Berlin is fully gentrified. So it's all the more gratifying that the Neubauten are still collapsing: six years after their last album "Lament", Blixa Bargeld and his band will appear on "Alles in Allem" completely purified
To anticipate: "All in all" is a beautiful album. It is perhaps even the most beautiful album Einstürzende Neubauten have ever made. Or, to put it more bluntly: It's the first album of the group with a consistent sensitivity for open and hidden beauty that you can hardly escape. What happened to Blixa Bargeld and the permanent provocateurs of Einstürzende Neubauten?
"Alles in Allem" is a Berlin album and at the same time it is not: It is an album that should have been a Berlin album at first, but then it wasn't, and yet it couldn't avoid becoming one. Not only do song titles such as "Wedding", "Tempelhof", "Am Landwehrkanal" or "Grazer Damm" betray a clear Berlin reference, Blixa Bargeld also revives the tradition of the Berlin Moritat in his narrative style. The album's dance-like, airy dynamics impose the image of Marc Chagall's lovers hovering in the firmament of Paris, only that this is the sky above Berlin. But Einstürzende Neubauten wouldn't be the band they are if in the end everything didn't always turn out differently than originally planned: "The Berlin reference is a little misleading," Blixa Bargeld emphasizes. "At the beginning of the work, Alex Hacke asked me if there would be a concept or an idea. I said, 'Maybe it has something to do with Berlin.' This was as far as it was supposed to go. There was a piece called 'Welcome To Berlin' that was sorted out at the last quality control. The musical substance was too thin, the lyrical chain too flat. It would only have been misunderstood. Now the actual core piece on the subject isn't there at all, and there's a big hole in the middle of the record. Everything else is just satellites that have been infected in some way by this Berlin reference. Tempelhof' was originally called 'Pantheon'. In 'Wedding' nothing is said about Wedding except the Wedding Mantra. 'Grazer Damm' is really a reference. I grew up there, my sister still lives in the same apartment. Everything in this song is either based on memory and memory fragments or it's a dream."
So this record has little to do with the real existing Berlin of today. In this respect it is not a Berlin album. It is a dream, the projection of a memory, an inner refuge. The Berlin sung about by Blixa Bargeld is no longer to be found in the streets, but only in fewer and fewer heads. The world that unfolds here is reminiscent of the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. And yet the songs describe something new in a familiar way. In "Möbliertes Lied" it says: "I disposed of the used metaphors in the toxic waste". This is perhaps the most striking paradigm shift: the sarcasm typical of Cash has given way to a conciliatory top view. "The sarcasm had bundled into 'Welcome To Berlin'. And that just fell away. Maybe he'll turn up in another situation at some point. I'm not twenty anymore either. If you want to see the dialogue between the old and the young Blixa, then 'Susej' from 'Alles wieder offen' is the right choice. The song deals with the question whether what once was there is still there. Yes, it is still there. This is one of the many layers of which I consist. But it would be poor if I hadn't learned anything and hadn't had any experience in the 40 years I've been working with Einstürzende Neubauten now. I know much more about music than I did in 1980, which is an advantage and a disadvantage. But I can't undo it and just pretend that I don't know the things I know today. The anger I showed in 1980, I don't have anymore. That would be a lie. It's hidden somewhere in my layers, but I can't settle down in the most gentrified area of Berlin and pretend I still live in a squat."