Rexx recently dug deep into the Arkana archives to update and modernize a special Rexxtended Mix of the underground club classic “Big Strong Man” by former ZYX Records recording artist Tanz Waffen.
The project, whose name translates from German to “Dance Weapons”, was formed in Austin, Texas around 1984, born of the ashes of another act, Secret Six.
Oriented around founding and principal members Jeff Campbell and Nanz Campbell, the band often augmented frequent live shows with additional percussionists and multimedia.
Like so many other electronic dance projects of the day, Tanz Waffen can partially attribute their success to exposure gained from their involvement with
leading DJ record service Razormaid, whose legendary producer/partner Joseph Watt remixed four of the bands tracks for inclusion on sampler releases.
In 1988 the duo met and befriended new wave star Lene Lovich, marking a pivotal point in the young band’s career. The two would team with Lovich as part of her touring band, a union which also afforded them the opening slot on her tour and introducing them to a nationwide audience.
A single 12″ release, 1990’s “Big Strong Man” on ZYX, is all that would surface officially from the band’s catalog. (A single-sided self-released cassette featuring five tracks from the act in their 1984 infancy is highly-sought after early synthpop collector’s gold.)
By 1991, Tanz Waffen had evolved to Voodoo Dali, which integrated fellow Razormaid obscurity Mark of Kane (their “Heavy Cross” is Xymox-esque genius and a staple in Arkana’s playlists for nearly 30 years) into a new project performing songs from the TW repertoire.
Stream the special Rexxtended Mix of “Big Strong Man” directly from the band’s Soundcloud page: