The underground German electronic experimentalists, E.M.A.K. (‘Elektronische Musik Aus Koeln’), Cologne’s synth-core/minimal-wave/ deutsche electronische group made a stunning set of radical records in the 1980s. Joining the dots between German electronic experimentalists such as Cluster, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream, the synth-core/minimal-wave of Germany’s electronic new wave such as D.A.F. (itself influenced by UK groups Cabaret Voltaire, Human League and The Normal) and with hints of the cosmic disco of Giorgio Moroder and Daniel Baldelli, Cologne’s E.M.A.K. remain one of electronic music’s best-kept secrets. E.M.A.K. are the German studio geniuses Mathias Becker and Kurt Mill, with additional contributions from Klaus St?hlen. Working throughout the 80s under the name E.M.A.K. these three artists are now seen as providing an evolutionary link between the kosmische pioneers of 70?s Germany (Cluster, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream et al) and later, more minimal synth-wave and industrial acts like D.A.F. as well as Baldelli-approved space-disco practitioners. The bedrock of the group’s legacy is the trilogy of self-titled albums, EMAK 1 (1982), EMAK 2 (1983) and EMAK 3 (1985); all three are rife with soaring melodies and pretty sequences, but in the main Becker and his cohorts reject pastoral drift in favour of linear, pulsating attacks that are undeniably proto-techno, standing comparison with Monoton’s more austere records of the same era. Read more o...

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