silence is sexy

Category: By the bug

Odds are no one banked on Einstürzende Neubauten lasting 20 years. What were the odds of such a destructive band surviving two decades? Did the Stooges ever stand a chance of writing a song called "1989"? More importantly, who would have thought that the milestone year would see the release of one of Neubauten's finest records? Though Silence Is Sexy might retain some of the band's recent song-based developments that have left some fans puzzled, its closest touchstone is 1987's Richterskala. They might not be as unsettling or destructive as they were in their early days, but they still know how to capture the imagination and warp the senses. As with Richterskala, restraint is a key element. The schlock of recent outings is done away with to focus more on stark restraint. Bargeld doesn't really let his vocal chords rip often, and their trademark clangorous overload isn't resorted to much. "Sabrina" is one of the tracks that brings to mind their excellent album from 1987. Swaying strings and plaintive percussive taps frame Blixa Bargeld's whispers as he waxes like a bawdier Bryan Ferry. Those who reveled in Neubauten's familiar undead bass sound will find the record goes down a treat. At nearly 70 minutes, it's a bit sprawling, but it allows the gang to represent every element that has made them vital and influential to experimental music throughout the last twenty years. Irregardless of your pickiness with Neubauten's material -- what you like/hate about them -- anyone could piece together 40 minutes of the record for an ace Cliff's Notes version. [Early editions came with a second disc, consisting solely of the 19-minute long "Pelikanol." A scraping, hypnotic track, Bargeld uses his voice as a drone instrument to great effect.]



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