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CARAMBOLAGE - Bon Voyage LP

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The Bon Voyage recordings sound far more mature than the band’s earlier music, whilst losing some of the playful insouciance that ran through the first two albums. Strains of ska and chanson complement the latter-day NDW (German new wave) flavoured power pop.

After four successful years of extensive touring, new perspectives presented themselves to Carambolage. Having outgrown the somewhat languid Scherben scene and label life at David Volksmund Produktion, the trio upped sticks and headed for Berlin, curious to see what the big city had to offer, namely a close-up view of the pop business. Manne Praeker, former Spliff bass player and Nina Hagen’s producer, offered to produce their third record, anticipating a shot at success with a major label. Bon Voyage was recorded in 1984 in Praeker’s Mad-Mix studio in Berlin with various guest musicians. Even the pop mag Bravo took note, featuring the punkish North Frisians in a home story. Alas, any aspirations of becoming stars quickly dissipated during the recording process as aesthetic differences came to the fore. In one corner, Britta and Angie were determined to follow the DIY principles of the two preceding albums. In the opposite corner, Manne Praeker and Elfie felt compelled to introduce a stronger element of professionalism and Praeker increasingly weighed into the creative process. »You might say our story practically came to an end with a collision**, just to match our name,« Britta Neander recalled in an interview with Tine Plesch. We’re happy to report that the girls renewed their friendship after a while.

The third record is well worth a listen, a divergent coda to the band’s history. Bon Voyage spent 34 years under lock and key before the FUEGO label released a digital version in the year 2019.