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Neubauten Lament: More Details
The Quietus , October 7th, 2014 11:46

Further information about World War One tribute event and LP emerges

Einsturzende Neubauten's Lament, a concert series and album commemorating the first World War, looks set to be one of the most moving and intriguing musical events this autumn. On November 9th, the German group will play a concert in Diksmuide, Belgium, a site of one of the first major battles of the war in 1914.

Speaking about Lament, EN's Blixa Bargeld has spoken of his belief in the theory that there was really no end to the European conflicts of the 20th Century: “The Second World War is nothing but the elongation of the first one," he says. "As a child of the post Second World War era, and the resulting division of Germany and Berlin, I’m of course hugely influenced in my upbringing about the results of that. War is not something that appears and disappears. War is something that is always there. It sometimes moves and it sometimes doesn’t move. It doesn’t break out like the plague. It’s there."

We're told that as well as the customary "self-built metal constructions, voice, objets trouvés and innovative technology", the production will consist of "a complex cycle of original and cover songs and performance pieces based on or extracted directly from historical records". There will also be a "Frankenstein-like re-imagining of a national anthem once partly shared by many participants of the war, including Germany, the UK, and Canada; 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; a re-enactment of an early 1920’s cabaret style piece by the even more obscure 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, an interpretation of Marlene Dietrich’s German rendition of Pete Seeger’s 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone'." There will also be "historic wax cylinder recordings made by linguists in German WWI prison camps of POW’s reciting the biblical parable of The Prodigal Son in their own languages, some now extinct, over a drastically slowed down recording of a motet based on the same story by 16th century Flemish composer Jacob Clemens non Papa, who lived and died in Diksmuide."

Lament will see a release on November 24th, though we're told that it is "a studio recreation of a composition primarily designed to be performed live, rather than an official new Einstürzende Neubauten LP". Details of the Lament performances, including a stop at London's KOKO on November 19th, can be found here.

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