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Deutsche Wertarbeit biography
DEUTSCHE WERTARBEIT was a solo Electronic project by Dorothea RAUKES, better known for being the keyboardist of the German Space Rock band STREETMARK.

Only one self-titled album was released under this name in 1981. Its music is quite accessible, based on rhythmic Synthpop with experimental and cosmic elements in good measure, reminding unsurprisingly of the music of her former bandmate Wolfgang RIECHMANN.


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3.86 | 3 ratings
Deutsche Wertarbeit

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 Deutsche Wertarbeit by DEUTSCHE WERTARBEIT album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.86 | 3 ratings

Deutsche Wertarbeit
Deutsche Wertarbeit Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Women working in vintage electronic music certainly don't enjoy as much status as the more well-known fellas of the genre, but alongside equally worthwhile artists such as Doris Norton, Laurie Spiegel and many others, Dorothea Raukes, the former keyboardist for German spacerock group Streetmark offered the `Deutsche Wertarbeit' project and album in 1981. It's a constantly rhythmic-based and accessible work that crosses light Berlin School-modelled atmospheres, fuzzy ambient passages, programmed beats and frequently breezy vocoder tunes that drift closer (but not wholly) to synth-pop, with little traces of disco and dance music worked in as well.

Upbeat opener `Guten Abend, Leute' is very much modelled on the popular electronic Kraftwerk era of the mid Seventies onwards, being a slightly kitsch slice of electronica full of dominant upfront reprising themes, pulsing beats, spacey synth swirls and robotic vocoder spoken-word recitations provided by Dorothea herself. The laid-back and easily pleasing `Deutscher Wald' blends sparkling electric piano notes with fuzzy caressing synth washes over light beats, and `Unter Tage' offers strident urgent themes and jangling sequenced beats, softly taking the piece a little closer to Tangerine Dream.

`Auf Engelsflügeln's uplifting gliding synth waves and churning beats on side two almost take the piece into synth-pop territory, effortlessly coasting into a blissful vocoder spoken coda in the final moments, and almost heroic theme comes to life in `Intercity Rheingold' that could pass for one of the shorter soundtrack segments that Tangerine Dream delivered plenty of in the same decade. But for many listeners the near-ten minute closer `Der Grosse Atem' will impress most of all, a delicately solemn, enveloping and unhurried purer Berlin School work. Big on slowly evolving sonic atmospheres, chilly icy drones and eerie electronic shimmerings with just a touch of Jean-Michel Jarre's fizzing spacey caresses, it ultimately takes on a comforting Ashra-like serenity without ever coming close to vapid New Age music stylings (but an unwarranted and obtrusive glitch computer meltdown in the final seconds kills the mood!).

`Deutsche Wertarbeit' (aptly translated as `quality German workmanship'!) is hardly the most demanding or complex of German electronic works, and it's very likely that some followers of the heavier-going Berlin School acts and works will likely dismiss it as being throwaway or insubstantial. But close repeated listens uncover subtle depth and fascinating ideas buried beneath the misleadingly lightweight and effortlessly melodic surface, and it's a shame that Ms. Raukes didn't release any more solo efforts after this promising debut, as she was already revealing a distinctive and unique prog-electronic personality that would have potentially developed in even further interesting directions.

Three and a half stars for this charming album, rounded up to four, an interesting and worthy addition to vintage prog- electronic collections.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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