The Golden Age
Just about every compilation of German music I’ve heard reveals that the country’s interests run deeper than the mindless techno and menacing industrial that seems to make the charts. This collection of tracks from German powerhouse l’Age d’Or (“the German Sub Pop/Matador,” declares the sticker on the outside) weaves through a lot of unthinkable permutations, like Stella’s “Tomorrow I’ll Be Perfect (US High School Mix),” a tune that brings to mind the chirpy optimism of the Human League’s “Fascination.” Fink gives us Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” plucked on the banjo and slide guitar. Tocotronic spice their transitions between full-on-wall-of-sound and gentle acoustic balladry with loops that sound like the disc may be skipping. Extremely creative and magnificently diverse, this is worth seeking out.