Constant Mutation

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One of the most intelligent and listenable hardcore records to see the light of day, this mix CD compiles a dozen self-made releases from Hellfish's Deathchant label, as well as hardcore outlets Rebel Scum and Psychik Genocide. These producers operate with the same tools as lesser gabber artists (compressed kick drums played at atrociously fast tempos, heavily filtered cymbal crashes, comical film and hip-hop samples), but the precision and creativity used on these 4/4 explosions make them the sonic peers of abstract beat makers Venetian Snares and Aphex Twin, rather than members of the more foolish school of Rob Gee and Ron D. Core. That is not to say that the tongue-in-cheek attitude isn't there. Perpetuating the typical hardcore techno-as-death metal equation, song titles like "The Way of the Homeboy, Pt. 2 (The Winter of Discontent)" beg for eyes to roll. But the nail-hard jungle intro of "First Wave" makes you want to take these guys as serious musicians, despite liner notes that describe tracks as "ambushed, pissed on and bludgeoned by Hellfish." Regardless of how seriously you take Hellfish & Producer, this music is an unstoppable ball of gritty energy that might seem impossible to dance to. But as hundreds of rabid fans from Wisconsin to Rotterdam prove, there can be a little funk in even the most severely aggressive music.

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