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Playing the city: Das Dämonische Berlin and Einstürzende Neubauten

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In this article I discuss the close and diverse relationship between German musicians, Einstürzende Neubauten and their city of origin, Berlin, in order to show how this relationship has enabled the band both to encapsulate a unique historical–cultural moment and to extend the boundaries of sonic art. I have structured my discussion around the various interpretations of Neubauten's name, their philosophy of music, their use of the 'island-city' of West Berlin as instrumentation and text during the 1980s and the development and changes which occurred with this practice post-unification. The article concludes with an analysis of their 2004 concert, Grundstück, which took place in former East Berlin's Palast der Republik.

Keywords: Nachgeborenen; angels; architecture; ingenious dilettante; layers; objet trouvé

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 12, 2012

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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