Friday, September 4, 2009

Commissioned Music - (1995)

Creepy, sparse, and quietly disquieting, Commissioned Music is a compilation of Blixa Bargeld's music for the play Dumpfe Stimmen and the film Jahre Der Kalte. Though intended for backgrounds, Bargeld's work here is anything but wallpaper. Much of the minimalist material is downright hypnotic. The two-minute bass march of "Indoktrination" brings to mind a procession of lemmings into a death pool, replete with what sounds like knives being sharpened. "Blackout Music" is layers upon layers of Bargeld's screeching voice, perfect for shooing away trick or treaters and unwelcome visitors. Closing out the tracks for Dumpfe Stimmen is a beautiful and uplifting (no, really!) rendering of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," featuring plaintive piano, drones, brushed drums, and Blixa's comforting crooning. If you ever wish to get a view of the sunrise from a gutter in Berlin, here's your soundtrack. The three brooding, piano-based tracks for Jahre Der Kalte are based on a Schubert cadence. (

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