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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 9 - 07/20/97

Ammer & Einheit
Deutsche Krieger
Rough Trade / Our Choice

This disc is the second release by F.M. Einheit to be reviewed by Luna Kafé this year. Obviously he is very busy releasing his solo records since he left Einstürzende Neubauten last year. Deutsche Krieger (German Warriors) is his third collaboration with radio play author Andreas Ammer after Radio Inferno and Apocalypse live. While the earlier radio plays provided modern interpretations of religious and biblical issues, this disc deals with the changeable German history of our century.

The German warriors shown in the artwork are the last emperor of Germany through World War I Kaiser Wilhelm II, the nazi führer Adolf Hitler and the German terrorist Ulrike Meinhof. The disc carries the sub-title 'sound carrier opera', meaning that the words of the piece were constructed from original sound samples from the times of the protagonists - early gramophone recordings from World War I, radio broadcasts from World War II and TV recordings dealing with the terrorist attacks of the seventies. Much of the material was assembled from the archives of the Bavarian broadcast station, others were taken from the never-ending resources of Einheit's sample library. The samples are merged together by music from various sources, partly recorded for this disc, partly taken from other sources such as Kraftwerk, Panasonic, Einstürzende Neubauten or classical music recordings.

The whole piece is divided into three big parts (one for each of the 'warriors') called Kaiser Wilhelm Overdrive, Adolf Hitler Enterprise, and Ulrike Meinhof Paradise. Each part is divided into a prelude (accompanied with a contemporary recording of Beethoven's fifth symphony) and four acts, documenting four important dates from the life of the protagonists. In general the first two acts report the start of the military career and the first (limited) success, the last two document the following decline and the end through resignation, imprisonment and death. Interestingly, the radio play offers no direct judgement, it's all left to the listener, however the choice of the sampled material and its combination pushes the mind of the listener in certain directions (which greatly depends on the individual knowledge of the listener, however).

From the fragmentation of the source material a potential buyer of this disc could expect a highly torn up recording. However, the brilliant editing work of Ammer and Einheit results in a much more coherent work than their earlier radio plays. The concept resembles the most brilliant moments of the American cut-up artists Negativland, but due to the concept of the disc the result is less funny and stronger in form. I would highly recommend this disc, although some knowledge of the German language would be helpful, even though the editing and musical work make it an enjoyable listen.

Copyright © 1997 Lonely Locke e-mail address

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