Dusseldorf, La


Band members               Related acts

- Klaus Dinger (RIP 2008) -- vocals, guitar, keyboards,

  synthesizers, percussion (1975-78)

- Thomas Dinger (RIP 2002) -- vocals, percussion (1975-78)

- Hans Lampe -- drums, percussion, electronics (1975-78)

 

  supporting musicians:

- Harald Konietzko -- bass

- Nickolaus van Rhein -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Andreas Schell -- piano

 

 

 

- 1-A Dusseldorf (Thomas Dinger)

- Thomas Dinger (solo efforts)

- Kraftwerk (Klaus Dinger)

- NEU! (Klaus Dinger)


 

Genre: Krautrock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Viva

Company: Radar

Catalog: RAD 10
Year: 1978

Country/State: Dusseldorf, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: UK pressing; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5933

Price: $35.00

 

Credit (or blame) former Kraftwerk and NEU! multi-instrumentalist Klaus Dinger for La Dusseldorf.  On the heels of Neu!'s breakup, Dinger formed La Dusseldorf in 1975.  The trio included Dinger's brother Thomas on vocals and percussion and drummer Hans Lampe.  

 

Self-produced, 1978's "Viva" wasn't a major departure for the trio.  With Klaus Dinger again responsible for all of the material, the six songs found the trio trying to navigate their way between NEU!'-styled experimental and minimalist edges and a host of more popular genres including new wave ('White Overalls'), AOR ('Geld'), and even adult contemporary lite jazz ('Rheinita').  That made for an album that's always been sort of a mystery to my ears.  Taken individually none of the six tracks were liable to change your life, but played back-to-back the set was quite enjoyable.  A perfect example of the sum being more than the totality of the parts ...

 

- Starting off with the combination of a martial beat and French lyrics initially made 'Viva' a little disconcerting, but once the tune started trucking along with buzz saw guitars it turned into something quite enjoyable.   rating: **** stars

- 'White Overalls' made it clear Dinger and company had been listening to English new wave ...Kicked along by a jittery guitar and keyboard base, the song basically featured two minutes of the title sung over and over, but certainly managed to capture new wave angst ...   rating: ** stars

- Opening with a mixture of radio static and what sounded like a church choir, 'Rheinita' quickly morphed into a pretty synthesizer-propelled instrumental that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Vangelis release. That wasn't meant as a slam either.  Kicked along by Lampe's steady drums, this one was surprisingly commercial; largely explaining why German label Strand tapped it as a single.   rating: *** stars

- 'Vogel' (translated as 'birds') was nothing more than 90 seconds of chirping birds, though I don't have a clue as to whether they were real birds, or synthesizer chirps (I'd guess the latter).   rating: * star

- The only track sung entirely in German, 'Geld' (translated as 'money'), found the trio taking a stab at AOR guitar rock.  I always smile at the 'make love not war ... the Beatles lied' segment.   rating: ** stars

- Side two featured the twenty minute epic 'Cha Cha 2000'.  This one's always puzzled me.  Fans loft it to the pinnacle of Krautrock, but to my ears the first section sounded like a bunch of slightly buzzed, middle aged, middle class guys trying to sing schlager.  Ignore the German and English lyrics since they didn't make a great deal of sense and the printed lyrics featured a font style that was difficult to read.   Luckily the track started to pick up considerable steam about three minutes in.  It then morphed into a quiet, keyboard dominated segment.  Pretty, but kind of disappointing after the previous section.  rating: **** stars

 

The album was also tapped for a German single:

 

 

- 1978's 'Rheinita' b/w 'Viva (Strand catalog number 6.12454)

 

"Viva" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Viva    (Klaus Dinger) - 2:33

2.) White Overalls    (Klaus Dinger) - 2:07

3.) Rheinita (instrumental)    (Klaus Dinger) - 7:40

4.) Vogel (instrumental)    (Klaus Dinger) - 1:30

5.) Geld    (Klaus Dinger) - 6:23

 

(side 2)
1.) Cha Cha 2000    (Klaus Dinger) - 20:01

 

YouTube has a television clip of the band clearly lip synching their way through 'Rheinita' (well since it's an instrumental, I guess they weren't technically lip synching).  Be forewarned that the sound and picture quality are horrible.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b48qPmJudE

 

Sadly, Thomas Dinger died in April 2002.   Klaus Dinger died of heart failure in March, 2008.  

 

For anyone interested, you can find a nice Dinger website at:

 

http://www.la-duesseldorf.de/

 

 

 

 

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