2009 saw the release of ‘Omnibus’ editions of the first 2 Bauhaus albums: In The Flat Field (1980) and Mask (1981). Making me doubt whether I should buy them, despite me being a huge and old-time fan.
Unable to resist. Strangely attracted. Hope. For hidden treasures. To read backwards into history. To find what’s been hidden all of these years.
…To get neatly boxed tunes and facts. As complete as can be. Shivers.
The unreleased mixes and out-takes highlight the spontaneous side of the band. Exposing it beyond the original albums (and the extended CD releases). The little experimentations. The ever-continuous search for soundscapes and tunes. An ever-never stand-still. More variation than generally known (or accepted).
The familiar work still brightly shines in its known literate fury and musical art. Form and function recorded through a stream of consciousness. Theatrical. Drama. The daring incorporation of glam and disco in a post-punk landscape of industrial wilderness. The absolute will to be and be unlike.
The booklets are a chronological guide to the creative genesis of the albums. A fascinating bundle of anecdotes, lyrics, pictures, facts, testimonials and recording sessions. Made with great care and much research. The sound is terrific. The CD’s are packed in a sleeve that’s an adorable replica of the original album cover. Of function and form.
In The Flat Field still sounds razor sharp. Without compromise going for functional industrial art. Bauhaus 1919. With minimalist aesthetics. Form = Function. Nerves. A roar that marks the escape from the flat field, their urban home-scene. Dark Entries sent to the “Singles and Out-Takes”.
Mask took most of 1981 to become. Over various recording sessions. Rejections. New edits. To end as the unique sum that exceeds the members. With a 12 string, more sax, new synths, dub sounds, funk. Completed with a complete live gig. Already including Silent Hedges, that will appear on The Sky’s Gone Out.
I personally love those little facts like the role of Alan Moore (the sleeve note and according live introduction). I already knew about his friendship with David J, who composed the music on the lyrics of V for Vendetta.
U n d e a d . U n d e a d . U n d e a d .
Can’t wait for The Sky’s Gone Out and Burning From The Inside.