Ixtoc-1 – “Gut Ist Was Modern Ist” (1982)

It may be a bit odd to name your band after an environmental disaster, but it isn’t without precedence. I wonder, though, if perhaps West Germany’s (seems hard to believe there were two Germanys there for a while, doesn’t it?) Ixtoc-1 was the first, naming themselves after a 1979 undersea oil drilling accident in Bay of Campeche that dumped somewhere in the neighborhood of 130,000,000 gallons of liquified dinosaur bones into the Gulf of Mexico. Trying to come to grips with that number is, frankly, difficult. But since a million gallons fits into cube that is about 51.1 feet on each side, some back-of-the-envelope math tells me that 130 millions would be required to fill a pool that is roughly 2/3 of a mile long, 100 feet wide, and 50 feet deep. Which, let’s be honest, doesn’t really help that much either. Let’s just say it’s a ridiculous amount and call it that.

As for the German band Ixtoc-1, as near as I can tell they formed in 1979 and lasted until around 1985, with the half dozen song Gut Ist Was Modern Ist (“Good Is What Is Modern”) being their only contemporary release, though they had songs appear on a handful of comps (and many more since they disbanded). Punk in attitude, there are definite elements of early, experimental new wave here on songs such as the title track, replete with laser-like synth blasts and breaks that bounce from style to style. At it’s more Clash-like we get elements of reggae and dub infused into the jams as we find on the A side’s second track, which the jacket reverse lists as “Fremde Schreie” but the label indicates is “Leben”.

Definitely enjoyable, Gut Ist Was Modern Ist is also fairly reasonably priced for what was likely a fairly small print run from the period – there’s a US seller with a VG copy for ten bucks on Discogs at the time of this writing, and some folks in Europe have it at around €15. Very much money well spent.

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