left: Jammin' Unit (electronics + guitar) + right: Sea Wanton
(sampling, shortwave-radio, vocals) played the 'Liquid Sky Berlin' show #48', at 'Alex-tv Berlin', in 2015.
images + glitches courtesy of 'ADSX'. many thanks to Dr. Walker (from 'Liquid Sky Berlin') for invitation. click on image to watch the video ...
find us on 'bandcamp', 'soundcloud', 'discogs', 'mixcloud', and 'youtube'. for all inquiries, please write to 'Sea Wanton' at the following address: resistance(at)nontoxiquelost(dot)de
planned (for 2017): in fact, it's planned to upload ALL 'Non Toxique Lost' songs to 'bandcamp' to make them available as 'digital downloads'.
current (we're not slowing !!): the brand-new album is named 'medialunas'. you can listen to the 13 songs at 'bandcamp' .
do you want more informations about all the releases of 'Non Toxique Lost' ? then, click here to get an overview ...
and this is/was the story of 'Non Toxique Lost'
In the beginning of the 80s, the band 'Non Toxique Lost' (short name:
'NTL') was founded in Mainz, Germany.
The eponym for this project was taken
from the term "mustard gas", a chemical weapon, which had been invented
by the german scientists named "Lommel" and "Steinkopf" during World War I
under the acronym of "LOST" .
Though the band's name refers to the "unperilous"
character of this music, in the end 'Non Toxique Lost'
also acted as a means
for a fight, the very fight against the deadlocked patterns of the
culture of music of that time.
Formed by members of some local "Punk"-bands,
founded bei Sea Wanton and A. Wollscheid (aka 'S.B.O.T.H.I.').
S. Schütze (aka 'T.poem') joined to play bass, violin and special (electronic) effects
and P. Prieur, called "Pogo", did the vocals.
Although 'NTL' often has been
labelled as part of the "NDW" (= "Neue deutsche Welle") and sometimes even
influences of "Jazz music" have been (wrongly) mentioned, the band
saw its position in the first instance
in the context of an "industrial
movement". When 'NTL' was founded in 1982, its uncompromising musical
was significantly inspired by pioneers of the "Industrial Music" like Throbbing
Gristle, SPK and Whitehouse.
Out of these influences, 'Non Toxique Lost'
developed its sound as a trance-esque cocoon of clashing
sounds of walls,
pulsating synthethizers and angry vocals, which draws the listener into
an emotional maelstrom,
leading from fear, pain and desperation to rage
and unlimited aggression. From time to time very static and
pushed on by
brute rhythms, 'NTL's music is uncompromisingly tough and this is exactly
why it can be considered
as an anomaly of that Germany of the early 80s.
Similarities are seen more with bands like 'Pacific 231' (from France)
Esplendor Geometrico' (from Spain). In essence, there are two important
ideas crossing the band's whole oeuvre:
the processing of the "everyday
life" experience, interweaved with an explicit political attitude. A large
impact came from
J. Stender, who had been a member of 'P.D.', then. His talent,
to create german lyrics on "everday life" "on the run",
conveying the "concrete"
and "direct" contents, had been a adequate stylistic device to handle the
facts of a "grey german reality" of those days. But in contrary to 'P.D.'
and 'P16.D4', 'Non Toxique Lost' objected
to being classified into the "art"
genre. Indeed, there were some references to the current "art"-movements,
but the music was not to be "avantgarde", even if some external observers
could get this impression.
But 'NTL' combined its conceptions about music
with the idea to be creative using existing objects and to,
instruments, also use unconventional sound sources - this is another example
for the realisation
of the "concrete" and "everyday life". At the same
time, the music has been the radical expression of
an oppositional attitude.
With 'NTL', Sea Wanton (the singer) realized his intention to found a band,
which dealt with the social and political boredom of its reality in a challenging
way. 'NTL' did not only
intend to distance itself from the reception of music,
in general, but it provoked a concrete hassle
with those crusted forms
of understanding music and the culture of the youth. The band was permanently
confronted by an environment which was deeply into the "Rock-music" culture
of the 70s, public places
like pubs and youth-centres were dominated
by the "Hippies" and "drug-abuse" cosiness. For a project
like 'Non Toxique Lost' that meant a struggle for "free-spaces", not hostility, but also the
to become accepted as something new. To a certain extent, as
an idea of the "Punk"-movement, the philosophy
of 'NTL' aimed at provocation
and the radical realisation of its own ideas.
Accordingly, the turning
away from the established mechanismn of the "music-business" did
not only affect
the musical style, but also the production and merchandising
of the sound storage medium. It was logic for
'NTL' to select the compact-cassette
as a medium for its music. This was "the" medium, which allowed the
as opposed to anything else, to keep in control over their musical and
creative work and a direct
merchandising, without being forced to take
part in the profit-orientated "machinery" of the "music-business".
the first recordings were published on the "d.i.y."(=do it yourself) founded
"cassettes only" label called "Can Can", which were to be followed by ca.
30 further releases. Inspite of this high grade of productivity,
mostly the studio- and "live" material of 'NTL', but also some cassette-compilations
featuring some "international industrial" bands, 'NTL' and "Can Can" remained
a creative "action-area", which was not perceived as a "full time job"
or even as the "meaning of life". For a first vinyl release, a strictly
limited edition, you had to wait for some years. The songs on the lp-album,
called "Wanton", released in 1986, a selection of material, which had
published earlier on compact-cassette, expresses something like a "subtile"
toughness (on a long range),
which drills slowly in your auditory canal
and the band herself accurately characterises it as "industrial muzak".
As opposed to the high output on sound-medium there were only rare chances
to experience the band on stage.
Only a few events like those in Mainz
and Trier (Germany), at the "Recloose Festival" in London, in Amsterdam,
at the "Geminox-Festival" in Frankfurt (Germany) or at the "Berlin Atonal
2 Festival" took place. Even though the
performance at the "Berlin Atonal
2 Festival" got an especially good reputation and positive feedbacks with
those "friends" of "abstract music", 'NTL' remained true to itself and did
not devise any ambitions to change its strategies
of merchandising. The
band was more interested in the construction of a national and international
community of producers and listeners of "abstract" and "experimental" music.
There was a little network(ing) in the Mainz,
Wiesbaden and Frankfurt -
area (Germany), e.g., in the atmosphere of the "Selektion" label (with
groups like 'P16.D4' and 'S.B.O.T.H.I.'), resulting in friendly contacts and
sometimes personal cooperations
within the music processes (including some
sessions and live-performances). More contacts were established with "Graf
Haufen" (Berlin) and soon reached out to "cassettes only" labels, based
in France, the U.K. and Italy.
Besides his membership with 'NTL', Sea Wanton
had started publishing a fanzine called "Handbook of Fun" in 1983,
which intended to be a medium for subversive communication. The fanzine
had been a means to distribute words
and artworks ("collages"), which pointed
out the protest against the established structures of the societies and
understanding of "art" or crusted "music-cultures", and thereby it can
be interpreted as a printed form of "the same",
which was also articulated
by 'NTL's music. Furthermore the "Handbook of Fun" constituted a forum for
distributing contact-addresses (with different "cassettes-only"
labels or juicy record-shops), thus being part of an international network
of the "industrial scene of the 80s". NTL came up against those established
patterns of their
environment with a radical "musical" denial,
even though expressed in a distinct (german) language, only very few
understand. You could say, that this pull-esque, rhythmical toughness of
some tracks, which meanwhile
is an essential part with numerous "industrial
bands", appeared some years "too early". The fact, that this music caused
more embarassing to irritating reactions by most listeners, plus the consequent
policy of publications
and the responsibility for the "subversive underground",
are (presumably) the cause for being known by the "in-crowd", until now.
Even though or exactly because the "hearing customs" have changed
in these last decades,
the music of 'NTL' has kept hold of its attraction
as a "pioneer" achievement of the so-called "rhythmical Industrial".
some years, Sea Wanton, accompanied by new companions, is again active
as 'Non Toxique Lost'.
While now using contemporary sound sources like samplers
and computers, it is (as always) bound to the idea of
toughness and a political attitude and, thus, creating its own musical
cosmos. Parallel to this, a selection
of early tape-recordings has been
re-released on vinyl and gives a fine overview on the complete works of
the band. (liner notes by T. Pargmann and C. Ressler (2006))
click here (or on image)
to listen to 'SAM 41643'(the version from 'Träneninvasion', which appeared on this 'card-sized usb flash memory' in 2014)