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to get recorded material and books, but the GDR wasn’t really hermetically sealed.
DD: Carsten Nicolai reports on important radio-listening events. Of course, all that really interests him in the end is the sound interference.
RL: That’s like him! There was also the New Wave – evening broadcasts on RIAS, in 1981, I think. They always began around eleven at night, and I listened to them with my brother. One evening, the announcer said, Tonight we’re going to hear a piece of music recorded entirely on a bicycle… And I found the idea so exciting that I stayed up all night with my finger over the record button – but they never played the piece! The idea fascinated me, and I definitely wanted to hear it. Only I never found out what it was like.
IA: Now a question on the beginnings of «Ornament and Crime,» which occurred in a scene – I’m focusing less on the Punk scene now – full of many inter-linking media connections, from music to other genres, for instance to the visual arts, literature, and film. To what extent is that important for your work today? Even
without such connections, «to rococo rot» still functions as music. But you yourself work as a visual artist with a strong emphasis on sound pieces. Did that long period with «Ornament and Crime» influence your own work?
RL: It’s like this: you get ready, start, just play it, and see what happens. That kind of spontaneity is still very important. And this kind of scene did exist: with musicians that painted, and painters that made music. That was a topic even then. There was the artists’ group the «Jungen Wilden» in West Germany, and the painter Salome, for example, had a band called «Geile Tiere» (Sexy Beasts). It was normal not to separate the genres. Since then, our working methods, and a certain composing style, have hardly changed much. The same applies to the technology involved: in the late 1980s, we began working on Commodore 64 with sequencing programs and small computers; early on, we were also given self-made synthesizers, or friends let us borrow their devices. That equipment hardly differed from what we have today, apart from all the Macs G3, G4 and G5 equipment. The basics are still pretty much the same. It was also important that