Music News

Nitzer Ebb

Early practitioners don't always reap the rewards enjoyed by those who follow, as the industrialists of Nitzer Ebb understand. Drummer Bon Harris and singer Douglas McCarthy began making music with the assistance of keyboardist David Gooday back in 1982, long before most people knew what to call their dark electronic sound. Over the next decade-plus, the band built a reputation in the techno scene, but never enjoyed the sort of crossover success that greeted the likes of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. Today, however, Mute Records is attempting to whip up a full-scale Nitzer revival via Body of Work, a two-CD compilation featuring "Control," "Join in the Chant" and other big-beat anthems, and Body Rework-Remixes, in which these tunes and others are rejiggered by studio mavens such as Black Strobe and Derrick May. It's doubtful that the packages will expand Nitzer's audience much beyond the cult that initially appreciated Harris and McCarthy. Even so, the recordings demonstrate that the lads, joined on this date by Platoon 13, were once ahead of their time. Not that it did them much good.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts