Friday, December 17, 2010
Einstürzende Neubauten, KALTE STERNE - EARLY RECORDINGS
Mute, 2004; available
13 tracks, 54:10
Previously reviewed here, most readers of this blog know Neubauten quite well. This album is a compilation of singles, EPs, and unreleased material covering the years 1980 to 1982. What's interesting is how much more accessible they were at the start! "Fuer Den Untergang", their first single, is minimal as all hell: pounding drums, a Korg MS-20, bass, and slide guitar form the basis of this early industrial treasure. The apparently unreleased remix, "Tan-Ze-Dub", is also included, and it is indeed a dub reconstruction. "Zuckendes Fleisch" is surprisingly accessible post-punk (even with an amplified metal spring), while "13 Loecher (Leben ist illegal)" is the beginning of Neubauten as we know them. This brief track features guitar, metal spring, and an electric drill tearing up a wood board! These tracks* were solely made by blixa Bargeld and Andrew Chudy (as is the creepy "Tagesschau-Dub"); the rest of the album features Alexander Hacke and F.M. Einheit, though not usually at the same time. "Kalte Sterne" (from the eponymous EP, included in its entirety) is the biggest shock. With its pretty tinkling keyboard and restrained vocals, this very well could have received radio play. All bets are off by the final two tracks, taken from the THIRSTY ANIMAL single. "Thirsty Animal" itself is an absolutely disturbing piece of noise bliss. Featuring guests Roland S. Howard (of the Birthday Party, guitar) and Lydia Lunch, it begins as a slow drone. It proceeds to become a creepy repetitive mass of pounding percussion, bizarre electronics, and Lunch's howling agonized vocals ("We'll bring out the leeches to suck the bloodless, bring out the leechessss"). The B-side, "Durstiges Tier" (which means "Thirsty Animal" in German!) is essentially a dub reworking. Allegedly, Bargeld had his body covered with contact mics, while F.M Einheit pounded out the rhythm ON BARGELD'S BODY. It's not quite as disturbing as "Thirsty Animal", but it's still not the sort of thing to listen to if you're paranoid. KALTE STERNE comes highly recommended to listeners interested in where it all began, and the more open-minded post-punk and industrial fans out there would probably find a lot to like here as well.
*Apparently, tracks two through six are the previously unreleased material.