There was only ever really one option for the Slaylist this week – a full-on, flat-out, brain-pummeling Slaylist torn straight out the Digital Hardcore Recordings back catalogue. We’ve got some classic ATR, some hidden gems from the label vaults, all wrapped up with healthy amount of good old fucked-up noise.
Alec Empire was – and is – the lynchpin of Atari Teenage Riot. Even after the band’s implosion around the turn of the millenium, Empire’s songwriting continued the band’s white-noise assault with the nihilistic and violent Intelligence and Sacrifice solo-album, but like his frequent co-conspirator, Nic Endo, Digital Hardcore is not the be-all and end-all of Empire’s talents. His next two solo albums showcased two completely different forms of electronic savagery – first came the digi-punk riffery of Futurist, and then the cleaner, razorblade electro of The Golden Foretaste of Heaven.
The only person that knows what the next Alec Empire project will sound like is, well, AlecEmpire. And it’s because of that musical unpredictability, that of all the members of ATR, it’s Empire’s top five Atari Teenage Riot tracks that we were most intrigued to finally discover.
Rarely giving interviews, to many fans of ATR, Nic Endo personifies the wordless, noise fury present in both Alec Empire’s solo work and the latter part of Atari Teenage Riot’s existence – after all, when Endo joined ATR in 1997, it marked a turning point in the band’s career; their subsequent (and final) studio album 60 Second Wipeout, took on a harsher, more power-noise feel than anything the band had put out previously.
But if you go listen to Endo’s 2001 solo record, Cold Metal Perfection, you’ll understand that there’s far more to Nic Endo’s musical horizons than just the woman you’ve seen pushing synths and sequencers past their breaking point at ATR/Alec Empire live shows. With that in mind, we were more than a little intrigued to see which tracks she would nominate as her favourites from the ATR back catalogue…
In order to mark the return – albeit at this point temporary return – of Atari Teenage Riot, Alec Empire, Nic Endo, CX KiDTRONiK and Hanin Elias decided they needed to release. While Hanin Elias’ vocals ended up not making the final track (“she was disappointed by the way the vocals came out”, says Empire of the recording), the end result sounds like classic ATR, with a furious 2010 twist.
This free download has been around for a few weeks now, but since this is Atari Teenage Riot Takeover Week here at Thrash Hits, we figured that we ought to throw it out there one last time for anyone that hasn’t downloaded it yet. Even if you’re part of the “DAT’S NOT METULZ!” internet chorus that roams the metal blogosphere, then give it a listen anyway. You might be surprised – you might even like it.
Whether or not ‘Activate’ (and the official remix of ‘Digital Hardcore’ by The Builder) remain the only new recorded ATR material to come out of this reunion remains to be seen. In an interview we’ll be running later this week, we talked extensively with Alec Empire about both the “lost” ATR recordings that remained incomplete following the death of Carl Crack, and the prospect of new music being created by the reformation line-up. You’ll just have to wait till the end of the week to find out more….
The last time Alec Empire toured the UK, we found ourselves at the merch stand, handing over four, crisp £10 notes for a big shiny bag emblazoned with the ATR logo. But you know what? It was worth every bloody penny. Because inside said bag was a DVD, a t-shirt, a CD, and whole load of other ATR merch besides. That, my friends, is called “value for money”.
Still, some of you probably spent far too much money at the bar during that tour, and couldn’t stretch to buying a “boxset” (bag-set?) of your own, which is why you’ll be glad to hear we’ve got a pair of sets to give away to two lucky readers.
We’ve all got our own opinions over which Atari Teenage Riot tracks are the best – Hell, on Alec Empire’s recent Past.Present.Future tour, the main topics of conversation throughout the crowd was over which tracks they thought he would dig out later that night. With the reunion tour kicking off next week, we decided it was time to find out what the band’s favourite ATR tracks were – if only to see if we can’t second guess what they’ll be playing live this time around.
And who better to start us off than the new boy in ATR – CX KiDTRONiK.
We’ve made no secret that some of us here at Thrash Hits are big Atari Teenage Riot fans – you only have to look at the coverage we’ve given to Alec Empire’s solo work to see that (and we say again – a big “fuck you” to anyone that thinks ATR or Alec Empire aren’t punk rock enough for a site like ours). So when rumours that the highly-influential noise-machine was thinking of reforming for a handful of live shows started to become solid fact, we got on the case.
We didn’t just nose around for an interview, or anything like that though. We didn’t just cosy up a PR for a guestlist pass of two. Oh no. We’ve flat out gone and handed the control of Thrash Hits over to Atari Teenage Riot for the next seven days, to pretty much run as they please