The German Kurt Dahlke is one of those rare cases of a guy who glimpses the future and then inserts himself into the same future he envisioned. Almost a temporal paradox in reverse (laughs). Producing electronic music under the nickname Pyrolator, the guy went through the 1970s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s, starting with both feet stuck in the experiments that would germinate (among other things) in the industrial 80s and decades later reaching minimal techno born in Detroit and popularized by his fellow countrymen at Kompakt.

Before assuming the Pyrolator persona, Dahlke played with the seminal DAF, but soon left to form Der Plan; While this was happening (in 1979), he founded the Ata Tak label with his partners from the nascent Neue Deutsche Welle, traveled the USA from end to end, came into contact with the crazy people at the Los Angeles Free Music Society who opened his mind – perhaps with the help of hallucinogens – to an ocean of possibilities where aliens Residents quietly shared the same space with John Cage, ayahuasca, synth dance pop, Kraftwerk, noise, Latin music, cocaine and anything else. This is how producer Pyrolator was born, and in the midst of this chaos his first album, the obviously chaotic Inland, which could easily serve as a soundtrack for the end of the world. But it’s not the one around here today, because I don’t feel apocalyptic enough. Let’s move the clock forward by two years and we’ll get to the big time, Abroadfrom 1981.

Here the guy picked up the level of crazy fusions absorbed while riding through the land of Uncle Sam, reducing the disenchantment, the drill noises and the like from his debut, keeping part of the aura of space travel and sarcasm and adding beats, synth lines as well. more friendly and vocal (from spoken word to surreal Spanish), disco music, easy listening and the scambau to create – with a helping hand or two from his friends from the Ata Tak cast – a unique mix that from then on continues to reverberate throughout there (just check out the electro/synth pop of the 80’s, some modern Latinities, the crossover of people like Matthias Aguayoetc).

Dahlke followed this somewhat crooked path between pop and experimentation/avant garde throughout the first half of the lost decade (in 1984 he released Wonderland, full of synthesized nature and orchestral sounds, sounding almost like a cartoon soundtrack; a year later, he produced, in partnership with Arnd Kai Klosowski, the visionary Hometaping Is Killing Music, all built with samples), until in 87 he invited the singer Susan Brackeen and dived headfirst into pop with Dreamland. All while continuing with Der Plan. Prolificacy is a nickname, and that, my friends, is just part of what he did during the 80’s.

From the following decade onwards, Kurt continued without stopping until in the 2000s, among many, many works, he was involved in the techno (minimalist) that had influenced him so much since the end of the 70’s with his various projects. But all these chapters that comprise at least another three decades of toil (!) are for the next story; for today the thing is to capture this cornerstone moment in Pyrolator’s career called Abroad.

Listen to the stalk!


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