Cults Experienced: Techno Animal – The Brotherhood Of The Bomb

Written on 20.09.2021 by Andrijan Apostoloski

When you’re angry or perhaps something bothers you, you may choose to subside your anger with a pill of diazepam or some other stronger benzodiazepine prescribed from your doctor, or you can play music that channels those feelings and magically evaporate them through adrenaline, head-nodding and a smile that never goes away.

Techno Animal released The Brotherhood of the Bomb in 2001, and just recently celebrated 20th anniversary so it came to my attention to re-listen to this masterpiece after two or three years sitting in the dust, not being touched and nurtured by me whatsoever. And I consider that a personal music crime, considering this album is what made me lose my techno virginity, it’s what made me fall in love with distortion and industrial sound, with experimental rap groups like .clipping, Dalek, Shabazz Palaces and everything that really expands further from the regular boundaries of genres themselves.

And with reason, this is one of the staples in experimental hip-hop as the first track enters: Cruise Mode 101 enters like a kick spin with a monstrous off-kilter break, only to be followed by massive distorted leads as the raw and non-linear flow vocals of Rubberoom enter soon. After that, it’s just bam, bam, bam – directly in your face. Hardcore industrial hip-hop? Perhaps a true 101 track to share with somebody of what that means.

Now, I found myself to be listening to Techno Animal connecting back to Ninja Tune and me discovering The Bug. Whilst loving his dub and specific flare of sound he delivers, finding this was like discovering another realm where my punk nature was feeling at home, and it gave life to new links that led me to industrial techno and countless of other sounds that were influenced from this.

In the second track Glass Prism Enclosure the hip-hop bust continues to thrive with Antipop Consortium taking their podium at the mics. This track definitely sways back more to hip-hop, however Techno Animal are ruling the track as they are continuously manipulating and surprising us with these twisted elements, such as the distorted bass-line that enters in the last third recital of the track.

Now vocals to rest, the instrumental Hypertension enters with a distorted bass-line that has this insane head-nodding groove to it that only few musical pieces can reach. It continues to blast on with ambient and dramatic noises throughout with repetitive hypnotic pads appearing throughout – hence techno, nevertheless techno in Techno Animal doesn’t stand for techno. You hear why this album is so influential?

DC-10 continues with the hip-hop side of things, but is more slow, sludgy and droned out version and a tipping point to the whole album in change of mood.

And this is where, for me, things get lots more interesting and I got my 101 for what real techno stands for. In Robosapien, a breakbeat with a huge distorted bass-line makes you nod constantly as it repetitively swings for one minute. At exactly 1:27 this insane adrenaline-pumping synth comes out of nowhere and you’re out of control. The track continues after to build upon it whilst completely having your body and mental state at its control, if you allow it to dig deep.

So you remember few tracks before when Hypertension entered with its bass, and you thought, oh my god, that’s the best bass-line I’ve heard? Freefall does exactly the same, and builds its atmosphere with delayed synths and scapes in the background as you slowly enter an industrial state of head-nodding hypnosis.

Monoscopic returns to the hip-hop focused beat, following a background bass that grooves throughout and huge dub pads that follow soon. The brilliant duality of each influence backgrounds of The Bug and JK Flesh respectively can be heard in this track: Dub on one side and metal on the other.

Piranha? Oh man. Hip-hop? Rap!? What…? In DC-10 we’ve heard a sludgy and kinda stretched out rhymes, but now Techno Animal reminds us again of who they actually are, and who the fuck do we think we are to think what the next track could sound like? An enormous, enormous metallic sound appears like it’s the apocalypse knocking at your door. Soon after the fast-paced saturated breakbeat enters and the vocals of rapper Toastie Taylor enter with this blunt industrial ragga flow that supplement the whole beat perfectly. The flow on this one is beyond perfect, but it goes past the Edge as in the second half of the soundscape both Techno Animal and Toastie Taylor slowly start to go madder and madder with every new verse.

Sub Species is a perfect showcase of the extreme distortion and saturation used by both producers, and it goes beyond to play with sounds that magically antagonize us from every side and blend with the already heavily dubbed rhythm that follows throughout. We Can Build You features rappers El-P (from current-day Run the Jewels) and Vast spitting raw and no-gimmicks rhymes on a heavily distorted rap-based sonic madness directed by the duo.

Blood Money is a hip-hop beat that gets covered and covered with spices of Techno Animal as the track progress. At half, you already are listening to another track that manifested itself out of this innocent like start and ended up evolving into a madness of illbient and heavy-subbed groove head-nodder.

On the last track Hell, Dalëk appears on the microphone with his distinctive flow and ability to flow with experimental and genre-twisting beats, and Techno Animal remind us they’re behind the soundscape and go madder and madder as every new bar enters. No, no, they don’t like to go with an outro that slowly and calmly says goodbye and kisses you in the cheek for listening to the album, they want to smash it until the very last second lasts – and boy, do they do.

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