The JEWELS album is the result of an experiment to search for a navigation system, which led the band back into hidden niches of the EinstÃ¼rzende Neubauten universe that have not been especially brightly illuminated before now; into those corners, which have remained in the dark or have been forgotten despite two decades of restless movement. Jewels is being released in the U.S. this Summer on the band’s own Potomak label, distributed by Ryko.
This visualization of their musical cosmos began at the same time as work on Alles wieder offen (2007). Initially, these miniatures were conceived only as download presents for the supporters of Phase 3 of neubauten.org. Consequently, the time that could be spent on jewel cutting was limited; two days had to suffice to go from the first inspiration to a finished song. As a result, the Neubauten sought after a creation process, which would develop the necessary dynamics. In this context Blixa Bargeld sensed that it wasn’t necessary to listen to all the Neubauten albums to remember all those great and miserable ideas, coincidences and inventions that had occurred to the band since it began to make audible what had not yet been brought to sound. He could rely on his memory and listen to it in order to finally envision an unsystematic, Neubauten-specific deck of cards (the first version contained 600!) that became a game, a divinatory adviser and a navigation system. Every card made a cryptic reference to elements of what the Neubauten have created over the last 28 years, including the instruments, materials and structures, with references to verse or chorus, intro and outro, middle section, social relationships and alliances. Who with whom? Who with what? At what speed? From which position?
The band played DAVE (the name that was quickly established for this card game) before every JEWELS recording session. It was like Tarot without rules. Everyone drew a couple of cards and attempted to interpret them. Afterward, the band went into the vaulted cellar of the studio and came back with shopping carts full of strange stuff, then spent a large part of the day converting all these things, objects and materials into ideas. It was important not to tell the others what card one had. Instructions could be given when required. Otherwise, the name of the game was to surprise and be surprised.
Through ” ein Traum ” (a dream), one of the first cards that Blixa Bargeld drew at the beginning of the experiment, he immediately unleashed the problem of having to deliver a text within a very short time frame. He resorted to a “dream archive” that he had laid out over the years. The dream records filed there in their “il”-logic proved to be wonderful raw material to correspond to the increasingly surrealistic instructions that DAVE gave to the band.
The result of this “subversive interpretation game” is a concept album with miniatures – small JEWELS , 2-3 minutes in length, about which the Neubauten say: “At first we considered this process a gigantic digression, but after a while we noticed that the excursions that led us away from the normal album work were justified by the results, because they allowed us to deliver some of our most ego-free compositions up to now.”
JEWELS track listing
1. Ich komme davon 2:34
2. Mei Ro 2:03
3. 26 Riesen 3:28
4. Hawcubite 1:30
5. Die Libellen 1:44
6. Jeder Satz mit ihr hallt nach 3:44
7. Epharisto 2:23
8. Robert Fuzzo 2:37
9. Magyar Energia 3:02
10. Vicky 1:44
11. Ansonsten Dostojewsky 3:00
12. Die Ebenen (werden nicht vermischt) 6:26
13. Am I only Jesus? 3:30
14. Bleib 3:23
15. I kissed Glenn Gould 2:44