"Silence Is Sexy"

I was rather afraid that the marvellous "Ende Neu" would have been the last conclusion of Einstürzende Neubauten's incredible adventure, due also to F.M. Einheit and Marc Chung's departure. Indeed, the latest work of 1996 had been criticized because of its increased attention for melody and musical sounds, rather than the industrial noises and cacophony which made them worldwide "infamous", but personally I found extraordinary, for I think I understood that Blixa Bargeld and co. were sending a much clear message to their audience, and this message is even clearer today, when we finally hold their new full-lenght work, "Silence Is Sexy", programmatic from its very title.

After 20 years of chaos, despertion and destruction, looks like those German giants realized that noise and excess have finally become in fashion, and it was time to change direction in order to survive. Blixa says that today one
can find monstrous amounts of noise even in mainstream pop, while silence is unthinkable, disturbing, forbidden. As usual, he's right, and the initial songs from the new album, the minimal sweet and melodic "Sabrina" and the manifesto "Silence Is Sexy", with its large completely silent parts, sound like protests against today's pop music, much louder but perhaps even more hollow than 20 years ago. This is a minimal, elegant and refined piece of work, where melancholy and decay seems to finally prevail on anger and violence, but you think you're going to fall asleep while listening to it, songs like "Alles", Die Befindlichkeit des Landes" and the marvellous "Dingsaller", masterpiece of the album according to me, will quickly change your mind.

New band members Rudi Moser and Jochen Arbeit (old fellows from Die Haut) work hard and good, alongside "pillars" Alexander Hacke and N.U.Uhnruh. Also take your time to read the lyrics and go deep into them, in order to enjoy much better the more quiet episodes of "Beauty", "Heaven Is of Honey" and "Sonnenbarke". Recently, I had the chance to see the band live, and I have to say that the charisma is unchanged, the show is gorgeous and the new songs sound much powerful and exciting. I have no doubt about it, Einstürzende Neubauten remains among the greatest bands of all time and the few which managed to change bravely without renegading their past or selling out to a record company.

Simoneh Ragnar Redbeard
June 2000

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