Die Haut / Die Haut

Sweat: Berlin, Metropol, 08/24/1992

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Literally "The Skin," Germany's Die Haut has existed as an instrumental outfit since the early '80s and, though guest vocalists have been used on nearly all of the band's releases, the trio is most heralded for its indefatigably stabbing, military tight qualities sans a singer. Sweat, recorded live in Berlin in 1992, borrows the vocal talents of numerous players in the extended art rock family, including Nick Cave (who for many years retained the percussive talents of Die Haut drummer Thomas Wylder), fellow Berliner Blixa Bargeld, the vaguely talented Lydia Lunch, Alexander Hacke, and Kid Congo Powers (also from Cave's camp). That's all fine and well -- all are good vocalists well used -- but, again, it's during the stinging, metallic, Crimson-esque instrumentals -- deftly hewn and executed -- where Die Haut truly shines in that grey-skied East German manner. Sweat more or less provided the live bookend to the studio album Head On, released a year later.

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