German-language pop music has never been more popular. A young generation of musicians has begun to approach its own country and language with much less self-consciousness than earlier generations. The public has opened its arms in gratitude, but critics are raising their voices: In Germany, can all topics be viewed as harmless and fit for singing about in German, even if “only” for entertainment?

This does not only concern popular culture but reflects broad tendencies within the German society of finding “a way to normality”, when dealing with the own country and its history.

Many artist openly promote revisionist and chauvinist views in their works. The purposes of doing so are manifold: from a lovely commitment to preserve German cultural traditions, or the locational factor – to stay competive – by demanding a quota regulation for a sufficent number of German productions on the radio, to a rediscovered pride of the nation. The campaign “I can´t relax in Deutschland” (http://www.icantrelaxin.de/) wants to contradict these tendencies and tries to deliver a profound criticism of the German nation, and the current patriotic mainstream, which by now has penetrated nearly every aspect of pop culture and thus corrupt its universal approach.

The campaign published a compilation (cd and book) that deals with these nationalist tendencies in German Pop music and is a theoretical critic on german nationalism and the function of culture in it´s role for state and nation.

The book features four articles by authors such as Martin Büsser (Intro, konkret) and Roger Behrens (Testcard) who tackle the question of how cultural traditionalism works as ideological fundament of collectivism under capitalistic conditions, and why there is a strong urge to love the nation and express it via the mechanisms of pop culture. Furthermore, the book includes a CD-compilation with 20 songs by various artist (Die Goldenen Zitronen, Mouse On Mars, Die Sterne, Kante, Robocop Kraus, Stella, a.m.), who resist to let pop music being exploitet for nationalistic purposes. The campaign and all its participiants refuse to relate positively to Germany in at all, nor to accept the instrumentalization of pop culture for nationalistic purposes in any way.

This is not the official “I Can´t Relax In Deutschland”-CD, but a compilation of tracks by the artists involved in this campaign, well selected by a good friend:

No link.

If you want to read more about this topic: Here is a statement by Wolfgang Seidel, founding member and drummer of the german polit-rock-band “Ton Steine Scherben” (with all-time-classics like “Destroy what tries to destroy you” and “The Fight Continues”) about Germany, pop music and nationalism – sorry, only in german language: http://www.verbrecherverlag.de/text.php?id=63

… and an essay by Marvin Alster about the same topic: http://www.icantrelaxin.de/texte/text-wirsindwir.html

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