Einstürzende Neubauten – Perpetuum Mobile

The Einstürzende Neubauten don’t need much introduction, I assume. This German collective with Blixa Bargeld as one of its founding members played an important role in the avantgarde/industrial scene in the 80’s. But they never ceased to make relevant music. Nowadays they don’t sound as extreme as in their early days, when they used to hammer on metal objects and other self-made instruments to create a destructive sound. This trademark has not diasppeared altogether, but the current music of Einstürzende Neubauten is much more song-based.

“Perpetuum Mobile” continues the path taken with “Ende Neu” (1996) and “Silence is Sexy” (2000). This means a relatively conventional song structure and a rather restrained, poetic style. The album is accessible, but still contains enough originality to recognize it as a Neubauten production. The half-spoken vocals of Bargeld always fascinates and gives the songs often hypnotic qualities. The broad range of instruments and sound effects used ensure that each songs has its own ‘colour’. Some songs are rather dreamy, like the opening track ‘Ich gehe jetzt’. Others are more experimental and industrial, like the 15 minute-long title track, which contains some threatening scrapheap sounds. The next track ‘Ein leichtes leises Säuseln’ is then again a slow, melancholic piano ballad.

After repeated listening I’ve grown very fond of this album with all its variation and adventure. “Perpetuum Mobile” is full of ideas and moods. Perhaps they don’t make building collapse anymore, but I find it really a pleasure to listen to the Neubauten anno 2004.

artist: Einstürzende Neubauten
label: Mute
details: 12 tracks