CHBB (aka LIAISON DANGEREUSES) : 4 Cassettes (CHBB, 1980)

CHBB was Chrislo Haas & Beate Bartel, 2 cornerstones of the original Neue Deutsch Welle. Chrislo's reputation was/is built on his pivotal role in Düsseldorf titans D.A.F.'s terrifying Mute-era recordings. Their uncompromising wall of discordant punk-informed proto-E.B.M. can be heard pummeling an unsuspecting London audience into submission on side 2 of their 1980 meisterwerk, Die Kleinen Und Die Bösen, recorded as support to Wire's polarising February '80 Electric Ballroom show (itself partially released on Document & Eyewitness). Beate, meanwhile, was a founder member of both Einstürzende Neubauten & the regrettably short lived Mania D (who, following her departure, evolved into the awe-inspiring Malaria!).

In the 3 decades since their original release, CHBB's recordings have justifiably attained near Holy Grail status, not only within the Cold Wave scene but to anybody with a serious interest in 70s/80s post-punk elektronische musik. Issued as 4 double-sided c-10 cassettes, each packaged with a paucity of information & distributed in a minuscule edition of 50 copies apiece, they're sufficiently sought after nowadays that somebody on the Minimal Wave forum recently promised $1000 to anyone who could provide them with a complete set. Slightly more realistically, a copy of the doppelspaltplatten I've sourced here - actually a 1998 bootleg - is currently on sale on Discogs for £250+! Fortunately, the music thereon still sounds absolutely incredible - a murky, nightmarish vista of urgent sequenced rhythms, distant disembodied voices, & rasping peals of sax, designed for the darkest of dance floors - & it hasn't dated in the slightest. Listening to them as I write, the CHBB cassettes sound like they might've been recorded, in a dingy Berlin basement studio, an hour ago. So, naturally, it baffles me as to why hitherto reliable critics are still queueing up to heap praise upon Factory Floor - whose superficial "metronomic synth-noir" (© The Guardian) offers little more than flagrant homage to the visionary work of Haas, Bartel & their peers - when pioneering outfits like CHBB were doing exactly the same thing, on scavenged &/or circuit bent equipment, & to far more startling ends, THIRTY YEARS AGO. Plans to remaster & reissue these (yes) seminal recordings were announced as far back as 2007, but have seemingly come to nothing. Frustrating.

Immediately after the CHBB tapes were released, the duo recruited French vocalist Krishna Goineau, renamed themselves Liaisons Dangereuses & decamped to Conny Plank's Köln studio to record their benchmark eponymous album, whose "Los Ninos Del Parque" has long been cited as a crucial influence by prominent Chicago & Detroit DJs alike. Briefly touted as another "next big thing" by the British & German music press, Liaisons Dangereuses only operated for a year or so, parting company in 1982 following a poorly attended U.K. tour (their July '82 performance at The Hacienda was issued as a now impossibly scarce Ikon video cassette), & leaving behind one final post-album recording, the so-so "Dancibar", on the NME's Mighty Reel compilation (available by mail order only).

Following the trio's premature dissolution, Chrislo slipped away into long-term hermitude, experimenting with sequencers & tape loops, moonlighting with Crime & The City Solution, & producing a handful of white knuckle techno 12"s for the legendary Berlin label, Tresor. Sadly, he died in 2004. Beate, meanwhile, formed the experimental pop ensemble Matador with Malaria!'s Gudrun Gut, & Manon Duursma, & has also collaborated with The Bad Seeds' drummer Thomas Wylder (previously of Die Haut).

n.b. More seminal Chrislo Haas experiments here.


  1. Anonymous29.7.12

    Thanks very much!

  2. Anonymous9.8.12

    If you really love destruction you should get in touch with Destruction Factory :)
    some good sample here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDJXU_oDtxY .
    Obviously we have our profile on FB.

  3. Anonymous12.12.13

    is a re-up possible ? thx !

  4. Anonymous21.6.14

    Don't think you have to be adversarial vs. Factory Floor, just a continuation of what CHBB were doing, adding their own ideas, I like both!