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BANQUE ALLEMANDE – WILLST DU CHINESE SEIN MUSST DU DIE EKLIGEN SACHEN ESSEN

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The fact that Banque Allemande’s second LP WILLST DU CHINESE SEIN MUSST DU DIE EKLIGEN SACHEN ESSEN (Google translation: “If you want to be Chinese you have to eat nasty bits,”) went under my radar when it came out in February 2013 makes me worried that there may be others out there in the same predicament. This is a true shame, it’s a masterful document of minimalist punk. The Berlin outfit’s second LP out on S.S. Records is cryptic, taught, heavy, and just enamored with subtle shades of berating guitar feedback as it is with the expansion and repetition of Can and Neu’s motorik rhythm.

This record pays strikingly close attention to teasing out minute but gripping moments of guitar noise. These range from the delicate, accidental-sounding bass oscillation that opens “schlaf an einem an andern tag” to the more technical, but equally eviscerating harmonic melody of the opening track. It’s a stark template that they are working with. You can always clearly decipher each of the three members’ the contribution without the hindrance of added layers or production tricks. In the mechanical latter half of Jahre 100 Berlin, it’s easy to imangine an unhinged guitarist stomping at his pedals box to pierce the mix in violent bursts. Meanwhile the drummer’s fresh willingness play with quick, but minimal repetition makes those points when the he flexes that much more impactful. Four tracks clocking around eight minutes bookend two (relatively) brief tracks, all ranging in structure from nearly immobile chord progressions to the wilting melodicism of Wire. These guys have taken an austere, Albini-worthy recording ethos to focus the lens on their razor-sharp musical inventions. Kudos, makes me wish I knew German. Grip it here.

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