techno

Funkstörung * Viceversa (cd 2002 !k7)

This German act is probably the most well-known project in the ‘post-Aphex/Autechre/etc’ “electronica” field. This is mostly caused by the fact that Funkstörung does a lot of remixes of known and less-known artists making vague techno of all kinds of different kinds of music. After “Additional Productions” (see above) this is another cd filled with remixes. These are of respectively Plaid, Jay-Jay Johanson, Nils Petter Molvaer, A Guy Called Gerald, Beans, Speedy J. Ike Yard, The Notwist, Funckarma, Phillip Boa + The Voodooclub, Tocotronic and Jean Michel Jarre. I don’t know any of the original tracks and besides Speedy J. and Funckarma I don’t know any of the remixed bands, or only by name.
Anyway, “Viceversa” isn’t too good in my opinion. The tracks in the beginning are very tranquil, jazzy and not too appealing. There are a few nice (Speedy J., Ike Yard) to great tracks (Funckarma, Beans), but overall “Viceversa” is not too great.

Head First * To Da Bone (cd 1998 djax records)

The great debut cd of this Dutch act came when ‘big beats’ were still popular and Head First wanted to prove that the beat could easily be bigger than of most other acts. A continuing salvo of big beats resulted in a great cd in a style that already seems to have died out. Sadly enough…

Head First * Brightshinybeats (cd 2000 djax-x-beats)

The first cd “To Da Bone” was released in 1998 in a flood of hard Dutch big beat cds. This cd is one of the hardest big beat cds that I know and also one of the more enjoyable. Later it seemed that it was mostly the Dutch artists making big beats and the rest mostly just used the well known rhythm.
Now Head First is said to have become more mature, which made me fear for their latest offering. Indeed, the new cd is by far not like the unstoppable salvo of big-beat-energy of the debut cd. Actually only at a few ocasions you can still hear their fucked-up beats and acid-sounds. Further a lot of ‘mc’ (man with a microphone), slow big beats, sometimes some drum and bass and a lot of experimentalism. The basis is still big beats, but Head First sure took this a step or ten further resulting in a very descent cd. Still I think back to the first time I heard “To Da Bone” and thought that big beats was the most interesting form of techno. The time after that cd and for example “Metropol” of Lunatic Calm (1997), “Hostile” of B*n*b* (1998) or the second Asphalt Darling compilation (1998) showed that the big beats weren’t so big (anymore) and the genre more became like drum and bass with less complicated beats. Ah well, the new Head First sure brings back memories, but also aims for the future.

Hellfish & Producer * Contant Mutation (cd 2000 planet-mu records)

Jiha! I have found myself a new Hellfish & Producer cd. An older one this time. “Constant Mutation” may be a little less experimental than the other two cds that I have (see elsewhere), but this is only a little. The very positive side about this, is that there is more room for violent and constant beats, which makes this cd almost from the beginning until the end a very agressive piece of tekno. As ever brilliant and a must-buy!

Hellfish & Producer * No Mistakes Allowed (cd 2000 highborn)

Hell(fish) yeah! There is more of Hellfish and Producer on cd than I knew! Here we have a cd on with Hellfish and Producer remixed tracks, or other artists mixed their tracks. The result is an extremely loud tekno album with less experimental interludes than on ‘normal’ albums. Straightforward, fast, earcracking tekno that is a bit too ‘gabberish’ here and there, but overall of the level of the faster tracks of the other albums. Not too easy to get six years after the release (and on a debunked label?), but should you run into it….

Hellfish * Meat Machine Broadcast System (cd 2001 planet mu records)

I read that Hellfish is one of the favourite acts when Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) is playing one of his violent DJ-sets. As far as I know Hellfish has released a few 12″s and one “Hellfish & Producer” cd before this one and I never heard any of these releases.
“Meat Machine Broadcast System” is a weird cd mixing Squarepusher-like experimentalism with very hard techno sounding a bit like what we call “gabber” in the Netherlands and what became known as “gabba” to those who can’t pronounce Dutch. Still Hellfish is far from a gabber-act, since their music is a lot crazier, experimental, twisted and often also harder. I think this will appeal to most people who like insane heavy techno (2nd Gen for example), digital hardcore, Aphex Twin and maybe also those who like Squarepusher and kindred projects, but these last should keep in mind that there is quite a lot 300bpm techno here. Personally I must say that I love this cd!

Hellfish and Producer * Bastard Sonz Of Rave (cd 2002 planet mu records ltd.)

This duo is probably the most interesting coming from the techno scene that has reached my ears. Over half a year ago I reviewed Hellfish’s excellent solo cd called “Meat Machine Broadcast System” and in the meantime I found out that there are a couple of Hellfish and Producer cds, at least one DJ Producer solo cd and a shitload of vinyls, either together or alone. I definately need to get more of their stuff.
Where “Meat Machine…” contains highly experimental and pretty heavy techno, together these two masterminds make even heavier techno with a lot of hardcore-like tracks, but 100x better, more experimental, crazy samples (often this breakdance kind of music) and insane rhythms experiments and sounds. I paid quite a lot of money for this cd, but it is worth it without a doubt. Heavy, original, crazy, this cd has got it all! Almost a masterpiece.

Hellfish * One Man Sonic Attack (cd 2005 planet-mu)

The mp3s on the Planet Mu site sure did their job. With 2 mins of every track I thought I had enough music of this album to review it (…) but at the same time I wanted to hear the rest of the music too, so I got myself a copy. “One Man Sonic Attack” is a real Hellfish cd. There are a few remixes here, but this didn’t result in another style than the usual weird and very loud. The album opens with a great track with a real beatboy/human beatbox rapping over the loud beats of mr. Hellfish. Then follow odd experimental tracks at times extremely loud and staightforward techno, at other times more in the vein ‘intelligent dance music’. I noticed that the more often I hear this album, the louder is sounds to me. Like with other albums it depends on my mood if I find the music very extreme or not. Strange. Anyway, if you like crazy, fucked-up, funny and extremely loud techno, listen to the mp3s on the site of the label and/or get yourself a copy of my favourite tekno-act! The only minor point about Hellfish is that he keeps sounding like Hellfish. It may be hard to do something new when you already make idiotic music, but the albums tend to sound a bit alike…

Hyperdriver

Hyperdriver This Distorted Life cd ???? beergut recordings
Hyperdriver Vomiting Blood cd ???? beergut recordings
Hyperdriver Tech Support cd ???? beergut recordings
Hyperdriver Antichrist Revs cd ???? beergut recordings
Hyperdriver And The Beat Goes No! cd ???? beergut recordings

Hyperdriver is a project from the UK of a guy named Steve who also runs “Beergut Recordings” (does this say something about Steve’s belly?). I think Hyperdriver has been around for a while, because there is a massive amount of releases. Also available is a cd with five albums as mp3s with bonus tracks and that is the cd that I got here. However the cd comes with a nice format to play on the computer, the disc has no info about what label released the cds and what are the years they were first available. Also the webpage doesn’t give that info. The file on the disc has another order of cds than the ‘add’ on the Beergut page, but I will use the cd to shortly review the cds.
“This Distorted Life” is quite primitive and filled with extreme techno experiments. Often very noisy and mostly quite slow. Here and there there is some ‘speedcore’ to be heard and I definately like these ‘straight-forward tracks’ best. There are strange experimental tracks that are sometimes pretty tranquil.
“Antichrist Revs” opens very noisy, continues with a very industrial sound, but towards the end it is more drum’n’bass-like experiments. There are two extremely violent tracks here and a brilliant track called “Testicular Ramblings”.
“And The Beat Goes No!” is by far the least interesting cd. Is shows Hyperdriver’s noise sound, but I don’t like that side much!
“Tech Support” is a total extreme techno cd with speedcore-like tracks that are extremely violent. Brilliant samples add some humour to this cd, wonderfull!
“Vomiting Blood” is also more of a speedcore cd with heavy tracks and funny samples.
Hyperdriver’s sound is not really like that of ‘normal’ speedcore. There is not a fix rhythm or speed and the music is not really danceble. Sometimes the breaks and changes of rhythm or the samples are a bit overdone and overall the sound is somewhat primitive, I think it is made on a computer, which may explain the speed and amount of releases. I do particularly like the last two reviewed cds and it is nice to hear where all this extreme techno comes from.
The Beergut webpage has a lot of Hyperdriver mp3s, but also of other projects, either digital hardcore, noise or dark ambient, so check it out. Hyperdriver mp3s can be found on other pages as well.