The Word is one of the better-kept secrets of 1980s Austrian disco music. Yet once you put the needle on this record, you notice that it sounds oddly familiar. The awe-inspiring signature piece “Lobster” has the same analogue, slow-moving aesthetic as Zenit’s timeless “Waiting” that was featured on Edition Hawara’s first release. The same goes for the three other wonderfully unconventional, proto-electronic songs: “Easy”, “All my life” and the eponymous “the word”. And there are even more commonalities with Zenit’s LP: The vocals are Linda Sharrock’s, who here teamed up with Karl “Charly” Ratzer and Peter Ponger, the twin brother of legendary Falco producer Robert Ponger. The result of this collaboration is, well, also quite legendary. How this kind of sound emerged in Vienna in 1984 is still a bit of a mystery, but clearly all the stars were aligned when Sharrock, Ratzer and Ponger were jamming in the studio. We at Edition Hawara are very proud to share this secret with you. Just as there are very few lobsters in landlocked Vienna, there are very few records like this out there.
Zenit is a jazz ensemble from Krems in Lower Austria, founded in 1976 by Hannes Treiber and Willi Langer. Their music was celebrated locally, but to reduce them to their local fame would be a shame: After all, their first two LPs, ‘Stimmungswechsel’ and ‘Früchte’, quickly gained them a much wider audience of discerning listeners. Arguably, however, Zenit’s third and final LP ‘Straight Ahead’ is the most special of their records. It initially came out in 1986 on the producer’s label Spray Records, and is today one of the hardest-to-find Austrian jazz records.