Jan 2022 05

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“Unsteady, unstable, anarchic.” Such is the description given to the short-lived German electro/industrial entity known as Abortive Gasp in a new documentary feature, titled Nothing New But Normal. Formed in 1987 in Hamburg by instrumentalist Hartmut Lühr (Harry Luehr) and vocalist Tim Paal with a bevy of guest musicians, Abortive Gasp had garnered recognition in the independent electronic music scene that was active in the city’s Schanzenviertel nightlife and entertainment district in close proximity to the Flakbunker on the Heiligengeistfeld, sharing the distinction with Girls Under Glass and Cancer Barrack as one of the “Hamburg Bunker Bands.”
 

 
Employing an atypically improvisational style, Abortive Gasp held an uncharacteristically apolitical mindset that was contrary to the left-leaning ideals of the burgeoning darkwave and electro/industrial scene of the time, leading to disregard from DJs, promoters, and critics – Paal touches on this in the documentary, stating thus, “We produce music regardless of sensitivities, because that’s a core idea of independence, and because it was actually possible,” and criticizing makeup and “other knick-knacks” employed by other bands at the time as lacking substance. The feature also touches on the provocative nature of the band’s name, of which Luehr comments “happened to be a vague anticipation of the direction our lives would take well after the inevitable breakup,” addressing issues of abortion and its social and religious implications.
During the band’s tenure, they would release five cassette albums via Paal’s own Nothing New But Normal imprint, as well as two live recordings, and one promotional compilation. Abortive Gasp performed its last gig at the Kir club as support act for Borghesia in 1989, after a mere two years of existence. Created by Marvin Boehmke, Karina Frik, Anke Sandig, and Angelika Weinreich, the Nothing New But Normal documentary is available to view on Vimeo in both English and German. As well, Abortive Gasp’s catalog, including remastered editions and the 2021 Bunker Busters compilation, is available for free download via Bandcamp.

 

Abortive Gasp
Website (Vimeo), Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp
 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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