The JEWELS album is the result of an experiment to search for a navigation system, which led the band back into hidden niches of the Einstürzende Neubauten universe that have not been especially brightly illuminated before now; into those corners, which have remained in the dark or have been forgotten despite two decades of restless movement.
This visualization of their musical cosmos began at the same time as work on Alles wieder offen (2007). Initially, these miniatures were conceived only as download presents for the supporters of Phase 3 of neubauten.org. Consequently, the time that could be spent on jewel cutting was limited; two days had to suffice to go from the first inspiration to a finished song. As a result, the Neubauten sought after a creation process, which would develop the necessary dynamics. In this context Blixa Bargeld sensed that it wasn’t necessary to listen to all the Neubauten albums to remember all those great and miserable ideas, coincidences and inventions that had occurred to the band since it began to make audible what had not yet been brought to sound. He could rely on his memory and listen to it in order to finally envision an unsystematic, Neubauten-specific deck of cards (the first version contained 600!) that became a game, a divinatory adviser and a navigation system. Every card made a cryptic reference to elements of what the Neubauten have created over the last 28 years, including the instruments, materials and structures, with references to verse or chorus, intro and outro, middle section, social relationships and alliances. Who with whom? Who with what? At what speed? From which position?
The result of this “subversive interpretation game” is a concept album with miniatures – small JEWELS, 2-3 minutes in length, about which the Neubauten say: “At first we considered this process a gigantic digression, but after a while we noticed that the excursions that led us away from the normal album work were justified by the results, because they allowed us to deliver some of our most ego-free compositions up to now.”
Written & composed by
Jochen Arbeit, Blixa Bargeld, Alexander Hacke, Rudi Moser, N.U. Unruh.