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Einstürzende Neubauten (live at The Forum)

London 4 May 2017

Einstürzende Neubauten live May 2017Einstürzende Neubauten are a band very close to my heart — indeed, they reside in tattoo form on my left arm, so it’s literally a matter of inches. So I am delighted when, having given up on seeing what’s billed as a Greatest Hits set due to lack of funds, I find out at the last minute that I’ve been assigned to cover it for this esteemed organ (no giggling at the back).

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Einstürzende Neubauten (live at Koko)

Einstürzende Neubauten November 2014London 19 November 2014

As one does before seeing a show by a well-loved band, I muse on my own personal history pertaining to this group as I make my way to Camden to see Einstürzende Neubauten perform their latest release Lament. I can work out in approximations that I have loved this band since 1984 or so and I’ve seen them around 20 times before. They are a group I never tire of, one I never lose my love for.

Lament is a performance work commissioned by the city of Diksmuide in Belgium to mark the centenary of World War I. One marvels at the genius of the commissioners in choosing EN to be their ambassadors; I picture outdated businessmen in stern suits convening in a bleak

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Einstürzende Neubauten – Lament

Potomak

Einstürzende Neubauten – LamentAs a commemoration of the first world war, Einstürzende Neubauten could have so easily brewed up a mangled litany of compressed air screams, torn metal and had done with it. The opening track certainly has a good go. Aptly entitled “Kriegsmachinerie,” it’s a track that flash-floods the band’s pyroactive past in the screech of metal against metal. A twisted twilight caught in the whites of Luigi Russolo‘s eyes, burning in atonal drags and darts of violin as exhaust fumes pirouette across gigantic tensions, descending into a shimmering calm before re-birthing in screams of war. It’s an amazing start, but Lament doesn’t complacently follow it with more of the same (I for one wouldn’t have minded if they did); instead they delve deeper

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Einstürzende Neubauten – Tabula Rasa/Kalte Sterne

Label: Mute Format: CD

Tabula Rasa - sleeve detailMute have reissued Einstürzende Neubauten‘s 1993 album Tabula Rasa along with the singles that were released at the time. These include the French, Japanese, and English versions of “Blume”. Anita Lane provides the vocals on the English version. Its a smart album full of lyrical games and riddles. Up there as a personal favourite, along with Haus Der Luge, Tabula Rasa is a turning point in the music Einstürzende Neubauten. At the time it seemed a radical departure from the aggressive industrial rock of the 80s. With hindsight it is clear that Neubauten were moving away from their earlier musique concrète towards the less arbitrary and more structured melodic music of later works such as the hushed Silence is Sexy.

One of the biggest ironies is the title itself, and they know it. Tabula Rasa

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Einstürzende Neubauten (live at The Forum)

The Forum, London 3 April 2004

If one thing in life is true, it that people get older, bands get mellower – the noise and sound and fury of an Industrial youth flows into a neatly-tailored sartorial elegance and a penchant for slower numbers. Or so it is with Einstürzende Neubauten; perhaps it was always there, as such things happen with people as with music. A friend recently observed upon hearing the track “Silence Is Sexy” for the first time, that it was Marks And Spencers music – that is, middle aged, perhaps a bit boring: a contribution to the pension fund. It seems somewhat appropriate then that the merchandise stall tonight is selling what are effectively EN-logo’ed cardigans – smart, stylish black affairs, but comfortable enough to go with a matching set of slippers – and yes, this reviewer purchased one.

All the above may be true, or an

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Einstürzende Neubauten – Strategies Against Architecture III

Label: Mute Format: 2CD

Strategies Against Architecture III - sleeve detailOkay, so it may be the wrong time, given recent events, for a band whose name translates as “Collapsing New Buildings” to release an album called Strategies Against Architecture III, but, heedless of a Stockhausen-style backlash, those wonderfully inventive German sonic terrorists (again, perhaps not a good analogy, but what the fuck) Einstürzende Neubauten are at it again, this time with a double CD retrospective of their work since 1991. And yeah, compilation albums by your favourite bands aren’t usually much to write home about- you’ve already got it all, apart from the couple of tracks they chuck on to make you buy it as well as those who haven’t religiously bought all their stuff. But this is different- the majority of it is unreleased and alternate versions, with the sleeve notes giving a

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Einstürzende Neubauten (live)

The Astoria, London 4th June 2000

Even just standing waiting for Neubauten to arrive on stage for this Twentieth Anniversary tour (!) is something of an enjoyable experience, thanks to the wilfully obtuse nature of some of the instrumentation and sundry kit arrayed on the platform. So ignoring the usual guitars, basses and keyboards (even if it is renamed an EN[soniq] through judicious appliaction of gaffer tape), there’s plenty of machinery, metal and pieces the uses of which will become apparent throught the two and half hour set they play. A large metal sheet – standard equipment, even if FM Einheit is no longer here in muscle-girded solidarity to pound and crash as the powerhouase of the group – likewise the tubular bells made from piping, the large blue plastic tubs and odd strips and sheets of steel. The bass spring is a familiar friend from many years of tightly-coiled

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Einstürzende Neubauten – Silence Is Sexy

Label: Mute Format: 2CD

Silence Is Sexy- sleeve Neubauten. Yeah, you know, Neubauten. (Somehow, after all this time, it’s kind of easy to forget that there ever was an “Einstürzende” in there at all; we are, indeed, on second-name terms. Thorough familiarity.) Because everyone knows what Neubauten do. They hit stuff, make a racket, and be German. Yeah?

Fuck off. Well, apart from the third one (although there is a great deal of English on this album, as well as – worryingly- some French). And the first one (although they do hit stuff, just… maybe not quite so hard?) And, okay, when a track like “Redukt” hits its peak, they do make a glorious racket (only this time with an additional string section). But you can fuck off, anyway, because this is that rarity – a quiet Neubauten album. Silence is, in fact, sexy,

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