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Alec Empire * Intelligence And Sacrifice (cd 2002 digital hardcore recordings)

Mr Empire himself is undoubtely the most active man from the German digital hardcore scene. However I think his older work was quite interesting (solo, I hate Atari Teenage Riot), the newer recordings are fairly mediocre and Empire is surpassed left and right in extremity and originality by the new generation of digicore-artists. On this new cd Empire wanted to show that he is still “harder than the rest” (the name of the first DHR compilation). He made some kind of electronic speedmetal with guitars and all and this gave him a place on several metal festivals! Not too interesting though, except a few tracks. The thing I hate most of this cd is that Empire’s distorted voice is in almost every track with his hysterical screaming. I mostly prefer electronic music to be electronic… The second cd contains some modern (read: hip) experimentals in the fields of ambient and intelligent dance music.
Not too brilliant.

Antipop Consortium * Tragic Epilogue (cd 2001? ozone)

Well, I already liked the cooperation between the Wu-Tang Clan and Funkstörung (see Funkstörung “Additional Productions” review) which is a crazy mix between difficult electronic music (it seems that some people decided to call it “idm” or “intelligent dance music”) and hiphop; crazy music with funny rapping. However Antipop isn’t as crazy as the mentioned track, this is still pretty funny! Actually the insane rhythms and sampled go very well with a fast kind of rapping and the combination here sounds pretty damn good! There is already a new Antipop album called “Arrythmic” which I hope to hear some time soon.

Aphex Twin * Druqs (cd 2001 warp)

The new Aphex is a “30 Track Double CD” with about 100 minutes of music. I suppose I don’t have to tell you that this is a pretty crazy release? Anyway, in some tracks Richard D. James proves that he is the inspiration for bands like Funckarma, Funkstörung or Plaid (all see below) with fairly atmospheric music with strange rhythms, in other tracks James goes berzerk as usual and all this is alternated with piano music or short pieces of strange sounds. As always this Aphex isn’t for anyone and personally I have never been a very big fan of this project, but some tracks are undoubtely very good and from these two cds you can get one good one of about an hour, so maybe it is a good buy!

Autechre * Untitled (cd 2005 warp records)

When I was looking for a copy of the new Venetian Snares (which I found) my eye fell on a new cd of Autechre. Autechre is one of these “pioneers of weird electronic dance music” like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. It is always interesting to hear what guys like that came up with, but in particular Autechre has never been my favourite artist and it seems that this new album is even one of the less accessible ones (compared to himself!). There is no structure or melody or whatever in these tracks. This makes the music not suitable to just listen to sitting on a couch, you can’t dance to it, so what then? Well one thing is listening to the electronic skills of the artist is one thing or maybe playing it as background music (however you and/or your guests may get nerves of it). Autechre is sure worth to listen to, but not really music to play. So just get a copy of the cd to find out if things can get more crazy, but maybe even you like this kind of stuff! A small word to those then: this album is rather slowpaced / tranquil with a few faster tracks towards the end.

Bad Company * Inside The Machine (2cd 2000 bcrecordings)

This cd was put into my hands when I was in a techno recordshop last week where I asked for hard drum & bass. I asume -therefor- that this is regarded hard drum & bass in the techno-scene. Overall I don’t really think that this d&b is that hard, but fairly descent and at times pretty dark. As the cd continues things gets better and eventually this cd shows some pretty damn rough and dark d&b which is very enjoyable.
But, for those who are not too familiar with techno music I might have to explain a bit clearer what to expect. Drum & bass is characterized by fast and unregular beats (“breakbeats”). This music used to be called “jungle”. As with many forms of techno the rhythms of most d&b releases are akin and of course danceble in some way. What you will find here is pretty fast beats, here and there a dark drone on the background and some heavy beats in the darker tracks.
The first cd contains seperate tracks, the second has tracks mixed together.
A funny thing of this cd is that the cd-player of your computer already knows the names of the tracks.
The logo seems to have to be pronounced as “Bad Company” by the way.

Bad Company * Digital Nation (cd 2001 bcrecordings)

Almost a year ago I got myself the previous cd of Bad Company, which I play quite regularly still. “Inside The Machine” is mostly characterised by fairly hard and rather dark drum & bass and I was quite excited when I heard about a new cd.
“Digital Nation” was (I believe) originally released as a 5 or 6 pack of vinyls around Christmas 2000. The cover of the cd says: “exclusive )BI3( mix cd featuring new unreleased tracks”, which makes me doubt if these two things are about the same releases.
Anyway, “Digital Moon” starts quite disappointing with fast and busy drum & bass which is hardly comperable to the previous work. It all sounds even quite ‘happy’. As the cd continues the tracks become harder and darker and even some of the most awesome d&b that I have heard comes by. After about 1/3 of the disc, things are becoming interesting. Since it takes 68 minutes overall, it still leaves enough enjoyable music.

Bad Company * Book Of The Bad (2cd 2001 bc recordings)

Another double cd from the UK drum’n’bass combo. Unfortunately the downward line from “Inside The Machine” to “Digital Nation” (see above) continues. Not that “Book Of The Bad” is a bad cd, but Bad Company isn’t as facekicking loud and new anymore. The new cd again contains fairly heavy d&b which is fairly minimal, but still complex and mostly instrumental. Again the further the cds continue, the harder the tracks, but they no longer blow me away at any place. Still a lot better than whichever other d&b cd that you will hear, but try the first album first! Also this new cd is more experimental and progressive (especially in the beginning of the cds) than we are used from BC.

B*n*b* * Hostile (cd 1998 dj therapy records)

Pronounced as “Bonobo” this is a magnificent techno cd of what seems to be a one-day-fly. Music varying from big beats to more minimal techno and a more ‘oldfashioned’ sound making B*n*b* refreshing and original. Unfortunately this was only a one-time event.

DJ Eric Denz Da Denz presents Nu Teqdenz (cd 2001 black hole recordings)

Often I have wondered if it is possible to make a whole cd with only a 4/4 beat that remains interesting. This ‘oldfashioned’ kind of techno has become popular recently and at techno parties you hear djs playing sets with only ‘four to the floor’ tracks for a whole night. DJ Lady Aïda mixed the “Doppler F-Act” cd (reviewed elsewhere) which largely consists of 4/4 tracks, but not entirely.
Now this “Nu Teqdenz” cd is a 74 minute cd with only 4/4 beats. Mostly pretty tranquil and ‘trancy’ sometimes a bit darker. Quite nice, but not catchy for the whole time.