THE SPARSELY metronomic and thoroughly Germanic Da Da Da landed in the UK charts when new technology was breeding a lushness that was hardly minimal. Trio, from Grossenkneten in north Germany, took a different tack and stripped everything down with a hand-held Casio VL-Tone synth and some pre-set rhythms. Their line up was simplicity itself: vocalist Stephan Remmler, guitarist Gert 'Kralle' Krawinkel and drummer Peter Behrens. The minimalism of Trio - a band of the eariy '80s Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) - was introduced on their 1981 debut album, produced by fan and Beatles acolyte Klaus Voormann. On the road after its release they debuted a new song. "We were writing songs during the tour," says vocalist Remmler. "I don't remember thinking Da Da Da was very special compared to the other 14 songs we had at that time. By the response on tour we realised it was something special."
Da Da Da was quickly recorded with Dieter Meier, of Swiss electronic tricksters Yello, and became their debut single. Within weeks it was Number 2 in Germany. Then an item about the German scene on the Friday evening pop show The Tube introduced Trio to the UK. The British charts succumbed soon after. Asked if he was surprised by the international success, Remmler is phlegmatic: "We were playing, the clubs were always sold out. We felt we were on a certain high, but we were just watching it [the success] and enjoying it. We were treated well. We got respect in Germany, it was a progressive song." After more success in Germany, the band split in 1985 (a 2001 re-formation without Remmler failed). Remmler rejects the One Hit Wonder tag. "We had follow-up hits in Germany," he reasons. "But Da Da Da was a novelty hit for the rest of the world, like Macarena. If it had meant an international career in pop music this would have been good. But we met a lot of people - it was still the time of groupies, we liked it."
Thanks to Matthias Klein. More info: www.stephan-remmler.de