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Einstürzende Neubauten
Perpetuum Mobile
Mute Records

Der Gott Väter of German industry have explored an unexpected route since their primal, chaotic Kollaps beginnings. In the late 80's, they grafted tune to torture, while the current crew has been forging those tunes into full-fledged songs since 1996's Ende Neu. Those people who can correctly spell, pronounce and translate the band's name have been at times dumfounded and again pleased with the transmogrification. Sure, it was exciting and unnerving back then, but when honestly was the last time you popped 2X4 into your kassettendeck? The post-Bad Seeds Blixa Bargeld is creating something that will last. That will bear repeating. Like some sort of...oh what's the word...a kind of apparatus that goes forever. And like Mozart, he's intent on portraying the Germanic tongue as a poetic thing of beauty, rather than the course, guttural discourse with which it's perceived.

He's the warm, weathered grandfatherly storyteller. You love him, but he's still a touch creepy with all the time he spends secreted away in the shed working on his contraption that needs no fuel. The rhythms have been perfected, the ever-present droning is accepted as fact. Re-bar and elevator cables are now proper instruments supporting a melody instead of the pushing destruction. Air compressors feature prominently with more traditional guitar, keyboards and car tires. But being more cabaret than cacophony, it's Bargeld's pronunciation and timing that prevents sheet-metal thunder from taking over the performance.

The English translations are unnecessary for the enjoyment, but add an altogether different experience. Having bathed in the sounds, the expectation is one of universal wisdom. Then the liner notes reveal truths like, "Astronomy has discovered the scnapps in space/someone he or she has hidden it behind the intergalactic clouds/probably marked for safety by a creative hand/so the space cleaning lady will not take delight in it." The absurdity mixed with mundane matters concerning hotel mini-bars is jarring, until a new appreciation washes over for making it all sound so grand. In fairness, much of the content is ponderous stuff for enlightened persons. Interpretation left wide open, the parable "Youme & Meyou" is a utopian vision that finds magic in the ordinary.

Some are certainly waiting out the time when Neubauten begins a cleansing jet-driven collapse of all this structured nonsense. Others will revel in the mature path they've adopted. Perhaps entropy is the only perpetual motion machine.

-Ewan Wadharmi

Track List:
1. Ich Gehe Jetzt
2. Perpetuum Mobile
3. Ein Leichtes Leises Säuseln
4. Selbstportrait Mit Kater
5. Boreas
6. Ein Seltener Vogel
7. Ozean und Brandung
8. Paradiesseits
9. Youme & Meyou
10. Der Weg Ins Freie
11. Dead Friends
12. Grundstück


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