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Commissioned Music

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Album Review

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.


Born: 12 January 1959 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Adult Contemporary

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Blixa Bargeld (born Christian Emmerich in Berlin on January 12, 1959) is probably best known as a founding member of the German group Einsturzende Neubauten and the idiosyncratic guitarist in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. While these have been his principle outlets for the majority of his career, he has been involved in numerous musical, theatrical, spoken word, and film projects as well. Inspired by the dada-influenced Die Geniale Dilletanten movement and the spirit of punk rock, Bargeld founded...
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Commissioned Music, Blixa Bargeld
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