If I always felt some sort of adversity towards electronics music it wasn’t because I thought it was unable to take music to places where the human capability was uncapable of exploring, but because I thought of it as a soulless craft. It was ignorant and short sighted of me to think that way because clearly, whether through guitars or programming it all still comes as spawn of human creativity. Plus by now things have changed, a plethora of bold musicians are pushing the envelope in unimaginable ways and are helping rejuvenate genres that may have in many senses exhausted themselves; melting extreme metal, IDM, drum & bass and others shaping music that is as cutting edge as it is absurdly heavy fast and extreme. To me nowhere is that more evident than on the killer compilation Full Metal Racket which presents re-recorded and remastered versions Bong-Ra’s 12” EPs Sick Sick Sick and Grindkrusher. The resulting product is thoroughly enjoyable, offensive, fucking crushing from any angle and thoroughly fresh. I plead ignorance as far as an existing scene making this type of mélange, so if I call Bong-Ra groundbreaking and is not, excuse me!.
Bong-Ra is the project of Jason Kohnen; a musician who got the thrash metal bug back in the 80’s and who ever since has been toiling away at bands as well-known as Celestial Season (whose Solar Lovers was one of this scribe’s faves back in the day) and as little known as his first metal outfit Prejudice. Bong-Ra was born in 1996 and ever since Kohnen has been blowing eardrums via some of the most intense and relentless electronic music ever. Dude’s so prolific I couldn’t even count how many releases are featured in his website. As expressed in the liner notes of Full Metal Racket, here the artist pays tribute to some of his favorite bands from the 80’s and 90’s and ‘especially to the Earache label’. So much so that in “Necrogoat” we hear a banshee scream that is so much Tom Araya Kohnen might have to pay royalties and during the first four cuts Bong-Ra goes his way about chopping sick and accelerated beats and placing them alongside some of the most veritable Bay Area thrash metal riffs. See it from any angle it is well-matched with cut up breakbeats and fast fresh guitar riffing. “Necrogoat” make so much sense, think of Slayer with a robotized Dave Lombardo at the drum kit; and some of the latter tracks belonging to the Grindkrusher 12” are pure early Earache grindcore with a warped and futuristic sense of drumming. “Ram Waster” sounds like Bolt Thrower with a massive programming machine at the back. Fuck, there is even a song called “Jo Bench”. Simply humanly impossible.