The disharmonic aura of Einstürzende Neubauten have, with the release of their current album "Silence Is Sexy", glimmered for almost exactly two decades.
During their turbulent career, they've put their faith in the beauty of destruction, explored the chaotic realms of order, but also incorporated more traditional forms of beauty in their soundscapes. The unsettling results are always characterised by a playful and uncompromising curiosity for the mechanisms of both sound and word. Science and philosophy are united in the most extraordinary of ways.
The first decade's aggression is more than evident on brilliant and very physical albums such as "Kollaps" and "Halber Mench". But the rage of the early albums have steadily diminished through the years and the music have instead turned towards the romantic and melancholic.
The 1996 album "Ende Neu" was in many ways a transitional period for the band. Members Mark Chung and F M Einheit were replaced by Jochen Arbeit and Rudi Moser. Musically it was, as the album title indicates, something of a new turn in the history of Einstürzende Neubauten.
To me, however, "Ende Neu" seemed quite unfocused. A couple of very good songs just couldn't conceal the absence of nerve and wholeness.
But with "Silence Is Sexy", the band's transformation suddenly makes so much more sense. Several songs are stripped to their bare bones offering a kind of beauty and composure previously unknown for the band. The gentle caress of "Sabrina", the real-time sensuality of the title track "Silence Is Sexy" and the powerful structure of "Sonnenbarke" are all evidence of this new-found minimalistic softness.
The beauty of these also permits, though in a more struggling way, majestic tracks like "Alles", "Befindlichkeit des Landes" and "Reduct". Previously barely perceptible moments of irony and humour, are shamelessly brought into light with the joyful "Musentango" and the catchy "Allerdings".
The second CD:s only track "Pelikanol" is an 18 minute improvisation that was recorded live without cuts or overdubs. Very uncanny and mesmerising.
With "Silence Is Sexy" Neubauten have successfully reinvented themselves. The transformation is complete. Let a new era of prosperity begin…