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Einstürzende Neubauten

Gender: Mixed
Country: Germany
One of the most seminal groups in the history of the industrial avant-gar- de of rock music, formed in 1980 in West Berlin. The initial line-up was: Christian ”BLIXA BARGELD” EMMERICH (b. 1959), Andrew ”N.U. UNRUH/ N - DIH” CHUDY (b. 1957), Beate BARTEL and Gudrun ”GUT” BREDEMANN. Their first works were inspired by punk rock, particularly The SEX PISTOLS, but after a few months came the first stylistic shifts due to the acciden- tal necessity to use various metal objects (drums, plates and trashed ele- ments of steel structures) instead of a traditional drum kit. That coincided with a personnel reshuffle, as BARTEL and BREDEMANN left to later start their own projects: MALARIA, MATADOR and MIASMA in case of the first, and LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, in case of the latter. In 1981 the two were officially replaced by the, until then live-only, members Frank Martin ”FM EINHEIT/MUFTI” STRAUSS (b. 1958) and Mark CHUNG (b. 1956) of the punk band ABWA?RTS, and a year later Alexander ”ALEX VON BORSIG” HACKE (b. 1965) joined the group. Recorded in a mere ten days, the group’s debut album Kollaps is widely considered one of the greatest achievements of industrial music. Its contents could easily be summarised as the artistic taming and arranging of cacophonous noise obtained thro- ugh skilled use of a variety of mechanic devices, e.g. pneumatic drills, electric saws, grinders and the sound of metal objects, e.g. springs, rings, supermarket trolleys or custom-built instruments. That specific sound was complemented with unconventional use of electric guitars and expressive vocals by BARGELD. The group’s original ideas for sound structure genera- tion were fully developed on the next two albums, Die Zeichnungen Des Patienten O.T. and Halber Mensch, which, together with the debut album, make for an informal trilogy of the contemporary avant-garde in music. The nature and quality of the music were confirmed, and often aesthet- ically complemented, by expressive live performances that involved ele- ments of a multimedia show dominated by imagery of death and actual presence of fire, chaos and destruction. The continued renown and incre- asingly commercial context of the group’s operations led them to turn to popular music. A pivotal moment in their history in that respect was the Tabula Rasa album, featuring elaborate compositions aimed at topping the charts alongside pieces like Headcleaner, a swan song and a recapitulation of the experimental period in the band’s history. In 1994, CHUNG quit to take a senior position in the European branch of SONY MUSIC, and a year later he was followed FM EINHEIT. While still using a range of unconventio- nal instruments for making their music, the group subjected antimusical sounds to multiple electronic modifications meant to create formally and sonically neat structures, often of lyrical tint. In 1997 they were joined by Rudolf MOSER and Jochen ARBEIT, and for touring only by Ash WEDNESDAY. They gained considerable recognition in the theatre and film circles, the greatest success being the Halber Mensch film of 1986 by an avant-garde Japanese director Sohgo ISHII, a collection of excerpts from the Japan tour live appearances, a tailor-made no-audience show at an abandoned factory and visionary sequences illustrating and interpreting the intellec- tual aspect of the music. Another well-received production was the sound- track for a 2001 documentary Berlin Babylon, but the music for theatre plays Die Hamletmaschine and Faustmusik enjoyed less acclaim. One of the most original projects in industrial music, EINSTU?RZENDE NEUBAUTEN created their most valuable works in the first half of the 1980s, documenting in them a pessimistic vision of the friction between human dark lusts, desires and human spiritual domain, responsible for the progress of civilisation and cultural heritage. Through their work they conveyed an opinion of futility of the attempt to suppress animal instincts, whose presence was meant to be symbolised by atonal noise coming from industrial and urban environments. Surrounding oneself with technolo- gical inventions results in objectification and reduction of a human into a barren being, a victim of a blind drive towards subjecting to curb the world of nature. Lyrically, not only did they conceive a vision of the fall of an individual, but also that of the decline of contemporary civilisation, which is unable to cope with the challenges of creating for mankind a new plane of transcendental functioning. Following their apparent acceptance of such state of affairs, the band has recently been offering reflections on passing, a slow self-annihilation of the civilisation and destructive nature of time. Their output has been a major point of reference for a great deal of industrial culture artists