Five Songs, 1/8/2021
Five Songs

Five Songs, 1/8/2021

Einstürzende Neubauten, "Nagorny Karabach"

Alles Wieder Offen ("All Open Again") represents Neubauten fully completing their new model of creating albums. In 2002, Neubauten wanted to get themselves total creative freedom to create the music they wanted, without any label interference. They managed to get 2,000 people signed up at $35 a piece, which was enough to fund some sessions. Those recordings would turn into Supporter Album No. 1, which I have a copy of somewhere around here. However, the band turned to Mute records to turn it into a full release (Perpetuum Mobile, which re-worked some of the songs from it), which allowed them to fund a tour.

Another round of funding led to another supporter's album (Grundstück, or Supporter Album No. 2, which was eventually given a wide release, but not until 2018. It wasn't until the third supporter's album that the band had gotten enough funding to create an album all on their own and to give that album a full, public release right away. Alles Wieder Offen, that third album, is an excellent record, full of all the usual drama from the band, and without some of the more commercial nods from the previous album. Today, crowdfunding is a normal part of the creative landscape, but Neubauten managing to escape the bounds of the label system was an impressive achievement for the time.

Dilated Peoples, "Worst Comes To Worst"

We just had a track from their first album the other day, and now we've got one from their followup from just a year later. It really didn't show any evolution from the first album, and it's perfectly listenable, but it's the last album I picked up from the band.

The New Pornographers, "Sing Me Spanish Techno"

Twin Cinema is simultaneously a great album and a disappointment. It's a great album because it's jam packed with the usual hooks and fun songs. It's a disappointment because it's also kind of treading water - the first three New Pornographers albums could have been released in any order, and nobody would be surprised by the new ordering. Fundamentally, if you're holding a bar this high, it doesn't really matter if you're not evolving, but still.

WIFE, "Like Chrome"

James Kelly, the founder and primary artist behind the brilliant Altar of Plagues, who made two of the best black metal albums ever (Mammal and Teethed Glory and Injury), disbanded the band in 2013. His next project would be in a totally different direction. WIFE is an electronic project, sometimes in the industrial vein of things. It still can be disturbing sounding at times, but it's quite a new direction compared to black metal. He hasn't followed up on this 2014 album yet, unfortunately.

Freestyle Fellowship, "Cornbread"

Freestyle Fellowship were a collaborative group in the early 90s in LA, creating a couple of good albums with a huge number of MCs. This track gives a pretty good idea of what they sounded like.

Joshua Buergel
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