Ec8or's song title "Discriminate Against the Next Fashionsucker You Meet (It's a Raver)" caught my eye when I first read about them a decade ago. Ec8or, comprised of Patric Catani and Gina D'Orio, were soldiers in digital hardcore's shock battalion, Germans bombarding the mid-'90s post-techno underground with subsonic breakbeats, the shrapnel of heavy metal guitars, and ear-piercing, riot-inciting vocals. Soon after the release of We Can All Be Rich in America (on Beastie Boy Mike D's Grand Royal label), the DHR scene imploded under its never-stated-but-always-implied maxim "Too fast to live, too young to die." Catani proceeded to create a soundtrack for an imaginary '80s videogame called Flex Busterman and produce music for rapping puppets known as Puppetmastaz; he's currently releasing a blender-splat of cartoon music, noisecore, and Amiga techno as Candie Hank. Meanwhile, D'Orio played Patty Hearst in a musical by Stereo Total's Brezel Göring and continues to radically reinterpret the notion of the girl group as one half of cult favorites Cobra Killer. XLR8R asked the two about their digital hardcore days and their surreal, ghetto-tech-goes-to-school project, A*Class.
XLR8R: How did Ec8or form?
Patric Catani: We formed Ec8or when I came to Berlin. I came from Cologne and there definitely was a lot of stuff to catch up with in Berlin. All of our music represents a political idea. I personally also see my work in a Dadaistic way and think there are many ways to express a political attitude. I can't imagine looping that old Amen break over and over like a hamster in a wheel just because there is something for it that you call a "market."
Gina D'Orio: We started playing in our first bands, [rehearsing] everyday, doing gigs, playing '60s garage-punk stuff, playing the Amiga 500–it went on like this. Later, it became Ec8or. That's what we did and still do. It comes straight from our hearts. It's about pushing the popular music [to] a different level, where you can transport more critical consciousness in collaboration with different people: writers, people who do movies, journalists. It's about making honest songs with a certain amount of depth; songs [that] become the daily hit [in 2006], not clichéd stories that belong [in] medieval [times]. People awake if entertainment becomes information; with people who are awake, we can aim for a better society. Popular music has an enormous influence, especially on young people who are still developing, so we have a lot of responsibility. These "hitmakers" pretend they don't have to have responsibility. They are liars; they are moralistic gangsters. If you describe life honestly [in] your music, how you really see it, [that] might be as the fans see it too–we are one [with] them; we understand them better than those briefcase-carriers who strangle themselves with their own ties.
What were Ec8or's best moments?
PC: The twinkles, the bass, the lights, and the cherry blossoms.
GD: The cars, the clouds, and those moments when you think while watching the birds go by.
How has Berlin's electronic scene changed in the past decade?
PC: It's different and I would not say it's better. It's much more difficult to make a last-minute party. If you stick posters in certain streets they are gone in 20 minutes. I think the nice, naïve touch [that] Berlin had 10 years ago is gone. I want to stay a music fan; I also do radio shows from time to time where I just play new, unknown, weirdo music from all over the world. I don't want to turn into that "professional" music sportsman. You find a lot of them in Berlin these days. It's good to have a nice base and friends to make crazy shit with. Certain stuff appears also in a bigger context. With the Puppetmastaz, we are quite successful in different parts of Europe and what I earn with that goes back into my other projects. That's the way I like to work because it's good to have hair, it's good to have money, and it's good to have sex.
GD: Berlin is dead. It's over... Berlin is worth a trip. Berlin stays Berlin. All is right. All wrong.
How would you describe the A*Class sound and performances?
PC: A*class is a black-humored, poisoned needle dealing with problems caused by the ignorance and twisted morality of the Western world. It [doesn 't only] pick on America, but America definitely deserves to have a main part in there. It takes the Detroit and Chicago booty bounce sound, but transforms it into something "productive," "positive," and "useful" without dirty language. It explains why a good person should know about the Elbow Law, and gives you good hints [about how] to fuck other people over. You'll have the perfect learning motivator with songs like "I Don't Like the Prom" or "Let's Read a Book." [It's] intellectual booty house only for the headstrong. Chances are good that (the upcoming album) will be released by the Church of Scientology, or on the German label Trikont. [The performance] is a booty-shakin' PowerPoint presentation–overhead projector scratching and all. It's an exciting stimulation and enlargement of certain brain cells. We have wild read-alongs, where you can feel your inside powers rise up with a bang.
GD: It's psychedelic. It's a satire... It's booty house.