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Biography

The Trial are an experimental German-Turkish-Swiss alternative-band, playing music somewhere in between rock, pop, wave, industrial and several other styles. They are one of the groups that attracted attention as being "different" to what was and is usually known as Turkish popular music in Germany (arabesk, Turkish hip hop, …). Their exposing attribute is, that they act as a unique in Germany's underground music culture.

Actual Members

Voice, Instruments, Lyrics: αlabay (since 1985)
Drums: Pfeuti (since 1988 with break)
Voice, Kotamo: Lady Ophreusis (since 2003)

Bandhistory

The group was founded 1985 in Berlin by M. Strenge and αlabay, both dealing basically with sociocritical issues those times. The musical background was in the beginning noise and experimental sound collages, contributed by αlabay. 1987 both split up and αlabay started creating structured music. Back then, there was no intention to belong to a specific music genre but the influences of The Cure, Joy Division and The Sisters of Mercy gave obviously distinction. 1988 αlabay left Berlin and moved to Southwest-Germany. Between 1989 and 1995 an active phase with concerts followed.

From 1998 on the band started to create several albums via internet and telephone but only two concerts were given since then. Between 2001 and 2005 a concept album was recorded (Statements & Unanswered Questions). This was a reinterpretation of an unrealized album from 1986 and done together with the co-founder M. Strenge. He had a nearly fatal accident 1996, thus this reinterpretation of sociocritical points of view was written from a completely new perspective.

2006 the group decided to act more as a band in the future. That year should also become a turning point, as a completely Turkish work had been recorded for the first time. Before that only loose Turkish tracks were done. The decision came after a stay in Izmir and Istanbul in 2005. That sojourn revealed the full dimension of how the Turkish alternative-scene had altered. Groups like Replikas, Mor ve Ötesi or Duman had brought in new wave and Alternative elements into the music; in the past, alternative basically meant crossover or metal-influenced.

Background

The Trial was founded in the nineteen-eighties’ West-Berlin, in a period formed by cold war and social tensions. The accusing, sociocritical and pessimistic lyrics let bud the idea of being in trial with the society – the trial: namely the trial and process (hinting to Franz Kafka’s The Process/The Trial). The ambiguity of the name accommodates the experimental aspect of the music. In the beginning, M. Strenge was the one who was more sociocritical, αlabay rather wrote emotional, partially even banal wave/pop lyrics. A special attribute was that the lyrics were not monolingual. Besides English, they were written also in German, French and Turkish. Turkish had an extra role due to this language obtained to be exotic in alternative music back then. 2005/2006 αlabay realized that several things one cannot think or feel in German or English were better expressible in Turkish. As merely anything is more or less translatable multiple languages are a tool kit to blast the constriction of a sole language and cultural way of thinking.

Instruments

The first recordings were made employing every instrument or device that was available, starting with an acoustic guitar and a small Yamaha PSS-401. From 1988 on possibilities occurred to use more exotic equipment: Appalachian dulcimer, psaltery, monochord or the like. As main instruments drums, piano and bass were added. The electric guitar had been played occasionally since 1987 but it got the typical leading part of rock music not until 1989. Years with "normal" rock instrumentation followed, sometimes supported with violin or saxophone. 2000 an important novelty was introduced: the saz (long-necked lute) became a leading instrument. Since then several alienated parts were recorded with it in a way never heard before in Turkish rock music. Later on the group started to also use computers, bins, refrigerators and field recordings.

Linkages

• The Trial was renamed to New Trial between 1993 and 2003 – this had two reasons: 1993 had to clean the slate and the group wanted to contrast from the nearly homonymous electro-band Trial. 2003 the old name was readopted.
• αlabay is also a member of unlustig!, a new wave group.
• mik@ erstwhile played with the industrial-acts Sheba Wore No Nylons and DL, amongst others. Later on he worked solo in the Industrial sector as The M.M.V.P.
• Pfeuti has released two albums with the hardcore-formation Radical Development. He is also member of the band Tumorchester.
• M. Vassallo who had collaborated between 1996 and 2003, is the founder of the dark ambient-project Arbre Noir.
• There were and are cooperations and collaborations with different musicians and artists.
• A Czechoslovak synth-pop band of the same name existed in the early 1990's, its releases included "Pictures" and "No Love in Future" . More infos: www.thetrial.cz (czech/english homepage).

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