Einsturzende Neubauten – 1/2 Mensch DVD
Music Video Distributors
There has never been a band like Einsturzende Neubauten before, and there will never be one like them in the future. They are perhaps the most unique band ever to exist and they were one of the main pioneers in the genre of music that became known as Industrial Music. Neubauten aren’t just a band, they are artists who can find beauty and sound out of items others discarded in a junkyard. In fact, it is an old junkyard, or warehouse that most of this DVD was recorded.
The band seldom ever used traditional instruments, instead they would craft their own out of shopping carts, sheet metal, plastic jugs, jackhammers, sanders, etc. The lengths they would go to just to create specific sounds for their songs could almost be diagnosed as obsessive compulsive disorder. Its an amazing process that they go through to make these songs and it is quite a site to witness.
This DVD was originally recorded and released in Japan in 1985. Nearly every song on here is from their now-classic “Halber Mensch” album, which was definitely a high point in their lengthy career. That album was the middle ground between the early chaos and cacophony of their early works, and the more traditional musical structure that would follow (while never letting go of what made them so special in the first place).
More than half of this DVD is a live performance, the other is like performance art set to studio tracks. The sound is phenomenal throughout and visually it is top-notch. It really does their live show justice with the camera work and editing, you get to see every gimmick they made to create their songs up close, so close you can almost feel the sparks hit your clothes. This type of video is exactly the sort of thing you’d see up on the TV screen while visiting Wax Trax Records back in the day.
While the band continues on even today, sadly they sound nothing like they did on this DVD, nor are many of the members still part of the band. This disc features the original lineup, the combination of which made something magical that is never going to be duplicated, and the current remains of the band will never top. If you are a fan and own their albums, this is a perfect companion piece. If you are curious about the band and wanted to check them out for the first time, I couldn’t recommend a better introduction to their early works than this.