Today's artists are a German industrial band, originally from West Berlin, formed in 1980. The group currently comprises Blixa Bargeld (lead vocals, guitar, keyboard), Alexander Hacke (bass, guitar, vocals), N.U. Unruh (custom-made instruments, percussion, vocals), Jochen Arbeit (guitar and vocals), and Rudolf Moser (custom-built instruments, percussion, and vocals).
One of their trademarks is the use of custom-built instruments, predominantly made out of scrap metal and building tools, and noises, in addition to standard musical instruments.. ..N'Joy
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On April 1, 1980, Einstürzende Neubauten made their first appearance in the Moon Club in Berlin. This first line-up featured Beate Bartel and Gudrun Gut, Blixa Bargeld, and N.U. Unruh. The two female members, Bartel and Gut, left the band after a short period of performing and founded Mania D. Alexander Hacke (alias Alexander von Borsig), a sound technician and multi-instrumentalist who was fifteen years old at that time, joined the band and became a long-time member.
In 1981, the percussionist F.M. Einheit (from the Hamburg band Abwärts) joined Einstürzende Neubauten and they released their first LP Kollaps, a mixture of rough punk tunes and industrial noises. The industrial noises were obtained from self-made music machines, electronics, and found objects such as metal plates. The live performances with Einheit in the 1980s included lots of metal banging and destruction on stage. During their first German tour, Mark Chung (previously the bass player with Abwärts) joined the group of musicians. This line-up lasted for nearly 15 years.
The band's next album, Halber Mensch ("Half Man") in 1985, may be seen as a developmental breakthrough. Musical structure became more evident, and Bargeld's lyrics and, especially, his singing changed. He moved from shouted words and phrases toward organized, poetic melodies. The band played a show in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to kick off their third North American tour. The performance was sponsored by the German Goethe Institute as part of the German contribution to Expo 86. Also scheduled to appear were Test Dept and Skinny Puppy, though not everyone was able to play.
On the tour, the group's experimental and improvised live performance style occasionally caused difficulties with venue management and law enforcement. A performance at The Palladium in Manhattan ended 30 minutes into the set after an improvised pyrotechnics display. The band ignited lighter fluid in a couple of metal pans, and management stopped the performance and cleared the venue. The one-hour film Halber Mensch (1986) by Sōgo Ishii documents Einstürzende Neubauten's visit to Japan in 1985. The next two albums, Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala ("Five on the open-ended Richterscale") in 1987 and Haus der Lüge ("House of the Lie") in 1989, were great successes in the United States and Japan.
In 1990, the band tried something completely new, recording the soundtrack for East German playwright Heiner Müller's play Die Hamletmaschine ("The Hamlet Machine") for East German radio Rundfunk der DDR. The band image of Einstürzende Neubauten changed: Blixa Bargeld, formerly wearing punk/industrial style clothes, appeared at the live concerts in a suit. 1991 also saw the release of the double album, a best-of and rarities album, Strategies Against Architecture II. This collection included a musical setting of Heiner Müller's piece "Bildbeschreibung" ("Explosion of a Memory" or "Description of a Picture" in English).
In Vienna, May 1992, Einstürzende Neubauten performed at The Academy of Fine Arts' 300th anniversary in a show by Erich Wonder, Das Auge des Taifun ("The eye of the typhoon").The next album Tabula Rasa (1993) was an important turning point in the band's history, their music becoming softer and containing more electronic sounds. In 1993, they were booked to support U2 during their European leg of the Zoo TV Tour, but were thrown off the stage and off the tour when a band member threw an iron bar into the booing crowd.
Mark Chung left the band in 1994 after the recording of Faustmusik for Werner Schwab's play, and made a career in the music industry. F.M. Einheit, who contributed much to the music and sound of the band, left the band a short time later in 1995, during the recording of the Ende Neu album, at least partially because of a conflict with Bargeld. The last Einstürzende Neubauten track Einheit worked on was "Was ist ist". Roland Wolf replaced them on bass guitar and keyboards only a short time before dying in a car accident in 1995.
A short time later, the band released the album Ende Neu ("Ending New") in 1996. The album title is an example of word-play on the band's own name (i.e. "Einstürzende Neubauten"). The song "Stella Maris" – a duet between Bargeld and Hacke's then-wife, singer Meret Becker – became quite famous; a world tour followed the release. During this time, Jochen Arbeit and Rudi Moser (both members of Die Haut) joined the band: Arbeit on guitar, and Moser on drums, with Hacke switching to bass guitar. This line-up, accompanied by Ash Wednesday on keyboards for live concerts, has held ever since.
In 1997, the album Ende Neu Remixes was released, which featured remixes of the songs from Ende Neu by artists such as Barry Adamson, Pan Sonic and Darkus (alias Mark Rutherford); Darkus' remix tracks, with others not included on Ende Neu Remixes, were made available separately in the same year on The NNNAAAMMM Remixes By Darkus release.
In 1997, the album Ende Neu Remixes was released, which featured remixes of the songs from Ende Neu by artists such as Barry Adamson, Pan Sonic and Darkus (alias Mark Rutherford); Darkus' remix tracks, with others not included on Ende Neu Remixes, were made available separately in the same year on The NNNAAAMMM Remixes By Darkus release. From March 27 to May 23, 2000, Einstürzende Neubauten celebrated their 20th birthday with a "20th anniversary tour", playing in the Columbiahalle, Berlin on their exact birthday, April 1, and released the album Silence Is Sexy, followed by a world tour. 2001 also saw the release of another double best-of and rarities album, Strategies Against Architecture III.
Since 2001, Einstürzende Neubauten albums and web projects have been partially produced and supported by Bargeld's wife Erin Zhu, who also serves as webmaster of the official Einstürzende Neubauten website.In 2002, Einstürzende Neubauten began work on a new album without the backing of a record label, relying instead upon fan ("supporter") participation in an experiment of a type of Street Performer Protocol combined with an internet community and touches of the patronage system. An exclusive Supporter Album No. 1, and the Airplane Miniatures EP following, were made available in 2003.
Bargeld left Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 2003. In order to go on tour, the band reneged on the idea of creating a supporter-only album, and cooperated with Mute Records to go on tour and release Perpetuum Mobile in 2004. Air sounds, such as blowing the plastic pipes with an air compressor, were greatly explored and used for this album: the working title of the album was, for a long while, Luftveränderung ("Change of air"). A half an hour long documentary about the supporters project entitled 'Traumfestival' was made by Ste van Holm and Dihcar. The film is now available on YouTube.
The band also started a new project called Musterhaus in early 2005. The first CD Anarchitektur was sent out in May 2005, and was also available for download to Musterhaus subscribers. The Musterhaus project was a "line of releases intended to give the band an outlet for more experimental impulses and exploration." Musterhaus albums were released roughly every 3 months.
The second Musterhaus CD Unglaublicher Laerm ("Incredible noise") was finished on August 15, and shipped out (as well as posted for download) shortly after. Phase II of the Neubauten Supporter's project finished in August 2005, and the official site was taken down on September 20. The supporter album Grundstück ("Plot") and DVD (containing footage from the November 2004 Grundstück performance in Berlin) was shipped in early October 2005. Musterhaus No. 3 Solo Bassfeder ("Solo bass-spring"), released December 8, is a collection of bass spring compositions by the individual members of Einstürzende Neubauten.
Phase III of the Supporter's project started on February 10. On February 25, the fourth part of the Musterhaus series, called Redux Orchestra versus Einstürzende Neubauten was completed. One of the new additions to Phase III started in March 2006 was a piece-by-piece album called Jewels, finally finished in August 2007. Musterhaus No. 5 Kassetten ("Cassettes"), finished May 15 with release scheduled for May 31. At the same time, Alles was irgendwie nützt ("Everything of any use"), an album that had been in the work since Phase 2, were completed. The album consists of rare live tracks, handpicked by 6 supporters of Phase 2 and mixed by Boris Wilsdorf. This was quickly followed by Musterhaus No. 6 Klaviermusik ("Piano music"), released on August 31. In October, Neubauten released a public DVD, the recording made at Palast der Republik. Musterhaus No. 7 Stimmen Reste ("Voice Remainders") was released on December 2, consisting of vocal experiments, vocal recordings, and manipulations of voice recordings, enriched with leftover instrumental tracks made with polystyrene, electronic pulses, hammond organ, bass guitar, and metal percussion
It was announced on the band's website that they would be undertaking a "small (mostly) UK tour" in April 2007, but playing in Hannover on April 22 beforehand. Musterhaus No. 8 Weingeister ("Wine spirits") was released on April 6, forming the final instalment of the Musterhaus series.A new commercial album was made available later in the year, the first release since 2004's Perpetuum Mobile. The new album, Alles wieder offen ("All open again"), was released in 2007 without the backing of a label, a move the band had intended to make with Perpetuum Mobile. Fans who were part of the paid EN community at neubauten.org received access to an album with the same tracks plus a number of extra songs, and an optional DVD about the making of the album.
The Einstürzende Neubauten's logo can be described as a human symbol with two arms, two legs (one much shorter than another), thin body and big round head with a circle in its middle. It was not created by or for the band, but is a cave drawing of probably Toltec origin.
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Compiled by Bargeld on the new Mute compilation Kalte Sterne, these 13 tracks, most of which predate Neubauten's 1981 debut Kollaps, paint a picture of a band whose goal was to wring as much dread and catastrophe out of as limited a sound palette as possible. Some tracks, like closer "Durstiges Tier", consist of little more than skeletal gurgles of indeterminate origin, with Bargeld's whispered brain scrapings weaving in and out. Alexander Hacke is credited with "amplified bowed wire" on the track, and the thin, nasal sound he produces becomes the song's hideous, scoliated backbone. "13 Loecher (Leben Ist Illegal)" notoriously uses an electric drill as an instrument-- as literally "industrial" as music can get.
The first five songs feature the duo of Bargeld and percussionist/power toolist Andrew Chudy as they made their first steps into the void in 1980. Here, Chudy's vaguely tribal drums provide a rhythmic drive for Bargeld's guitar string noise, tortured whispers and creepy-as-shit Korg synthesizer drones. The greatest achievement of the band's first incarnation is probably "Tagesschau-Dub", a hypnotic, electronically assaulted percussion drone (it's hard to make percussion drone, but they manage it) piled high with incongruous samples from TV and radio. It's an astute collage and one of several tracks that betrays the band's initial interest in dub production techniques. On its own merits, Kalte Sterne is a treasure trove of prime artifacts from the infancy of an important and groundbreaking band.
Einstürzende Neubauten - Kalte Sterne (flac 335mb)
01 Fuer Den Untergang 4:18
02 Tan-Ze-Dub 4:12
03 Zuckendes Fleisch 3:34
04 13 Loecher (Leben Ist Illegal) 1:53
05 Tagesschau-Dub 6:10
06 Bakterien Fuer Eure Seele 3:46
07 Kalte Sterne 4:13
08 Aufrecht Gehen 3:47
09 Pygmaeen 1:20
10 Erlicher Stein 1:00
11 Schwarz 4:16
12 Thirsty Animal 9:05
13 Durstiges Tier 6:28
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Einstürzende Neubauten's first album, as one might imagine, is their most primitive and radical effort, the purest expression of their original aesthetic. This makes the album both historically significant and conceptually intriguing, of course, but what's most interesting about this album is that it still sounds surprising decades after its release. Often, albums that are considered extreme art statements upon their debut sound almost quaint a few years later, but while Kollaps perhaps sounds less extreme to ears that heard industrial music turned into disco pabulum by the likes of Nine Inch Nails than it did before, songs like the eight-minute title track and the rumbling live closer, "Negativ Nein," are still a fascinating blend of rhythm and random bashing, tonality and atonality, with anguished vocals by Blixa Bargeld that often seem to have little connection with anything else in the piece. The brief tracks, like the 80-second "Sehnsucht," are even more extreme explorations of pure noise. Starting as early as the next album, Einstürzende Neubauten would begin slowly introducing more mainstream musical concepts into their aesthetic, making Kollaps as undiluted a listening experience as there is in the entire catalog.
Einstuerzende Neubauten - Kollaps (flac 322mb)
01 Tanz Debil 3:23
02 Steh Auf Berlin 3:47
03 Negativ Nein 2:27
04 U-Haft-Muzak 3:41
05 Draußen Ist Feindlich 0:49
06 Schmerzen Hören 2:32
07 Jet'm 1:24
08 Kollaps 8:04
09 Sehnsucht 1:21
10 Vorm Krieg 0:20
11 Hirnsäge 1:55
12 Abstieg & Zerfall 4:28
13 Helga 0:39
14 Schieß Euch Ins Blut 3:06
15 Rohrbombe 1:02
16 Futuristischer Dub 1:03
17 Sado-Masodub 3:11
18 Liebesdub 1:29
19 Spionagedub 2:12
20 Mikrobendub 1:46
21 Gastarbeiterdub 2:47
22 Rivieradub 2:46
23 Lünebest 1:58 .
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Einstürzende Neubauten's second album, 1983's Zeichnungen des Patienten O.T. (Drawings of Patient O.T.), is less extreme than their 1981 debut, but it's still a challenging listen. The title comes from the drawings of Oswald Tschirtner, a Swiss mental patient whose work is prized by collectors of "outsider artists," and the comparison is apt. Einstürzende Neubauten's music has the same bizarre leaps of logic and random connections that one finds in that sort of visual or verbal art, although starting with this album, the music is just controlled and sculpted enough to reveal that yes, the group does know exactly what they're doing. Many of the pieces are more songlike than the group's earlier work, with actual melodies encoded in the banging and howling, and a couple tracks that could even be called almost pretty. "Armenia" is the highlight, based on an Eastern European folk song form and featuring some long, droning, sustained notes that are similar to what some European post-minimalist composers (Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman, etc.) were doing around the same time. Zeichnungen des Patienten O.T. is the best balance between Einstürzende Neubauten's chaotic early work and the more refined albums to come, and is possibly their best work.
Einstuerzende Neubauten - Zeichnungen Des Patienten O.T. / Drawings Of O.T. (flac 320mb)
01 Vanadium-I-Ching 4:54
02 Hospitalistische Kinder / Engel Der Vernichtung 5:09
03 Abfackeln! 3:32
04 Neun Arme 2:34
05 Herde 1:24
06 Merle (Die Elektrik) 2:20
07 Zeichnungen Des Patienten O.T.3:23
08 Finger Und Zähne 0:17
09 Falschgeld 2:42
10 Styropor 2:24
11 Armenia 4:57
12 Die Genaue Zeit 7:06
13 Wasserturm 6:27
14 Wardrobe 2:40
15 Blutvergiftung 1:51
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