RELEASE
May 21, 1991
LABEL
Mute
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Experimental, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Experimental Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Album Review

Complementing the original Strategies collection, this double-disc affair covers the years 1984 to 1990, featuring the noted Bargeld/Unruh/Einheit/Chung/Hacke lineup of the group. With an informative, witty booklet providing a slew of pictures and complete liner notes for each track, Architecture II focuses on the band's continued rude creative health through the rest of the decade, inventing and perfecting a wide variety of approaches that would help define industrial music. Power tools and heavy machinery still get used and abused throughout, Bargeld's vocals remain in extremis screeching or nervy, unsettlingly calm semi-crooning, both loud and soft tracks appear with regularity. It's abrasive and strangely beautiful at its best, art music via studio manipulation turned into gripping aural entertainment. As with the first Strategies, studio recordings get mixed with various live efforts as well -- in one instance, a fiery rip through "Haus der Luege" is grafted with the audience reaction from a completely separate concert once the quintet lit the stage on fire! Many highlights appear -- besides the aforementioned "Haus der Luege," there are a number of versions of the fierce "Abfackeln!," a blistering concert take on "Yu-Gung," the centuries-old death shuffle of "Ein Stuhl in der Hoelle." Two interesting diversions capture the sly humor of the group -- first, there's the 1985 studio take on the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra song "Sand," partial evidence of Bargeld's dual alliance with Nick Cave via the Bad Seeds, perhaps. The liner notes claim that the group "detected a Neubaten feel" in the original -- but if the idea means use of studio sonics, why not? Meanwhile, one of the variants of "Abfackeln!" is a 1988 Jordache jeans ad, of all things -- brief, but amusing, with the store's name bleeped out at the end because they refused to pay up!
Ned Raggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Abfackeln!
  2. Partynummer [Live]
  3. Z.N.S.
  4. Die Elektrik (Merle)
  5. Intermezzo/Yü-Gung [Live]
  6. Seele Brenni
  7. Blutvergiftung
  8. Sand
  9. Kangolicht
  10. Armenia [Live]
  11. Ein Stuhl in Der Hölle
  12. Vanadium-I-Ching
  13. Leid und Elend [Live]
  14. DNS-Wasserturm
  15. Armenia II [Live]
  16. Fackeln!
  17. Ich Bin's
  18. Hirnlego
  19. Wardrobe
  20. Bildeschreibung
  21. Haus Der Lüge [Live]
  22. Jordache
  23. Kein Bestandteil Sein (To Be No Part of It) [Alternative Ending]