Golden Vampire Experience

Golden Vampire Experience is a Berlin-based open musical project initiated by Olaf Kraemer and Kristof Hahn in 1981 and has quietly cultivated a devoted following within independent music circles. Operating under various names, such as Die Goldenen Vampire and The Legendary Golden Vampires, the band has been an exploration into underground music and culture.

The inaugural album, Hinter der Grünen Tür (Behind the Green Door) (1981), produced by Klaus Krueger (Tangerine Dream, Malaria) for the Zensor Label, marked their debut with a distinct blend of avant-garde guitar elements contributed by Kristof Hahn and Oliver Huzly, coupled with the poetic creations of Olaf Kraemer from Thorax-Wach. Drawing inspiration from the atmosphere of Cold War-era West Berlin, the album delved into topics like death, speed, war, surf, and introspection. This unique fusion earned the album a spot in independent charts for several months, referred to by the press as „Avantgarage.”

The project’s trajectory included a contribution to the Bad Blood for the Vampire movie soundtrack alongside Einstürzende Neubauten, a handful of singles and a US Tour. An opening act for The Ramones in Berlin presented a potential major record deal, but an unfortunate on-stage overdose shattered those prospects. Their unreleased English album, The World’s Greatest Sinner, now holds value in the form of sought-after white label pressings on Discogs.

Following individual pursuits, Kristof Hahn’s collaborations extended to names like Alex Chilton, Angels of Light, Pere Ubu and his current band Swans while Olaf Kraemer ventured into film direction, focusing on Hank Williams, the 60´s and writing novels. They reconnected over Kraemer using a Les Hommes Sauvages song, one of Hahn´s bands, for Kraemer´s movie 5 Women in 2017.

Hahn and Kraemer reconvened in Berlin, rediscovering their synergy and started to write ten songs in five nights in Hahn´s Kitchen in Treptow. Nocturnal sessions birthed POLARIS, an album sung in English and German that mirrors their exploration of human dreams, darkness, and addiction. Kristof Hahn produced the implosive material and in contrast to the maximalist approach of the production in the Swans’ records the focus of this project lies in reduction and sparseness. Silence is given a lot of room in the stripped down musical arrangements – a musical and lyrical dance on a tightrope over a dark abyss of emptiness. The album’s ensemble features Tommy Wydler (Bad Seeds, Die Haut), Achim Färber (Phillip Boa) on percussion, and Chandra Shukla (Psychic TV) on sitar and tabla. The only cover version on POLARIS is a minimalist version of „She floated away” whose punk energy, melodic songwriting, and introspective lyrics stem from Minneapolis´ own Husker Dü.

POLARIS invites listeners to delve into uncharted sonic territories, guided by their enigmatic compositions. The Golden Vampire Experience’s evolution is a testament to their commitment to artistic integrity and the perseverance of independent spirits.