter what the family tree looks like.”