- Brotherhood of the Bomb - ole-482 - 2001-09-11
Brotherhood of the Bomb
Techno Animal formed in 1990. A mechanoid manifestation of Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin’s increasing appetite for studio explorations, the name was a practical abbreviation addressing the concept of a technological animal.
The pair met when Martin booked Godflesh’s first-ever show. They shared the same taste for musical intensity and general extremity, and after various God and Godflesh live/tour convergences, Martin invited Broadrick to appear on The Pathological Compilation, produce God’s first recording "Dum Dum Slug" and co-produce the group’s first single "Breach Birth". Both were increasingly thriving on a musical diet of contemporary classical, dub, obscure soundtracks and various electro-acoustic oddities, in addition to their blatant lust for punk-driven noise in all its agitational forms. Realizing neither could fully incorporate such influences into their day jobs, due to the inflexible demands of the Metal fraternity in the case of Godflesh and the practical problems recording God’s big band, they began electronic experiments as Techno Animal.
Increasingly immersed in the magical potential of the soundlab’s capabilities and its alchemical transformations, the debut album Ghosts was a non-conformist response to the harder, faster, louder "arsequake" fraternity. It was an LP which acknowledged the creative tension of exploring noise’s polar opposite, the deafening sound of (near) silence. Written at a time when samplers had finally become affordable, but based on rudimentary CD loop experiments, T.A. had been seduced by the disorientating language of delays, reverberations, phasers and flangers. Their rejection of compromise and freedom from structural/promotional considerations also intensified the unorthodox output. Released on Martin’s Pathological label, the album has been subsequently bizarrely cited by Kid 606 as a formulative influence on his splatter punk recordings.
Ghosts was not followed up until 1995, by the schizophrenic sound of the twin discs of Re-Entry (Virgin). Respectively titled "Dream Machinery" and "Heavy Lids", the former was fuelled by the bastardization of club culture, the latter an attempted translation of fictitious film scores. Inviting esteemed guest Jon Hassell to contribute trumpet parts added to the sense of otherworldliness.
1995’s Tribal Gathering festival proved to be a major influence on Babylon Seeker. Jeff Mills’s electronic avalanche, the magnetic minimalism of Plastikman (Ritchie Hawtin) and the total madness of the Jungle tent indelibly marked T.A. and propelled them ever closer to club culture’s hyperactive frenzy. They felt they’d found their target, yet it was the rhythmic thrust of hip hop that was the basis for their dub-heavy bodybeats.
On hearing the mutant hip hop on the first volume of Electric Ladyland, and noting Force Inc’s Achim Szepanski’s eclectic tastes in music and literature, T.A. felt they found a like-minded spirit. After contributing to several volumes of Force Inc/Mille Plateaux’s Electric Ladyland series, T.A. were invited to join the Mille Plateaux tour of Europe in Winter 1997, alongside Alec Empire, Porter Ricks, DJ Spooky and DJ Rush. 1997’s Techno Animal Vs. Reality was a soundclash/remix album featuring Ui, Tortoise, Porter Ricks, and Alec Empire, whose admiration of T.A.’s headfuck 4/4 guise as The Sidewinder resulted in the joint offering Curse Of The Golden Empire on Alec’s Digital Hardcore label.
The album’s blueprint was recorded during the tour’s down time, but after witnessing T.A’s fever for blasting raw freestyle hip hop in the van, Empire suggested the 4/4 rhythm parts be replaced by funkier overdriven breakbeats. He also had T.A. warp out his rhythm tracks and repeat the maniacal intensity of The Sidewinder’s deconstructional chaos. Significantly, by teaming up with Anti Pop’s Beans, it was the first time they’d worked with rappers since God worked with New Kingdom and Gunshot, or Godflesh with Sensational on Pain Killer’s Buried Dreams.
In 1998 T.A. decided to compile their singles and compilation tracks alongside unreleased remixes and experimental segues as an infernal imaginary FM wavelength show called Radio Hades. It was the during this period that Techno Animal established a growing rep as uncompromisingly creative remixers, scrambling tracks by Iggy Pop & William Burroughs, Stina Nordenstam, Einsturzende Neubauten, Ex Herbie Hancock Jazz fiends Pat Gleeson & Bennie Maupin, The Rootsman, Jon Spencer1s Blues Explosion, DJ Vadim, Dälek, and 2nd Gen.
In 1999 T.A. approached close comrade Thomas Köner (Porter Ricks), with a view to extend the dub-hop promise of "Demonoid," maybe the most successful collaboration on Techno Animal Vs. Reality. Having completed the long playing tradeoff with Porter Ricks for Symbiotics, Techno Animal embarked upon a tour of Europe, supported by heavyweight allies, Wordsound’s Spectre and Sensational.
After prolonged negotiations, Techno Animal have signed a worldwide deal with Matador. As a precursor to the new T.A. album (tentatively entitled The Brotherhood of the Bomb), Matador released the Dälek soundclash single, "Megaton" b/w "Classical Homicide" as part of their Hip Hop 12" Series late last year, and release the "Dad Man’s Curse" 12"/CD5 this spring. Techno Animal are rapidly compensating for the slow start to the Y2K.
First Ever US Dates
The duo of Kevin Martin and Justin Broadrick, aka Techno Animal, are getting ready for T.A.’s first ever US tour for early next month. Headlining these dates will be the Def Jux crew consisting of El-P, Aesop Rock, Cannibal Ox and Mr. Lif. Techno Animal will be hitting the following cities and venues:
August 8 - Frying Pan, NYC
Tickets on sale this weekend at Other Music and Fat Beats — Doors at 8:30p / $10 / 21+
August 9 - St. Andrews Hall, Detroit
August 10 - Subterranean, Chicago
August 13 - Knitting Factory, Los Angeles
August 15 - Mom’s Cookie Factory, Oakland, CA
It is probable that Techno Animal will be joined onstage by some of the MC’s who appear on the forthcoming ’The Brotherhood Of The Bomb’ double LP/CD, but that will vary from town to town. Techno Animal just made a pair of London appearances this past week, a headline date with Newark collaborators dalek, and last night, a show in support of the Mike Patton/Buzz Osbourne/Dave Lombardo supergroup Fantomas.
A promo only 12" of “We Can Build You” (featuring El-P and Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox) will be serviced to our favorite tastemakers next month; the b-side is a remix of the same track, as provided by Mr. Oizo.
A big chunk of the Matador roster is traveling to sunny Barcelona this weekend as the label prepares for a big night Saturday the 16th, when Techno Animal, Lesser, Sad Rockets, Matmos, Khan (with Julee Cruise) and Twist of Mount Florida are all featured performers. There’s tons of other stuff happening at Sonar that weekend including performances from Sonic Youth, Sigur Ros, KK Null, Terry Riley, Richie Hawtin and more. For more information,http://www.sonar.ya.com
The waiting isn’t quite over (but we’re getting there)
“Deadman’s Curse,” the first single (12"/CD) from the eons-in-the-offing Techno Animal album Brotherhood Of The Bomb is coming in May. The resulting album will include contributions from a guest MC’s including Divine Styler, Rubber Room, dalek, Anti Pop Consortium and other heavyweight talent. Get ready (or else).
dälek — All over the map
With Matador’s November release of the new Techno Animal/dalek 12", “Megaton” b/w “Classical Homicide” (Single Of The Week, according to the world’s biggest Belle & Sebastian fan, Steven Wells), the 2 groups are preparing for a European tour later this month. In addition, dalek are in heavy demand...
—a remix of the new 2nd Gen single, “And/Or” by Techno Animal featuring dalek will be available on Novamute Recordings in early 2001.
The first Matador release from Techno Animal will be a split single with Newark, NJ’s dälek, “Megaton” (T.A.) b/w “Classical Homicide” (dälek), coming on November 14. Although this single is part of our ongoing Hip Hop 12" Series, you could say that Techno Animal & dälek are hip hop much the way the neutron bomb was a big firecracker. This is hip hop... and everything else that matters. Both groups will commemorate the release of this single with an October/November 2000 tour of Germany and Switzerland (please check our tour dates section). Techno Animal are currently working on their Matador full- length debut, ‘Brotherhood Of The Bomb.’ For more in-depth info on Techno Animal, have a look at their new site.
New material this fall and in 2001.
Say what you will about free agency, but from a record label perspective, it’s really great knowing we can reward our loyal season ticket holders with the occasional high-profile signing. And don’t worry, we’ll get to one of those sooner or later. Until then, we are getting ready for a multitude of new releases from Techno Animal, the UK duo of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh) and Kevin Martin (God). On the heels of their recent split LP/CD Symbiotics with Porter Ricks (Mille Plateaux), a plethora of releases for labels such as Digital Hardcore, Grand Royal and Force Inc., and recent remixes for JSBX, 2nd Gen and others, Techno Animal will have a split 12" later this year with Newark, NJ’s Dalek, followed by new singles and a resulting full-length Matador album in 2001. Without wanting to tip anyone’s hand too far in advance, we can tell you that the new Techno Animal material is headed in a more deliberate hip hop infused direction, and collaborations with a varied cast of MC’s are planned. More news to come.