Austria (German: Österreich), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich), is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.66 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 square kilometres (32,386 sq mi). Austria's terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 metres (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speak local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and Austrian German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.
Links To Peel
In the 1950s and '60s, Austria was mainly known as a centre of classical music, and the pop singers it produced only enjoyed success in the German-speaking countries. Only one Austrian recording appeared in Peel's early BBC shows; a curious "trumpet imitation" by Gerhard Kammerlander, which was played on Night Ride and was included on the John Peel's Archive Things LP. In the 1970s, the DJ played tracks by two Austrians who had made their names in the jazz world; keyboardist Joe Zawinul, leader of Weather Report, whose jazz-fusion music was an influence on Prince, and trumpeter, composer and bandleader Michael Mantler, whose settings of the short stories of Edward Gorey on the LP The Hapless Child Peel valued, praising especially the vocals of Robert Wyatt.
Falco (1957-1998, real name Johann Hölzel) was the first Austrian pop artist to gain international success, with his global hit of 1986 "Rock Me Amadeus". Peel introduced the track on Top Of The Pops at least twice, on one occasion (the show of 03 April 1986) remarking at the end of the song that the singer and his band were "going backstage to drink some anti-freeze" - a reference to the 1985 scandal when some Austrian wine-makers were found to have been adulterating their wines with diethylene glycol, a chemical also used in anti-freeze. But by this time Austria was developing its own youth culture, and Peel soon began to show more interest in the country
In 1989, Peel made radio programmes at Peel Acres for Austria's Nachtexpress series on radio station Ö3, a part of the country's public service broadcaster, the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) and based in Vienna. He continued to make programmes for Ö3 until 1994. In the summer of 1991, Peel managed to see for the first time the Nachtexpress studios (and a huge pile of bureaucratic forms) in Vienna.
A year later, he visited the country as part of the BBC's Radio campaign on work opportunities in Europe, where he interviewed the Austrian band Attwenger, who were unpleasant to him. Peel mentioned on his 10 July 1993 (BFBS) show that he was so infuriated by their lack of hospitality and impoliteness when he visited them in Austria that he threw their CDs into the rubbish bin when he returned home. No records from the group were ever played on Peel's show after 1993.
The following artists from Austria recorded sessions for the John Peel Show:
- Attwenger: (1 session, 1992)