Alien yet electrifying, the music broadcast on the AFN (Armed Forces Network) during the occupation and through the 1960s inspired a whole generation of young Germans searching for individuality and self-determination. It did so with more success than German volksmusik. "In Germany, we had never really had a revolution, so we didn't have the music for it," Bergmann muses. "It's hard for an old leftist like me to say it, but it was the American soldiers who brought freedom. But in the cultural sense, it was true."
On its unexamined surface, Munich seems like an unlikely place for a revolutionary underground music scene. Unlike its edgier northern counterparts, the city has enviably low unemployment and a relatively stable middle-class. It manages somewhat tenuously to strike a balance between being the capital of traditionally conservative Bavaria and the southernmost stronghold of the left-leaning Social Democrats. But scrape beneath and you'll find that the same stubborn spirit that compels Bavaria to retain its status as a "Freistaat" within the German Bundesrepublik, and which has also fueled a streak of hard-left radicalism since the 1960s. Observe Trikont: with limited resources and anticapital ideologies considered counterintuitive by the so-called big players in a slumping music industry, the label nonetheless has created a stable home and well-deserved audience for the previously unheard music from every continent and classification.
What, then, is the key to Trikont's longevity? "We never really had an agenda," Bergmann reflects. "We just wanted to say, 'We will tell you a story in music, so you can see how good and how strong music can be.' People have got an innate sense for it. If they listen to good music, they want good music." No matter what your definition of good music is, chances are, Trikont has it.
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