muscha

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Decoder is a 1984 West German film directed by Muscha. It is a cyberpunk and counter-cultural film roughly based on the writings of William S. Burroughs, who also acts in the film. 

Bill Rice plays Jaeger (“Hunter”), an agent of the government in charge of suppressing dissidents, while FM Einheit plays a burger shop employee who discovers that by changing the background music from pleasantly calming to industrial “noise” music, he can incite riots and a revolution against the looming power of the government.

Decoder was made on a small budget, and was written by Muscha, Klaus Maeck, Volker Schäfer, and Trini Trimpop. Nevertheless, the project was able to attract a number of notable people within the countercultural and industrial music “scenes” to perform in it. Actors included Burroughs, Genesis P-Orridge, Christiane Felscherinow, and bands included Soft Cell, Psychic TV, Einstürzende Neubauten, and The The.

The film has been “oddly forgotten” and is not in wide circulation.