Follow TV Tropes


Music / Einstürzende Neubauten

Go To
Einstürzende Neubauten (Collapsing New Buildings) is a rather interesting industrial group from Germany. Originally formed in 1980, they were a major influence on the experimental end of the genre, due to their extensive use of various non-musical objects as instruments, often to the exclusion of conventional instruments. While always having a heavy emphasis on percussion and un-tuned sounds, Neubauten's music covers a fairly wide range of textures and styles, ranging from pulverising noise and ambient soundscapes to mechanistic dance tracks and understated ballads, their more recent albums being especially hard to classify.

Currently, the group consists of Blixa Bargeld, Alexander Hacke, N.U. Unruh, Jochen Arbeit, and Rudolf Moser.

Provides examples of:

  • Bilingual Bonus: Bargeld has mentioned that many of the group's early lyrics rely heavily upon German language puns and idioms which are functionally untranslatable; conversely, he does the same with the band's few English songs.
  • Bizarre Instrument: Pretty much the point of the band from when N.U. Unruh sold his drum set before making a new one out of bricks and metal.
  • Broken Record: "Weil Weil Weil" and "Hirnlego." Bonus points for the latter for actually having the vocals and instruments skip like a broken record (as opposed to the chanting in "Weil Weil Weil").
  • Careful with That Axe: Blixa invoked this a lot in the old days.
  • Contemptible Cover: The cover of "Haus der Lüge" features a rather obviously male horse ejaculating.
  • Advertisement:
  • Darker and Edgier: Alles wieder offen breaks the trend of Lighter and Softer taken by the band for its bleak and somber tone and lyrics, and Lament is also this trope since it was composed for an 100th anniversary World War I memorial in Belgium.
  • "Days of the Week" Song: "Mo Di Mi Do Fr Sa So"
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The obscure 1980 album Stahlmuzik featured a traditional drum kit, but its followup Kollaps had none of that. Both releases are known for being more intense and noisier than subsequent efforts.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: The band is famous for using this trope almost exclusively. Gamelan-like installations, bull whips, and sandals as a percussion section; jet turbines struck like xylophones; amplified springs providing bass guitar sounds. The band also uses traditional instruments in non-standard ways, including playing guitars with violin bows.
  • Advertisement:
  • Genre Roulette: Neubauten gradually calmed down from the metallic percussion and noisy intensity of Kollaps in exchange for increasingly quiet conventional styles while maintaining the usage of custom musical instruments built out of found objects. Nonetheless, they still showcase a wide range of textures.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Intentionally in the song "Was ist, ist." It has decipherable lyrics for the vast majority of the song, however, some parts are scrambled with static. When performed live, the band relies on a choir or their audience to fill those parts of the song with words made up on the spot — or in other words, "canon" lyrics simply don't exist there.
  • Lighter and Softer: The band went down this path with each single post-Kollaps album.
  • Meaningful Name: The cover to Halber Mensch ("Half Man") has half of the band's logo (a cave drawing of a human) scratched out.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art:
    • The front cover of Kollaps consists of only the band's logo and name with a background color being a shade of brown. Many other Einstürzende Neubauten albums like Strategies Against Architecture '80-'83, Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala and Ende Neu have this as well, the latter using the band's name over a human's eye and skin color.
    • Halber Mensch is almost literally the exact same thing as the cover of Kollaps, just with a different album name and half of their logo scratched out.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The band started out often performing Level 10 material, but most of their post-1990's works usually average on Levels 1 to 3.
  • New Sound Album: Zeichnungen des Patienten O. T. introduced a wider range of moods, melodies, and sounds than the generally intense abrasiveness of Kollaps, a direction taken further into detail on Halber Mensch, which was succeeded by the dark ambient of Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala. Haus der Lüge includes elements of electronic and rock music but is less diverse than Tabula Rasa, that in turn is louder and more unconventional than Ende Neu. Silence is Sexy disposes most of the noise aspects found in previous albums in favor of restraint, resulting in softer songs. Perpetuum Mobile continues the relaxed and mature nature of Silence is Sexy while reducing the Sensory Abuse heard in the band's previous works. Alles wieder offen remained smooth despite being a slightly bleaker album. The World War I-centered concept album Lament is based off archived research and accompanied by odd instruments chiefly composed of objects related to the war and a string quartet.
  • Punny Name:
    • A literal translation of the band's name would be "Collapsing New-Buildings." note 
    • Ende Neu ("Ending New") is a pun gathered from the band's name - Einstürzende Neubauten.
  • Sensory Abuse: Einstürzende Neubauten's output, especially in the 1980's, primarily constitutes of noises and textures made from using random objects like scrap metal, construction tools, et cetera.
  • Shout-Out: Their logo is an apparently meaningless old Mesoamerican petroglyph Bargeld discovered in 1980 when he searched for mythological symbols.
  • Vocal Evolution: Blixa Bargeld's vocals went from chiefly screaming in Kollaps to the quiet, low-toned singing in newer albums.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: