Dec 2013 09

Eeinheit Esch & Mur - Terre HauteEinheit Esch & Mur
Category: Industrial / Experimental
Album: Terre Haute
Stars: 4
Blurb: A much more classical, avant-garde form of industrial, featuring a diverse range of sounds from three of the genre’s most revered personalities.


Since leaving Einstürzende Neubauten in 1996, FM Einheit has taken his experience in experimental sound construction and production to the theatre, having become one of Germany’s most renowned theatrical composers. En Esch is perhaps best known for his work with KMFDM and his own band Slick Idiot, and is one of the industrial genre’s most eminent vocalists and multi-instrumentalists. Having collaborated with numerous musicians across the board, as well as composing music for video games, Mona Mur remains an active and inspirational performer and producer. As the three personalities have collaborated in various projects and incarnations over 30 years, Einheit Esch & Mur presents the first time all three are coming together for a singular outlet, culminating in this auspicious debut, Terre Haute.

Beginning with the lullaby-esque “Sleep Baby Sleep,” as Mur sings breathily above a harmonium like ambience, backed by stabs of celestial synths, Terre Haute begins in a hauntingly pleasant manner that perhaps catches the listener off guard given the more abrasive tones the trio is known for and that certainly encompass the rest of the album. Once the gritty scratches akin to a heavy rusted metal object being dragged against concrete introduce “Hacken,” the album takes its turn toward even more experimental territory. A synthesized arpeggio and percolating electronic percussion underscore the dueling vocals of Mur and Esch, a melodic refrain of stringed instruments providing a lush counterpoint to the sparse avant-garde composition. “Schick Kaputt” with its swells of ambient pads and a throbbing synth bass, guttural and stuttering electronics acting in lieu of a drumbeat, and Esch’s raspy growl alternating between German and English bears a resemblance to Slick Idiot if not for the sparser arrangement and more organic sound design, while the presence of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “Salomon Song” hearkens back to Mur’s solo output and the first Mona Mur & En Esch album, the groan of guitar and warbles of synth creating an appropriately unsettling atmosphere. The offbeat rhythm and scratchy, almost bluesy guitars of “Reach for the Sun” are deceptively catchy, as is the pumping bass and shuffling beat of “Kiss the Ring,” the mix of samples, spoken word, and strings making for a dramatic and airy song. “Terre Haute” closes the album out with a mélange of what sound like helicopters and stabbing electronics creating an almost tribal rhythm, backed by the occasional refrain of voices chanting “Oh, Ah!,” while a stringy, rather rubbery sounding synth provides a droning ambient bass that complements the vocal interplay beautifully.

Fans of the more experimental sound design and collage-like constructions of early industrial will find much to behold in this marvelous collaboration. With three dynamic and eccentric musical personalities seemingly operating in total synergy with each other, all of their collective talents supporting each other, resulting in music that is as vividly abstract as it is strikingly melodic, Terre Haute manages to reach beyond its esoteric background to appeal to a broader range of tastes due to a strong sense of songwriting and musicianship. It feels as if every sound is carefully concocted to evoke a particular mood, and knowing the history of FM Einheit, En Esch, and Mona Mur, that is undoubtedly the case even amid moments of apparent improvisation and exploration. This is a much more classical form of industrial music, and one that thanks to the likes of this trio and as exemplified by Terre Haute is still very much alive and well.
Track list:

  1. Sleep Baby Sleep
  2. Hacken
  3. Reach for the Sun
  4. Kiss the Ring
  5. Salomon Song
  6. Schick Kaputt
  7. Terre Haute

Einheit Esch & Mur Website
Einheit Esch & Mur Facebook
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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