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Einstürzende Neubauten is an ever-changing band originally from West Berlin that was formed in 1980 as part of a modern folk music movement. The band is often classified as industrial or electronica, though neither really applies well in describing what it is that Einstürzende Neubauten does or sounds like. The band name translates into English as "Collapsing New Buildings".

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On April 1, 1980, Einstürzende Neubauten made their first appearance in the Moon Club in Berlin. Their name was a reference to the Berlin Kongresshalle, a post-war "new building", which had collapsed earlier that year. At that time the band was just a coincidental live set-up of the Dadaistic musical movement the Genialen Dilettanten. This line-up featured Beate Bartel and Gudrun Gut, Blixa Bargeld, and N. U. Unruh (Andrew Chudy), who later went on to record music under the name of Einstürzende Neubauten. The two female members Bartel and Gut left the band after a short period of performing and founded the girl-band Mania D.

In 1981 the percussionist Frank Martin Strauß, known as F.M. Einheit, joined Einstürzende Neubauten and they released their first LP Kollaps, a strange and new mixture of rough punk tunes and industrial noises using obscure instruments such as metal plates, self-made music machines, and various electronic sounds.

During their first German tour, Mark Chung from England joined the group of musicians, and one year later sound technician Alexander von Borsig also became a member of the band. This line-up lasted for the next ten years.

In 1983, Einstürzende Neubauten recorded their second album Zeichnungen des Patienten O. T.. The title comes originally from a book of the writer Leo Navratil, which describes the drawings of Oswald Tschirtner, O.T. 1974.

The band's next foray, Halber Mensch (1985), may be seen as the developmental breakthrough of their musical career. Musical structure became more evident, with Bargeld`s lyrics and singing in particular changing from shouted words and phrases into organized, poetic melodies.

The next two albums, Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala (1987) and Haus der Lüge, were great successes in the United States and Japan.

In 1991, the band tried something completely new, recording the soundtrack for Heiner Müller's play Die Hamletmaschine (The Hamlet Machine).

In Vienna, 1992, Einstürzende Neubauten performed at The Academy of Visual Arts' 300th aniversary in a show by Erich Wonder, Das Auge des Taifun.

The next album Tabula Rasa (1993) was an important turning point in the history of Einstürzende Neubauten because their music was now softer and contained more electronic sounds. For that reason, Mark Chung and Frank Martin Strauß decided to leave the band.

After a short time, the band released the LP Ende Neu (1996) which became quite famous because of the song Stella Maris, a duet of Blixa Bargeld with the talented singer Meret Becker. During the 1997 tour, Jochen Arbeit and Rudi Moser joined the band.

In 2000, Einstürzende Neubauten released their 20-year-jubilee album Silence is sexy. The title song is about tinnitus. In 2002, Einstürzende Neubauten began the work on a new album without the backing of a record label, relying instead upon supporter participation in an experiment of a type of Street Performer Protocol combined with an internet community and touches of the patronage system. About 2,000 supporters signed up to support what became Phase I by paying US$35 to participate in the experience and receive the results. Supporter Album #1 was sent out to them in autumn 2003. In order to go on tour, the band amended the idea of creating a supporter-only album, and cooperated with Mute Records to go on tour and release Perpetuum Mobile in 2004.

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