The Book of Deingenskirchen

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H.N.A.S.'s fifth album, The Book of Deingenskirchen, was originally released in 1988 in extremely limited quantities, 20 black and 70 clear vinyl LPs, to make it one of the most rare items in the H.N.A.S. catalog. This CD reissue, like those of the earlier four albums, adds an LP's worth of bonus tracks dating from 1985 to 1992. Like the earlier albums by this group, it's another strange trip through surrealistic soundscapes and collages with both acoustic instruments and electronics, distorted female voices in German, and lots of mysterious noises. Some pieces -- like "Ochs am Berge," "Die Gretchenfrage," and "Ich bin Ja Besser" -- have a twisted pop sensibility with upbeat rhythms, whereas other tracks, like "Gurka" and "Ich Hatte," are far more abstract and more bizarre. The ten bonus tracks include some never-before-released outtakes as well as stuff from rare compilations and cassettes, all first-rate material that matches the album cuts. Through it all, H.N.A.S. crafts a dadaistic trail through industrial, cosmic Krautrock, synth pop, musique concréte, and many other things as well, strangely juxtaposed in their own unique way. The Book of Deingenskirchen is not quite on par with H.N.A.S.'s finest work, Im Schatten Der Mohre, but it gets pretty close.