"Anyway, sod all this intellectualising, what is important to note is that this is a very accessible and satisfying piece of work."
Einstürzende Neubauten – The Jewels
I really enjoyed the last couple of releases Bargeld stuck out, especially Alles Wieder Offen and I’m glad to say that this is a fabulous addition to the band’s canon, despite it being an effective compilation of a set of download singles that were available from 2006. According to the blurb, (and I should quickly point out that the luxurious book—cum-CD cover with it’s silly wrap-around sleeve-thang, copious sleeve notes and Quicktime film is a must) this is a set of tracks that came to Blixa in dreams and you can certainly hear that in the strange Vicky and I Kissed Glen Gould.
It’s apparent that Jewels and Alles Wieder Offen are cut from the same cloth. It is elegant music, refined and open to interpretation. Jewels is also something of a exercise in intellectual mind games. Apparently Blixa and co. built these tracks by obeying the commands that were scribbled on cards and placed in a hat. There’s certainly the feel that some form of musical puzzle-solving was prevalent during the recording the LP. And with that in mind, it doesn’t half remind me of George Perec’s Life a User’s Manual (with Bargeld being cast as Bartlebooth).
Anyway, sod all this intellectualising, what is important to note is that this is a very accessible and satisfying piece of work. It holds together well; Ich Komme Davon is a very good opener, menacing and charming in equal measure, leading into the more assertive Mei Ro with quiet aplomb. Things really hot up with Die Ebenen, which is a pulsating dance track of sorts, and the great Ansonsten Dostojewsky is a cracking collision of clanging metal and what must be xylophone. It’s nice to hear their obsession with noise from “found sounds” is still as strong as ever. I also like the way they set out how these things worked in the studio. You can see this in the booklet. Here’s as an example; Die Libellen:
BB: A# / B / Similar / on the 2 vocal, Hammond organ.
AH: ABA / not / crash / upright bass, mandolin
NU: Short / reverb / spring amplified bass spring, bull-roarer
JA: A / whole / toy / electric guitar, jam-man
RM: / Take away / effect / to an fro, ventilation electronic treatments, jet turbine, metal strips
Mad eh? Great stuff nonetheless.
Words: Richard Foster