Slapp Happy, Faust; Sort OfTapete
TR 355 CD
Tapete present a reissue of Slapp Happy's Sort Of, originally released in 1972. Left-wing intellectual film critic Uwe Nettelbeck, who had good connections to Polydor, had set up his own studio in rural Wümme, disrupting the mainstream with pioneering sounds by the likes of Faust, inventively engineered by the "boffin's boffin", Kurt Graupner. By the time Anthony Moore, one of Nettelbeck's charges, approached his third album in 1972, Polydor's accounting department was fast losing patience with all that experimentalism. So Nettelbeck suggested to Moore that he might write some straight songs (relatively speaking), which in turn prompted Moore to invite his old school friend Peter Blegvad over to Hamburg to form the band Slapp Happy.
Dagmar Krause, a young singer from Hamburg and Moore's girlfriend, joined them both on their trip to Wümme to record what was to become Sort Of, using Faust as a backing band. A second album emerged, eschewing, even more clearly than the Sort Of, the heavy rock idioms of the era for an anti-macho playfulness that presaged the sparseness of post punk and the dry jangle of early indie. Nonetheless, Polydor pulled the plug, and Uwe Nettelbeck signed Faust and Slapp Happy over to Richard Branson's nascent Virgin imprint. At the Manor, they would rerecord their second album with UK musicians, bells and whistles for a 1974 release as Slapp Happy, burying the original version in the vaults not to reemerge until 1980 as Acnalbasac Noom (TR 356CD/LP).
After being asked which version they prefer today, the band does not take long to choose: "For the more direct approach it would have to be Acnalbasac Noom. It had a naïve spontaneity to it. Naïve in the nicest sense of the word."