IN CONCERT AT THE ATONAL FESTIVAL, BERLIN 16/1-1999
A golden bicycle-bell was attached to Blixa's microphone-stand. At the foot of the stand were placed several footswitches with which he controlled the sampler. Song-lines - starting with a small Blixa-scream faded in from one side, followed by a charming bow or kneeling to the other side - made their way to the sampler. Blixa would quickly listen to the result and sometimes include it. Especially successful in Installation #1, to which he added a loop going: "disob-disob-disobey".
As always Blixa had this special, tender connection with Alex, who was very much present this evening and taking part in every one of Blixa's introduction stories. I really liked Alex as percussionist too, doing the "off-beat"- rythm and the beat-count in "Ende Neu".
Rudi Moser behind his metal plate had grown a long, curly lock of hair, which made him look somewhat like a young FM Einheit. And then looking towards Ash Wednesday on the keyboards, I noticed him resembling a young Marc Chung.
I remember a concert where Jochen Arbeit didn't play those falsetto notes in "Ende Neu" and he received some very dissatisfied looks from Blixa, who finally went to play them himself on Jochens guitar! This time Blixa played the notes on the red/white pipe-percussion. Keeping eye-contact with Jochen on the guitar, playing the same notes. Playing percussion took so much of Blixas attention that he almost forgot when he would have to sing. He threw himself in the direction of his microphone stand, slipping in the gravel from "Wüste", almost falling, but managing to keep the balance, he sang his lines wiht a slight smile revealing that he was aware of how close it had been. All these expanding activities from Blixa, his interest in improvising and explore new areas. I really like that, it makes every concert a fascintating experience. And especially this evening everything Blixa did, he did in an uttermost charming way.
I was very happy with the concert. It was obvious that the band had advantaged from the American tour. And they really seemed to enjoy themselves on stage. Blixa, almost cordial, thanked for the "wertvollen Geschenken" people threw onstage: paper, plastic-cups and gaffatape.
I wished I had brought them flowers.
Beginning with the always beautiful "The Garden",
Followed by "Die Explosion im Festspielhaus",
The always heavily rythmic "Haus der Lüge",
and more great rythms in "NNNAAAMMM", wauw, a long time out of time, it was absolutely wonderful,
"Zebulon" beautiful as ever,
and "Die Interimsliebenden" both long time favorites of mine,
"Schact von Babel" and
"Ich bin's" both songs written for Chemiemülltonne.
"How could I forget" ?, I don't know the title of this new song,
First Encore, Blixa was a bit nervous playing in Berlin: "so ist es und das ist gut", so they would do a new song that wasn't quite finished yet:
"Sonnenbarke", we've all heard so much about this song from the American concerts and it really is beautiful. I must admit that to me it has some resemblance to Lee Hazlewoods "Phaedra" (or is it called: "Some Velvet Morning") This is the first Neubauten song with which that has ever happened, otherwise their songs has always been very unique to me. Nothing like them in the world.
"Redukt"? another new song which I don't know the title of, but it was about his arms and legs getting seperated (from him), some sort of experiment, or dream? It was my personal favorite of the new songs, very beautiful to my ears.
Then Alex, Blixa and Jochen started whispering, each their own story, while "Armenia" was played. A long intense moment, open for impressions.
"Was ist ist",
and "Bili Rubin" finished this concert. Blixa kissing a child on his way out.