Faustmusik - (1996)
One of the more curious works in Einstürzende Neubauten's long and varied career, 1996's Faustmusik is a close relative of 1991's Die Hamletmaschine, their score for an avant-garde reinterpretation of Shakespeare's play. This play, by Werner Schwab, is more of an oratorio than an opera, with the focus entirely on the recitation and singing of Schwab's German verse by Einstürzende Neubauten's lead singer, Blixa Bargeld (as Mephistopheles, appropriately enough!) and other actors. Einstürzende Neubauten's musical contribution is entirely incidental, and sounds at times like they're merely playing rehearsal tapes for a low-key, nearly ambient album behind the actors. Those who aren't fans of experimental European theater, don't speak German, and are interested primarily in hearing Einstürzende Neubauten's familiar industrial power should look elsewhere, but there's a certain creepy beauty to much of this album, particularly the nightmarish "Das Orchestrion," a slowly building cacophony of voices and drones.