Abwärts ‎– Computerstaat

Abwärts ‎– Computerstaat – Computerstaat, Japan // Moon Of Alabama, Wir Warten, Nach Haus (Zick Zack Records) 1979. Not much information is available about Abwärts in English on the web so if any German readers can help fill in the blanks, please do. What I do know is that members Mark Chung and FM Einheit would leave the Hamburg-based group in the early 1980s to join Einstürzende Neubauten. Where Neubauten traded in proto-industrial, Abwärts was more firmly planted in the many different conventions of NDW. The title song for instance, is a hypnotic, yet very aggressive example of motorik and is really a German art-punk classic. Japan, Wir Warten and Nach Haus are all great rhythmic post-punk gems and Moon of Alabama is a Brecht cover. The entire 7inch has the off-kilter, experimental vibe of the best NDW but at the same time it is a bit more aggressive and “punk”. The band would go on to release two albums, Amok Koma (1981) and Der Westen ist einsam (1982), the latter in particular being regarded as a classic of West German postpunk before calling it a day. Pretty much everything the band released during its heyday was a winner.

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10 Responses to Abwärts ‎– Computerstaat

  1. Erich says:

    Had this and the scary “Roboter in der Nacht” 7″ posted on my blog. Among other material, there’s also an incredible live cassette which I’ll upload too, soonr or later.

  2. Joe says:

    hahaha…I did a blog search on google before I posted and you didnt come up. About half the stuff I plan to post you or Peter have beaten me to. In fact, I probably got this from you.

    I just checked your site:


    Did you take it down?

  3. Erich says:

    I don’t know how you feel about it, but some records can’t get enough coverage. Plus every post might put the same record in a new context too – ain’t that great?

    I think the umlaut (“ä”) is a bit too difficult to handle for the blog search, as it doesn’t get you any results searching for “Abwärts” or then “Abwaerts”. Weird, huh. Here’s the 2nd:

    …. and here the first:

  4. Dj Scary says:

    I really liked that

  5. fernando says:

    Some corrections infos: this EP appeared not in 79 but in 1980 (March, according to some sources) and “Amok Koma” in 1980 too (November, according to said sources). The band formed in 1979 after Frank Z (vc, gt) abandoned the previous project Big Muff who had some tracks in the “In die Zukunft” comp. The first tracks Abwärts released were Punkte & Caprifischer live (rec 12/79) in the “Geräusche für die 80er” comp (ZZ 3, 2/80). “Pretty much everything the band released during its heyday was a winner”. – Totally agreed! But Amok Koma is far better than Der Westen ist einsam, an album the band themselves weren’t much satisfied with. Has a couple of great songs though.
    About line-ups: the main member was and is Frank Z. FM Einheit was in the 1979 line up but Mark Chung joined in 1981-82 replacing bassist Gibo.
    ” They seem to be back together again” – well they sorta disappeared after 1984 but then reappeared in 1987 and haven’t stopped since. There’s a 2CD comp in Weird System that is a good introduction to the 2nd phase of the band as well as the first one but then this very EP and Amok Koma are a total must in its entirety!
    Some interesting Abwärts and Abw-related stuff can be found at Brotbeutel blog…
    Fernando :)

  6. Tim says:

    GREAT!!!!!!!!! YOU HERO! Around about 1990 I purchased a compilation album of German post punk and was always intrigued by 2 tracks on it by a band called “Abwarts” tracks = Effentanz & Beim. In 20 years I never came accross them again. As you point out, they’re hard to google. Every time I typed the name in Ebay I got nothing. Everytime I typed the name into Limewire, I got nothing; If I had ever stumbled accross a CD of theirs in a store, I would have snatched it up, but I never did. I suppose I could have tried harder, come to think of it I never checked AMAZON but I just presumed they were a mega obscure ancient German band, with no hope of getting their music.
    Other great bands on my old LP are: GEISTERFAHRER with one BEAUTIFUL Indie track called “Himmel Auf Erden” and another gem by a band called “Die Kapazitat”. I also stumbled upon an interesting German late 70′s art punk band at archive.org called The Rotators.
    I’m sure that the links here will lead me down a musical alleyway that I have been wanting to explore for many years –
    Tim (Australia)

  7. thomas p says:

    Fernando said it all, except: female member Magita released a great 3 track 12″ in 1981 on Hilsbergs ZickZack label. Cheers, Thomas

  8. liz says:

    my favorite video. love guy’s crazy arm dancing.

  9. fernando says:

    «love guy’s crazy arm dancing» – ?? I’m afraid the “guy” dancing (not the one with the tambourine or whatever) is not a guy, she’s Ma Gita, the female member Thomas P mentioned. btw the Ma Gita 12″ is posted on the brotbeutel blog as I mentioned, as well as other Abwärts-related stuff
    @Tim – the songs you mention (Affentanz & Beim ersten Mal tut’s immer Weh) are from the “Der Westen ist einsam” LP. It’s long deleted but I found it in the blogosphere some time ago so I suppose it’s still there…

  10. Joe says:

    looking at the video it is clear that this is Ma Gita. Regardless….I love her dancing as well. :)

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