Einstürzende Neubauten has been one of my favourite groups since I was 15, when I read a review of their live show in a German paper that compared the experience to one of the more the notorious aspects of Japanese cult film Tetsuo: The Iron Man. For me, the only “industrial” music that gets to the wonderful aural locales Neubauten call home would be Coil (along with some Nurse With Wound) - in short, they’re about as far from the schlockier/more adolescently-minded NIN/Manson/KMFDM/Skinny Puppy manifestations of the genre as is possible (though I have affection for all of those bands as well, let’s say it’s something like the difference between sushi and fish sticks - there’s no shame in liking fish sticks, but we can’t call snacking at Long John Silver’s a fine seafood dining experience).

In any event, in the fall of 2017, I finally decided to try my hand at covering two of my favourite Neubauten songs, the ferocious Yü Gung, from their early, more aggressive days, along with Die Wellen, from their later, more introspective period (like Coil, I think Neubauten have only improved with age, and though their youthful ferocity is unmatched, it’s in their later period that they reach truly unique spaces).

I recorded my parts for both covers at Sam Jones’s studio in Los Angeles, with Sam providing both his engineering expertise as well as some cello on Die Wellen. Ethan Braun performed the piano part for Die Wellen, while I delivered my vocal simultaneously.

For Yü Gung, Sean Price constructed the skeleton of the arrangement on his array of synthesizers and drum machines, at his studio in Oakland, CA, which he then sent down to me. I recorded my vocal, along with some saxophone skronk, at Sam Jones’s studio. The final mixes of both tracks were done by Sean Price back in Oakland.

The cover art is a photo taken by my dad, near his home in Pankow, Berlin. I decided to use the artist name Wiederhergestellte Neubauten, “reconstructing newbuildings”, as an obvious nod to the original masters.
© 2020