Originally available only on cassette in 1988 as the second release from one of the most active hardcore punk labels in Poland, QQRYQ. This release was unique. It was the only international compilation to document the punk scene from the Warsaw Pact bloc in the 1980’s.
There were substantial difficulties getting music and publications from neighboring countries, and more so from western Europe than from the east of Europe due to harsh border control, censorship, and repression. For that reason, this compilation is an important and unique document from the era.
Recordings and zines were often smuggled across borders, and the risk for doing so was real, as evidenced by the complete confiscation of the “Inside” zine and the arrest of Micha from Namenlos at the Polish/East German border.
Establishing contact between Piotr Pietia Wierzbicki of QQRYQ and Herne Pietzker, who was a main influencer in the east Berlin scene, resulted in an exchange of information, reports with the GDR being published in the “QQRYQ” fanzine, and a stronger connection between people in east Berlin and Warsaw. In addition, Polish bands began to get invited to perform in Germany and vice versa. The legacy of this cooperation, one which started over thirty years ago, is still used by new generations of punk bands. A similar situation occurred with the Hungarian scene, where the band Trottel was a frequent guest at shows in Poland.
The compilation “We are the flowers in the red zone” contains recordings of bands from East Germany, Hungary and Poland and is marked as a “vol.1”. The second part of the sampler was supposed to contain recordings from other countries of the Eastern Bloc, but this never happened. The bands included in this first compilation are ANDREA’S AUSLAUF, WARTBURGS FÜR WALTER and the combined forces of NAMENLOS and KEIN TALENT from East Germany (recorded live on their illegal tour in Poland 1987, organised by QQRYQ). The Hungarian scene was represented by DIE TROTTEL and BIZTONSAGI TANACS, while Poland offered recordings of the bands DEZERTER, TRYBUNA BRUDU, and A.P.S.F. (i.e. ANTI-POLISH SCIENCE FICTION).
The vinyl reissue of the compilation contains the full version of the recordings (some of the tapes were cut off), and two booklets: the first with liner notes from Pietia and an interview with him from the book “Warschauer Punk Pact” by Alexander Pehlemann, tour stories about Polish shows from the German bands Namenlos and Wartburgs Für Walter, and reprints of East German reports from “QQRYQ” zine along with archival photos.
Booklet # 2 is a faithful reproduction of the “Inside” # 1 zine from East Berlin, which was printed in Warsaw and smuggled across borders, where the entire edition was confiscated by the police and many years later exactly one and only one copy was found in the files of the Stasi.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the fall of the Eastern Bloc, this is a great opportunity to recall how the cooperation inside the “Happy Eastern Bloc” looked like as we present raw punk recordings created behind the Iron Curtain from this important period.
This is coming out as a co-release / cooperation between Warsaw Pact Records (Poland), Edition Iron Curtain Radio (a division of Major Label), Zonic (Germany) and Trottel Records (Hungary).