The music video for Radio, Rammstein’s second single from their upcoming self-titled album premiered on Friday.
Projected on a wall at a Berlin intersection, it was fitting as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fans noticed this significant event was missing from the Deutschland (Germany) video released last month which is an epic tale of German history.
The monochrome video is a homage to Kraftwerk’s 1975 music video for Radioactivity.
An anthem against totalitarianism, Radio transports us to a time when it alone could cross the divide between ununified Germany and smuggle ‘forbidden’ music into the East. The band’s members were all born in the GDR, where it was illegal for them to be employed as musicians.
In Radio, listening to the evening radio is an act of civil disobedience. Front man Till Lindemann sings of a wanderlust reminiscent of their 1997 album Sehnsucht (Longing).
Dressed in 1940s-style suits, the band performs live at Radio Berlin while women in factory clothes manufacture radios and faceless soldiers patrol the streets.
The radio transcends class; even a woman with a domestic servant tunes in. So do children and people in salons. A nun prays to her radio. A woman collects her radio from a pram and feeds it before a soldier prise it from her hands. A man has his ear cut off.
A woman has sex with her radio, resembling Korn’s 2005 song Twisted Transistor, while another three people have group sex with a radio. It is becoming clear to the morality police that the radios are causing civil unrest.
A woman hits back at her abusive husband while their daughter cheers on. Shoppers turned looters flock to shop windows containing radios branded with the band member’s names.
The signals emitted from the radio tower are a similar shape to the ant army formation in the 2001 video for Links (Left).
Protesters tip cars, light fires and hold signs with slogans such as “mein radio gahort mir” (my radio is mine) and “UKW fur alle” (FM for all).
A topless woman whose body is painted with the slogan “mein radio gahort mir” waves a flag, embodying Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People.
The bridge is suggestive of their 2005 song Benzin as soldiers march on Radio Berlin. Rammstein are invincible against their batons because they have turned into radio waves. The soldiers are won over by the music.
In the end, the black and white video becomes colour, revealing the European Union flags flanking Radio Berlin are not blue, but red.