Anton Newcombe continues to explore his influences on Aufheben and, as the Kraftwerkian name implies, Krautrock plays a big part in this release. Recorded in Berlin, one might be reminded of David Bowie's Berlin trilogy. Like Low, Heroes, and Lodger, BJM's output from 2008 to 2012 (My Bloody Underground, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, and this album) is a highly experimental series -- full of fractured song structures and lengthy, extensive jams -- but each of the three feels cut from the same cloth and, when stepping back and fanning through the discography, they could easily be considered career highlights. Newcombe once again proves to be an expert at filtering vintage sounds into his own vision. The India-influenced '60s psychedelia of Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request is revisited in the flutes, sitars, and swirling textures, while ongoing nods to '80s shoegaze and '60s psych are incorporated tastefully into the motorik landscape. Under the sweeping, grandiose soundscapes are some of Newcombe's best-written songs. It's a sign of maturity when an artist can incorporate the best aspects of the past and continue to press forward with such a sense of purpose. The hypnotic momentum is steered by a stellar cast of session musicians, including ex-Spacemen 3 bassist Will Carruthers and original member Matt Hollywood, who patched things up with Newcombe for 2010's Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? Aufheben's shining moments are the most daring ones, and are also surprisingly sweet: newcomer Eliza Karmasalo sings sweetly in Finnish on "Viholliseni Maalla," a dead ringer for a Stereolab B-side, and New Order's biggest single gets a salute in a heartbreaking, bittersweet symphony called "Blue Order/New Monday."
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover