In issue 101, XLR8R's Berlin City Issue, Cameron Macdonald sat down with Ec8or’s Patric Catani and Gina D’orio. Here's a small sampling of what he discussed with this digital hardcore duo.
XLR8R: At what point did you decide to move on after Ec8or and its label, Digital Hardcore Recordings?
Patric Catani: To give you a vague picture, the idea of DHR was pretty cool in the beginning, but the whole pop strategy they had about it was totally unknown to me. I was a teenage punk in the beginning, and (I got) the whole picture of what was happening on the label in a few years. The fact that all the bands surrounding [Atari Teenage Riot] just got used for their sellout idea–to have a whole “movement” and “followers”–led to psychological warfare which some people didn’t survive. There was no trust anymore at some point and no communication. It was very strange for [artists on the] label to read in the New Music Express or other papers all these weird, made-up stories [about them]. The records were produced with different budgets and went through different channels and distributions. For me, it was necessary to leave that crap behind. I still have a good relationship to most of the people from those days, and we managed to have great moments and some great touring in a lot of places. I also met some very good friends in these times and that’s most important. Gina found a label with Cobra Killer very quickly and I did a lot of music in the last years on small, tasteful, crazy labels like Wwilko, Solnze from Russia, Gagarin, and Junk. I also made a lot of film and theatre music, sound for art projects. and all that. I like the idea of another Ec8or record, but things are moving fast so we’ll see when we find time for that.
Gina D’Orio: Ec8or never stopped. Both of us are busy with many other things. Life is not too short and time is not always running away. There will be time.
What interested you in moving from the hardcore sound of Ec8or to old-school videogame music and Candie Hank?
PC: The first computers that I had in primary school were the Commodore 16 and Commodore 64. I learned to rip the videogame music out of the games and save it separately. I had a huge collection and that was a big influence for me. [Commodore composer] Rob Hubbard did genius music. [Regarding] The Horrible Plans of Flex Busterman record that I released in 1997, I found [my] old computers in a box and suddenly got that flashback. One night, I decided to make a whole album like a videogame soundtrack with the whole character descriptions, screenshots, instructions, and story. I started working on it and developed the story with Gina. Everything was done very quickly somehow and the booklet turned out to be 24 pages long in German and in very bad English. [It’s] a total tribute to Rob Hubbard. Somehow that record seemed to be very influential for so many people, and I got a crazy response to it. I might have done it two years too early because later there was the whole retro hype going on with all that boring bullshit [and] I could have sold much more of the Flex Busterman records. The best records for me are the ones I totally get lost in and wonder to myself in the end how everything came together. Musically, I also think that the C64 synths have such a nice aggression to them. They can sound like alien brass music and still sound rough. Without getting caught in the arcade, I can say that the C64 and Amiga sounds somehow belong to me. During the last 10 years, I also bought so many garage-punk, rock ‘n’ roll, surf, and old ska records. Candie Hank made friends with the song structures and [for him, that] comes hand-in-hand with a drilling, porno-like Italo disco explosion.
Gina, what interested you in moving on to Cobra Killer? Where do you see Cobra Killer in the Berlin scene?
GD: Cobra Killer didn’t start after Ec8or. I always did both bands. I never calculated. Both bands belong to my life… Musically, Cobra Killer stands for itself. It is directed from within and needs no justification from without. As we develop personally, our music does. Everything can happen all the time.
What other projects are you working on?
PC: I just finished my new Candie Hank album, Groucho Running; it will be out in November on the Cologne-based label Sonig. It combines strange surf elements, a slight breakcore touch, cartoon music, swing, punk, Amiga laidback terror hip-hop, and soundtrack influences… Salon music for vampires, a jellyfish tango from the future. I worked with a woman from Texas called MC Shade and it features a song with Angie Reed. Some music on it is also taken from the movie and theatre soundtracks I made. The rudeness and edginess definitely adds something German to it. It’s nice to release it on such a good label, especially because Mouse on Mars (who run the label with Frank Dommert) were the first people who ever asked me for a remix when I was 16. That was for their Vulvaland LP and it came with my remix 10”. It was very strange Amiga breakbeat-industrial acid [track].
GD: Cobra Killer is recording a new album at the moment and I’m recording my solo record.