High Qualitiy Audiophile Pressing 180g Double Vinyl Ltd Edition released 02.11.2011
First 500 orders receive a limited edition pack of “Silence is sexy” matches….
Silence is Sexy (2000-2011) – Finally, Einstürzende Neubauten’s long-awaited reissue on the band’s own label Potomak
Silence is not sexy at all!!! The power of soft tones.
The element of surprise was and continues to be routine for the Einstürzende Neubauten. On “Silence is Sexy” they masterfully celebrate the unexpected in the exploration of silence.
“Silence is Sexy” is a wonderful album in the classical Neubauten sense; lyrical and melancholy. It’s a musical coming-of-age from metal-defying scrap iron sound to constructed melodiousness, with a familiar rhythmic undertow and a bittersweet melancholy – playful, arrogant, poetic, subversive, dandified and mature.
From its first release in 2000 (marking the 20-year existence of the band) to date, it has doubtlessly remained the most complex work of the Neubauten and the most fascinating in its evolution. It shows the Neubauten universe from both a known, emotionally moving side, as well as one that is deliberately constructive. It clearly breathes the inimitably rough Neubauten handwriting, while Blixa’s voice cuts through intellectual and cryptic texts. It is carried by metal sounds, from which individual instruments can almost no longer be extracted – and by silence. Ultimately, nearly inaudible tones or laughter in the right place can seem more destructive than the most enduring rage.
A fascination with improvisation including musical intricacies and special instruments had always been their trademark and continues here in a completely new, impressive way. Plucking the soft, subtle tones, the band permits itself irony and self-mockery. This sounds humorous, melancholy and astonishingly tender, despite conscious cross-references to their loud beginnings.
The band – Blixa Bargeld, Andrew Unruh, Alexander Hacke, Jochen Arbeit and Rudolf Moser – now celebrate percussive minimalism instead of archaic rhythms, tender ethereal sounds instead of infernal noise and razor sharp fabulations instead of spontaneous wordplay. The band proceeds calmly, quietly and surprisingly humorously. But even this turning to moderate sounds should be understood as a countermovement. The last line of the title song “Silence is Sexy” declares: “Silence is NOT sexy at all!”
It is the contemplative songs, which constitute the character of the album. Nevertheless, the Neubauten’s dry humor also reveals itself here in amplified flashes, alongside a light looking back to their early experiments. There is not a central song, but many.
In “Sabrina” they raise the question, which color can be assigned to the sounds. Their answer is black. Black is the sound of silence, the color of melancholy, which lies over the country and the city.
“Silence is Sexy,” the title song of the album, moves cyclically hard alongside the complete silence. It is in fact the tantalizing handling of silence that actually makes “Silence is Sexy” so sexy. On the live recorded title song, a bass swings, accompanied by discreet percussion, over it the voice, and after every verse there is a break in which one hears nothing, but the sizzling sound of a cigarette. The softest noises are made audible, such as taking a drag on a cigarette, breathing and the sounds made in the oral cavity. Movement, pausing and acceleration are the stops along the exploration of ambivalence.
The “Befindlichkeit des Landes” is analyzed as sharp-witted and subtle with laconic metaphors. For this purpose, the master of intellectual pathos unveils an ironic calmness. Blixa Bargeld observes Berlin from the viewpoint of a future archaeologist. On the question about the state of the city and the country, he prophetically answers:
“Die neuen Tempel haben schon Risse/ künftige Ruinen/ einst wächst Gras auch über diese Stadt.”
(“The new temples already have cracks/ future ruins/ grass once also grew over this city.”).
They extended their terrain further, all the same whether “Beauty” is about the reflection between one’s own concepts and perceptions of beauty, whether the question concerned the alleged immovableness of identity in “Redukt” or was simply about humorous pipe dreams, which celebrate fun for its own sake.
However, even the early days were not forgotten: “Zampano” is such a song, Bargeld explains, “that I didn’t want to program or to play, but wanted to record with a pneumatic piston …” “We must always find something that we haven’t done yet. Of course, this entails that things are constantly becoming more fragile, because we had already savored the brutal at the beginning of the ’80s.”
The syllables and engine noises, the melodies and breaks, the images and the cracks, collectively merge into a sound order against the stillness and the certainty.
They play machine music without rage and anger, reflecting states of mind without blindly following the spirit of the times. It’s an album that won’t be ignored; a unique appearance in the history of German rock music.
The acuteness and subtleties of Bargeld’s text worlds and of the transparent sound architecture constitute a very special Neubauten charm – fragile poetry, wordplay and philosophical lyric poetry instead of the scrapyard. It also takes a lot of courage to be so far beyond good and evil.