Karel Von Dämmerung, writer, adventurer and self-proclaimed
beacon of the bohemian gonzo faction, has long been a legend in
the seedier cafes of central Europe. For many years
his extraordinary fanzine Sinful Beat provided
a lifeline to those in Czechoslovakia and Hungary who
wanted to keep abreast of international music developments,
while his own reckless encounters with authority provided
both hilarity and inspiration to the inhabitants of grimly
over-protective regimes. Unlikely tales of his personal
crusade on the frontiers of modern pharmacology are legion,
and there was a time when he said to be known by sight
to some two thirds of all the members of the Czechoslovakian
Karel left his native land and settled in Vienna in 1985
after being refused re-entry at Prague airport by the
authorities. The word is that, returning from some partially
legitimate 'Cultural Exchange' trip to Cuba, he caused
havoc at the Customs desk by presenting the official
with a large bag of high grade ganja and announcing his
intention to import two live Pygmy Crocodiles. Somehow
he succeeded in obtaining Political Refugee status in
Austria, where for the first time he was able openly
to publish his deranged writings.
Early in 1989 two events occured which led to the formation
of the combo whose first waxings you are now holding.
First, Karel's two brothers, Otto and Emil, arrived in
Vienna, having taken advantage of the new freedoms introduced
by the enlightened government of Vaclav Havel. Second,
Karel obtained in a second hand store and ancient sequential
circuits drum machine and a primitive sampler. The Black Eg was born.
After travelling to Italy for the World Cup, where they
did their best to establishthe hitherto concept of Czech
hooliganism, the brothers Von Dämmerung travelled
across Europe, arriving in England at the end of July.
Whilst there, they circulated copies of a cassette they
had made. The general reaction was one of disbelief.
Many people were heard to make rather unkind remarks
about people who took too many drugs.
The record which you now have in your hands has been
mastered from that cassette. Recorded on four-track
equipment in bedrooms across central Europe, it makes
no claim towards sonic sophistication. Indeed it makes
no real claims of any kind whatsoever. The Brothers
Von Dämmerung are only too proud to retail the story
of how, at their first and only public appearance, at
a bar in Vienna, the proceedings closed in utter confusion
after members of the public, objecting to The Black Eg's
relentlessly tedious version of Morricone's theme to
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly caused a near riot
when they attacked the band with C.S. gas.
Nor are the "band" remotely apologetic for their spectacularly
odd choice of samples. It is tempting to speculate that
all the loops on this record derive from free review
copies sent to Sinful Beat in the hope of publicity.
Certainly one can detect the presence of the ansaphone machine
on many tracks.
Since Creation Records acquired the tapes for this album they
have been unable to locate Karel Von Dämmerung or
either of his brothers. There is a rumour that they
are currently in Los Angeles engaged on some form of
private espionage. Other sources have them in Vietnam,
looking to collaborate with local musicians on a curious
hybrid of the native folk music and the American Twist
craze which blossomed in the mid-sixties. Their names
have been linked with that of California's Braindead Soundmachine
and east coast legend Meathook Wiliams
(Stepfather of the Blues). It is quite possible that
no more will ever be heard from there shadowy degenerates.
Meanwhile Creation Records is proud to offer this brief and fascinating
glimpse into the world of three foolish central Europeans
who thought they were making dance music.