Originally released in 1981, Kollaps is the seminal, form-destroying debut album by German industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten (trans. "Collapsing New Buildings"). The band's use of junk metal, power drills, jackhammers and other surprising instrumentation would come to define their challenging and continually inventive career, making them not only one of the originators of industrial music, but one of the world's most influential and far-reaching forces at the intersection between avant-garde and rock music.
Formed in 1980 in the wave of the Dadaist movement Die Geniale Dilletanten, after a series of devastating live performances and personnel changes (one of which briefly involving electronic musician Gudrun Gut), the band's line-up cemented itself with core members Blixa Bargeld, F.M. Einheit (previously of Hamburg-based post-punk band Abwärts) and N.U. Unruh. On Kollaps, a violent collision of urban primitivism and punk sensibilities, the trio declared war on every conventional way of listening, combining an intense mess of atonal guitar drones with brutal scrap metal percussion.
At a time in Germany in which the wall encircling West Berlin transformed the city into a state-subsidized, near-paradisiacal freak-enclave for artists, Einstürzende Neubauten offered cathartic cascades of noise, employing steel parts, tin drums, drills, hammers, saws and untuned electric guitars, all crowned by Bargeld's bloodcurdling screams and feverish, apocalyptic texts. Kollaps, with its atonal essence, embodied exactly what the title suggested: decay and destruction, illness, doom and death. Years later, with the fall of the Berlin wall behind it, Kollaps still sounds as radical and extreme an artistic statement as ever.