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Christoph De Babalon
"If You're Into It, I'm Out of It"
by: Zero Sharp

A Beginner's Guide To Digital Hardcore
- part 2 of 3

This review is the second in the series of three reviews looking back at a few classic releases that started a genre at the same time as flying under the radar of many people who would appreciate the music they produced. The next album I'm going to review is at least as good, in my mind, as "The Destroyer", but it didn't really get the attention that the latter seemed to get.

Christoph De Babalon always seemed like a bit of an outsider sonically on the Digital Hardcore label, but his sound, being still very different from ATR and Alec Empire's old solo releases, is just as dark and hard as the rest. His only album length release, "If You're Into It, Then I'm Out of It," happened around 1997, and it still stands up today as a brilliant collection of dark drones and more twisted, minimal tracks. The opener, "Opium", is a beautiful washing soundscape of dark, analog synth lines peppered with cries of birds and other familiar sounds. Through the album, Christoph De Babalon covers a lot of ground; from distorted breakbeats and minimal techno, like "Nostep", to jungle to ambient tracks, like "Brilliance", the album flows well as a whole, and it's probably the most cohesive album released on DHR. The ending track, "My Confession" is perhaps one of the most amazing drum and bass tracks ever produced. Minimal in its make-up, it consists of a bass drone that runs through the track, the occasional large, deep bell, and chopped up, ever-changing amens. From start to finish, this album is essential listen to anyone who is a fan of any of those genres or just dark music in general.

There's two-thirds of my quick and dirty introduction to one of the main labels that started the whole digital hardcore genre, and why they shouldn't be well-kept secrets. (The other third will come out next week.) Go out and try them; if you like punk, d'n'b, IDM, noise, techno, or other genres like that, I think you'll find tracks to love here. It's about time we did away with these silly genre divisions, anyway.

Go on to part 3... or go back to part 1...



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