Friday, March 02, 2012

20 Essential Albums: In the Flat Field

It doesn’t get darker than Bauhaus.  In the Flat Field, their first full-length, opens fast big and loud, with “Dark Entries” and lines like “Puckering up and down those avenues of sin.” The sound leaves little doubt that this is something different. Abrasive and disturbing. Expressing a life one can only hope to avoid. Yet, still, Bauhaus captures something dark inside, something that demands expression. And it comes with the benefit of shocking and offending others (especially parents).

And it gets darker with the second track “Double Dare”, with Peter Murphy entreating the listener, “I dare you / to be real.” I found this music frightening at first listen.  Wondering why someone would create something so dark, so sinister sounding.  But, in my sophomore year, I remember coming home from track practice to sit, exhausted, in my basement room, and listening to Bauhaus.  The music came over me like an hallucination, like a trance that lasted until the cassette player stopped.

Later, in my late teens and early twenties, this music began to reflect a darkness that I knew. And now, with the darkness replaced by light, the mood is occasionally just the right one for the music of Bauhaus.

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