11 Songs, 42 Minutes


About Station 17

Station 17 is a collective of improv musicians gathered from a Hamburg welfare community of mentally disabled persons. The group formed out of several late-'80s sessions led by social worker Kay Bosen. Recognizing the immense therapeutic value of music, he organized several jam sessions of spontaneous music. Record label Phonogram stepped in by 1989, financing an album on the condition that all proceeds were ploughed back into the Station 17 studio. With limited help from a few professional musicians (including Holger Czukay from Can and F.M. Einheit from Einstürzende Neubauten), six residents of the center recorded several long, improvised jam sessions for a self-titled debut album released in 1991 on Freibank. After 1993's Genau So, a theater group was formed from the project, sparking a series of appearances on television and at festivals, plus the documentary film Station 17: Der Film. With 1997's Scheibe, Station 17 began moving from an instrument-based focus into a form of electronic pop with ties to '70s godfathers Kraftwerk as well as the more recent spate of listening techno. The theater wing continued performing, and took their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream all over the country. One of German electronic music's most devoted disciples, Thomas Fehlmann (Palais Schaumburg, Sun Electric) produced Bravo, Station 17's fourth album, for a 1999 release. Fehlmann also proved indispensable in the hiring process for their 2001 remix album, Hitparade, which featured the top rank of German electronic producers (Pole, To Rococo Rot, the Modernist, Steve Bug). ~ John Bush

Hamburg, Germany