Friday, May 9, 2008

German Groove (1990)

Every story has a beginning and, although the story of Thomas "TJ" Janak and all his music project and releases really began in 1980, with the release of the German Groove things started to change.
Heavily influenced by the likes of Kraftwerk and The Art Of Noise Thomas bought a 4-track recording machine, a drum computer and a keyboard in late 1989, from the money he should have used to buy furniture for his first own flat.

There was no money to record in a recording studio so TJ put down a few demo tracks and then recored more and more until he had accumulated enough material for an album.

The songs were far from finished. Thomas had been asked by a workmate of his to compose a score for a fictious character called the "Spacerat", who appeared in an Commodore Amiga magazine.

The mostly instrumental tracks tend to go down well for then unsofisticated computer games and the opening title "3002", which appeared re-recorded on the 1992 release: "Exzess - Technological age" ended up as the theme tune on a C64 game called: "Auf der Suche nach dem Irgendwas" (The Search for something). The same song also ended up as main theme on a short film, starring TJ himself in a cameo role.

The small successes boosted TJs confidence and he decided to release his 4-track demos as a full length album.

The initial reaction was devastating! "Miles beyond embarrassment" was one harsh headline and most people hadn't anything nice to say about the album.

Negative publicity is still publicity and so the album became quite infamous, to the extend that so many people listened to it, that it ended up on the DRMV charts on nr.16.

Thomas then was signed and the song "Goucho" ended up on a sampler, that was sold and promoted in five countries.

TJ made a deal with a Rumanian businessman who bought all remaining German Groove CDs.

Sometime in 1991 the album found its way into Woolworth and was on offer for under DM (Deutsche Mark) 5,-

Again in 1991 TJ started to re-record songs properly when he met Armin Schwarzfeld again, with whom he had worked in 1985, and the two teamed up as EXZESS.

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