November 21, 2014
German band Einstürzende Neubauten returned with a new album released in November 2014. The album version of Lament should be heard as a studio reconstruction of a work primarily designed to be performed live, rather than an official new Einstürzende Neubauten LP proper.
As the label itself says, ''people should not treat Lament as a straight Einstürzende Neubauten album, Bargeld states emphatically. It’s a documentation of the performance and installation commissioned by the city of Diksmuide, where it will be premiered by the group in November 2014, before they take it on tour. Indeed, Lament is constructed from various pre-existing parts, including two pre-jazz age war songs from a marching band nicknamed The Harlem Hellfighters, which led the US’s first ever African American regiment into battle; two settings for texts by the mysterious Belgian writer Paul van den Broeck; Bargeld’s reenactment of an early 1920s cabaret style piece by the even lesser known German writer and performer Joseph Plaut, which tells the history of World War One through the medium of an music hall animal mimic; and, finally, Bargeld interpreting the German version of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”, as sung by Marlene Dietrich.
In an interview with the band Automat, we asked Jochen Arbeit about this new album, but he didn't want to break any surprise. Now, here it is; Lament!
''I have a problem with the avant garde'' Blixa Bargeld told Danish TV viewers. ''Because it’s a military term. It means the garde that runs before the rest of the soldiers and if I want to see myself represented in military terms, I don’t want to be part of that. I want to be one of the deserters.” |“Break the rules, yes,” he added elsewhere. “Break also the rules of the avant garde because the avant garde is already established. The avant garde can’t be avant garde once it’s established. The avant garde is way back. I am happier being a partisan, hanging out in the woods and then at the right time, I come and attack.”
Einstürzende Neubauten ("Collapsing New-Buildings") is a German industrial band, originally from West Berlin, formed in 1980. The group currently comprises Blixa Bargeld (lead vocals, guitar, keyboard), Alexander Hacke (bass, guitar, vocals), N.U. Unruh (custom-made instruments, percussion, vocals), Jochen Arbeit (guitar and vocals), and Rudolf Moser (custom-built instruments, percussion, and vocals).