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V/A – The Virus Has Been Spread – a tribute to Atari Teenage Riot

V/A - The Virus Has Been Spread - a tribute to Atari Teenage Riot

CD, D-Trash Records, 2007

“The Virus has Been Spread”, a tribute to ATR from Canada’s D-Trash label, contains all the violent beats and political venting that made Atari Teenage Riot one of the most influential acts ever within the electronic music genre, but sadly, the featured acts lack ATR’s talent.
If speed metal, punk and hardcore techno were all to vomit in a centrifuge plugged into an electric chair, the resultant chaos would be the visual equivalent of this recording. It is impossible to listen to it in its entirety in one sitting, for a number of reasons, but chief among these would be the awkward, spastic sequencing. Styles change continually, within songs, and without warning. This makes the listening experience a jarring, and occasionally irritating one. Dance music? Hell, no. You’d break both ankles just trying to walk to this.
There are some rays of hope within the frenetic murk, however: Nocore deliver a wonderfully gloomy interpretation of U.S Fade Out, while Schizoid manage somehow to create the most coherent, logical and therefore successful, track on the disc – a (relatively) calm, structured take on “The Future of War”.
So, as individual tracks, surfacing occasionally within a shuffled playlist, the anarchic devastation on this album may be a welcome change of pace. The digital hardcore genre is not an easily accessible one, but it should be possible for aficionados of just about anything from industrial to old-school punk to trashy electro to find something on this recording that tickles their fancy.
In this respect, the compilation may be considered a success, smashing across musical boundaries (and probably vandalising them as it passes) to showcase the massive influence Atari Teenage Riot had on the electronic scene – but it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.


— David vander Merwe

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