Alles Wieder Offen

liner notes


Einstürzende Neubauten’s music has always created its own cosmos, but with “Alles wieder offen” this cosmos is wider than ever before. And the stars within it are shining brighter.


Encouraged possibly by the title of the CD “Silence is sexy” of 2000, the word was that Einstürzende Neubauten have become calmer, quieter even. “Alles wieder offen” blows this assumption out of the water. It is in every aspect an urgent and compelling album. The reason for this is that the instruments do not, as they used to, exhaust themselves by a consumptive struggle against each other, but instead unleash a previously unknown fusion of conventional as well as Einstürzende Neubauten-typical instruments. Especially noticeable are the vibraphone, the hammond-organ and the clever string sections. After almost three decades the musicians here seem to be in a state of euphoria encouraged by their own seemingly endless possibilities.


Working outside normal record business market mechanisms, Einstürzende Neubauten have recorded a CD during an incredible 200 days in their own studio, whose subject is relocation, change, loss, vanitas or generally the passing of time, and which can still be called entertainment art. The album is a long glance back, a kind of self-assurance, and it reaches a point where “All (is) open again”. This might be positive, it might perhaps be frightening, but it is above all one thing: brave.


(Abstract of NO BEATUY WITHOUT DANGER by Thomas Kolitsch, July 2007)


Die Wellen

What should I do with you, waves, you who can never decide
whether you’re the first or the last?
You think you can define the coast with your constant wish-wash,
it down with your coming and going.
And yet no one knows how long the coastline really is,
where land stops, where land begins, and you’re forever changing
the line, length, lay, with the moon and unpredictable.


Consistent alone is your inconsistency.


Ultimately victorious since, as so often evoked, this wears away
the stones, grinds the sand down as fine as needed for
hourglasses and egg-timers, as required for calibrating time,
for telling the difference between hard and soft.


Victorious also because, never tiring, you win the contest who of us
will be the first to fall asleep, or you, being the ocean still,
because you never sleep.


Although colourless yourself, you seem blue
when the sky is gently mirrored on your surface, the ideal course
for being strolled upon by the carpenter’s son, the most changeable element.


And inversely, when you are wild and loud and your breakers thunder,
I listen between the peaks of your rollers, and from the highest waves,
from breaking spume, a thousand voices break away, mine,
yesterday’s ones that I didn’t know, that otherwise just whisper,
and all the others too, and in their midst the Nazarene.
Over and over again those stupendous five final words:
Why have you left me?


I hold my own, shout at each single wave:
Are you staying?
Are you staying?
Are you staying, or what?

Nagorny Karabach

The town lies under mist
I am up on my mountain
in my black garden
squeezed in between the heavens
in the enclave of my choice
where I am hiding
in Nagorny Karabakh


Once deep forests
mountain chains, maybe ice
a brass-yellow sun
perpetrates a paradise
my sys- or diastole
and between them the moment
borne by the birds
about their business here
in the enclave of my heart
where I lose myself
in Nagorny Karabakh


I climb down the mountain
enter one or another valley
flying flags of every colour
in Mount Karabakh


Two large black ravens
devouring the plums in the tree
I wonder if the other city cares for me…
In the enclave of my choice
where I am hiding
in Nagorny Karabakh


Come and pay me a visit
I have unlimited time
and the view is most lovely
over the clouds and the town
in Nagorny Karabakh
Nagorny Karabakh
Nagorny Karabakh


the chain of appeasements
is unbroken
will never break off
what is straight will be bent crooked
what is crooked they’ll talk it straight
measured gait
sugar sweet paws
tiptoeing about the beaten bush


that’s right


Don’t take the advice of those
who’ve long since frittered their winter fat
of opportunities


You notice something must be wrong
with the patterns of the story
from the right angles
missing corners
up to hereditary transgression
The teeth are being ground down in the works
ideas are stretched thin
all you learn is nothing more than parallel parking
Don’t take the advice of those
who’ve long since frittered their winter fat
of opportunities


Don’t take the advice of those
who’ve long since frittered their winter fat
of opportunities
you have to behead the stars and the moon
and for good measure also the tsar
the celestial bodies will keep their head
but most likely not the tsar

Ich hatte ein Wort

I had a word
a long, homespun one like guttering, with wheels,
narrow like a dugout or something that’s meant to channel cement
no more than a model, stream-lined and wind-swept, but mine


I had a word
a round one, round as an orange
now and then at midnight it lit up the whole interior for me
its fruit was overgrown as in nature
with a photo of the moon beside the bed


Someone has concealed the meaning from me
in a corner very far away hidden too
I’ve got no proof
di di di…


I had a word
an alien one, most inimical to me…
one day it grew with little heads on either side out of my skin
then in the morning we three mustered each other in the mirror
and found it hard to believe – so unfamiliar


somehow it then also disclosed itself to me
no longer kept itself hidden in its corner
there was the proof
di di di…


I’ve travelled to the farthest corners
in search of the meaning, of this proof
of a word I now finally know again
that I bore within myself that I will never surrender again
I will never ever surrender it again…

Von Wegen

Off ways off ways off ways
off ways off ways of ways I know
of ways of ways of which of which I know
I have been away a very very very long time
on ways of which of which I know
have struck tents
such a long time ago
on ways off ways of which of which I know
in the terrain to my rear I never stopped laying mines
off ways off ways of ways I know
have buried my brain
like my soul in desert terrain
off ways off ways of ways
to my left and to my right the highwaymen, waiting, in vain


on ways ways-ways-ways-ways-ways-ways-ways
of which I know
erroneous extraneous tortuous
return to you
were always laid out this way
under and overground
return to you


I live off the white coats on my tongue
off the expectorations of my supposed soul


Dissolve me like sugar
if you find the time for it
do it gently and swiftly
by sleight of hand
or simply with a single look
it was all there once before
best you do it while I’m still dancing
still dancing
still dancing
You breathe like a spark incorporeal inside me
Addiction to desire is the only energy

Let's do it a Dada



Let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it a Dada!


At Herzfeld’s I once had breakfast
in Steglitz or Wilmersdorf
with Wieland I had an argument
with Wieland, not with John
I passed him the scissors
I cooked him the glue


In no dictionary
has there ever been this entry
just you and me my darling
we know what it really means
Let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it a Dada!


I played chess with Lenin
Zurich, Spiegelgasse
I knew Jolifanto in the flesh
I even once bathed with the urtext
I played with Anna
I played with Hannah
I know where the church tower stands
I passed her the kitchen knife
I cooked her the glue


Let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it a Dada!


A big yes and a small no
I drank large amounts
drank with George
but was still not at hand
on the cellar steps
that morning in Savignyplatz


I helped Kurt build his houses
Nos. 1, 2 and 3
I passed him the saw
I cooked him the glue


Aaah, Signore Marinetti
Back from Abyssinia?


Just you and me my darling
we know what it really means
Let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it a Dada!

alles wieder offen

It’s all open again


The equations
The bills
The questions and the sea
Border, wall, laughter, house
Hostility and visor
The cards laid on the table, open
Like the trench
Like the grave
The end and the fire
The secret and the source
The sluice and the coffin
And maybe also
the stomach ulcer


It is all open again


The future
The sequence, succession
Door, gate, wine, trousers, blouse, shirt and hair
The fontanelle
The future and the bar
The circle
The game
Open market economy
The knife
Jacques Offenbach


It’s all open again


Out out out
It’s all open again
open again
all again


The system
The vacancy and the level crossing
Time, space, book, war
Letters, cupboard and shoe
Roof, canal
The victory and the hearth
The shops stay open
Stay open anyway
The offer is open to anyone


It’s all open again
we hope
all again
I lean briefly to one side
and expect a small jolt
I don’t know if I should cry…
What is open?
The wound and the heart


The face
The church
Society and the state
The microphone
The sky
The relationship
The word
The open prison


It’s all open again


You can’t properly call it sleep
from one pole to the next the whole thing at the same distance
dreams leaning over the side
staring down into the crater of displaced objects
where they are calmly doing their rounds
they stare back unflinching
and I ask myself: how many things have already left the horizon again
my orbit
have taken on a life of their own?
My suitcase was checked in
I checked it in, abandoned it myself
and it has landed somewhere
where I didn’t land
its contents, the prize, have become plunder
flogged, blown
I sit upright
no matter whether it’s morning, afternoon or the middle of the night
daylight will embroil me in circumstances inevitable in this time zone
out there
there is an out there
but am I still complete enough?
Have I got my wherewithal?
the odds and bobs
and pad
and keys


For now I’ve cancelled the idea of “out there”
to be and let be

I sit upright

I rasp the slime upwards until I catch hold of it.
With two fingers I haul its thread up out of my throat, out of my body.
Hanging to it like a charm bracelet are:
a heart, my love, a bottle, a house, a coin, a horseshoe, a six, a seven,
a shamrock, a fish, a dice, a thirteen, a bell, a padlock, a key, a hammer,
a star, a moon, the sun –
and at the very end a brush whose bristles pull out the remains, the last couple of lumps.

Clean at last. Empty at last.

I drink a large glass of water and wait. What had stuck in and
kept me worried is hanging in front of me and drying like old vegetables, desiccated fruit.

The water finds its way. I let it, a last trickle.
A last gas, a flatus.

Empty at last.
Empty at last.

Me: my shell.


Haggard and emaciated
as recollected
loaded in at the same place
as where you got off
on the lips the same questions still
about the first things, the last days
or simply just about substances


Let us go home


You ask me, old man,
where are you harbouring what I had in mind?
Is it inscribed or was it drowned?
I say
your doings alone are what remain of me
beneath layers, years, annual rings
it is yet still engraved


Let us go home
to yours and mine


I sing of our catastrophes
intonate the breakdowns
I join in each deceptive cadence
I extemporize upon your harmonies
up to the refrain, to the finale


Let us go home




We have to make everything work in reverse
Climb down from your skull hill
back through streets and alleys
the rabble and the masses
they can go home now
Call the astromagic off
even the Magi can go home
They can all go home


Be transitory!

Ich warte

I’m waiting with closed eyes
waiting for the morning
I’m waiting for the cleaner
to dispose of the flower waste

I’m waiting for the waitress
moons are what I’ve ordered…
I’m waiting throughout the newspaper
until it’s time for the world

I’m waiting with the ballpoint pen
for ideas to strike
I’m waiting waiting waiting
until it’s time to return

I’m waiting in the gaps in between
allegedly unprotected
I’m waiting for the new language
that that will be of use to me

I’m waiting for the dopamines
that have been internally promised
I’m waiting for the vision
that the film finally begins

I’m waiting at the machine
waiting for my money
I’m waiting until a lump of cosmic junk
crashes down at my feet

I’m waiting touching black keys
because white as yet is wrong
I’m waiting waiting further waiting waiting unperturbed

I’m waiting for the cat’s gait’s racket
I’m waiting for the fishes’ song
I’m waiting for the single big
irrepressible gong

I’m waiting for the dark masses
between the stars still undiscovered
I’m waiting for the saucers
kept in the Andes by the Nazis under cover

I’m waiting at the edge of the world
where even atoms feel giddy
I’m waiting right by the black hole
I’m waiting waiting still waiting
I’m waiting undeterred

I’m waiting for my iceberg tip
at the end of all physics
for November heat
and for things that don’t exist
I’m waiting waiting incessantly
ultimately for music

I’m waiting for the one
who has truly earned her name
was always there is always right
for the one who excavates the sun
who suspends the law of graves
I am waiting for her who tactlessly harvests
dripping honey
dancing barefoot without slipper
who note for note eludes rigidity
appears immediately familiar to all
I’m waiting for her to open doors gates sluices
until in a cloudburst – reveille fanfare –
unexpected she leaps out in ambush
I’m hoping she’ll instigate a hymn
I’m waiting for there to be nothing left to wait for
life is not an error, not error and music
I’m waiting
I’m waiting still