Einstürzende Neubauten's "Blume" video (1993)

From pioneering German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, this terrific video for their song "Blume" that embodies the underground spirit of the time/scene. The song is on their 1993 album Tablua Rasa. Einstürzende Neubauten, which means "collapsing new buildings," often fashions their own instruments from scrap metal and construction tools. It makes sense then that the horn-like instrument seen in the video is a recreation of the Intonarumori, a musical contraption built by Italian Futurist artist Luigi Russolo, author of the 1913 manifesto L'Arte dei Rumori ("The Art of Noises"). I used a photo of the Intonarumori in my post on Tuesday announcing our new Boing Boing Music page. Einstürzende Neubauten (Thanks, kawayama and swalbr!)


  1. I love anything with Blixa Bargeld. Personally, my favorite Einsturzende Neubauten video is “Sabrina.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnGYaqjW-A

  2. The Boing Boing Music page is GREAT!  Can you make it so that you don’t have to click through to listen to a song?  (i.e. make the teaser graphics the active links)

      1. true, but the band had already been formed and named before that happened, didn’t it?  it is entirely possible i’m reading more anti-modernity into their stuff than i should.

        1. [EDIT: You are] Not misreading anything, just that those neubauten could probably (not) take care of themselves.  (Trying to remember old grammar lessons – I think it’s transitive vs. intransitive? “She’s running the show” vs. “She’s running away.”)  OTOH I recall an interview in which either Blixa or N.U. Unruh, when asked if or how they set a building ablaze as part of a background image, said something to the effect of “it’s really simple, just set it ablaze.” Though that may have been an altbauten.

          I didn’t really keep up with them after Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala, but at one point something “clicked” for me and those albums following Kollaps no longer sounded noisy (nor extreme) at all. I started thinking about their earlier material (especially the live recording 2 x 4)  more as “world music” than anything else (although I know that term makes some cringe) – moreso when I found the recording that “Armenia” excerpts (it’s an Ocora disc, called, simply, Armenie IIRC).

      2. Wikipedia: “The band name is usually translated into English as “Collapsing New Buildings”. Neubauten (“new buildings” in English) is a general term referring to buildings constructed in Germany after 1945. These are often regarded as cheaper, flimsier, and less aesthetically attractive than Altbauten, or pre-1945, especially pre-modernist buildings. Due to the extensive destruction throughout Germany during the Second World War, and the extensive rebuilding thereafter, Neubauten constitute a very familiar element of German cities.”

    1. I’m not a German expert (by ANY stretch of the imagination), but I’ve always seen it translated into English as “collapsing new buildings”.  Would someone who is a native speaker of the language translate it as “demolishing skyscrapers”?  I don’t know…

      Either way, I’ve always taken it as a conceptual idea – fundamentally questioning what we mean by the modern – so both translations could apply here. I thought the Neubauten part was a reference to bauhaus modernism, more than a physical building – more what a modern building means about the modern world. 

      Maybe I’m wrong…  I’ve been a fan since the 90s, but I’m not a fan girl who knows all the ins and outs of the band…

      1. I was under the impression that it should be idiomatically translated as ‘slipshod construction’.

      2. I would actually translate it as “collapsing new buildings” just like you wrote first. I.m.o., neither “demolishing skyscrapers” nor “slipshod construction” would be accurate. The name to me has always conveyed a general lust for the act of destruction, be it the destruction of buildings, systems, societal standards or whatever else.

        See for example lyrics such as the ones for “Krieg in den Städten:

        Verbrannte Erde
        Ich steh auf Viren
        Ich steh auf Chemie
        In die Luft sprengen
        Krieg unter Autos
        Ich steh auf Feuer
        Ich steh auf Rauch
        Ich steh auf Drogen
        Ich steh auf Krach
        und ich steh auf Steine
        Ich hol dich nicht raus
        Ich steh auf Zermalmen
        Ich steh auf Krankheit
        Ich steh auf Niedergang
        Ich steh auf Ende
        Ich steh auf Schluß
        Ich steh auf Aus
        Ich steh auf Hölle

        Standing up/lying down
        Scorched earth
        I´m into Viruses
        I´m into chemicals
        Standing up
        Falling down
        Blowing up
        War under cars
        I´m into fire
        I´m into smoke
        I´m into drugs
        I´m into noise
        and I´m into stones
        I´m not getting you out
        I´m into crushing
        I´m into sickness
        I´m into demise
        I´m into ending
        I´m into finish
        I´m into “off”
        I´m into hell

  3. I just love this video. I could watch it repeatedly. The understated and haunting music, mixed with that odd Germanic sense of humour. The little cabinet that Blixa keeps retreating into, and the Chrysanthemum described as an “urgent star”… it comes together in an unusual way.  

  4. Einstürzende Neubauten’s “Blume” video, presented by State Farm!  What the hell…?
    What will they think of next, Throbbing Gristle’s “Discipline (Berlin)”, presented by Pfizer?

  5. Quintessential Neubauten to me will always be their industrial noise stuff:

    Krieg in den Städten:

    Schmerzen Hören:

    Negativ Nein:

    Even though all of this should objectively be unpleasant to listen to, for some reason to me it never was. Love it in fact.

  6. Yeah – their industrial stuff.  If you like this sort of thing, then you might enjoy “Strategies Against Architecture”.  Here’s my pick:  ‘Armenia’ from their great video Halber Mench (1985?), stuck against Zeichnungen Des Patienten O T:  http://youtu.be/7IL__IAyBuE

    Einstürzende Neubauten:  The reason I can’t be bothered with “Green Day”.

  7. Blixa did some commercials for Hornbach, which I believe is a German hardware store chain.  They’re commercials are pretty awesome:


Comments are closed.