Monday, November 10, 2008

Kristallnacht

BAP was probably the most artistic of the groups emerging in the early eighties from Die Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave). They stood out by their critical lyrics, sung in Kollsch, the dialect of the city of Cologne. Their absolute highlight is the song Kristallnaach, which likens the rise of neo-nazism in Germany of that time to the period before the second world war. The song title refers to the Kristallnacht, the night of the broken glass, in which the windows of houses and shops of Jewish citizens were destroyed in a fit of nation-wide anti-semitism that resulted in 92 jewish citizens dead and about 30000 deported to concentration camps. The images they evoke in their lyrics are unusually strong, and depressing in their continued relevance, over twenty years later. The instrumentation suits the song perfectly, starting with sinister low sounds and ending in a fury of drums. As this night marks the 70th anniversary of that hideous occasion, a video of the song - let us never forget where mindless hate can lead to.
Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant masterpiece, one of 200 best songs of all time)

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