Some new members joined the band – Magnus Hellquist (synth), Henrik N. Björkk (percussion), Peter Sunström (drums) – but only Leif Holm and N. Björkk (vocals, lyrics) still were part of the band in 1989. The two have known each other since childhood when they practically lived next door to each other in Karlskoga (near Örebro/Sweden). They also had in common their preference for synth bands such as Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Die Krupps, and Nitzer Ebb, whose music was characterized by impulsive repetitive synth bass sequences. This was common ground for the idea to autonomously make electronic music under the name of Pouppée Fabrikk.
Pouppée Fabrikk is a French/Norwegian combination of words and has no deeper meaning. The same holds true for the band logo. Henrik bought a synthesizer and Leif purchased a drum machine and a sampler. The first recordings were then made in the cellar of Leif’s parents with an ordinary cassette recorder. They had their first live performances on parties for friends. In 1989, Leif wrote the two songs "Die Jugend" and "Needs".
The song "Die Jugend" is about parental suppression and has been independently published in cooperation with the band Ater Koma (also based in Karlskoga) on Cockprod as split 7" and limited edition (440 pieces in white sleeve and 60 pieces in brown sleeve). The single immediately sold out, which is why the Swedish label Hot Stuff became interested in Pouppée Fabrikk and offered them a record contract straightaway. In February 1990, Henrik and Leif finished their debut album "Rage" (HOT 003/’93, newly released under the catalogue number ER 045). The album had been recorded at Holken’s, a funny hippie who had his studio in the middle of a forest. "Rage" is a collection of older and hitherto newer songs which were very popular especially amongst Nitzer Ebb fans.
The cover had been designed by Henrik and his father. The first official concert of Pouppée Fabrikk took place at a festival in Jönköping, together with Cat Rapes Dog and Dead Eyes Open. Henrik and Leif were supported by Jouni Ollila from the band Ater Koma. After concerts in Sweden and Norway, Pouppée Fabrikk together with Scapa Flow came to Germany where they initially performed at the techno club "Dorian Gray". There were between 150 and 200 visitors on average.
Back in Sweden, Henrik and Leif began to record a 12" with new material: "Summoning" (HOT 007). The 12", which has been published in September 1990, additionally contains "Die Jugend" from the already sold out single. The song "Death" from the debut album became a cult hit in German underground clubs, so that the Last Chance label from Dortmund decided to market the "Summoning" 12" in Germany. "Summon The Spirits" reached rank 4 in the Official Technoclub Charts.
In Sweden, the breakthrough came when Pouppée Fabrikk was played on Swedish radio. Meanwhile, the two labels Hot Stuff and Energy merged together and after that, new records were released under Energy. The first release (ER 001) was the sampler "I Sometimes Wish I Was Famous – A Swedish Tribute To Depeche Mode" – for which Pouppée Fabrikk made a cover version of "Photographic". In September 1990, the second album "Portent" (ER 007) was released. At this time, Jouni was a permanent band member. His guitar was particularly present in the songs "Neophyte" and "Whatweare". In "T.O.T.D.N.", Joel Rydström (Cat Rapes Dog) appears as guest singer in a "duel" with Henrik.
"Portent" already indicated a further development, which can be attributed to the fact that the musical taste of the three had changed: they now preferred to listen to Ministry, Metallica and hardcore acts. For the title song, Pouppée Fabrikk filmed their first video clip on a remote factory site. During their tour, they traveled across Sweden, Norway and Germany, whereas concerts with the most visitors were those in Germany. Furthermore, a demo version of "T.O.T.D.N." was released on the sampler "Technoclub Compilation II". In March 1992, Pouppée Fabrikk went to the Atom-H studio owned by Die Krupps in Düsseldorf to record their new maxi "Betrayal" (ER 017).
There they met Chris Lietz (producer) who made quite a big impression on them. The cover was designed by Alexander Hofman (S.P.O.C.K./HOFMAN SPACE DZION). Also in 1992, the "Crusader" compilation was released (ER 019). It was originally destined for the US market only, since the records that had been released before were difficult to be obtained there.
However, Energy decided to release the CD containing some remixes in Europe too. In July, the first official Pouppée Fabrikk fan club was finally founded. In March 1993, the guitarist Jan Arvidsson temporarily joined the band. In June, the four Pouppée Fabrikk members played at the New Music Seminar in New York. In August, they performed in front of about 2000 people at the Hulfsfred festival alongside with Front 242, The Shamen, Iggy Pop, Entombed and others. In October, the third album was released: "We Have Come To Drop Bombs" (ER 035).
With this album, Pouppée Fabrikk come along in a new sound dress: the established sequences melt together with powerful guitars. So it was no surprise that the album wasn’t recorded in the Atom-H studios (as planned) but in the Sunlight studio in Stockholm, which is mainly used by bands from the death metal sector, e.g. Entombed. Since Energy had problems in Germany with the distributor Semaphore, "We Have Come To Drop Bombs" and the new CDS "I Want Candy" (ER 048) – for which they videotaped their second video clip in a super market – could not be released until the "Virtual Energy" festival where Pouppée Fabrikk performed alongside with S.P.O.C.K, Elegant Machinery and Devoid. After the recordings had been finished, Jan Arvidsson quit the band and Jonas Aneheim of the death metal band Goddefied joined. After some more concerts, they started to record new songs which were to be published as Mini CD with the title "Your Pain – Our Gain".
Although the songs had been recorded in spring 1995 already, the release date was delayed by Energy for an undetermined time. Meanwhile, the single band members were busy with their side projects: Leif, Henrik, Jouni and Lars Jansson founded the fun project PAF (POUPPÉE FABRIKK-ATER KOMA-FREUNDSCHAFT), referring to DAF. DAF were being paid tribute to with cover versions of "Der Mussolini”, "Der Räuber und der Prinz" and "Verschwende Deine Jugend". Songs written by PAF are for example "Weihnachtsabend", which is up until now the only official release on the ENERGY sampler "lt's Virtually X-Mas" (edition of 500 pieces), or "Eine große Bier". Other members of PAF were Stefan Nilsson and an ominous Alexander "Schwulman" Hofman. Since 1995, Leif also had a solo project: CAP (Controlled Analog Programming) with which he acts out his preference for analogue synth bass sequences à la DAF and Nitzer Ebb.
The song "Go down" was released on a sampler of the "Vertigo" magazine in 1996. In the meantime, Jonas’ band Goddefied had split. Pouppée Fabrikk was otherwise silent from 1995 till 2001, although Energy released their "Your Pain - Our gain" which grew from MCD into a full release, as well as an older recording "Djävulen" on CD, which originally was a soundtrack to a movie with the same title. Music from this release reminded little of Pouppée Fabrikk's style. In 2001 Pouppée Fabrikk returned with an EP "Elite Electronics" which saw the band return to their purely synthetical EBM roots. The EP was well received among fans, and Pouppée Fabrikk went into many years of silence till 2009, when a new track entitled "Symptom" appeared on a compilation by Alfa Matrix records.
"Symptom" was a hard hitting purely EBM hit, and was a sign of things to come: the same label released a digital single "Bring Back The Ways of Old" in early Spring 2013, shortly followed by a new album in May 2013. The new album "The Dirt" was released as a double CD, with recordings of old demo songs going as far back as to 1987. The new album itself was a mix of new songs and some newly recorded old tracks. With this release Pouppée Fabrikk issued a statement that EBM as genre was dead, where they criticized modern EBM bands (with a few exceptions) of lacking inspiration and producing generally boring music.
This statement was strictly supported by their track "Bring Back The Ways of Old". Pouppée Fabrikk at the same time re-released some of their older albums in re-mastered versions, digitally on bandcamp. Re-mastered albums were Rage, Portent, and We have come to drop bombs. All three re-releases included up to three additional songs each, which were either old demo recordings or different versions of certain tracks. Read more on Last.fm.
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