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Einsturzende Neubauten | Perpetuum Mobile | review | electro | Lollipop

Einsturzende Neubauten

Perpetuum Mobile (Mute)
By Lex Marburger

Finally wrapping up the last of the elements, Einstürzende Neubauten has dedicated their new album, Perpetuum Moblie, to the use and application of air compressors in music. I mean, hell, they've already worked with fire (Abfackeln!), water (Negativ Nein) and earth (Kangolicht), so where else are they going to go? The compressor first made an appearance on Ende Neu, but now it's back with a vengeance. While certainly not backing away from the now-expected use of sheets of metal, car parts, airplane rotors, bass, and guitar, the use of air in the music adds a touch of, well, airy-ness. There's still plenty of annoying noises and droning basslines that we have come to know and love, and Blixa is still being Blixa, chanting and singing in a German/English mix (and let's not forget his patented screams). But much like on Silence is Sexy, the perceived violence found in earlier recordings is almost completely gone. In its place is a restless peace and a cold confidence that calms rather than agitates. It's not that the boys are getting old; rather, their fascination with pure sound is becoming more refined... After all, a wise man once said, "those who are genuinely interested in sound are interested in the small ones." And in part, that's what Perpetuum Mobile is about. Songs like "Ein Leichtes Leises Säuseln" ("A Whisper Light and Low") mix a surprisingly deft electric piano with dried leaves, and even when they pick up the pace with "Selbstportrait mit Kater" ("Self-Portrait with Hangover") - a witty romp through Blixa's consciousness with parallels to intergalactic existence - they balance the booming amplified metal spring used as a kick drum with delicate strings and muted bass. Perpetuum Mobile may seem on the surface to be just another Neubauten album, but they still manage to surprise long-time listeners, just more subtly. And rightly so. You can only listen to the sound of collapsing buildings for so long before you yearn for a new structure. And Neubauten delivers.


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