Home Read Albums Of The Week: Einstürzende Neubauten | Ramps (APM: Alien Pop Music)

Albums Of The Week: Einstürzende Neubauten | Ramps (APM: Alien Pop Music)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since the band were founded on April 1, 1980, Einstürzende Neubauten have been shifting the parameters of mainstream and subculture to make the inaudible audible — and perhaps the unheard as well. This experimental field research, spanning more than four decades, is now entering the next stage. In their 44th year, they are going back to their roots while redefining themselves. It’s a change in self-image, for which the Berlin quintet plus one created their own genre: APM — alien pop music.

Constant evolution: That’s how Einstürzende Neubauten’s body of work can best be summarized. A musical evolution that began with the debut LP Kollaps in 1981 is now being manifested with Ramps (APM: Alien Pop Music), on which Blixa Bargeld, N.U. Unruh, Alexander Hacke, Jochen Arbeit, Rudolph Moser and Felix Gebhard present themselves from their most unpredictable and unconventional sides. On their new album, the Neubauten put an albeit belated end to all sound speculations.

Since the mid-1980s, Einstürzende Neubauten have been experimenting on stage with what they call ramps: Improvisations with open developments and outcomes; launchpads into the unexplored. The band performed and recorded them nightly in 2022 during the encore on their Alles in Allem tour. Those recordings served as the basis for the new album.

Ramps is pop music for parallel universes and in-between worlds — for hyperspaces and interzones. It is microcosmic and intergalactic at the same time. It’s a demi-sophisticated claim outside of all physical laws, with which Einstürzende Neubauten enter a stylistic no-man’s land between the past and future. There’s a return to the roots on one side, while a new art form emerges on the other from powerful eruptions of noise encountering cryptic, often fragmentary lyrics: Popular music for aliens and outcasts. Anti-pop has become alien pop. Outlandish. Spun like a cocoon. Unheard. Sonus inauditus.

Not unintentionally, the artwork on the cover is reminiscent of the iconic layout on The Beatles White Album. “It’s based on the idea that the Einstürzende Neubauten are just as famous in another solar system as The Beatles are in our world,” Bargeld says, remarking on the balancing act between avant-garde and tongue-in-cheek, provocation and pop-cultural discontinuity.

This approach also defines the themes running like a thread through all the songs: Change, utopian mind games and transience. “On the album, I found a few solutions and formulated things in ways I haven’t formulated them before, because they were never so clear to me. I’m somebody who believes you can attain knowledge through music. It’s always been that way. I follow the conviction I’ll find something in the music that I didn’t know before. And sing something that I didn’t know. Something that turns out to be true. Or, to take this down a notch, something that at least has meaning.”

This album represents the next step in the evolution, where the familiar language is left behind, opening further, infinite possibilities: Alien pop music.”