Much like the first and second installments of Einsturzende Neubauten's overview series, Strategies Against Architecture III haphazardly juggles highlights with rarities, live tracks, and unreleased material, doubling as an agreeable state of the union. This third volume covers 1991-2001, a period that saw some upheaval; following the exits of Mark Chung and F.M. Einheit and the death of associate Roland Wolf, Neubauten considered disbanding. Thankfully, the original core of Blixa Bargeld, Alex Hacke, and N.U. Unruh opted to carry on. Throughout the early '90s and into the next decade, the group's sound became less confrontational and less jarring, but it never came close to growing complacent. Neubauten's enduring ability to challenge themselves and their audience while remaining as creative as the day they started finding metallic objects to throttle is well-summarized here. Although much of the extra material collected is on par with the proper LP material they released during the period, the compilation isn't without its frustrations. The running order is completely helter-skelter (perhaps that's part of the point), with no sense of flow whatsoever, perhaps altering the effect of each song in a bad way; the scattered live tracks make listeners crave an entirely live disc that captures the experience of a full show; the detailed notes on each track make listeners wish that a similar setup accompanied their non-compilations; the alternate versions of songs aren't that alternate; Blixa doesn't scream enough (though he never screams enough). All qualms aside, this digest is solidly stocked with fine experimental music that isn't willfully difficult to digest. Another thing to consider is the attached photo bonanza, which depicts everything from some of Neubauten's bizarre musical doohickeys to what appears to be some shots of a family reunion-type event.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2