|SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Decisions w/o Television
||[Jan. 29th, 2017|10:00 am]
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
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I honestly did not think there was any way this, my Fifth Sunday A La Mode feature, could possibly take a turn toward the political. I simply thought, "it's time I highlight that Rammstein cover." It turns out that one of the more interesting things about it happens to be the video they did, that I guess I'd never seen until I started my draft. By odd coincidence, it may be more relevant today than anyone should have had to expect it would be:
Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Depeche Mode released their fifth album, Black Celebration, in March, 1986. The first single from the album, Stripped, was released a month earlier. The video for song was shot near the same location the single was mixed in Berlin. The band was lauded for their original and cutting-edge sampling techniques on the track, using a number of automotive sounds (primarily from their own vehicles) to produce the base of its rhythms.
As a single, it enjoyed only some moderate success, but among fans it is debatably one of their most beloved songs.
In July of 1998, the Neue Deutsche Härte rock-industrialists Rammstein put out their cover of Stripped as a single, just a couple weeks before the release of the tribute album to Depeche Mode on which it was included, For The Masses. The compilation included covers from The Cure, Meat Beat Manifesto, Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins, God Lives Underwater, and more, sixteen tracks in all. This track was unique for Rammstein as it was the first song of their career sung in English.
A month after the single release, Rammstein released a video for the track, which was highly controversial for including footage from a documentary of the 1938 Olympics, Olympia: Festival of the Nations. It was written, directed and produced by Leni Riefenstahl, and commissioned by Adolph Hitler. Hitler, who in point of historical fact opened the event, used the Games and film as propaganda to promote German racial superiority and Nazi party ideals. It was Nazi preference that Jewish athletes not be permitted to participate at the Games, but under threat of boycott by other nations they were technically "allowed" but were still excluded or otherwise "discouraged" in a variety of ways.
The film has a lot of notoriety for its place in history, its message, and its players, but also a lot of acclaim and awards for its technical and artistic execution.
When Rammstein included elements of the film in their video, it was found objectionable by the Anti-Defamation League whose representative felt it "glorifies the National Socialist movement."
Rammstein maintained that they are not Nazis nor had they any political intent with the video, only aesthetic appreciation of the images as art. In a press release they issued this statement: "Rammstein are aware that some of the scenes were subsequently misused for propaganda purposes, with Leni Riefenstahl's consent, and that she also accepted commissions with political content. This fact, however, does not change the quality of the actual images."
Their video for Stripped does not include any overt Nazi imagery, even though it is, due to the nature of its source, entirely monoracial.
This would not be the last time Rammstein would face criticism and accusations of being Nazis. However they have always combated against that perception. Recently, in as much as can be found seen from their social media and limited presence on the internet, they don't appear to have made any public commentary on the political news of the day.
Artistic expression can absolutely be influenced by and promote even the worst of ideologies. Sometimes however, such expression only intersects with these ideologies in an attempt to "strip" it down to expose something of inherent value within.
I'm devoting February to a "Valentine's" theme that you might just find "lovable." I call it: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!"
The first of them is an 80's track that gets strapped in modern leather!
Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a LiveJournal account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)
I'm lined up to spin three events in February. Keep an eye on my schedule for details if you'd like to join them. (Info on the third to be added this week.) ^_^
Explore the darkness,
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies