Review: Chillin is Killin

Various Artists
“Chillin is Killin”
(Industrial Strength Records)

This comp split into 2 CD’s (36 tracks in all), the chillin side and the killin side, as the cover proclaims is uh, the hardest techno ever.  Hmm.  If you’ve never heard Venetian Snares, Atari Teenage Riot or some crazy hardcore gabber then I guess this might be the hardest techno ever. So, what’s it all about then? Well, the chillin side is not so chillin except for a few garden variety choir pads and church bells that I think I heard when I demo’d a yamaha synth at a local music shop back in 1994.  Otherwise the chilin is mostly distorted analog kick drums, pitch shifted vocals and eerie sound effects that I can only guess are supposed to insinuate ripping flesh.

The standouts come late in the disc at track 14 with “belladonnakillz-sTu” which cycles around a few different perfectly distorted rhythms and nicely molded synth sounds but is more useful as a DJ tool perhaps. The last rack on the “chilin” side is “Dummy Plug Conspiracy-Dateline” which is a nicely produced bit of analog acid with a tight break and plenty of synth and vocal weirdness to carry it along a fast clip. However, it’s not too fast for a rap to be laid over it, which is exactly what happens. Now for the killin! This is pretty much gabber processed through some goth nightmare where everything gets multiplied into different time zones and floats around waiting for a kick drum to pummel it back into it’s proper time. Oh, plus there are some heavily treated vocals and processed guitars to go along on occasion that ad a new level of marketability to a lot of the tracks here. Truly evil stuff and loads of darkness but it lacks dynamics and you would to if you carved something on your forehead and never came out of the basement to see the daylight.

Occasionally the standard gabber-esque kicks will subside for a breakdown and some kind of relief but then back to being pummeled.  So, if you like A LOT of distortion on everything, unrelenting kick drums and a sea of angry horror samples nabbed from the evening news then this might be for you. Otherwise you may want to look elsewhere.