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Album Review

Kubin, Felix – “Tetchy Teenage Tapes, The” – [Ski-pp]

lombard   7/21/2009   A Library, CD

Take a trip back to the 1980s on this crazy release (which came out in 2003) from Felix Kubin. “The Tetchy Teenage Tapes” is a collection of material from 1981 to 1985, when Kubin was a kid/teen. In the liner notes he writes,

“Special thanks to my parents because they didn’t send me to the children psychologist as recommended by the Bergedorf Health Centre in 1975…Their faith in my mental balance was unshakeable. Music cures all wounds!”

And, yes, on here we do get some crazy (in a good way) sounds crafted by an artistic, energetic kid. It begins with vomit sounds, morphs into voices from beyond, spooky electronics, creepy laughter, ticking clocks that will drive you nuts, sunny and bent casio, and Demon Attack-like sounds (remember Atari 2600?)—all with pre-voice change boy vocals throughout. There’s a nervous energy, with some super fast tracks and obvious influences from punk and the German underground. One piece really reminded me of Kraftwerk’s “Showroom Dummies” with its dead-pan vocals and mesmerizingly slow beat and yet another (the last) could easily be a pre-cursor to Melt-Banana’s frenzied experimental spazz rock.

Kubin recorded some of this in his bedroom using a 4-track, synthesizers, electronic organ, and a drum computer. Other pieces sound like live recordings.

This is fantastic stuff, revealing the DIY genius often displayed by teen musicians.

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