Medium was a hard-edged proposition, sure, but it saw the duo more concerned with negative space: the rich resonances of real acoustic environments as they interact with synthetic source materials; the blackened reverberant trails left behind when the noise stops. Collapsed is a different beast: dry, forthright and almost unremittingly full-throttle. Its four tracks adhere to a neatly paced narrative, each track straining more violently to break free of the grid than the last, with the closing track making a partial return to rhythmic regularity.
As such, the EP's most exciting moments are to be found at its centre. Opener "Armature" lays out the sonic palette—trouser-flapping sub bass, rhythmic bursts of white noise dusted with feedback—but its rigidity precludes any visceral sense of shock; closer "Wire" sacrifices impact for fuller immersion in the digital sludge. But once Emptyset hit their stride they're fearsome: "Collapse" opens with a snarling, anguished bassline which moves with animal grace, building to an unbearable peak before giving way to a barrage of rhythmically obtuse percussive events. "Core," meanwhile, is the blistering highlight, dishing out its syncopated onslaught of noise-parched kick drums with surgical glee.