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Processing Hardcore: the doom and violence of DHR

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156

Christoph De Babalon

High Life (Theme)

Christoph De Babalon

High Life (Theme)

Harrowing textures from one of DHR's most gifted producers.

156

ALEC EMPIRE

Beating Up The B's

ALEC EMPIRE

Beating Up The B's

Rough, demented edits from 1997's first Limited Editions album.

156

DJ Mowgly

Cook Cook

DJ Mowgly

Cook Cook

Alec Empire with a purist junglist hardcore session under the Dj Mowgly moniker, circa 1994.

156

16-17

Autogeddon

16-17

Autogeddon

Kevin Martin produced distorted digital mayhem from 1998.

156

Christoph De Babalon

Nightlife

Christoph De Babalon

Nightlife

Layered Junglist session with those signature ominous strings.

156

ALEC EMPIRE

22.24

ALEC EMPIRE

22.24

Dusted electronic work, originally recorded for Mille Plateaux.

156

Shizuo

Concrete Jungle

Shizuo

Concrete Jungle

Dense junglist mashup, produced by DJ Scud.

Digitalhardcore
156

Christoph De Babalon

Release

Christoph De Babalon

Release

It's all about those distorted bass stabs...

156

ALEC EMPIRE

Rough It Up

ALEC EMPIRE

Rough It Up

Broken hip hop templates turned into a frenzied Amen freakout.

156

BOMB 20

Just Came Close

BOMB 20

Just Came Close

Demented b-boy mutilation from David Skiba.

156

ALEC EMPIRE

N.Y. Summer 2

ALEC EMPIRE

N.Y. Summer 2

Pure Afx-style melodic workings from 1994's Generation Star Wars.

156

ALEC EMPIRE

The Drum And The Bass

ALEC EMPIRE

The Drum And The Bass

Does what it says on the tin...

156

Shizuo

F*ck Step 3

Shizuo

F*ck Step 3

Another DHR coined genre tag that never quite caught on...

156

ALEC EMPIRE

13465

ALEC EMPIRE

13465

Symphonic closer, again circa 1994.

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This time on 14tracks:

“Processing Hardcore: the doom and violence of DHR”

Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore imprint was, for a short time, the definitive 'Berlin' label back in the mid-late 90's. Harnessing the cultural freedom that washed into the city after the collapse of the Berlin wall, the label espoused an anti-establishment musical and political agenda that made use of Junglist Hardcore templates squeezed and stretched into an aggressive and processed entity with an inbuilt punk attitude. Atari Teenage Riot, Alec Empire's digital punk outfit, was the definitive DHR band, even finding moderate commercial success stateside, but the label's real legacy can be found elsewhere. Alec Empire's productions for Force Inc and Mille Plateaux, as well as his solo productions for his own label, displayed a level of sonic innovation that belied much of the lo-fi aesthetics that appealed to him so much in later years, while cohorts such as Christoph De Babalon offset sonic brutality against a much more detailed production style. In later years DHR was sidelined by a seemingly unstoppable cavalcade of new genres and producers, but in hindsight we reckon there's a real wealth of dark and crazed material in these archives ripe for re-discovery a good decade later. This 14 track selection offers a very particular overview of what we liked so much about the label, ranging from dense and harrowing soundscapes, to Aphex Twin style melodic ditties to wildly aggressive amen-break treatments that to this day sound as visceral and untamed as anything we've heard since or will likely hear again...

Take part! Leave a comment!

What do you think of this selection?
Any suggestions?
All comments are warmly welcomed.






On 01 Jul 09:56 sam hildon said:

“Alec Empire”

Always thought he was underrated, but then i suppose he lost it at some point. Spot on selection - especially the Christoph De Babalon tracks which I didn't know. Biggups.

On 01 Jul 10:02 ed benjamin said:

“seconded”

that Dj Mowgli track is rude.

On 01 Jul 10:11 Dub Defector said:

“Ah yes....”

I'd forgotten about Mr Empire's crazed output.. he does seem to have been overlooked the last 10 years or so.. (that long?).. very nice to be reminded of DHR.. thanks guys

On 01 Jul 10:16 edwin harrwich said:

“The Bug”

didnt realise he was involved, that 16-17 track is nuts. Love it.

On 01 Jul 10:34 simon rose said:

“jesus..”

that first track is amazing.

On 01 Jul 10:55 roger wiley said:

“Mowgli”

have looked for this track for time. didnt realise it was Alec empire, big Hardcore tune back in the day.

On 01 Jul 11:48 Joseph Whittle said:

“Bugged”

yeah, the Bug's old output is ace, really prefer it to the new stuff. Check out Tapping The Conversation and his stuff on Fatcat. Eye-wateringly heavy.

On 01 Jul 18:57 Beep Geek said:

“Awesome”

what more can i say!

On 05 Jul 09:31 Tom said:

Nice selection! Shame you didn't include 'The Peak' though...

On 19 Jul 14:23 Chaz said:

“More....”

I'm surprised Lolita Storm or Ec8tor were not represented. For those who don't know, check those groups out! Great selection though.

On 27 Jul 02:14 Zuzz said:
http://www.zuzz.us

“Alec Empire”

Alec Empire is always sonically impressive.

On 05 Aug 05:35 CarlosR said:
http://twitter.com/soundsinsilence

“Not for the weak...”

I can't quite remember when I discovered the DHR label. It was probably right along with a lot of the LA hardcore I was listening to in the late 90s. Everything Alec Empire touched seemed to breathe angst and terror. Amazing sounds. Dig up Shizuo's track 'Sweat'. Good lord that's some 8-bit terror. Nice selection overall!

On 12 Aug 10:14 Will E said:
http://enlafrontera.blogspot.com/

“No Atari Teenage Riot”

It has to be a joke. No ATR, no EC8OR, way to much my dear Christoph...

Oh! By the way, Low On Ice appeared in Mille Plateaux, not on DHR

On 12 Aug 10:28 14Tracks Boomkat said:
http://14tracks.com

“Re: No Atari Teenage Riot”

Hi Will. We're not really interested in ATR or Ec8or. This isnt meant to be a definitive list, but rather a narrow focus on those aspects of the label that we're into, the sonic niche alluded to in the title and the intro text. We acknowledge ATR's commerical impact on the label in the text, but don't feel that as a band they really left any kind of legacy. Also, the text above for "22.24" cites Low on Ice as originally having been released on Mille Plateaux, later on reissued by DHR's offshoot label Geist.