Back to Starting Riots
Atari Teenage Riot is a German group that was formed back in 1992. It was formed as an attack on Germany’s Neo-Nazi subculture. Over the years, they’ve been known for their rather controversial political lyrics. The sound is created on an old Atari ST computer (hence the band name) where the sound consists mostly of 200-plus-bpm breaks and massively memorable guitar riffs. The group fuses electronic and punk together to create a new genre called digital hardcore.
When founding member Carl Crack died in 2001, the two remaining members decided to breakup. Hanin Elias went on to start her own record label while Alec Empire continued making music and eventually added two new members to ATR. The group is now back with their fifth album Reset. The techno aspect of the work is what catches any listeners’ ear. The music shifts from extremely noisy to a more low-key sound. Each song contains endless amounts of layers making them varied, and elevating them above the pitfalls of too much yelling.
The songs on Reset all have a tremendous amount of intensity and bring up new issues that are relevant to the world today. For example, “Modern Liars” starts out with the spoken line, “We dedicate this song to all hackers, DJs, activists, all riot grrls!” The song then transforms to an angry song about hacking and the general use of computers in our current society. Founder Alec Empire speaks the memorable line, “Some say that computers are destroying our humanity/but we say that computers are controlled by men/and they can be used to help humanity.”
The title track, “Reset” is a loud and rebellious tune that represents everything this band seems to stand for: starting revolutions and truly changing the world around them. Singer Nic Endo ends up screaming the line, “Reset!” then the song returns to the traditional punk sound that the band is typically known for.
As a whole, this band, which is most popular due to the riots and chaos they have caused, has created yet another album filled with political punk-sounding songs. Atari Teenage Riot has invented a sound that is solely their own and they’ve continued this trend with Reset. Due to the fact that punk and electronic music aren’t typically grouped together, this could possibly be an acquired taste. However, those that appreciate music that is innovative and takes a stand will enjoy this album. That’s further evidence of how revolutionary this group is.