Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot interviews Anonymous @OpBlitzkrieg in Vice Magazine #nazileaks #nazihunt
Vice published an edited version of the interview - please read the full un-edited version of the interview here as it gives more in depth view on what the OP Blitzkrieg activists are really about:
(make sure to follow their twitter account https://twitter.com/OpBlitzkrieg )
Alec Empire interviews Anonymous OP Blitzkrieg/ Nazileaks
1) Thanks for doing this interview! You are well known for taking down websites and online stores run by Neo Nazis groups.
Could you give us an idea of how many of these sites you managed to successfully attack and sabotage so far?
To be frankly we can’t say. There were so many sites besides the FuckNaziFriday-leaks we just were having some fun with without
making it public that we have never counted.
2) When I saw a lot of your actions posted on twitter I realized once again how many Neo Nazi websites are out there and the
groups behind them manage to get away with it, often even protected by the law.
Do you feel that you had to take action, especially in a time when Neo Nazis seem to be able to recruit more and more people? Do
you believe that the legal system in Germany fails to stop these groups from growing?
It is not only the duty of the legal system to stop these groups, it is much more the callenge for the society to deal with this
shit and to prevent these groups from becoming more influent. The activities and the crude and absurd thoughts of the neo nazis
must be exposed much more to show what bullshit is going on there. In our opinion it is a main goal to drag the nazi scene out of
their conspiracy into public attention. Part of this is to leak as many names as possible of supporters and sympathizers to show
them that the public takes note of their activities.
3) There had been some criticism from some people out there who feel that it’s wrong to ‘censor’ Neo Nazis and our society should
tolerate them. I heard this argument many times in my life - especially from those who are lethargic and never take any action.
My experience with Neo Nazis was always that you deal with extremely dangerous people who basically justify killings of whole
peoples and using words like ‘tolerance’ or ‘freedom of speech’ is completely absurd because there is no arguing when you are
confronted with Neo Nazis.
Why do you focus on these groups so much? Why do you think it is important to show in the ‘virtual’ world that there are people
like yourself out there who will fight them?
Well, may sound surprisingly, but at least we do not support censorship as we stand for freedom of speech, unless we are faced
with sick and dangerous ideologies. Once you start censoring, you will be censored soon, too.
The reason why we focus on these groups is that we see us politically just diametral to them. They stand for all we strictly
refuse, including oppression of minorities, censorship and all this damn shitty stuff. And of course it is important to show
others that and how they can fight groups like nazies. And that it is fun, too! When we startet playing around with the nazi
sites we were pretty amazed and amused about their stupid and completely incompetent setup.
4) Can you tell us about Nazileaks and why do you think it is so important to dismantle those people in the background who fund
these Neo Nazi organizations? Can you name some you were able to make public?
Nazileaks initially is meant as a general collection of leaks concerning nazis and nazi related sites, where our as well as third
party leaks can be found. Some are already older, some are really fresh. We want to point out that we do not intend to claim all
that leaks to us.
First of all nazileaks shall inform all whom are interested in and give a little view behind the structures. It is sometimes
quite funny to search names and see where else they could be found in the databases. Furthermore it is addressed to the nazis to
show that dumb asses that conspiracy is nothing but a wet dream as long as some are behind them. And we will keep on going after
5) I have been talking a lot with Anonymous activists from all over the world. And whenever I speak to people who don’t know much
about the topic I always get this typical ‘Why are they anonymous? What do they have to hide?’ thing. I think your actions are
the perfect example why it is so important to allow people to protect their identity online. One big problem that Anti Fascist
groups had over the past decades was the constant threatening and bullying by Neo Nazis. When one speaks out against them in
certain areas in Germany for example, one becomes a victim of violence and worse.
What is your opinion on anonymity? Could you imagine to do the same activism without it?
Shurely not, that would be nothing else but kamikaze. Hiding our identity is essential for our activities, as well as it is for
others who do antifascistic work.
But aside that anonymity will become more and more important since the governments intend to observe their citizens with more and
more vicious tricks. Learning and experiencing anonymity makes people be prepared for some further approaches of observation and
may enable them to develop anonymisation techniques which hopefully are always a little bit ahead of the governmental effords.
From our point of view anonymity does not effect Anonymous in a negative way. Of course this means little more trolling and so,
but at least the people learn how to deal with it and how to prepare to prevent that. And why shouldn’t they be anonymous? Would
real names be more helpful? For what?
6) Do you see a danger that in our time Neo Nazi ideology could become so popular, that it will accepted by the political
mainstream? Do you find that often new ideas that have their roots in Nazi theories seem to gain popularity but not enough people
recognize them as such?
Why is it important to keep fighting those groups, political parties and organizations?
We think that its not the point to just fight those groups. Violence leads into violence, but doesn’t solve anything at the end.
More important is to prevent those people from becoming that stupid minded. The society and mainly the politicans are much in
demand not to always neglect these problems. But still they don’t want to see whats going on, refusing developing strategies and
campaigns to keep peolpe away from this nazi crap. *This* inactivity and unawareness should be fought.
7) It was awesome when you put the Atari Teenage Riot / Anonymous video for ‘the song Black Flags’ up on various Neo Nazi
websites. When we saw this on Twitter we posted it to our fan base and everybody was like “YES!” - We found that the positive
effect of such actions was understood and supported right away by everyone around us. Do you think music plays a role in the
fight against Nazis? What does music do for you and your activism? Do you think it can educate and mobilize people who would have
not thought about those topics before?
Hahaha, the pleasure was ours to have famous ATR playing on the fucking Nazi sites! Music is a good medium to reach many people
and to spread the message. But at least most people hear that kind of music what they already tend to, so it might be not easy to
reach and educate those who prefer different style.
8) For us it was extremely important to keep the song free for activists to use in their video clips or any other actions. To me
you guys using the song for this purpose was exactly why I explained my team a few months earlier why we have to be more open
about copyright for example.
Sometimes I imagine with the rest of the band if the various Anonymous activists would had to ask for ‘legal’ permission
beforehand - it would have been impossible. I often use this as an example when I speak to other artists how important it is that
artists control their own music and not give it away in the hands of music industry bosses who will control it to such extend
that the music can’t spread anymore. Most music industry channels are completely against music with a political message because
they fear it might offend their customers, listeners or viewers. Then there are the types who simply disagree of course. Do you
think the internet , a free internet, is vital also for musicians to spread music that does not go conform with what the music
industry requires? Isn’t it more important to keep those doors open instead of focussing too much on ‘music piracy’? This is such
a critical time and it looks like the authorities will really clamp down on internet freedoms now. Most musicians don’t seem to
understand why it is so important also for them to not let these new laws pass. What do you think?
9) Do you listen to music when you use your computer for activism? Or do you need absolute silence? Or do you become one with the
machine so that the outside world, even the room you’re in, doesn’t exist anymore?
For some hacking-activities we need silence. To get the victims databases isnt a one-click-procedure, its a work over days or
weeks. the release of the data eg on FuckNaziFridays with defaces on the victims servers mostly is an event with some beer and
10) Will the battle ever be one? I always find it very strange that now that we seem to connect more and more with so many people
in the world through technology, Neo Nazis use pretty much the same technology but never seem to get a clue that the idea of
white supremacy has been proven wrong decades ago by science. In the information age…what is it these people don’t understand?
It’s a main part of the nature of humans that they only understand/see what they want. No technology is able to successfully
change this matter. And at least we are quite happy about it, because this results in opinions (which are subjective by nature),
even if not all meet our point of view. So what, we have to deal with it, it is the quintessence of plurarity and democracy. And
this is what we finally stand for.
9:53 pm • 18 July 2012 • 24 notes
Anonymous / Dazed & Confused/ Dazed Digital / Alec Empire / Atari Teenage Riot Twitter Dialogue/Debate
(please note: twitter account is @An0n_DAZED_atrD ) From the team at Dazed “We’ve just published the article on Dazed Digital and working on a new design asset now. http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/13583/1/hacked-alec-empire-interviews-anonyops To sum up: - Happening all day on Tuesday the 19th - We’re doing a all-dayer hacked themed takeover on Dazed Social Media - Throughout the day Dazed discusses all things digital (well, sort of) with @ATR_official and @An0n_DAZED_atrD - Article on Dazed Digital live now - Inclusion in weekly newsletter on Tuesday - We’ll tweet / FB / Tumblr - We will also start to ask our audience for some questions from today and pick the best, if you guys could do the same that would be great. We should pick at least 5 key questions and let people engage / debate from there. - On Tuesday throughout the day we will post the questions and start the conversation with you guys with a mention. @ATR_official and @An0n_DAZED_atrD can answer and people who are following the 3 accounts can start debating if they want to. We will not conduct a proper conversation from the Dazed twitter account, we want to avoid clutter feed. - We will also have a hashtag #hacked TBC - We wand to publish a round up the next day on Dazed Digital and create a Storify story. Would this work for you? We can plan some Q&As beforehand so no need for you guys to be glued to Twitter all day if that is easier. Or we agree on specific times. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for your patience, let’s make this a BIG success.”
6:59 pm • 16 June 2012 • 4 notes
Atari Teenage Riot / Anonymous / Sony Vita advert in the USA
My name is Alec Empire and I am from Atari Teenage Riot.
Some might think it was an evil capitalist greed thing,
others will argue it was some Jesus Christ sacrifice thing,
but let’s not overcomplicate this…
I did it only for my own amusement!
If you are new to my music or me as a person you might not know that I had some beef
with Sony in the year 1999 over a camcorder advert in South East Asia.
(a track of mine was basically used against my permission)
I felt used, exploited, ripped off…everything that a sensitive artist like myself would feel
in that situation… haha (I hope you know I am kidding here….but I have to admit it hurt a little)
if you ever tried to fight a corporation like this in court AND in another country,
let me tell you…you want to do other stuff with that time and money…
Even though the thing got settled in court kind of, I never felt they paid what they owed.
It’s the old question that is being asked again and again:
What’s a song worth? When does copyright start, when does it end?
Around the same time I came to the conclusion that men with guns
employed by the government can’t and won’t protect me from
situations like this in the future.
So when the request for the Sony Vita ad landed on my lap,
I put ‘Black Flags’ into it…it was all hectic and they okayed it.
We needed to tie up a few lose ends on this, until it became unstoppable,
that’s why we had to wait to reveal that
Atari Teenage Riot donate their $$$ to http://freeanons.org/
I cross checked they can’t stop the track from appearing in the OWS online clips of
ATR/Anonymous etc… which makes it even more fun.
Yes, I already got some hate, some even attempted to troll me (on Facebook???)….
but you know what?
I don’t care because it just FELT V E R Y GOOD! HAHA
Some Eloi might also say:
"Uh but this Zong ist an advert so u will sell more Compact Disc now"
Maybe…or maybe you can just download the track, which was free all along, here:
OR maybe for a change…you could ask yourself a question:
"Have I donated to freeanons.org yet?”
The light at the end of the tunnel is a computer screen …nothing else…
10:47 pm • 15 March 2012 • 7 notes
ATARI TEENAGE RIOT - ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA PAGE HAS A LOT OF FALSE DATA. PLEASE HELP TO CORRECT IT.
Thanks again for your offer to help getting the Atari Teenage Riot Wikipedia pages corrected. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Teenage_Riot
It has been a mess for years now. Let’s get it right!
We have just come back from an awesome tour…. Finally we have a moment to make a selection from all the messages we’ve received since we announced it on twitter etc.
We have set up a tumblr page where we will upload all kinds of archive material that might be useful for you
If you have questions please feel free to ask. (please message to email@example.com)
Sometimes things are very hectic but we will come back to you with the answers as soon as we can.
Here are some things that urgently need correcting:
In 1997 ATR was joined by Nic Endo, a Japanese-German-American noise/soundscape artist, during the Beck tour.
Nic Endo actually joined 1996 but played her first live show in Spring 1997 in Austin Texas at South By South West at Atari Teenage Riot’s show there.
In an incident at a live show in Brazil, a security guard was allegedly hospitalized after being beaten by Elias with a microphone. A fan stated in an interview that the guard had grabbed her between the legs as she tried to stage dive.
We find this incident was very minor thing in reality and got blown way out of proportion by the media and shinesa negative light on ATR’s otherwise euphoric live shows. If we start mentioning this kind of stuff, we would end up with a long, long list. Please decide for yourself if it should be left in. In our opinion this is something that can appear on the band’s website rather than on a wikipedia page.
The group effectively disbanded in 2000.
There was never a decision to ‘disband’ or ‘stop’. Hanin Elias had left ATR at the Brixton Academy show in the winter of 1999; as she had done many times before (1993, 1996 and various short periods in between). The plan had been to tour with Nine Inch Nails in the US in spring of 2000, but we decided to cancel to recharge. Carl Crack also needed time to get better from his attacks of psychosis. In autumn 2000 ATR started working on their 4th album. The song ‘Rage’, which features Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine, was chosen as an in between single until the release of the fourth album. Rage was part of the recording sessions for 60 Second Wipe Out, but Alec Empire didn’t feel it would fit the album.
On 6 September 2001, Carl Crack, who had long struggled with a drug addiction, died from an overdose.
The exact date of his death is still unknown. He was found dead that day in his flat in Berlin. It’s important tounderstand that Carl Crack never had a drug addiction. He played sports and was very fit. The media sensationalised this story, but it is not true. He was suffering from attacks of psychosis. Those could have been caused by various factors; him falling in love, for example. The only drug Carl Crack ever took was smoking grass every once in a while. He was this type of person who was ‘allergic’ to that, because marijuana can cause psychosis attacks in certain people.
This is very important in understanding why Carl decided to end his life. According to a friend, he spoke a few weeks before his death about a doctor’s report which basically said that these attacks would come and go more often and would get worse the older he got. According to that friend Carl said that he would rather kill himself than become a ‘zombie’ and not be in control of his life. Nic Endo and Alec Empire were in Japan around that time (playing the show at Fuji Rock 2001 with Merzbow and Gabe Serbian from the Locust and Charlie Clouser from NIN). Witnesses have said that Carl tried to reach out to his friends because he felt the psychosis starting again. When he was found the police reported that he had a lot of medication in his stomach and suggested that he basically took everything he could find in his flat and that it looked like suicide. A very painful one. It is still unclear if this happened while he was in a state of psychosis or not. (While being psychotic it could beinterpreted as an accident rather than suicide.)
5) In June 2002, Hanin Elias left DHR to create Fatal Recordings, a label formed exclusively for female artists, similar to her DHR Fatal offshoot label. Empire produced the track “You Suck” for her debut album No Games, No Fun; however, in the album’s artwork, specifically in a collage of collaborators, Empire’s face is blacked out, signifying the end of their professional relationship.
The question is why the Wikipedia article has to go into this side project? If we open this door, then we would have to do it for all ATR members. Should we go into all sub-labels Alec Empire founded? In our opinion this would take way too long and should perhaps be a part of the solo artists’ wikipedia pages.
However, the fact is that Fatal was started under the umbrella of Digital Hardcore Recordings in 1998. Nic Endo played a major role in providing music, artwork and manifestos. Alec Empire produced and co-wrote the Hanin Elias album ‘In Flames’. The track “You Suck” was recorded for an American compilation album called “D.I.Y. Fest”.
When Hanin Elias left ATR in 1999, it was seen as a major let down by the rest of the band members, because the London show was a key show for the band and nobody, including Trent Reznor, understood why she couldn’tjust play this one show. She gave the reason that she was ‘exhausted’. This became quite comical, as Alec Empire had been touring for weeks with a root canal infection and was only able to go on stage with painkillers. Carl Crack was suffering from psychosis attacks and was very unwell but still went on stage. So when Hanin Elias left that afternoon, Nic Endo, Carl Crack and Alec Empire decided to not let the fans down and played their show “Live At Brixton Academy” which led to rave reviews from music critics.
At that moment the professional relationship was ended by Hanin Elias… not only with Alec Empire, but also with Carl Crack and Nic Endo. Nic Endo decided to not record for the DHR sub-label Fatal anymore because Hanin Elias’ input was disappointing. The idea of the label was perceived as a failure by everyone involved. Nic Endo moved her album ‘Cold Metal Perfection’ over to Geist Records, another sub-label of DHR. Lolita Storm , another band that was signed to Fatal while it was part of DHR, didn’t continue to work with Hanin Elias. She teamed up with new people and tried to run Fatal from Berlin.
The track “You Suck” was taken by Hanin Elias without Alec Empire’s permission and a private photograph was used on the sleeve. It looked like a lawsuit was on the way. Alec Empire decided to let it go and has to this day not received any royalty statements or payment for the song.
6) In autumn 2009, Hanin Elias contacted Alec Empire in order to again play some concerts together but had to refrain because of her voice. In January 2010, it was announced that Atari Teenage Riot will reunite for a few live shows in Europe. Later in the year they announced additional shows in Europe, North America, and Asia. In early March 2010, Alec Empire released the new ATR-Track “Activate” via SoundCloud. It is the first song with their new MC CX KiDTRONiK and was recorded on 3 March 2010 in Berlin at the Hellish Vortex Studios. Female vocals were provided by Nic Endo (who is also accompanying them on tour).
In October 2009 Hanin Elias contacted Alec Empire and asked how Nic Endo and him would feel about playing a show in London to ‘make things right again’.
Alec Empire changed an Alec Empire solo into an Atari Teenage Riot show after he convinced the promoter to share the financial risk with him. He was sceptical about the success of the show because there was no indication that the old fans would come out after ten years away. After the show was announced, the first cynical voices appeared on blogs. Another reunion? Is it necessary?
That was when Alec Empire came up with the idea to give the fans a new song for free via soundcloud, so they could see how the band sounded in 2010. It also seemed like a good introduction for CX Kidtronik who offered to jump in for the London show. He made clear to the band that he wouldn’t replace Carl Crack, but would write his own lyrics for the old songs. It was during the recording sessions that Hanin Elias realized that she didn’t havethe ‘screaming voice’ anymore and could hardly make it through a full ATR show without seriously damaging her voice.
It is important to understand that Hanin Elias had only played about 30 percent of the live shows in the 90s. Any time when Hanin Elias didn’t show up, the other members took over vocal duties. Since Nic Endo had joined, it was always her who took over those parts. By 2000 Nic Endo had already played far more shows with ATR than Hanin Elias.
Alec Empire offered to Hanin Elias, that it was probably OK because Nic Endo always provided backing vocals (Sick To Death, Too Dead For Me, Revolution Action etc.) and had the idea to include softer songs like ‘Sex’ or ‘Death Star’ in the live set.
The free song ‘Activate’ was finished without Hanin Elias who refused to work on alternative vocal styles. However, a few more dates were added after the London show and the tour was planned as a four-piece which included Hanin Elias. When it became clear that Hanin Elias wouldn’t show up to the first show, the bandpublished this statement 30 minutes before show time: http://riotnews.tumblr.com/post/4978040387/riot-news-com-may-2010
The live shows were perceived as better and more energetic by critics and fans than in the 90s. Enthused, the band decided to add more dates. By the end of 2010 ATR had played in almost every European country, completed a full US tour, played Japan, Taiwan and many other countries.
7) The band headlined London’s Offset Festival in September 2010 and played further live shows.
The band also played most major festivals throughout Europe, including Reading and Leeds, headlined Fusion Festival in front of ca. 20,000 people which lead to a massive stage invasion by thousands of fans. ATR headlined a stage at Japan’s big rival to Fuji Rock Festival, Summersonic Festival. Another triumph was the band’s headline slot on the electronic stage at Berlin Festival, which is held at an old military airport in the centre of the city.
8) In August 2011, they will play at the M’era Luna Festival in HildesheimGermany.
ATR will also headline a stage at Melt Festival, return to headline a stage at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan and more…list below.
25.06.2011 FR-Evreux, Le Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats
01.07.2011 FR-Montendre, Free Music Festival
02.07.2011 FR-Belfort, Eurockéennes de Belfort
08.07.2011 PT-Lisbon, Optimus Festival / DIM MAK Stage
16.07.2011 DE-Gräfenhainichen, Melt Festival
22.07.2011 PL-Bolkow, Castle Party
29.07.2011 KR-Seoul, Jisan Valley Rock Festival
31.07.2011 JP-Yuzawa, Niigata, Fuji Rock Festival ‘11
12.08.2011 CH-Le Locle, Rock Altitude Festival
13.08.2011 DE-Hildesheim, Mera Luna Festival
26.08.2011 FR-Charleville-Mezieres, Cabaret Vert
04.09.2011 US-Seattle, WA, Bumbershoot Festival
We have selected a few press quotes that could be used:
"Few bands have ever detonated as powerfully in the underground as Atari Teenage Riot. Put simply, they were the conscience of electronic music. They were a band that sounded the way you always wanted The Prodigy to sound. A band akin to Black Flag if that outfit had existed in an age where every home had a computer. And their influence burned big and bright."
"ATR are very much part of this process. Electronic pioneers, they have not lost their edge.
The series of recent gigs and the tantalising free download show that Empire and his droogs must return to the frey full time. This is noise at its life-affirming and dramatised best.”
"Welcome back Atari Teenage Riot! Deutschland’s Techno Punk Skullcrushers have risen again!"
"The trio were as fiery as a bucketful of wasabi. At one point, Empire tore off of his shirt and carried on as if itwere the year 2000 all over again and all that mattered was pure energy and sonic assault. At times the songs ran together, one sounding much like the next. The show was plainly terrifying. It’s rare in a world now ruled by Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber to hear music that is so angry with itself and with everything else around it. But ATR’s overwhelming energy is difficult to deny, and difficult not to admire – preferably from a safe distance."
"For the record then, not only is Empire one of the smartest rock stars working the field, but he’s also the least boring by miles. Make no mistake, ‘Activate’ is the most exhilarating, futuristic and punk rock single of the month."
"Everything from electroclash’s dirty rappers to MIAs fuzzy, distorted new beats bear the hallmarks of their Digital Hardcore label and sound."
"It is a literally bruising return that will hopefully last longer than the dates currently scheduled; despite Empire’songoing solo success, his stage presence is never stronger than when performing these songs with his ATR cohorts."
"There have also been many changes in the wider world of electronic music, and its pleasing to see that ATR have evolved in a way that takes this into account, while retaining their signature sound."
"This song has a gentle whiff of wild marches on the streets, doped by at least 130 dB. Think riots, excesses and protests. Think anti-governmental and anti-fascist actions. Think mayhem."
"ATR did not only introduce the world to a whole new sound they mixed punk attitude with electronic music."
"ATR will always have a place in my heart. To be honest they were one of the first bands to get me to appreciate electronic music at all. With a perfect balance of punk attitude and electronic chaos, they created a style all their own."
The Big Stereo
"Make no mistake, ‘Activate’ is the most exhilarating, futuristic and punk rock single of the month. (…) ATR aren’t like any other band. They’re the only group that could have cut a record with Rage Against The Machine and have it be their meekest recording. They’re the only group that iTunes have censored on the grounds that their music could create riots!
Ten years and several line-up changes makes no difference to tonight’s immediate onslaught of rave, punk, screaming and pounding gabba. The finale consists of the fiercest white noise squall of the evening, and the audience’s reaction (moshing, screaming, crowdsurfing, shoes
flying through the air) seems to indicate they don’t care either.”
All the best,
Atari Teenage Riot
/Digital Hardcore Recordings
1:55 am • 11 June 2011 • 14 notes
Atari Teenage Riot reignites with album Is This Hyperreal? on Dim Mak
Atari Teenage Riot reignites with album Is This Hyperreal? on Dim Mak
(June 7th on all DSP, June 21st physical release on Dim Mak)
Is This Hyperreal? Includes singles Activate! and Blood In My Eyes
Is This Hyperreal?, Atari Teenage Riot’sfirst album released through LA future stomp label Dim Mak, is an acetylene laced documentation of ATR’s re-ignition after an eleven year silence. Produced, mixed, recorded with Alec Empire, Nic Endo and new ATR member CX Kidtronik (Saul Williams / Nine Inch Nails) at ATR’s fourth studio release was made at the Hellish Vortex studio in Berlin.
A cultural cold war divided upon class lines, a new age of surveillance, heroes’ incarcerated in the worst conditions possible for speaking out against the military complex, a corrupt press core owned by multi-national corporations and raised to repeat sound bytes. This is the post-cyberpunk world on the brink of collapse Atari Teenage Riot’s fourth album Is This Hyperreal? is born into. Every track is a iridescent explosion of nervous energy requesting your attendance in Atari Teenage Riot’s campaign party of education and awareness. Having influenced a generation of M.I.A., Crystal Castles, Le Tigre, Sleigh Bells, and Pendulum, Atari Teenage Riot is a welcome shot in the arm of the music industry.
“Activate!” starts the album with Atari Teenage Riot’s most concise statement of intent yet. On a backing of explosive 1991 hardcore jungle synths, super collider bass kicks, and guitar shrapnel Alec Empire, Nic Endo, and CX Kidtronix spurn us into a campaign of equality, activation, and eradication of ignorance.
In “Blood In My Eyes” Alec Empire merges his chiptunes style first shown in 1999’s Nintendo Teenage Robots album with the sound of Crass exploding out of the trunk two cars over. Contained within Nic Endo’s first lead vocal in Atari Teenage Riot tells a tale of enslavement and revenge for all of the women lost within our global human trafficking problem. “Blood In My Eyes” is a riveting electronic punk rock diatribe, paying homage to the feminine retributive subtexts espoused by cult films like ‘Kill Bill’ and heavily censored French art-house offering, ‘Baise-Moi.’ “Black Flags” is a low slung, subwoofer punching, anthem announcing Atari Teenage Riot’s support of Anonymous’ grassroots human rights campaign.
We’re allowed a brief respite to catch our breathes during “Is This Hyperreal?”. The album’s title track slow cooks with seething analog synths reminiscent of Vangelis’ score for Blade Runner, symphonic percussion and a gurgling acid line are the soundtrack to the birth of a cyborg.
“Codebeaker” is a stomping electro rockabilly stormer. Rubbery basslines command your posterior to action; sawtooth guitars swarm your head as Alec Empire and CX Kidtronix lead us onto wall street to ask the question of “What went wrong?”
“Shadow Identity” is Nic Endo’s second lead vocal of the album and the most unexpected hook. On top of the sounds of a New Order bassline and what sounds like a drum line made performed by an obsolete automotive assembly line Nic interweaves a narrative of blood diamonds, global trade and awareness.
“Re-arrange Your Synapses” is a new gabber punk classic. The 909 drum machine speeds up to a blured fever pitch as Alec Empire and Nic Endo dive bomb verses painting a near future world of post net neutrality legislation where access to money and corporations control the publics access to information on the internet.
Atari Teenage Riot saves their most straightforward electro romp for “Digital Decay”. Showcasing a thick bassline, razor taunt snares and Nic Endo as a floating artificial intelligence prophet. “Digital Decay” would fit perfectly into one of Dim Mak label boss Steve Aoki’s legendary DJ sets.
“The Only Slight Glimmer of Hope” is dripping with uplifting brash, sing-along, sass-bag vocals and deep driving modular synth work. “The Only Slight Glimmer of Hope” is Atari Teenage Riot’s legendary effortless synthesis of Crass, Throbbing Gristle, and Kraftwerk.
“The Collapse of History” is at once the most unexpected and welcome Atari Teenage Riot song ever. Throwing listeners for a complete curveball Alec Empire flexes his early 90s hardcore influence by intertwining stadium sized jungle breakbeats with a national anthem. Nic Endo transforms herself into a pop dance diva and brings her sassiest vocal performance of the album. The mind glue chorus celebrating the overthrow of corrupt institutions hits your like warm sunlight after an all night rave. As ATR ends the album “Humanity will win in the end.”
Is This Hyperreal? Tracklisting
2. Blood In My Eyes
3. Black Flags
4. Is This Hyperreal?
6. Shadow Identity
7. Re-Arrange Your Synapses
8. Digital Decay
9. The Only Slight Glimmer of Hope
10. The Collapse of History
For more info on Atari Teenage Riot, please contact:
Debbie Pressman 718.724.3204 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Olexa Jason@girlie.com
10:29 am • 30 April 2011 • 4 notes
Atari Teenage Riot “Is This Hyperreal?” (deutsch)
Atari Teenage Riot
»Is This Hyperreal?«
Ist es wirklich schon so spät? Das Bild der Welt, das die neu formierten Atari Teenage Riot von der Welt zeichnen, ist alles andere als erfreulich – und das betrifft sowohl ihre echte wie auch ihre digitale Seite. Anders als so gut wie alle anderen, die dieses oder jenes beklagen, den Protestsong neu ausrufen oder sich in Weltuntergangsphantasien ergehen, wählen Alec Empire, CX KiDTRONiK und Nic Endo jedoch den Weg des Energieschubs, der Euphorie, der ekstatischen Entladung durch Noise, Punkrock, Verzerrung.
Überhaupt ist auf »Is This Hyperreal?«, ihrem erst vierten Album (und ihrem ersten seit 1999) vor allem Punkrock mit seinen distorted Guitars als treibendes Element auszumachen – die zum Markenzeichen ATRs gewordenen Breakbeats wurden weitgehend abgestellt. Aus der Konfrontation von Elektronik und Analogem entsteht Dynamik. Das Ergebnis ist nichts weniger als alles umblasend. Das Comeback des Jahres besticht durch eine physische Präsenz des Sounds, der all die in den letzten Jahren in Mode gekommenen Frickeleien und Perfektionierungen anderer Bands wegpusten, als handelte es sich bei deren Konzepten um Papierhäuser.
Alec Empire hat mit »Is This Hyperreal?« eine Soundarchitektur neu entwickelt, die auf altbekannten Elementen aufbaut, aber viel weiter geht als jedes Album von Atari Teenage Riot zuvor. Möglicherweise war er selbst überrascht über die Welle der Euphorie, die letztes Jahr mit der bloßen Ankündigung eines Auftritts im Londoner Forum losgetreten wurde. Wer damals auf Facebook war, rieb sich täglich erstaunt die Augen: Kaum ein Tag verging, an dem sich die ATR-Welttournee nicht um weitere Daten erweitert wurde. Der krasse Höhepunkt der letztjährigen Tour war der Surprise-Gig auf der Fusion, als Hunderte von Fans (friedlich) die Bühne stürmten, mit der Band tanzten und das Festival für die Dauer des Auftritts in einen Ausnahmezustand versetzten.
Die neue Dringlichkeit von ATR ist die alte, nur dass wir sie heute vielleicht besser verstehen, da wir jetzt wissen, dass die Slogans und Parolen Empires, Endos und CX KiDTRONiKs trotz aller Faszination für die Mezzaningeschosse der Virtualität einer echten, politischen Agenda folgen. Im Titelstück »Is This Hyperreal?« ruft Empire durch ein Megaphon: »Achtung, Achtung, hier spricht Atari Teenage Riot! Wir haben uns verbündet und wir werden zusammen zum Bundestag marschieren. Und wir sagen: Hände hoch! Kommen Sie sich mit erhobenen Händen heraus. Sie sind verhaftet!« (Zitat prüfen) Als Hörer fühlen wir uns an den legendären ATR-Track »Hetzjagd auf Nazis« von 1992 erinnert. Alles klingt in diesem Monster von einem cinematografisch-epischen Song, als ob es sofort explodieren könnte. Meisterhaft werden Spannungen aufgebaut und zerstört. Dieses dramaturgische Moment ist ein Merkmal, das »Is This Hyperreal?« von anderen, früheren Alben ATRs unterscheidet.
Das Album behandelt die Frage nach Form und Notwendigkeit politischer Aktion im digitalen Zeitalter. Weit und breit sind Atari Teenage Riot damit eine der wenigen Bands, die ihr Seelenheil nicht in Kategorien wie Glück, Wohlklang oder Virtuosität suchen, sondern in Konfrontation und Unbeugsamkeit. Dass in der Gefahr die Schönheit liegt, wissen wir seit Langem. Aber dass politische Wortmeldung sich so kathartisch wie bei ATR in Schönheit und Noise ausdrücken kann, das ist außerordentlich und mehr als bemerkenswert.
10:25 am • 30 April 2011 • 3 notes
Riot News .com (May 2010)
ATARI TEENAGE RIOT 2010 „ACTIVATE“
Fans have contacted Digital Hardcore Recordings requesting some details of the forthcoming Atari Teenage Riot dates. First we cannot give a definitive set list as it will change every night, but it will feature songs from all three albums by the band as well as new material.
ATR’s new single „Activate!“ has received amazing reviews so far and it has led to features in NME , Mojo, Artrocker and others. The fan base has responded with so much enthusiasm that the group is discussing plans to release more new material at some point soon.
Current line up of Atari Teenage Riot for the upcoming shows is:
Alec Empire (Vocals, synths, drummachines), Nic Endo (Vocals, samplers, noise fx) and MC KidtroniK (Vocals, machines).
MC KidtroniK will not replace MC Carl Crack’s role in the group (New fans may be unaware of Carl’s tragic death in 2001) – obviously he will take over many of his vocal parts but has updated and rewritten a lot of the lyrics to add his own character to Atari Teenage Riot. He is bringing a lot of new views to the project, his critical view on current US politics amongst many others.
Hanin Elias currently lives in Polynesia and cannot join the group for these few dates. During the recording of the new single „Activate!“ she realized that her ‚screaming voice’ had suffered over the past 10 years and she won’t be able to get through one concert without damaging it further.
On the new song „Activate!“ Nic Endo undertakes all vocal duties and she will take centre stage for the upcoming shows. Many of our older fans will be familiar with Nic performing ATR songs on stage; she would regularly take over the vocal parts when Hanin Elias couldn’t make shows. The group’s most successful album „60 Second Wipe Out“ features Nic Endo’s vocals on all tracks, along with to Hanin Elias and Kathleen Hannah.
Between 1992 and 2000 the membership of Atari Teenage Riot changed constantly with the various group members coming and going over the years. There were regular (but by no means continuous) members of the group.
For example: Hanin Elias played less than 30% of all shows. Lisa B, Carl Crack’s sister toured the US with Alec, Nic and Carl including the legendary SXSW show in Austin, and the „2 Carolines“, a female duo also seen in the 1995 video „Kids Are United“ featured on drums and electric bass throughout Europe and the band’s first shows in Japan. Various MCs (MC D-Stroy, MC Freestyle, The Arsonists, etc.) came on board when Carl Crack was unwell and unable to perform.
Alec Empire has been the only continuous member of Atari Teenage Riot performing on every track they recorded and playing every single live date.
We greatly value the contributions Hanin, Carl and all the other members made when they played and recorded with Atari Teenage Riot but they were only one aspect of the group. Many of the group’s most triumphant performances have taken place with changing line ups and we believe this kept the group moving forward and created the excitement.
Stepping back it is easier to see now that, while all individual appearances were undoubtedly important, they were nevertheless only a part of fusion of punk, techno and noise that made the group unique and created Digital Hardcore as a musical genre. We will miss Hanin’s contribution but are confident that her absence will in no way diminish the enjoyment of a true Atari Teenage Riot experience.
Atari Teenage Riot has just confirmed following festivals this summer:
June 11th Hartera Festival, Croatia
July 16th Dour Festival, Belgium
August 8th Summersonic Festival, Japan
September 10th Berlin Festival , Germany
More information can be found on
7:22 am • 27 April 2011 • 4 notes