Thursday, May 14, 2015

P2O5 - 1978 - Vivat Progressio-Pereat Mundus

Vivat Progressio-Pereat Mundus

01. Comin' Over Again
02. Morning Of The Ants
03. I Didn't Care
04. Undumufu (All Right)
05. Smash
06. Hangman
07. Step On My Face
08. Memories

Bonus tracks:
09. Hangman (Live)
10. Paradise

Wolfgang Burkhard - keyboards
Konny Hempel - guitar
Helmut Hiebel - vocals, bass
Edwin Lotter - drums
Werner Weiß - vocals

P205 were founded in Wendelstein, situated in Franconia to the south of Nuremberg, in 1970 and played progressive hard rock with mystical elements. The four original members were schoolmates from Wendelstein and Nuremberg, namely Wolfgang Burkhard on piano, Rainer Häuser on guitar, Helmut Hiebel on bass and vocals, and Eddy Lotter on drums who invented the band name which stems from the chemistry classes of their Veit Stoß secondary school in Nuremberg, being the formula for phosphorus pentoxide. It is included e.g. in potash; it is not, however, an explosive as was wrongly asserted, but is only smouldering along. The choice of the name had no deeper meaning. Another group from this area later copied this idea and called themselves H2S04. Our P205 started with modest equipment and rehearsed in changing places, e.g. in the school's bicycle room or in the basements of their homes. Their first public performance took place in the very year of their foundation; that was in the adjoining room of the Eibach pub 'Zu den drei Linden' near Nuremberg. Even then they played their rock ballad "Hangman", one of their best tracks. Then some further gigs followed in Nuremberg and the surrounding area, one of them for the UNICEF. When Rainer Hauser quit the group in 1972 because his girlfriend made demands on his time, he was replaced by Konny Hempel. The more famous they became over the years, the more they were booked, also in the farther surrounding areas such as Tirschenreuth, Amberg, Schweinfurt or Aschaffenburg. One day Steff Lindemann from the BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bavarian Broad­casting), who conducted a Big Band, was so impressed by one of their gigs that he invited them to a live competition in the studio 1 of the Südwestfunk Baden-Baden where they came in second in the category rock music. Thereupon their track "Obolus machine" was broadcasted in the SWF radio programme "Musikalische Leichtgewichte" (musical lightweights) in 1974, later also by the BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bavarian Broadcasting). In 1975, Rainer Hauser returned to the group; but when he more and more missed rehearsals because of his girlfriend, he was turned out of the band for good after a short time. In 1977, they took singer Werner Weiß into the band, whose voice was a bit more melodious than that of Helmut Hiebel. The fans were now split about whether the hoarse, gothic voice of Helmut or the softer voice of Werner, spanning more octaves, would better suit the sound and heavy-rock style of P205. Manfred Käferlein, Norbert Igel, and Hans-Günther Linz were in charge of the PA system. Meanwhile the artists had composed so many tracks of their own that they decided to put them on an own LP. The tarcks were taped and mixed in November 1978 in the Nuremberg Brutkasten studio of Peter Klimek. The band members had developed each track together. Towards the end of 1978 the LP was released under the title of "Vivat progressio - pereat mundus". This is Latin and means "Long live the progress, may the world collapse under it." They produced 1000 covers (500 as a reserve) and 500 LPs. When the sale dragged on, the band abstained from a re­pressing. Enclosed was a DIN A4-size (letter format) sheet printed on one side containing three of the song lyrics. The LP was released on the Brutkasten label, but as both the recordings and the production had been paid by the artists, they have the rights on the LP and not Peter Klimek who had just carried out a commission. Meanwhile they also liked performing painted and in fancy dress, with burning torches and an extravagant, somehow sinister-mysterious decor. But the group's best times were over now. In 1980, Wolfgang Burkhard quit the band, shortly after that Helmut Hiebel left, and then Konny Hempel. Now changes followed in brief intervals. The decline could also be seen in the fact that they played less and less own pieces and more and more tracks of other groups like Black Sabbath or Judas Priest. In July 1982, P205's time was definitely over. Eddy Lotter was the only one who had stayed in the band from the beginning to its very end.
In 1993, Wolfgang Burkhard and Norbert Igel left some recordings from rehearsals from 1975 and 1976 to a Munich label which released the material as CD "P205", made in Austria. Its sound is not as good as that of the LP, but still satisfactory. The recordings had been made with a two-track tape recorder and two microphones. Some of the tracks were known from the LP, however in a new version, some had been hitherto completely unknown. Really outstanding is the last track, "I gotta go over me" which has been marked as a bonus track, who knows why. Due to the great demand, "Vivat progressio - pereat mundus" was re-released in 2004, in an edition of 500 LPs. Enclosed is again a sheet with song lyrics, and additionally one LP-size sheet with ten, mostly colour, photographs of their late period. As the master tapes had been lost, an LP in mint condition was digitally decrackled for the recording. And it was done with the NoNoise system of Cedar, the best procedure whatsoever. Thus, any kind of disturbing surface noise is gently erased without significantly changing the sound quality. There hasn't been a CD release of this work yet. For this CD the same Cedar procedure has been applied as for the earlier LP on Amber Soundroom. The two bonus tracks have been hitherto unreleased.
Wolfgang Burkhard died in 2004. Konny Hempel is now working as a bicycle dealer, Werner Weiß as a taxi driver, Helmut Hiebel as a software engineer with GfK (a company for consumer research in Nuremberg), Eddy Lotter is running a medium-sized company for plant engineering and construction, and Norbert Igel today works as a master plasterer.

1 comment: