Familie Hesselbach

PL 107LP PL 107LP

In other places, the New German Wave was already over by 1982. In the countryside they were always a bit behind. Particularly in the south-west of Germany, where the quiet university town of Tübingen sits like a Disney version of a German province. The late 1970s were synonymous with a left-leaning alternative scene, and it was in this climate that a bunch of renegades met. Two things united them: antipathy towards their fellow students and a desire for musical renewal. To give (post) punk meaningful direction and to present to the public the already nostalgic (perhaps only retroactively constructed) idea of pop as an agent of permanent cultural revolution, they needed bands whose confrontational performances could stir up and split student gatherings. That's what Attraktiv & Preiswert did, fronted by Ralf van Daale. The Hesselbach Family was founded by Gottfried, Axel, Claude, Frank, and Klaus Hesselbach, with Handke Hesselbach joining later. The name, taken from a TV series about a Hessian family business, placed them somewhere between wishful thinking (Ramones) and reality (the provincial backwaters). Compared to most projects, where everyone was involved in three (one group and two side projects), the Hesselbachs were a band in the old-fashioned sense. Their playing was tight, which was unusual for the New German Wave. Their co-conspirators had brilliant ideas (like Autofick and Zimt), but the Hesselbach Family really had the new possibilities at their fingertips. They had the groove of A Certain Ratio and Medium Medium, as well as the "broken jazz" of James Chance groups, and they shamelessly adopted the manifesto pop of British DIY bands and the Scottish "Postcard sound". They were even quicker than others to integrate "Zitatpop", the further development of the revolution that was underway and still largely not understood in Germany. For a long time, no one realized that it was the legacy of a scene that was small, but highly motivated in terms of content. It represents those who, between 1979 and 1983, wanted to recreate the big and exciting pop world in the sleepy regions around Stuttgart, for fun but with the necessary seriousness. German post-punk was traditionally averse to theory. It is only now, when they sound as they should have done, that you realize that the Hesselbach Family were the Talking Heads in this completely unlikely constellation. Photos and liner notes by Frank Apunkt Schneider. Remastered by Moritz Illner.