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Digital Hard Boys by Jayson

So like, yeah.

Here is something that I just realized this morning. I was riding the stationary bike, because really I’m falling apart here, I need to at least be able to front that I’m in decent shape. Unlike a lot of folks, I don’t have a Gutteral Slaming Brutality Workout playlist, I just let everything on my player run on random. Among the things I got this morning was this:

Pretty decent track. Beasties back when they were still pretty good. I was stunned though. Old heads may remember Alec Empire’s label Digital Hardcore and his band Atari Teenage Riot from the mid-90’s. Alec also had like 500 other bands on DHC that basically co-oped the sound.

Except like, I never realized this one Beastie Boys track is like, the entire DHC sound:

Just like, take the band and replace it with a tape loop, throw in Hannin Elias sceaming and bake. Seriously, this all basically sounds like that one song, not like Ice Ice Baby/Under Pressure close, but still really close. Am I full of shit or on to something here?

– Jayson


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Wow. They basically took that beasties track, added a girl, and either the standard 909 kick/snare combo (as in the second clip) or an apache break chopped to death (as in the second clip).

I came in a bit later in their career, but that apache break + sample + girl mix is the “unique” thing I associate with the DHC stuff, although there’s sort of an earlier pattern. Like here’s basically the beastie boys track, but with a swiped Prodigy beat:

Later they also tended to just swipe whatever evil sound effect was popular on the dark techstep drumnbass scene at the moment and lay that in, they started chopping and crunching up metal riffs, and they went for the full apache beatfuck. Alec also discovered the distortion filter at some point. This is the classic ATR track I remember:

I ran a little electronic music online store for a while around 1999 and it was like every week there were another three DHC records. It was almost comforting hearing slight variations on their theme every week. There was about a month lag between something coming out in the drum’n’bass community, and DHC doing it with the girl, more distortion, and that mangled apache break.

Comment by ymatt

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