The Birth of Autotune and the Loop of (West) German Identity

in German Politics and Society
Cyrus ShahanColby College

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Audible in the technological aesthetics of West German post punk is a 1980s strategy for escaping the political, cultural, and aesthetic contradictions of a nation trapped by the compulsion to, reconstruction of, and march toward a democratic state. Through the bands Die tödliche Doris and Pyrolator, this article locates potential sonic escapes from the canonical legacy of German experience in post punk’s technological turn. Against the confinement of the Federal Republic’s attendant freedoms, the logic of technologically driven post punk sought to avoid the hermetic fate of associative social forces past and to test the Federal Republic’s experiential limits of liberation and confinement.

Contributor Notes

Cyrus Shahan is assistant professor of German at Colby College. He is the author of Punk Rock and German Crisis: Adaptation and Resistance after 1977 (New York, 2013), co-editor of Beyond No Future: Cultures of German Punk (New York, 2016), and author of articles on the intersections of terrorism and technology, violence and aesthetics, music and gender, and Alexander Kluge and Peter Sloterdijk.

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