Unadorned post-war apartment houses dominated the views of the city, which strangely was experienced as "elegant" by the flâneurs on the Königsallee. The muted, bureaucratic cement slabs, the "art bunker" otherwise known as the Kunsthalle, not far from the Ratinger Straße with its punk history, and the brutally futuristic elevated railway called "The Millipede" stood out in a powerful gray. This was Düsseldorf in the early 1980s. Yet reconstruction was in full swing. The bank buildings on the “Kö” received postmodern interiors. The old town became stylishly retro-rustic and advertising agencies displaced the last industrial companies in the harbor. And the music? It took all of this on. Punk was finished, but its pathos still drifted desolately through pubs and shared flats. At the same time, synthesizers had become increasingly affordable due to digital electronics, allowing more and more people to make music. This music pushed ahead slightly in order to dock onto the electronic sounds of the 1970s Krautrock scene – no one called it "cosmic music" back in those days. But most chose the detour via records by Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Eric Random, Human League or the more unfamiliar experimental sounds gathered on a somewhat morbid-looking compilation entitled "The Elephant Table Album". Releasing them was never a problem - there were cassette labels. The exciting yellow and black packaged tapes from Klar! 80 were also available in Aachener Straße from 1980, and they inspired many. Nevertheless, an LP release was always alluring. LPs like those found at Pure Freude in Derendorfer Straße were also now available in amazing variety at Heartbeat. The shop served as an umbrella for the disparate strands of the electronic side of post punk. Almost all artists on this compilation could be seen frequently there. Perhaps that is why the encounter with Electronic Cassette Music seems like a glimpse into a mysterious parallel world. Indeed, everyone knew of each other, but often only as a name. "Ettlinger, wasn't that the painter from Nuremberg?” Of course, his delicately menacing nervousness attracted their attention, albeit belatedly. Similar to Mentocome, whose subtle tram ride through acoustic urban landscapes in Japan met with interested response. Kurzschluss was Catherine Ledit's project. Where her threatening pads had an almost meditative character, Dirk Grützmann's Le Petit Mort drew listeners into virtually occult scenarios, not so far from the world of Current 93. Ledit and Grützmann later collaborated as the duo Temps Perdu?. Trance, as propagated by Chris & Cosey, could have been the inspiration behind the duo Wooden Barrows. Their carefully accentuated rhythmic work looks into a future for which no words existed. Isolated searching found expression in forms of deviant sexuality – a leitmotiv in those days. It's astonishing how subtly many of the pieces exemplify this movement. It's almost terrifying in the track by Strafe für Rebellion, when a voice – sharp-edged like the chairs created by Siegfried Michail Syniuga - whispers "the cashbox is empty" and a staccato rhythm replaces the ticking of a clock. A return to the world out there. There we could also meet Ralf Dörper, on his way to international success with Propaganda, but ADD preferred to tie him to his bedframe at home, trapped in a nightmare. The cassette generation did not bother about crossing over to pop music. They were pioneers of a music which would later develop into Drone, Ambient or Hypnagogic.