Violence as First Nature [Bonus Disc]
Some electronica is essentially disco, some electronica is designed for world music enthusiasts, some electronica is mindful of hip-hop, and some electronica operates with an in-your-face rocker mentality; New York City-based producer/DJ Submerged clearly favors an in-your-face rocker mentality on his two-CD set Violence as First Nature, which consists of the main 79-minute CD and a 59-minute bonus mix disc. Violence as First Nature doesn't sound like the title of a chillout, downtempo, ambient, or trip-hop album -- more like the title of a metal, punk, or hardcore disc. And while Submerged isn't metal, punk, or hardcore, he can certainly be found on the harder, heavier side of electronica. No one will mistake Violence as First Nature for easy listening; this is forceful, abrasive, confrontational stuff, and the fact that the music is programmed doesn't mean that it doesn't rock. Submerged rocks, and he does so aggressively (the bonus mix disc, in fact, can be downright brutal). But at the same time, a certain moodiness often prevails on Violence as First Nature -- which essentially falls into the drum'n'bass category. Drum'n'bass (also known as jungle) is the primary ingredient, although techno, industrial rock, and noise rock are also influences. And while this late-2008 release could easily appeal to ravers, Submerged could attract rockers as well. There are some rockers who don't care for the whole raver subculture but nonetheless appreciate certain electronic sounds; they wouldn't go to a rave, but they appreciate what industrial rockers like Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and the Revolting Cocks (as well as hip-hop agitators Public Enemy) have accomplished with technology -- and it isn't hard to imagine some rockers who fit that description getting into Submerged, whose material is mostly instrumental but with scattered soundbites. One doesn't necessarily have to be a big drum'n'bass fan to get into Violence as First Nature, an engaging effort that has both raver and rocker appeal.