Atari Teenage Riot
Niemcy / Germany
Date of establishing :
digital hardcore, electro, experimental, industrial, noise
Band members:Alec Empire
Biography:In the late 90s Atari Teenage Riot (ATR) was seen as part of the electronica genre, but in reality the band had nothing in common with it. It was too avant-garde, too radical in its views and statements, simply too loud and noisy to fit in. The original conception was Alec Empire's.
It was a unique line up, almost superhero like, and when Hanin Elias, Nic Endo, Carl Crack and Alec hit the stage in some cities in the South of the USA, the mixed race, mixed sex image of the band provoked people before they even heard the music.
A female vocalist like Hanin who screams about police violence and revolution, and Nic Endo who was in control of all electronic gear on stage and sent earthquakes ofsound waves was simply against all rules of rock and techno music.They opened many doors for female artists to follow at this time.
In 1996 the Beastie Boys hooked up with Alec Empire in New York and negotiated a label deal between Grand Royal and Digital Hardcore Recordings for North America. The album Burn Berlin Burn exploded.
Rage Against The Machine and Wu-Tang Clan asked the band out on their US tour as did Beck, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Ministry.
Even Moby chose them as his support for dates in Holland. ATR collaborated with Slayer on the song No Remorse for the Spawn movie soundtrack. With the success came the tension....
Every musician has his own way of dealing with it, and ATR were very intense people. Very soon the thin line between reality and paranoia started to vanish. MC Carl Crack was often described as the black Sid Vicious by the media. Since his teenage years he suffered from psychosis attacks (the brain releases certain chemicals in and it leads to temporary schizophrenic personality changes). Music itself, which it was harder to explain and describe than the events surrounding it.
When John Peel asked ATR to play Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 1999, the band had just released their 3rd and best album 60 Second Wipe Out, which was recorded in New York and mixed with Andy Wallace (who engineered Nirvana's Nevermind, various Slayer albums and many more).
During the song Revolution Action kids stormed the stage and the situation got out of control.
Singer and actress Bjork was quoted in the NME saying that it was the mostintense show she had seen since Public Enemy. ATRs final recorded output was the ferocious Live At Brixton Academy; a pure white noise set, recorded whilst supporting Nine Inch Nails, which confounded and excited in equal measure.
When the Berlin quartet played their last shows at the Big Day Out Festival on the Main Stage in Australia in 2000 everyone was watching: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, The Clash's Joe Strummer, Foo Fighters, Primal Scream and even Crazy Town (!?) on the side of the stage.
The band finally dissolved in the wake of MC Carl Cracks death just days before September 11 2001.
There records stand as a testament to the years 1992-2000, where anything seemed possible.
Now Atari Teenage Riot plays one more show in London this Spring 2010...