|dirty up your mind||*.mp3|
|god will cut you down||*.mp3|
|moths in the fire||*.mp3|
|the world is coming to another end||*.mp3|
|battleworn (nest remix)||*.mp3|
|i swear (sense remix)||*.mp3|
cdatakill is zak roberts, a musician based in denver, colorado who has been recording and producing extreme electronic music since the mid-1990s. under monikers such as ak-47 and dj rabies, roberts produced a driving and abrasive hi-fi speedcore sound, pushing the envelope for diy hardcore producers. after growing tired of his previous sound, roberts felt the need to push his work into new directions and changed the name under which he records to cdatakill. the first output on cd, 'paradise', moved from the very hard beats and broken structures and displayed more warmth and complexity. 'the cursed species', cdatakill’s second cd, took the whole 'rave is back' anthic and twisted it in roberts' own and unique way. two years were necessary to give birth to the calmer, warmer 'valentine', seeing cdatakill moving away from the avalanche of hard breakbeats which had been associated with his name, and bring a very original mixture of dub sounds, heavy bass and hi-fi production. with 'battleworn', hymen records is proud to present cdatakill's fourth full length album.
the nine tracks plus two remixes by nest and sense display a slowly-paced blast of atmospheres and kick drums, fusing drum'n'bass, intricate broken beats and components of dubstep accumulated with startling speed changes and sound manipulations. cinematic synth spheres merge with well positioned vocal samples, deliberate usage of delay / reverb and even heavy electric bass and guitar feedbacks.
the goal of the project is to pin opposites together, to bring sounds that normally oppose and conflict with each other into a seamless aural nightmare and daydream, to expose and glorify the beautiful alongside the violent.
cdatakill's intention for this album's aural impression is to carry the every day frustrations weighing down on someone who is near the end of their rope, but on the other side of the coin to paint a picture of some kind of soul-less warrior wandering the world, impervious to all the damage that could possibly be caused, some kind of battleworn machine that just doesn't care anymore. while listening you will endorse that 'battleworn' is the perfect realization of cdatakill's thoughts.
schön wenn man mal wieder von leuten für den eigenen musikgeschmack schief angesehen wird, obwohl das auch nicht stimmt: denn nach angaben mancher leute sollen cdatakill keine musik machen, sondern einfach nur bekloppt im kopf sein. aber wer sagt eigentlich, dass musik harmonisch sein, melodien haben oder strukturiert sein muss? oder anders gefragt: warum sollte jeder in der lage sein, diese strukturen zu erkennen? gewiss mögen es cdatakill einem nicht leicht machen, aber ist auch einfach grundlegend falsch, von cdatakill leichte kost zu erwarten: wer sich nicht drauf einlassen will, hat halt pech gehabt und immerhin hält man so leute, die es nicht verstehen fern, von der musik. heißt das, cdatakill ist nur was für eingeweihte? nicht unbedingt, aber die hörgewohnheiten der meisten menschen sind nunmal anders: drum & bass-elemente, die ständig die geschwindigkeit wechseln, hypnotisierender frauengesang (bei angel carcass), pulsierende beats und ein über allem zu schweben scheinender männergesang beim titelsong. dann auch mal lounge-elemente oder bei the world is coming to another end doomige gitarren. für genre-fans eigentlich eine offenbarung, auch wenn man bei battleworn nicht so aggressiv zur sache geht. stattdessen funktioniert das album subtiler und fließt beinahe organisch vor sich hin. erst nach dem hören merkt man eigentlich, wie einen das album in seinen bann gezogen hat, was die klasse von battleworn noch einmal unterstreicht. (tristan osterfeld)
with an expansive back catalogue and lengthy musical history, zack roberts is back after five years with another full album release, now progressing label wise to the quality driven monolith that is hymen. ‘battleworn’ relies heavily on dub-step, differing from previous releases somewhat in its approach from the more relaxed affair, ‘valentine’; the first three songs melding together almost as one track apart from the silences on track markers. ‘dirty up your mind’ is where things really start coming to life; breaking rhythms are sporadically torn apart, remoulded and tossed in with hap-hazard electronics and off range ambience, reminding me somewhat of previous works; it’s a version of cdatakill that i am more familiar with. the most impressive output on this album has to be ‘god will cut you down’; cleverly infusing the precise vocal samplings of johnny cash into well-composed electronics and mid-paced beats; it’s an inspiring mix of styles that gives the album the necessary change of direction at a mid way point. ‘the world is coming to another end’, is a fitting closure before the obligatory mixes start; a mash of beats and organic guitar driven sounds, that i feel thematically is digging at the whole apocalyptical 2012 saga. i feel this is really where roberts should have ended ‘battleworn’; the remixes of the title track and ‘i swear’ are great, don’t get me wrong, but they do come across as a detachment to the rest of the album. overall however, this is a solid return for cdatakill and long may he continue; good to see him back.
denver-based musician zak roberts is cdatakill, active since the mid-90's under names such as ak-47 and dj rabies where he was more into speedcore and hardcore. this is quite a change from those genres, although as cdatakill roberts makes good use of what he's learned along the way. 'battleworn' marks the fifth release as cdatakill, the first on hymen records, the others being released on ad noiseam. i haven't heard any of roberts' previous releases, so i'm going into this with 'virgin ears' so to speak. i must have had this cd confused with something else in the review hopper, as i put off reviewing it for so long likely because of the aggressive-looking cover, i mistook it for a noise project, which it assuredly isn't. there is a lot going on on 'battleworn,' maybe too much at times but don't let that put you off. as cdatakill zak isn't adverse to mixing genres, often within the same track. at times you get jungle, dubstep, hardcore, idm, breakcore, doom metal, country-western (i kid you not, it's the samples!), techno, and likely a dozen others i haven't thought of. remember when fsol was considered innovative? well, this sort of makes me think of them then, although cdatakill bears not a whole lot of resemblance to cdatakill. the first thing that stood out to these ears is zak's excellent drum and percussion programming skills. always engaging, and often rhythmically inventive. it's not overkill either; there is plenty of space for interesting atmos and ambience. i like his use of vocal samples too, often not much more than a processed snippet or phrase, but actually enhancing the music rather than detracting from it. the electronics are inspired and resourceful. from track to track there is a good amount of variety, yet a cohesiveness that won't give you the impression you're listening to a v/a compilation. there is a dark moodiness to 'battlworn' but it never gets morose. sometimes i was reminded of the best of scorn, but with a less heavy-handed approach. at others, access to araska, or similar artists. the two remixes on the album ('battleworn' by nest, and 'i swear' by sense) sounded completely different from the originals, and not bad at that, so you're not just getting rehashes. summing up, i was fairly impressed by cdatakill's 'battleworn'. it's an album that seems to have a good replayabilty factor, somewhat psychedelic and mind expansive, and you can really get immersed in it. the recording and production are very good too. it's hard to imagine where cdatakill will go next, but count me in for a copy of the next release. i'm game. (steve mecca)
discography (excerpt) 04.2k12:
battleworn. cd. hymen records ¥799. 2012
bleeding hearts vol. 1 / vol. 2. 12" vinyl. ad noiseam adn82 / adn83. 2007
valentine. cd. ad noiseam adn 66. 2006
the cursed species. cd. ad noiseam adn 43. 2004
paradise. 2cd. ad noiseam adn 21. 2003
paradisi. 12" vinyl. ad noiseam adn 22. 2003
southeast aurora syndrome ep. 10" vinyl. hardline rekordingz hardline #10. 2003
666. 7" vinyl. eupholus records euph08. 2002
brazilian nightmare. cd-r. eupholus records eupcd06. 2002
severity of gravity. 12" vinyl. low res records low 012. 2002
cdatakill on the internet: