Kollaps album cover
Kollaps

Einstürzende Neubauten

1981
Zickzack

Few groups have so completely and clearly expressed their fundamental ethos on their debut album as Einstürzende Neubauten did with Kollaps. It’s an album of negatives, of destruction, indeed of collapse – of the collapse of song, of instruments, and of the group’s collective nervous system. Within that politics of rejection, though, Neubauten found great beauty. Listening back to Kollaps, it’s surprisingly how haunting it can be: beyond the punitive furies of songs like “Tanzdebil,” there are spooked, taped voices; clanking, erotic percussives; burbling mini-operas for water; desperate anti-hymns for drills and scream; and, on “Je t’m,” a perverse detournement of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s breathy ode.

Jon Dale

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