by Scott Hefflon
Jack into a sheer adrenaline rush with this 13-song compilation of gabber and hardcore techno. Hardcorps is a smashed-window view into the harder, darker, angrier side of electronica. As the back of the compilation states, “Just call it Speed Metal for Techno Kids.” Instantly recognizable from the distorted synths and breakbeats, ya know you’re not in for another Spawn Soundtrack or any Electronica 101 crash course. Except for the crash part. While gabber may be angry and political, you’d never know it to listen to what passes for lyrics. If you thought Atari Teenage Riot’s lyrics were an oversimplification of anarchy (or at least rioting for change for change’s sake), imagine looping samples of insipid slogans regenerated for the umpteenth time. My favorite example of that is Ortni’s “Hard Like a Criminal,” which reuses the phrase “Hard like a criminal, and subliminal, in my own right it’s dope ’cause I’m original.” And the irony is that it isn’t. Original, that is. At least Coke, Reebok, McDonald’s and their ilk have the common courtesy to brainwash us with “new” and “interesting” catch phrases every so often. Hey, Got Milk? Hardcorps certainly milks every nuance out of the few sayings they sample, but techno has never been known for great lyrics. But having one song that counts backwards from ten to four and another that counts forward from one to seven is kind of an obvious reminder that mental stimuli is unnecessary for physical stimuli. But a mass revolution needs phrases to sway the populace and keep them warm through the long, cold nights. And that’s why corporate ad copy and logo recognition will always kick revolution’s scrawny ass. They buy creative minds to write the one-liners, then hire the media to feed us. Until aesthetically we fight fire with fire, the revolution ain’t even coherent enough to be televised on cable access. But hell, in the meantime, dance yourself into a sweat. Archatos, Trickster, Mystic, Darrien Kelly & The Stunned Guys, Omar Santana, Too Hostile, Prophet, Da Predator, Inferno Bros. Wayward, Ortni, Rob Gee, The Horrorist.