Amok Koma is an album by the Hamburger punk band Abwärts.
The LP was released in 1980 by ZickZack Records. The debut LP was distributed via Rip Off Hamburg. It is considered one of the best-selling albums in the early stages of independently produced and distributed music in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Musically, the album is in line with the band's self-titled debut EP released earlier that year, though it does contain more straightforward typical punk rock tunes than the EP did. Nevertheless, the band uses punkrock-untypical instruments such as synthesizers, effect devices or even violins on some of the tracks, so that the LP seems in parts very experimental. Despite the prevailing confrontation in the Hamburg music scene between avant-garde "art student music" on the one hand and rock'n'roll-influenced street punk rock on the other side, Abwärts also enjoyed widespread recognition within the Hamburg punk scene.
With the exception of the live version of Japan, all titles on this LP were recorded in the Hafenklang Studio Hamburg. It was largely recorded and produced by the band itself in cooperation with Klaus Maeck, who also took over the distribution of the LP via Rip Off. Also, the record cover was created the group itself. The recordings were completed in August 1980. In October of this year, the LP appeared on ZickZack Records.
The live version of the title "Japan" is a recording from the first Abwärts concert from the "Geräusche für die 80er" festival on December 29, 1979 in the Markthalle Hamburg.
Bassist of this formation was Marc Chung of the Hamburg Buschband. Gisbert Kellersmann, who had previously replaced founding member Joachim "Jocko Ono" Osiek on this instrument, had left after the Germany tour in May 1980. Nevertheless, both Kellersmann on the two tracks Softly, softly and Neon Kind as well as Osiek on the live recording of Japan on bass can be heard.
According to the reviews of the LP in the music press, the sales figures were high. With 24,000 copies sold, the LP became the best-selling ZickZack production and is considered one of the best-selling independent productions in Germany at all. The LP was distributed via Rip Off Hamburg, the punk record shop of the Hanseatic city operated by Klaus Maeck. In fact, however, the band has run the distribution itself, according to the official homepage of the band.
In 1988 there was a CD reissue released in small numbers. Since 2012, the album is available as a download version.
The LP received good reviews in the leading West German music magazines such as Sounds and Spex.
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