Saturday, 23 May 2020

Einstürzende Neubauten ‎– 80-83 Strategien Gegen Architekturen (1984)

Style: Industrial, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mute, SMS Records, Homestead Records

01.   Tanz Debil
02.   Schmerzen Hören
03.   Mikroben
04.   Krieg In Den Städten
05.   Zum Tier Machen
06.   Draußen Ist Feindlich
07.   Stahlversion
08.   Schwarz
09.   Negativ Nein
10.   Kalte Sterne
11.   Spaltung
12.   U-Haft Muzak
13.   Gestohlenes Band (ORF)
14.   Schwarz (Mutiert)

Written-By – Einstürzende Neubauten
Compiled By – Einstürzende Neubauten, Jim Thirlwell
Performer – Alexander Von Borsig, Blixa Bargeld, F.M. Einheit, Marc Chung, N. U. Unruh

STRATEGIES AGAINST ARCHITECTURE is a compilation of early tracks by Einsturzende Neubauten. The disc includes material from the band's first EP (SCHWARZ) and LP (KOLLAPS) along with a few b-sides and live versions. On these tracks, Neubauten uses an orchestra of everything from traditional rock instruments to power tools and smashing glass. The record opens with an extended peal of feedback that sets the tone of the entire record. If Lou Reed had taken his METAL MACHINE MUSIC beyond the stage of free-form noise sculpture and added jackhammers and an assortment of chants, wails, and screams (in German) he might have come close to STRATEGIES. As it stands, Neubauten's early work is about as extreme as music can get before it becomes nothing more than noise. 
All of STRATEGIES' songs are classics of industrial music. The eerie, slow "Stahlversion" features percussion in the form of drumming on the struts of a hollow bridge. "Negative Nein" is rhythmically constructed from the electronically altered sound of bubbling water and Blixa Bargeld's unearthly vocals and screams. "Kalte Sterene" is probably the closest that EN have ever gotten to traditional rock, though the vocals are so heavily echoed and multi-tracked that they overpower the simple beat patterns.

When it comes to long-lived makers of weird music, Einstürzende Neubauten is a fair match for Pere Ubu. Pere Ubu was founded a couple of years earlier, but as far as I can tell Neubauten has never had an officially inactive period. Pere Ubu is arguably the poppier of the two bands (most of their songs have musical instruments, chords, and even melodies), but it was Neubauten who was booked to support U2 on their Zoo Tour in 1993. (Just yesterday I was trying to think of a more surprising opening act than Joan Jett's selection of Lungfish in the '90s, and now I've found it.)Blixa Bargeld and co. are, like our friends from Cleveland, still active, still making new recordings and performing. I have no idea if or when we'll get them to cross the Atlantic again (their last planned tour here was canceled due to visa issues), but they certainly have a catalog vast and deep enough to keep DJs around the world arguing about the difference between music and noise for many years to come.
Levi Fuller / KEXP 

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