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Die Unbekannten

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Die Unbekannten (The Unknown) were formed in June 1981 by two ex-pat Brits living in Berlin, Mark Reeder and Alistair Gray, for the legendary “Konzert zur Einheit der Nation” (Concert for the Unity of Germany) held in the SO36 club in Kreuzberg on 17th June 1981.
They recorded their first successful 12” vinyl “Die Unbekannten” shortly afterwards for Elisabeth Recker’s Monogam label. This controversial three track EP also featured their friend Thomas Wydler on drums. It was a collection of gloomy and politically themed tracks, such as the cold-war classics “Radio War”, “Casualties” and “Poseidon” (a bi-lingual song in English and German, about the sinking of a Poseidon nuclear submarine).
In spring 1982, Mark and Alistair were given an early prototype of a Roland 606 drum computer, by a member of The Human League. After a few days trial (writing songs), they immediately went into Harris Johns recording studio in Kreuzberg and recorded “Don’t Tell Me Stories” (featuring Renegade Soundwave’s Danny Briotett on cooking pot-percussion), and “Perfect Love” for their next Monogam EP “Dangerous Moonlight”.
Two more tracks soon followed “The Game” and “Against the Wall” (which again featured Thomas Wydler on drums and percussion). This melancholic single was a huge success for the band and was probably one of the earliest examples of electronic “darkwave” music. During the following two years, the line-up changed. Wydler left the band to play with “Die Haut” and the drum machine and electronics completely changed their sound and songwriting style.

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