Einsturzende Neubaten - Alles Wieder Offen
(Potomak) Eric Nielsen 9.21.7
The new Einsturzende Neubaten record Alles Wieder Offen has found a home in my steady rotation. The release date on this record is October 23 in the US. After 27 years together they have really had an amazing journey. This disc was funded by their subscribing supporters and released on their own Potomak label. The subscribers had web video access and even discussed and tried to direct the creative process over 200 days of recording.
This album has so many attractions for me. The music is industrial and modern in a softer, more accessible vein than earlier works of the band. The first track ramps with a fade-in that can trick you at first. Turn up the disc too early and you’ll be blasted (nice idea), let it grow naturally and it’s like easing on to the Autobahn, slowly gaining speed in your well-crafted Mercedes until you slowly slip onto the fast lane. Before you realize, you’re looking at your speedometer and it’s out of control.
The polish on this record floats you over the cement highway with a natural and urban soundscape that works in these modern, disturbing times. Nothing is out of place; all the instruments sit perfectly in the mix.
The second song Nagorny Karabach sounds like a beautiful Mogwai tune which pulses with resounding elements of cedar trees breathing in an oceanic gale in Monterey. It’s my favorite piece on the disc.
The voice is the real captain of this record. The music sets the ambience and the Germanic chanting and singing form the character. The authoritative god-like voice sings and speaks from an older perspective, providing the steering. Some of the disc is in English, but it’s really the mysteriousness of the German language that holds the listener enrapt, allowing open interpretations of the emotive qualities through the voice, the tone, and the colors in a way that creates a more open-ended experience for the listener.
Amazingly produced, there is nothing that distracts from the experience of the song, the album and the cryptic messages of the band. Often the repetition in the lyrics allows you to sing along and imagine you have some idea of the theme.
The artwork is a a modern psychedelic explosion of pleasure filled with reds and metals in a collage style that expresses the music well. The picture on the back of the disc reflects the vastness of their music and the relative smallness of the people in the band. It’s a huge warehouse wall with the five band members, so small against. They look like a cluster of black holes within the immense backdrop of space; all grays and darkness with splashes of artistic reds.
This ten song, 53 minute disc is a pleasant listen, well crafted and filled with just the right amount of passion and existentialism.