Jump to content
aberdeen-music
Sign in to follow this  
Teabags

International Blastbeat Celebration Day

Recommended Posts

"A blastbeat is a kind of very, very rapid repeat hitting of the drums, usually in excess of 180bpms, so it sounds kind of like an apocalyptic typing pool," explains James Hoare, deputy editor of Terrorizer, the "World's Leading Extreme Music Magazine" (this month: in the studio with Cannibal Corpse and tip for 2009: Trigger the Bloodshed). "Most people associate it with Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror, because there was that period when John Peel was playing them a lot in the late 80s and Napalm Death's drummer Mick Harris came up with the name, but blastbeats crop up in some of the strangest places. The Beastie Boys used one on one of their early punk records, Pollywog Stew." He thinks for a moment. "It's difficult to say what its appeal is, really. I think it's just because it's extreme."

Nevertheless, he's agitating to have 29 January declared International Blastbeat Celebration Day. The idea started out as a joke on Good Bad Music for Bad, Bad Times, a remarkable blog written by Erich Keller, a European literature student and former frontman of acclaimed Swiss grindcore band Fear of God - it may well be the only place on the internet where you can find debate on the merits of both Gustav Flaubert and Dutch punks Suspense's 1981 track, Crazy Sod.

As time wore on, however, it seems to have taken on a slightly more serious intent: promoting a forgotten history of hardcore punk and extreme metal. "I was kind of having a bit of a laugh, writing about the first ever recorded song with a distinctive recorded blastbeat, which to my knowledge is From What I See, a song from a 12in by Heart Attack, a New York hardcore band, that was recorded on 29 January 1983," says Keller. "On the other hand, it made me sad to see that so little is known about the origins of extreme music and so little is cared about them."

Hoare isn't sure anyone really invented the blastbeat ("Extreme Noise Terror or Napalm Death would tell you it was Deep Wound or DRI, Scandinavian bands point towards a Swedish anarchopunk band called Asocial, Mediterranean bands would point towards a Yugoslav band called Patereni. There was a kind of inevitable global rush towards hyperspeed and heaviness around 1982-83") but he agrees with -International Blastbeat Celebtration Day's new-found sense of purpose: "Extreme metal and heavy metal is often written off as something angsty teenagers listen to rather than something that's had a lot of influence across the board, so it's good to promote that."

And while you don't hear many blastbeats outside of the death metal and grindcore scenes - current practitioners include Rotten Sound and Insect Warfare - the blastbeat story certainly involves some unlikely names. Heart Attack's vocalist was a teenage Jesse Malins, latterly an acclaimed singer-songwriter and Ryan Adams collaborator. Deep Wound featured Dinosaur Jr's Lou Barlow on guitar and J Mascis on drums. Mick Harris of Napalm Death went on to record with jazz saxophonist John Zorn and Bill Laswell of Material.

According to some sources, the blastbeat was invented not by a hardcore band in the 80s, but by either free jazz drummer Sunny Murray on a 1965 recording with Albert Ayler or Attila, a famously dreadful late 60s psychedelic band who dressed as Attila the Hun and were later dismissed as "bullshit" by their keyboard player, Billy Joel.

Next year, Hoare hopes International Blastbeat Celebration Day might spawn a series of gigs: in lieu of any actual events this year, he suggests Guardian readers might like to commemorate the date by simply listening to some blastbeats. You never know, he says, you might like it. "I've always found in my listening that stuff that starts out sounding like total chaotic noise, the more you get into it, the more you're able to hear the rhythm and the artistry of it."

fucking yas min.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jake Wifebeater

Great article, Erich Keller is always worth paying attention to.

Patareni mentioned in the Guardian, "I've Seen" it all now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, good on Keller...he tried to get Fear of God off the ground again but gave up when he saw the current scene of posecore, watered-down crap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jake Wifebeater
Yep, good on Keller...he tried to get Fear of God off the ground again but gave up when he saw the current scene of posecore, watered-down crap.

I'm kinda glad that he failed, FOG will go down as legends of the genre without it being spoiled by them reforming.

Look what happened when Terrorizer reformed...

Not :up:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty good article, although in the first sentence if he's gonna mention bpms then he should have also mentioned that it involves hitting the snare at 8th notes at that tempo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see a comprehensive look at this, instead of just citing Napalm Death as the originators.

Yep, good on Keller...he tried to get Fear of God off the ground again but gave up when he saw the current scene of posecore, watered-down crap.

While fear of god were great, Dave Phillips has since became an awesome solo artist. Possibly one of the most interesting 'noise' artists kicking about at the moment.

YouTube - dave phillips live at LUFF 2008

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...