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Rabbit Junk Rabbit Junk Review

General Information:

Artist: Rabbit Junk
Album: Rabbit Junk
Genre(s): Digital Hardcore
Subgenres(s): N/A
Released: 2004
Length: 51 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Rabbitjunk.com (Original release) / Full Effect Records (Rerelease)

Track List:

01. Orange Laces
02. Plastical
03. Not Owned
04. Washout
05. I Vote Bolshevik Lite
06. Punkass
07. Walking on the Moon (The Police Cover)
08. Fingaprints
09. Inside My House
10. ISO vs Life
11. I Vote Bolshevik Lite (Cyanotic Remix) / You Deserve to Die (Hidden Track)

Rabbit Junk Rabbit Junk Cover

Rabbit Junk Rabbit Junk Cover

Rabbit Junk Rabbit Junk Review

Rabbit Junk is the debut album and name of the American digital hardcore solo act created by JP Anderson. Fusing hardcore punk with elements of drum and bass, hip hop and other electronic influences it marks a significant departure from The Shizit, an electronic duo composed of JP Anderson and Brian Shrader between 1999 and 2002.

While they focused on a drum and bass/gabber/hardcore techno fusion with some punk rock influences the three year gap between The Shizit’s last album and Rabbit Junk’s first gives the impression that a musical transformation happened for JP Anderson outside the studio. As such it was never recorded so the links connecting the bands and JP Anderson’s new artistic vision are thin, especially when considering how productive The Shizit were in releasing three albums in their short-lived career. This would have probably been a surprise for longstanding fans even though it should be noted that the high energy performance and aggression has not dissipated.

Right out of the gate the listener is greeted with a heavily distorted guitar that builds with rock drumming and synthesisers before giving way a frenzied combination of drum and bass beats and blown out guitar noise with some synthesisers weaving their way into the mix for a clearer sense of melody. Other songs such as Plastical, Punkass, Fingaprints and ISO Vs Life all contain some elements of hip hop ranging from turntablism, rapped vocals (on ISO Vs Life) and samples of NWA on Punkass to further blur the lines between genres. Unlike most bands Rabbit Junk manage to do this without really stepping into nu metal territory as many rock-orientated bands do when flirting with hip hop. On Fingaprints we hear all of the elements coming together at their best from the looped and distorted vocal frenzies interlaced with turntable scratches right thought to the blown-out guitars and sheer intensity that it results in. The title of the song relates to the lyrics found in the extended mid-song interlude that gives you room to breathe with JD Anderson lamenting that “my hands are black from the matches in my pocket/so far, I’ve only burnt myself.”

Unexpectedly there is a cover of the reggae song Walking on the Moon by The Police, originally released in 1979, which seems like an unusual choice given how it contrasts so much with Rabbit Junk’s aggressive genre mashup. With 25 years between their releases and almost as many genres apart it doesn’t help make sense of the choice initially. Having said this, JP Anderson turns the song into something of his own which works well for the Rabbit Junk sound. Some parts of the cover are virtually unrecognisable from the original, such as the chant accompanied by ambient sound effects at the beginning before using turntables and the bass guitar to give the song momentum. The tempo is a bit faster than the original version so it lacks the same relaxed pace and atmosphere which is then thrown out the window when it turns in to a punk rock song for the chorus.

The rerelease of Rabbit Junk has two songs on the final track, the first being a remix of I Vote Bolshevik Lite by industrial metal band Cyanotic and the second is a hidden song called You Deserve to Die which tagged on the end of the track. It is a live acoustic song with delightfully dark and sarcastic lyrics dealing with a revenge murder which the crowd gleefully sing along to, giving it an unintentionally surreal twist.

Through Rabbit Junk JP Anderson proudly carries the digital hardcore banner while adding his own flair the broad mix without strict regard for genre conventions. This makes the album versatile and uncompromising in a way that most others simply cannot be so for anyone that enjoys music that blurs genre lines then Rabbit Junk should be on their list.

Performers:

JP Anderson: Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, programming, song-writing, lyrics
Jennifer “Sum Grrl” Bernert: Backing vocals

External Links:

Rabbit Junk Homepage
Rabbit Junk on Wikipedia
Rabbit Junk (album) on Wikipedia

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The Mad Capsule Markets Osc-Dis Review

General Information:

Artist: The Mad Capsule Markets
Album: Osc-Dis
Genre(s): Digital Hardcore
Subgenres(s): N/A
Released: 1999 (Japan), 2001 (UK and USA)
Length: 41 minutes
Language(s): English, Japanese
Label(s): Victor, Invitation, (Japan) / PalmRyko, Palm Entertainment (US/UK)

Track List:

01. Tribe
02. Out/Definition
03. Square Wave (Pulse)
04. Multiples
05. Mob Track
06. All the Time in Sunny Beach
07. Island
08. Restart!
09. Jag
10. Step into Yourself
11. Good Girl
12. Midi Surf

The Mad Capsule Markets Osc-Dis Cover

The Mad Capsule Markets Osc-Dis Cover

The Mad Capsule Markets Osc-Dis Review

Osc-Dis (shorthand for Oscillator in Distortion) is the 9th studio album by Japanese digital hardcore band The Mad Capsule Markets, who meld drum machine loops and samples with live percussion and their hardcore punk foundation. Not content with this combination already creating as much sonic mayhem as possible, all of the vocals are heavily distorted to the point where you often can’t tell where the English begins and the Japanese ends. However, this isn’t necessarily a negative because the lyric delivered in English haven’t translated that well so this mask of distortion plays right into their aesthetic and ultimately their advantage. Whether this is by design or sheer coincidence will never be truly be determined.

From the nu metal inspired Tribe to the gabber fuelled Restart! or drum and bass infused hardcore punk anthem Square Wave (Pulse), which is arguably their most well-known song in the Western world after being featured in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 video game, this proves that The Mad Capsule Markets influences are many and are still able to find a cohesive vision through all of genre mixing. The only time that the band properly slows down and takes things in the opposite directions is on the 10th song, Step into Yourself, which has the guitars playing more like a wall of static rather than anything with a discernible melody and features some quasi-rapped vocals, the monotonous chant of “step into yourself” and some more choppy drum machine loops that certainly creates a unique song although it doesn’t have the same appeal as many of the others.

With both English and Japanese lyrics clashing together alongside hardcore punk and an assortment of sounds from electronic music genres, Osc-Dis is where worlds collide in an undignified yet entirely gripping fashion.

Performers:

Takeshi Ueda: Vocals, Bass, Programming
Motokatsu: Drums, Programming
Toruxx: Guitar, Programming
Kyono: Vocals

Additional Performers:

Hirosuke, Yamada and Katsya: Additional vocals

External Links:

The Mad Capsule Markets on Wikipedia
Osc-Dis on Wikipedia

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Atari Teenage Riot Is This Hyperreal Review

Artist: Atari Teenage Riot
Album: Is This Hyperreal?
Genre(s): Electronic, Rock
Subgenres(s): Digital Hardcore
Released: 2011
Length: 43 minutes
Language(s): English, German
Label(s): Digital Hardcore Recordings, Dim Mak Records

Track List:

01. Activate
02. Blood in My Eyes
03. Black Flags
04. Is This Hyperreal?
05. Codebreaker (feat. Steve Aoki)
06. Shadow Identity
07. Rearrange Your Synapses
08. Digital Decay
09. The Only Slight Glimmer of Hope
10. Collapse of History

Atari Teenage Riot Is This Hyperreal Cover

Atari Teenage Riot Is This Hyperreal Review

Is This Hyperreal is Atari Teenage Riot’s first album after a decade long hiatus and continues in the exact same fashion as they left off; setting out to create a furious wall of oppressive noise that is achieved by melding hardcore punk, techno and breakcore while covering it in a blanket of distortion just in case there was a chance that some part of the album could be considered an easy listening experience.

Male and female vocal duties are shared between digital hardcore pioneer Alec Empire and newcomer Nic Endo respectively, although Endo does become the primary voice on the album as it progresses. Not surprisingly, the vocals are also drenched in distortion whereas the lyrics are unfortunately reduced to blathering repetitive, half-baked pseudo-political rhetoric and social commentaries without any deep meaning or discernible thought process behind them.

Shadow Identity features one of the few relaxed moments on the album and has softly sung passage performed by Endo towards the end. It breaks up the pace nicely before Rearrange Your Synapses interjects itself with Alec Empire spouting out angry ramblings in the style of a street protester bellowing into a megaphone. This happens just before the song turns into something at could only be described as the soundtrack to a panic attack. It features a few illeisms that are present in Black Flags and the title track as well.

Atari Teenage Riot manages to mix several genres together in a cohesive and exciting manner but let themselves down with poorly thought out lyrics that are often pushed to the front of each song. They do not offer any real insight or solutions to the problems addressed which become tiresome quickly. If this was an instrumental album then it would most likely be viewed in a completely different light.

Atari Teenage Riot Homepage (contains flashing lights)
Atari Teenage Riot on Wikipedia | Is This Hyperreal? on Wikipedia
Atari Teenage Riot on Discogs | Is This Hyperreal? on Discogs