'Non Toxique Lost', 1982, from the left to the right:
Prieur (aka 'Pogo') (vocals)
Achim Wollscheid (electronic effects, synthesizers, guitar)
Sea Wanton (vocals, electronics, synthesizers)
(bass, violin, electronic effects),
image courtesy of P. Schmidt aka 'cherrypop'
"...In July 1917, another poison, mustard gas was introduced. It was
developed from a substance, dichlorodiethylsulphide, code-named
is an acronym of it's German inventors, Lommel and Steinkopf. The gas was
used as aerosols or sprays in order to contaminate the war zone and thus
poison those present. Unlike the rest, mustard gas can penetrate clothing,
leather and rubber goods rapidly, and attacks the skin as well as the mucous
membrane, thus affecting the whole body..." (taken from: "Toxic chemicals used in wars" by Dzulkifli Abdul Razak)
and in 2008-
Achim Wollscheid - Sea Wanton (artwork by Sea Wanton)
and this one was done in 2015:
Jammin' Unit & Sea Wanton (artwork by Jammin' Unit)
...from where the putrid smell rises
(liner notes by Sea Wanton)
Enraged, the singer hurls his slim body against the concrete-post. Is there a
Loud noise, some bass loops and the throbbing rhythm of
behind the stage - into the flashing movie loops.
Many well known faces, even in the huge crowd.
At this concert, the idea for 'Non Toxique Lost' (NTL) is born.
'Pogo' (formerly member of 'Suburban Punx')
rips the microphon out of
Genesis P-Orridge's hand and howls his 'you need discipline'.
T.poem ( member of 'Jean Gilbert') knows all
the 'Throbbing Gristle'
but prefers the sounds of 'Whitehouse'. Achim Wollscheid (formerly member of 'Die Edelweisspiraten')
has been experimenting with new movie and sound structures for a few
years. Sea Wanton (formerly member of 'Messehalle' and 'No Aid')
bought a new synthesizer only yesterday.
Thus, it may start immediately! The band is named 'Non Toxique Lost' (NTL). ('Lost' is a chemical weapon).
And while ever so many compact cassette distribution-companies are created in
Germany and elsewhere,
it's for the first product to be a compact cassette. Thus we move to 'Pogo's 2 room flat and take over the
bathroom (to use
the fine reverb). Roger Schönauer (from 'P16.D4') turns on his 4-track reel-to-reel
'Pogo' whispers into the mike as much as it can take. Achim Wollscheid rips wild riffs on his electric guitar
and then pushes
them over flanger, phaser and distortion gears. T.poem now founds
(together with Peter Klum) a cassette label, which is called 'Can Can', a
('Can Can' is the name of a french dance, by the way).
And this is where the first 'NTL' product is released (mind the name
'Ohne Titel', which translates to 'No Title'). Some days
later, the 'Losts' are already playing live. T.poem induces some deafening groans and shrill howls from
his violin. Sea Wanton mistreats his
synthesizer, sequencer and his drum/tape machine. Achim Wollscheid thrashes on his
6-string 'Fender' guitar and 'Pogo'
along cynically, together with the excited audience:
'we are satisfied...satisfied...' while pounding wildly in front
some punks with his black leatherboots.
In the middle of the set the power is turned off ('disturbing the peace' the
and when he's right - he is right ! No doubt - there is now a need for a rehearsal room.
A youth center is quickly found, the amps are turned on,
is pulled up to
its limits and shortly thereafter the last few listeners are
tormented ('...this is only noise, why don't you try to make some music?' ).
Thus, again the equipment must be packed and moved off as fast as we can but as
luck would have it, there is another room.
Right above the department of pathology of the University of Mainz
(Germany). Once again everything is set up
and during the rehearsal you can see the strange carcases through the holes of
the rotting floor
from where the putrid smell rises. The volume is increased and 'Pogo' shouts, as if wanting
to wake up those
lying down there - but the dead cannot dance anymore! (excuses to 'Dead Can Dance'
Someone from the university administration has 'ethical' doubts and
moves the 'Losts' to a so-called 'true' rehearsal room.
And here, the next section of the 'Losts' story starts ...
Sea Wanton at the
'true' rehearsal room, ca. 1983 (image courtesy of
(playing his Korg MS-20, the
MFB-rhythmmachine and the MFB-sequencer, using a
Novanex 100-OPS amplifier and T.poem's 'Revox' reel to reel tape machine)
further background informations
It was Joachim Stender who started the whole thing, somewhen in 1979. He founded the band 'Messehalle'
and pushed their name into the 'Sounds', a german music
magazine. Some chaotic gigs established
a small 'punk/new wave' audience. While Sea Wanton played bass with 'Messehalle',
they took part in the
'Neue Deutsche Welle' (NDW) (a german derivate of the 'New Wave' music development).
Lot of own material and cover versions of 'S.Y.P.H'., 'Der Plan' and 'Mittagspause' (to name a few of the best !).
Some of their songs were released on the 'cassette-only' label
'Neuer Frühling' (sometimes called 'Nouveau Printemps',
which later became 'Can Can').
Later on Joachim Stender quit to form 'P.D'. (now called 'P16.D4'.)
to become more experimental.
Joachim Stender, 1980, image courtesy of
Sea Wanton joined a so called 'neo post punk' band named 'No Aid'. ('ätzend' translates to 'etching', 'widerstand' to 'resistance').Sometimes 'No Aid's music
reminded of the sonic trials of 'Hawkwind' or 'Amon Düül'.
synthesizer, drums and
(bass)guitars, they caused a lot of riot and
laughter. But the public was not very
interested in their aggressive and chaotic lifestyle.
'No Aid ' (ca. 1981) from the left to the right:
Sea Wanton, 'Pak' (Nikolas von Bevern),
Mickey Koto, Renate von Bevern, Alex
Sea Wanton created 'Non Toxique Lost' (short name:
NTL). After all the quarrels
about drug consum and hippie-behavior, he intended to build up a more political, a more social
encouraged and sophisticated band. With strong links to the newest art movements
and against the political stupidity of those 'modern times'. He had
also been publisher of a so called fanzine, titled 'Handbook of Fun'.
(call it simply a fanzine, which pretended to be a 'fun-zine')
was made of some fotocopies in
black and white and only contained collages
and band propaganda. Also, he worked for the
german 'Sounds' music magazine.
'Pogo', the obsessed 'Throbbing Gristle' fan, did the vocals
duty as frontman with the 'Suburban Punx', also). Achim Wollscheid
in guidance of the 'Selektion' label, an experienced
guitar player and art student, was
responsible for the distorted
and echoed sounds. T.poem did some violin work and damaged
the self-invented 'steeltubes', while on stage (e.g. live at the 'ATONAL 2
festival', 1983, Berlin). Peter Klum did some tape cuttings.
'NTL', live at the 'GEMINOX-festival', 1984, Frankfurt (image taken from the magazine 'Pflasterstrand')
Great stuff, than !! (for some days we have been friends !!)
gigged in some european countries as well.
Besides 'Psychic TV', 'Zos Kia, 'Bourbonese Qualk' they
played only once.
In 1986, 'NTL' released their first album. The
longplayer was called 'Wanton'' (label: 'Can Can') and included some
calm and cool
(NOT CHILLIN‘ !)
sounds. But the 'Losts' (as their fans called
them friendly) failed to place this product in the big music
(yes, I'm only kidding). They had to sell the lp while they
in Trier (D),
Frankfurt (D), Berlin (D), London (UK), Amsterdam (NL) and Arnheim (NL).
Although Jammin' Unit (from 'Air Liquide')
and Heiko Wöhler aka 'musikkonkret' (synthesizers and samplers) helped out at two
gigs in the
(which had been promoted by 'Staalplaat'), 'NTL' disappeared from
the stage of active, influential industrial
groups, almost unnoticed by friends and foes ...
'Non Toxique Lost' liner notes by
T. Pargmann and C. Ressler, Berlin, 2006
In the beginning of the 80s,
the band 'NON TOXIQUE LOST' (short name: 'NTL')
was founded in Mainz, Germany. The eponym for this project was taken from
the term 'mustard gas', a chemical weapon, which had been invented by the
german scientists named 'Lommel' and 'Steinkopf' during World War I under
the acronym of 'LOST' . Though the band's name refers to
the 'unperilous' character of this music, in the end NON TOXIQUE
LOST also acted as a means for a fight, the very fight against the
deadlocked patterns of the culture of music of that time. Formed by members
of some local 'Punk'-bands, founded bei Sea Wanton and
A. Wollscheid (aka S.B.O.T.H.I.). Later
on, S. Schütze aka 'T.poem' joined to play
bass, violin and special (electronic) effects and P. Prieur,
called 'POGO', did the vocals. Although NTL often has been
labelled as part of the 'NDW' (= 'Neue deutsche
Welle') and sometimes even influences of 'Jazz music' have been
(wrongly) mentioned, the band saw its position in the first instance in the
context of an 'industrial movement'. When NTL was founded
in 1982, its uncompromising musical approach was significantly inspired by
pioneers of the 'Industrial Music' like Throbbing Gristle,
SPK and Whitehouse. Out of these
influences, NON TOXIQUE LOST developed its sound as a
trance-esque cocoon of clashing sounds of walls, pulsating synthethizers and
angry vocals, which draws the listener into an emotional maelstrom, leading
from fear, pain and desperation to rage and unlimited aggression. From time
to time very static and pushed on by brute rhythms, NTL's
music is uncompromisingly tough and this is exactly why it can be considered
as an anomaly of that Germany of the early 80s. Similarities are seen more
with bands like Pacific 231 (from France) or
Esplendor Geometrico (from Spain). In essence, there are two
important ideas crossing the band's whole oeuvre: the processing of the
'everyday life' experience, interweaved with an explicit political attitude.
A large impact came from J. Stender, who had been the
founder/a member of P.D., then. His talent, to create
german lyrics on 'everday life' 'on the run', conveying the 'concrete' and
'direct' contents, had been a adequate stylistic device to handle the facts
of a 'grey german reality' of those days. But in contrary to P.D.
and P16.D4, NON TOXIQUE LOST objected to
being classified into the 'art' genre. Indeed, there were some references to
the current 'art'-movements, but the music was not to be 'avantgarde', even
if some external observers could get this impression. But NTL
combined its conceptions about music with the idea to be creative using
existing objects and to, aside from instruments, also use unconventional
sound sources - this is another example for the realisation of the
'concrete' and 'everyday life'. At the same time, the music has been the
radical expression of an oppositional attitude. With NTL,
Sea Wanton (the singer) realized his intention to found a
band, which dealt with the social and political boredom of its reality in a
challenging way. NTL did not only intend to distance itself
from the reception of music, in general, but it provoked a concrete hassle
with those crusted forms of understanding music and the culture of the
youth. The band was permanently confronted by an environment which was
deeply into the 'Rock-music' culture of the 70s, public places like pubs and
youth-centres were dominated by the 'Hippies' and 'drug-abuse' cosiness. For
a project like NON TOXIQUE LOST that meant a struggle for
'free-spaces', not hostility, but also the neccessity to become accepted as
something new. To a certain extent, as an idea of the 'Punk'-movement,
the philosophy of NTL aimed at provocation and the radical
realisation of its own ideas. Accordingly, the turning away from the
established mechanismn of the 'music-business' did not only affect the
musical style, but also the production and merchandising of the sound
storage medium. It was logic for NTL to select the
compact-cassette as a medium for its music. This was 'the' medium, which
allowed the musicians as opposed to anything else, to keep in control over
their musical and creative work and a direct merchandising, without being
forced to take part in the profit-orientated 'machinery' of the
the first recordings were published on the 'd.i.y.'(=do it yourself) founded
'cassettes only' label called 'CAN CAN', which were to be
followed by ca. 30 further releases. Inspite of this high grade of
productivity, encompassing mostly the studio- and 'live' material of
NTL, but also some cassette-compilations featuring some
'international industrial' bands, NTL and 'CAN CAN'
remained a creative 'action-area', which was not perceived as a 'full time
job' or even as the 'meaning of life'. For a first vinyl release, a strictly
limited edition, you had to wait for some years. The songs on the lp-album,
called 'Wanton', released in 1986, a selection of material,
which had been published earlier on compact-cassette, expresses something
like a 'subtile' toughness (on a long range), which drills slowly in your
auditory canal and the band herself accurately characterises it as 'industrial
muzak'. As opposed to the high output on sound-medium there were
only rare chances to experience the band on stage. Only a few events like
those in Mainz and Trier (Germany), at the 'Recloose Festival'
in London, in Amsterdam, at the 'Geminox-Festival' in
Frankfurt (Germany) or at the 'Berlin Atonal 2 Festival'
took place. Even though the performance at the 'Berlin Atonal 2
Festival' got an especially good reputation and positive feedbacks
with those 'friends' of 'abstract music', NTL remained true to itself and
did not devise any ambitions to change its strategies of merchandising. The
band was more interested in the construction of a national and international
community of producers and listeners of 'abstract' and 'experimental' music.
There was a little network(ing) in the Mainz, Wiesbaden and Frankfurt - area
(Germany), e.g., in the atmosphere of the 'Selektion' label
(with groups like P16.D4 and S.B.O.T.H.I.),
resulting in friendly contacts and sometimes personal cooperations within
the music processes (including some sessions and live-performances). More
contacts were established with 'Graf Haufen' (Berlin) and
soon reached out to 'cassettes only' labels, based in France, the U.K. and
Italy. Besides his membership with NTL, Sea Wanton
had started publishing a fanzine called 'Handbook of Fun'
in 1983, which intended to be a medium for subversive communication. The
fanzine had been a means to distribute words and artworks ('collages'),
which pointed out the protest against the established structures of the
societies and understanding of 'art' or crusted 'music-cultures', and
thereby it can be interpreted as a printed form of 'the same', which was
also articulated by NTL's music. Furthermore the 'Handbook
of Fun' constituted a forum for experimental music, distributing
contact-addresses (with different 'cassettes-only' labels or juicy
record-shops), thus being part of an international network of the 'industrial
scene of the 80s'. NTL came up against those
established patterns of their environment with a radical 'musical' denial,
even though expressed in a distinct (german) language, only very few could
understand. You could say, that this pull-esque, rhythmical toughness of
some tracks, which meanwhile is an essential part with numerous 'industrial
bands', appeared some years 'too early'. The fact, that this music caused
more embarassing to irritating reactions by most listeners, plus the
consequent policy of publications and the responsibility for the 'subversive
underground', are (presumably) the cause for being known by the 'in-crowd',
until now. Even though or exactly because the 'hearing customs' have changed
in these last decades, the music of NTL has kept hold of
its attraction as a 'pioneer' achievement of the so-called 'rhythmical
Industrial'. Since some years, Sea Wanton,
accompanied by new companions, is again active as NON TOXIQUE LOST.
While now using contemporary sound sources like samplers and computers, it
is (as always) bound to the idea of electronic toughness and a political
attitude and, thus, creating its own musical cosmos. Parallel to this, a
selection of early tape-recordings has been re-released on vinyl and gives a
fine overview on the complete works of the band.