In which our intrepid hero explores his emotional reaction to a much-loved CD and a current writing project.

For the first time in ages, last weekend, I sat down to do a bit of writing. I wanted something that evoked a sense of reverence for dogma and intense, profound paranoia. And as I wrote away, I realised that my emotional state was strikingly similar to that I experience when I listen to one of my favourite CDs: Einsürtzende Neubauten’s Tabula Rasa.

I’ve never really been able to pin it down until now. I knew that I had a particular emotional response—unique to the album—whenever I put the CD on, put I’d never been able to pin it down to a precise emotion.

It starts with Die Interimsliebenden, a tale of intense but transitory love, always stressing the power and transcendence of emotion, but also stressing that it will never last. It is told in third-person, as if narrated by a wiser but perhaps envious onlooker.

Next, we have Zebulon, a song about love, offering everything, if only the girl addressed can see past the singer’s superficial flaws.

I’ve never been able to fully get my head around Blume. Each verse of the song is named after a flower, and, again, it seems to be a love song. At the same time, however, it is very sweet, slightly unnerving and a little distant.

My favourite track off the album, 12305(te Nacht), follows. It’s about regret, when you get to a certain point in your life, look back and realise that you’ve achieved nothing. Again, bittersweet memories of love gone awry feature strongly in the lyrics.

The lyrics to Sie read like a film script, a hallucinatory journey following a girl through a series of surreal sequences. The narrator wonders at the crazy times they spent together, and the effect that the girl has on those around her; the narrator is still unable to quantify how he feels about their breakup.

Wüste—the title is cognate with "waste"—is about desolation, and when faced with desolation, this is the song that always plays in my head. Its lyrics, brief as they are, tell a tale of confused aftermath to a relationship.

The final track (two, actually) is Headcleaner, a monster epic about fascism, mind control and drug abuse, and perhaps the only overtly political song on the entire CD. Not much can be said about this, really—you have to hear it for yourself. It’s a work of completely mad genius.

Faced with what’s an incredibly beautiful, confronting and creative collection of songs about doomed romance, desperately wanting to be wanted, regret, confusion over love, emptiness, and impending fascism, it’s probably no surprise that Tabula Rasa deeply resonates with me. I just never expected to find a name for what I felt.

And the name for that emotion (after the working title of what I’m writing) is: THE CITY. I really want to get this thing out of my head and onto paper, just so I can get on with my life.

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