Ever play the Dadaist game Exquisite Corpse? The art school favourite began as a surrealist technique, where a group of artists would work on a piece separately: each artist adds to a piece without seeing what others have done. In this case, Bauhaus did it in songwriting with their new track, “Drink The New Wine”.
The band has used this technique in the past (fishcakes, anyone?), and continued the tradition during lockdown. The title refers to the very first ‘Cadavre exquis’ drawing rendered by André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy, which included words that, when strung together, read, ‘Le cadavre exquis boiara le vin nouveau’ (‘The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.’)
For the recording, each musician each had one minute and eight tracks at their disposal, plus a shared minute, plus four tracks for a composite…all done without hearing what the others had laid down. The only common link was a prerecorded beat, courtesy of Kevin Haskins. The final playback came as a synchronistic revelation.
The result is a disjointed soundscape of fused nonsense and Lynchian dream logic; a fascinating exercise in improv and observing the flow of energies between the artists. It’s playful, bizarre and just plain fun to see their dynamic after four decades of ebb and flow. More poetic than dance floor-friendly, “Drink The New Wine” is a refreshing experiment in sound.
The song’s visualizer, created by Regan Catam and Adrian Burke (Awen Studios), is itself an exquisite corpse of the Bauhaus logo, designed in 1922 for the school by Oskar Schlemmer. In a perfect twist of fate, Schlemmer could never have known that fifty years later his work would find new life as reappropriated for an art-rock band, making Bauhaus (the band) itself a form of exquisite corpse on the time-space continuum. In the video, the logo pulls apart and fuses together like a Rubik’s cube. A delightful callback to their art school namesake and to their third studio album, The Sky’s Gone Out, Bauhaus continues a long tradition of pushing boundaries with this new release.
“Drink the New Wine” marks Bauhaus’ first bit of new music since the release of their 2008 album, Go Away White. While the group disbanded before they could tour in support of that LP, Bauhaus reunited for a handful of shows in 2019. The band is set to return to the road this May, starting with an appearance at the Cruel World Festival, followed by shows in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Arizona, and New York.
Bauhaus will be hitting the road soon, check them out at a city near you.
Bauhaus US Tour Dates:
- May 17 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Portland, OR)
- May 20 – Paramount Theatre (Seattle, WA)
- May 21 – The Masonic (San Francisco, CA) ** NEW DATE **
On-Sale: Friday, March 25th at 10a PT
- May 22 – The Masonic (San Francisco, CA)
- May 25 – The Mission Ballroom (Denver, CO)
- May 27 – The Marquee Theatre (Tempe, AZ)
- Sept. 8 – Kings Theatre (New York, NY)
- Ticket link
NOTE: Tickets purchased for postponed Nov. 2, 2021 show will be honored.
- Sept. 9 – Kings Theatre (New York, NY)
NOTE: Tickets purchased for postponed Nov. 3, 2021 show will be honored.