Reviews

T. Raumschmiere

Swedish disco hillbillies, anarchist punks, and campy bisexuals? All are welcome at the jock jam. Artists as unlikely as Rednex, Chumbawamba, and Queen have contributed foot-stomping, beer-swilling songs that rile crowds at sporting events nationwide, thereby finding themselves included on one of ESPN's Jock Jams compilations. Given the diverse ranks of jock-approved artists, it's not surprising that experimental techno producer Marco "T. Raumschmiere" Haas may soon join them.

Haas distinguishes himself from his peers with blatant paeans to punk aesthetics. He made an album called The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, he runs the Berlin-based Shitkatapult label, and he wears a scraggly beard and armbands with skulls on them. In keeping with the low-rent ne'er do well vibe, the best jam on Radio Blackout is titled "Monstertruckdriver" and translates the adrenaline of jacked-up 4x4 culture into jacked-in electronica aesthetics by way of a bouncy, scuzzy guitar melody. The rest of Radio Blackout has plenty of the grim, gristly techno that Haas is known for, but for each track that replicates the noisy sonic palette of industrial experimentalists Einstürzende Neubauten there's another dominated by the big beats of Jock Jams alumni the Chemical Brothers and the Prodigy. It's a revealing gesture. Stripped of team jerseys, confrontational politics, and cyber-themed club gear, there's little to distinguish the jock from the punk or the techno rebel: They all like slummy trucker caps and running around pumping their fists to the sound of rowdy music. Haas seems adept at kicking out jams for all three.

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Daniel Chamberlin