Wednesday, 16 May 2018

la! NEU? - Gold Regen (1998)

One of the final la! NEU? studio recordings, Gold Regen was also the mellowest, and featured no electronic instruments.  More recognisable from previous efforts by this band was the structure of the album, Klaus Dinger foregoing any conventional wisdom for simply dropping in rough-cut tracks from lengthy jam sessions in whatever order he pleased, like a box of unsorted photographs.  With mother Renate starring in the opening track, and the Dinger brothers reunited in four others for the first time in 15 years, Klaus did actually refer to Gold Regen as "a family album", which suits the homely loveliness of the music just fine.

For all of the above notes about la! NEU? albums being randomly structured, Gold Regen does actually fit into three distinct sections.  The first of these is the two-minute opener, Zeeland Wunderbar, a slightly corny but sweetly executed (you want more sleigh bells after the Eastman post the other week? We got 'em) song by Mutter Dinger that also featured in la! NEU?'s final concert.

The second section is half an hour of improvisational excerpts based around Rembrandt Lensink's piano, Viktoria Wehrmeister's gentle vocals, and occasional percussion (Klaus) and violin (Thomas).  The mood is mostly sedate and melancholy, perhaps best exemplified in the gorgeous Lansam Bewegt, aber nicht Traurig, with occasional diversions into mid-tempo jamming on Strahomaso and Dinger Brothers mit Remmi & Wicki.  

After one final 'Intermezzo' from Lensink on piano, the stage is set for the third part of the album: 25 minutes of blissful ambient drift from just Viktoria on vocals (with a little percussion on its middle track) and Klaus on harmonium.  Based on an increasingly slowed-down version of the intro to Die Engel Des Herrn's title track, these three tracks are almost indescribably beautiful; another reviewer once likened them as 'the sound of being in the womb', or words to that effect.  Highly recommended.

mega / zippy

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