We sent a questionnaire with the same five questions to a few labels. The answers by Digital Hardcore and by Force Inc. were published in Alien Underground in issue 0.0 (1994) and 0.1 (1995) respectively. Here are the answers by DHR, plus reviews of their first three releases by CF
1. What are the influences and inspiration for the music you release ?
Our influences are Mangas, Skaterpunk, Death/speedmetal, UK Hardcore Breakbeat from 93 (Producers like Bizzy B. …).
2. Describe the techno scene in your country.
So called “Major” events like MAYDAY still only entice a few thousand apolitical, middle class ravers and the top chart positions are filled by unimaginative cover versions like Marusha’s “Somewhere over the rainbow”, legitimised by the injection of a smattering of techno. Once adventurous and innovative sounds are borrowed to demonstrate a working class sensibility and turned into mainstream pop. While talk of techno’s death gets louder and louder, a new underground generation has grown up around ATARI TEENAGE RIOT. New small clubs are opening and illegal raves are happening all over the country.
3.What makes your label distinctive ?
We hate faceless dance projects. We only sign real acts and bands. We are not interested in releasing dance records.
4. How do you consider techno developing in general?
We think that the development of techno has stopped this year. Techno is dead. Everyone who’s making dance records is making disco records (The Detroit scene has already started using 4 bars 70ties discoloops, for example the last Carl Craig record. I remember that we were listening to industrial punk records in the 80ties cause we hated the disco stuff.)
We are not with that, this can’t be the future!
Pop stuff like Prodigy, 2 Unlimited, Westbam will never change cause it has to be played on daytime radio bla bla bla there is no development possible. There will be of course a very conservative Detroit/Acid/Ambient scene who miss the old days where the ravers were good and where the music was so “brilliant”! This happens but it’s not important at all. The boring Hardtrance scene around Sven Väth is dying at the moment (Even if the press wants to push it…) That gives techno the chance to turn into something good again.
The crowd who supports the digital hardnoize/hardcore scene is getting bigger and bigger. This stuff is reflecting the feelings that european kids have today much much more than any other music at the moment. It doesn’t deal with some cosmic things somewhere up in the sky open your mind shit. Records from E de Cologne, Atari Teenage Riot and Sonic Subjunkies deal with problems we all can identify with. THIS IS THE FUTURE, even if the system is trying to fight it down!
5. What cultural and political context do you see for techno?
Gudrun Ensslin from the RAF once said: Everythin is political. When I have sex, it’s politics, too! We don’t understand people in England who listen to german trance (Harthouse, Eye Q. …) cause a lot producers there come from an extreme right wing background.
Alec Empire’s “Hetzjagd auf Nazis!” on (Force Inc.) – the english translation would be something like “Hunt and kill the nazis!” – was the first techno record that took a clear political stand. Then came the DESTROY DEUTSCHLAND EP where producers like Mike Ink, Thomas Heckmann and Ian Pooley made their first step into the right direction.
Since then there were quite a few records like that. Our favorite ones are still E de Cologne’s “RAF” and Atari Teenage Riot’s “Kids are United!”
The government wants us to take drugs like ecstasy and to feel happy at a rave… Never forget that!
Ragga- & rave influences may be here, but almost only as quotes set in a context of hectic fast breaks and deep bass stabs on Hardcore Gal – DHR sets off at the radical fringe of the breakbeat sound & pushes things further to new extremes, turning the “jungle” to a urban battlefield set against a backdrop of dark grey cities that are burning, if not (visibly) now, then soon. Pleasure Is Our Business is open to interpretation but most likely to be the pleasure of burning down government buildings. Destroyer finishes of the EP with equally intense breakbeat mayhem & it’s become clear that this is for rioters, not for ravers.
Here the noises & beats get a touch more experimental, a pretty merciless record even though the ingredients are there to make nice ravey tunes, it’s all a bit too twisted to be comforting. Sexy Intelligence Council is the killer track, In Bed With Marusha more of a pisstake, or rather a comment… cute but in a nightmarish way… if you know what I mean.
Suburban Soundtracks Vol.1
More excellent breakbeat with an experimental edge, voice samples (some in german) & hints of acid thrown in, overall in a menacing tone, a call to revolution from beneath the burnt out suburbs of Djungelstadt.
- The resistance against Trance for bores a la MFS and Superstition and commercial techno by Marusha and Westbam keeps growing: The Mover (PCP) told us about Parties at the anti-fascist centre in Karlsruhe with 300 people, the first two events by DJ Raid and Christoph de Babalon at the Rote…
- Alec sent us this fax as a contribution to the second issue of Alien Underground (1995). Unfortunately it was badly scanned and hard to read in print, and this is the picture file out of the layout, which doesn't improve the readability, but for documentation's sake I think it would…
- Release Date: November-December 1994. 20 pages. News Against the Criminal Justice Bill Alien Underground: Sähkö Recordings Interview Deadly Buda: The Morphing Culture DJ Jackal: Wanna Be a Gangsta? Record Reviews DJ Charts Alien Underground: Digital Hardcore Questionnaire with Alec Empire, plus record reviews by CF Praxis: Nothing Essential Happens in…