PRINT April 1997


Digital Hardcore

New extremes of superfast, high-energy cacophony are the m.o. on the Berlin label DIGITAL HARDCORE, whose house style combines harsh, discordant genres like Japanese noise, gabba, and grindcore, then laces them with jungle’s speedy drum breaks, hip-hop scratches, and politicized punk lyrics. In Digital Hardcore bands like Atari Teenage Riot, Ec8or (pronounced Eee-cator), and Shizuo, young techno punks distill potent brews from high points on their favorite records, then double the speed in machine-gun bursts of distorted riffs and shuddering beats—with lyrics shouted in English with all the vigor of Minor Threat.

A fine example is Ec8or’s single “Cocaine Ducks.” A screeching guitar spits out speed-metal riffs over a thunderous bass while a teen girl’s Germanic voice hollers: “We are pissed. We must resist, to show that we exist.” The flip side features “Raving Hypospadie,” its aggressive techno building to ever faster pulses, reaching well over 1,000 beats per minute to be lost in a general hum of sub—bass and skittering cymbals strangled by a fuzzed amp. The catharsis, from having your eardrums lacerated by Ec8or, is exquisite.

Grand Royal Records is distributing selected releases in the US, including Atari Teenage Riot’s second album Burn, Berlin, Burn and the 45 rpm single “Cocaine Ducks” by Ec8or. But, to keep up with this fast-moving genre, you’ll have to resort to imports. Look out for the imprint <20, where kids under twenty years of age will try their damnedest to outdo their Digital Hardcore forebears.

David Poole