Radio Inferno - (1993)
F.M. Einheit, the machinist for Germany's Einsturzende Neubauten, is a regular collaborator with Andreas Ammer, who adapted the text for this radio-drama-meets-medieval-poetry version of Dante's "Inferno." Featuring the vocal talents of Phil Minton, Blixa Bargeld, and radio DJ John Peel, this makes for a surprisingly good adaptation. Blixa's shrieks and whistles harmonize nicely with the amazing vocal range Minton possesses; their path is described by Peel's archetypal radio DJ voice. A good portion of Neubaten shows up to provide instrumentation for the fray, an odd sound sculpture drawing elements from both media-manipulation sound sculpting and old-fashioned experimental rock. The tone varies wildly at times, jumping from a grinding industrial beat to an operatic soprano and back, but musical themes are woven throughout, giving the piece a continuity it needs. The adaptation by Ammer is excellent, straying from the text where appropriate but maintaining the tone of the whole quite well. One of the better examples of what experimental music can produce in an accessible vein.