Helmut Neugebauer

Die Vögel Europas: Short Stories

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This is the avant rock and skronk record to beat in Euro-land. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and electronic manipulator Helmut Neugebauer could have made this entire recording himself with all he plays, but employed a host of other musicians to help him fill in the gaps of this unclassifiably fine album. Guitarists Burkhard Stangl and Elliot Sharp and Momo Rossel and Armin Pokorn each help out on a few cuts, as well as cellist Michael Moser and bassist Andre Dede Shenk and drummers Daniel Spahn and Roland Punzeberger. Recorded and mixed by Thomas Lang, the music on this album could be envisioned if one were to consider Tuxedomoon, Yello, Faust, Front Line Assembly, Meat Beat Manifesto, XTC, Jethro Tull, and the Lounge Lizards playing together in the same room trying to come up with hit singles. No, I'm not kidding. One listen to "Ozmotic" -- with its dueling saxophones, industrial computer programming, catchy riff, and striated textural weirdness -- is enough to convince. The bottom line is this: This is one of the most original recordings to come out of the postmortem new wave/no wave and free jazz scenes as well as the electronic underground in 20 years. It's a classic and deserves to be heard by everybody.

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