Jürgen Laarmann may not be a household name outside of Germany, but for a generation of clubbers east of the Ruhr, he is synonymous with one of the most important publications in techno history – Frontpage.
Earlier this month, Dazed ran a brilliant profile of the publication that was described as both “printed rave” and “graphic ecstacy”, between 1989, when it was founded, and its final print run in 1997.
Borne out of an in-house fanzine for Technoclub, a club night held in Frankfurt Airport – imagine arriving back on an early morning flight to be confronted with that! – it was an important chronicler of a techno movement that helped to define a newly-unified Germany.
In March 1996, Der Spiegel caught up with Laarmann, on the back of the launch of a rave compilation and announcement of a ten-day arts and culture festival in Berlin.
“Techno is a kind of cultural principle,” Laarmann explains during the article. “It means that every person has easy access to technology and can do everything himself.”
As the author puts it, ‘Techno, according to his idea, is not an ideology, but a potential: just as anyone can produce their own music with an investment of a few thousand marks, so every human being in the techno age can shape his life freely and independently. In Laarmann’s Marxism for the Raving Society; Sampler, Internet and Macintosh replace hammers and sickles.’
While the article was originally printed in German and requires Google Translate, it still makes for a fascinating read…