On Patrol in No Man's Land

Einstürzende Neubauten
Language: English

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(Einstürzende Neubauten)
Noi veniam dalle pianure
(Massimo Bubola)
Der Beginn des Weltkrieges 1914 (unter Zuhilfenahme eines Tierstimmenimitators)
(Einstürzende Neubauten)


The album version of LAMENT should be heard as a studio reconstruction of a work primarily designed to be performed live, rather than an official new Einstürzende Neubauten LP proper.

In truth, the piece can only be fully realised, as well as best experienced, in its physical embodiment, performed on or by founding member Andrew Unruh’s gigantic instruments and noise generating devices that visually evoke the horrors the work describes or embeds in the sounds they conjure from the filth and terror of the industrialised 20th century world at war with itself.

But in fulfilling what at first appears to be a surprise commission for such a formidable longtime outsider group, Einstürzende Neubauten transformed the earthy, idiosyncratic contents they mined from academic, state, music hall and internet archives with the help of their two researchers into a richly complex cycle of original and cover songs and performance pieces.

The music often originated in LAMENT’s storytelling needs, be it in terms of sounds used or compositions structured along First World War flow charts or scored from calendars of the involvement of the 20 plus countries embroiled in it. The way LAMENT plays off pre-existing and composed materials, pieces clipped together from historical records next to direct cover interpretations, or indeed their Frankenstein like construction of an ur-anthem/national hymn delivers a differently angled history of the war.

Finally, LAMENT opens Bargeld’s case that the First World War never ended - the interwar and postwar periods being essentially pauses for breath as the great military powers carry on their conflict at some remove in faraway wars fought by proxy.

Kriegsmaschinerie - Hymnen - The Willy - Nicky Telegrams - In de loopgraf - Der 1. Weltkrieg (Percussion Version) - On Patrol in No Man's Land - Achterland - Lament - Lament - How did I die? - Sag Mir Wo Die Blumen Sind - Der Beginn des Weltkrieges 1914 (unter Zuhilfenahme eines Tierstimmenimitators) - All of No Man's Land Is Ours


LAMENT’s two songs that focus on The Harlem Hellfighters is one of the major revelations coming out of Neubauten’s research into untold stories of the First World War. Largely made up of men from Harlem, the Hellfighters were the marching band to the US army’s first ever solely African American regiment sent abroad to fight for their country. But in an era still governed by racism and segregation, the US army resisted placing a black regiment under white command. Instead, this brigade of patriots ready to die for their country were assigned to French command so as to avoid them mixing with white American forces. Driven by the band’s indomitable optimism, the two pre-jazz-like pieces here concentrate on their combat successes.

Sung by Alex Hacke, the song is the only track on the record to vocally simulate the sounds of combat, and that’s only because they’re written into the lyric. By all accounts they proved fearless in battle, and were feared and loathed by any Germans luckless enough to come up against them, as a line sung by a German officer played by Bargeld confirms. “Basically we did a postmodern reworking of the song, and we used the original Harlem Hellfighters’ record somewhere in the middle of the track too, like “Come on boys, let's get them, let's get them on the bayonet”, and all that, that's actually the original Harlem Hellfighters record, not us, that's them.”
What the time? Nine?
Fall in line
Alright, boys, now take it slow
Are you ready? Steady!
Very good, Eddie.
Over the top, let’s go
Quiet, lie it, else you’ll start a riot
Keep your proper distance, follow ’long
Cover, brother, and when you see me hover
Obey my orders and you won’t go wrong

There’s a Minenwerfer coming —
look out! Hear that roar, there’s one more...
Stand fast, there’s a Very light...
Don’t gasp or they’ll find you all right!
Don’t start to bombing with those hand grenades
There’s a machine gun, holy spades!
Alert, gas! Put on your mask.
Adjust it correctly and hurry up fast!
Drop! There’s a rocket from the Boche barrage...
Down!, hug the ground, close as you can,
Creep and crawl, follow me, that’s all...
What do you hear? Nothing near
Don’t fear, all is clear
That’s the life of a stroll
When you take a patrol
Out in No Man’s Land
Ain’t it grand?
Out in No Man’s Land

»We can't stop these men... They are devils... They smile while they kill... and you can't catch them alive«

There’s a Minenwerfer......

»Right, boys! Go on’rido it! Get the bloody boys! Get them on the bayonet!... Ram it on!«

What do you hear? Nothing near
Don’t fear, all is clear
That’s the life of a stroll
When you take a patrol
Out in No Man’s Land
Ain’t it grand?
Out in No Man’s Land

Contributed by Donquijote82 - 2015/4/28 - 15:27

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