Friday, 12 March 2010


‘We can’t disguise the fact that we’re very energetic people’ Nitzer Ebb

Formed in the mid 80’s Nitzer Ebb seemingly took a lead from DAF with a Teutonic –robotic-hypnotic style of sequenced electronica. But don’t put them too much in the same bracket, oh no… DAF emerged from Germany, Nitzer Ebb hail from Chelmsford! Into the foray with inspiring rants ‘Let Your Body Learn’, ‘Join In The Chant’ tracks that have become so ingrained on dance floors and are cited often as seminal. DJ/ producer Tom Stephan says ‘When I first discovered Nitzer Ebb it was like finding the sound I had always been looking for. Stripped back, raw, aggressive and sexy! No fluff, just beats. They've been a big influence.’ Members Bon Harris and Douglas McCarthy have a somewhat universal appeal recently supporting Depeche Mode and currently on their own tour armed with ‘In Order’, ‘Catalogue’ and ‘Compilation’ a B-sides, remixes and rarities box collection on Mute Records.

I recently caught up with producer Adam Sky and was curious on his take; he remembered a gig in 1988 with Diskord Datkord his band with Jonny Slut,

‘We were supporting Nitzer Ebb at the Camden Palace 1988, but that same summer they were part of the soundtrack to my first set in Ibiza at Glory’s after-hours... ‘Guns, guns, bombs, bombs, fire, fire, fire’, then I sold my soul for acid house.’ He adds,Funnily enough I am now on the same label as them in Hamburg, Major Records’… Where, Adam tells me he has recently rerecorded his 80’s hit ‘Killer’ with Nina Hagen on vocals. Look out for that one! It seems the fans of Nitzer Ebb are wide and reaching, DJ The Lovely Jon Jo from Hot Boy Dancing Spot references them regularly.

Industrial Complex’ is the new album of Ebb outpourings; with a track listing that includes ‘Once You Say’ featuring Martin Gore of said Depeche Mode and soundtrack from Saw1V ‘Never Know’. Time for a fan fact… They actually split in ’95 but reformed in 2006 and have never looked back. I caught them last year at London’s Cosey club and really, the sound they make is absolutely timeless. Cosey returns on the Saturday 27th March at the ICA a night featuring Fixmer McCarthy - alter project of Ebb Member Douglas, along with Factory Floor and Eve Black/Eve White. Notching up the gigs Nitzer played once again in London last week and squared up with classics fast and furiously… And if you don’t get to see them live I suggest you get the archive set for a thorough going over!

Recent gig at the o2 in Islington saw Nitzer Ebb with all the energy of previous years... i think it's true to say they've managed to retain the sparks of their initial vision both in sound and image.

Photo's of Douglas McCarthy by PJ/excerpts from QX Revoltage column

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