- Battery 9
Battery 9 (pronounced, in
Afrikaans, as "Butteray Nea-ge", an industrial musicproject from Johannesburg, South Africa, is the brainchild of Paul Riekert, who writes, plays and records the music in a mixture of English and Afrikaans. The band name is sometimes written, without a space, as Battery9.
Riekert started recording under the name Battery 9 in
1994, bored with the creative constraints of a standard rock band format. A platform to run various projects from, One F Music, was subsequently founded, in the form of an independent record label and a small home studio.
The first Battery 9 album, "Protskrog", was released in
1995. Made and backed by little more than a shoestring budget, it sold well enough to warrant a licensing deal with independent record company "Tic Tic Bang".
The next release, "Strop" (
1996), saw Battery 9 break through to a wider audience, with the song "Kiss the Machine" receiving daytime airplay and eventually charting on 5FM, a major nationwide commercial radio station. For the first time, the major industry took notice and the project received major media coverage, while the live act played for increasingly bigger audiences, culminating in a solo show at the Viper Room in Pretoriain 1997that drew 1200 people. In the same year, the album "Gris", featuring remixes, re-interpretations and interactive CD-ROM data, was released.
"Wrok" was released in
1998and was awarded "Best Rock Album" in that year's South African Music Awards.
After a few major live performances, including supporting
The Prodigyand Faithlesson their tour in South Africa, Battery 9 took a break for a couple of months to re-assemble the live act. In December of 2000and January 2001, Battery 9, with the newly formed live act, performed a well received short tour of South Africa. The set included new songs from the album "Sondebok" which was released in 2002.
After a long break, a sixth album, "Straks", was released in late
2005with almost no marketing or promotion.
The next album, "Galbraak", is expected during the second semester of 2008.
The band has had quite a few members and incarnations over the years, with Paul Riekert and the 6'8" tall Huyser Burger (also known as DJ Fokkolnonsins) remaining as the only two constants from 1995. The current guitarist is Ceasré Cassarino, more widely known for his skills with the bass. The band currently performs wearing formal black suits, except for Huyser who sometimes goes casual.
As befits their industrial image, Battery 9 often uses unorthodox instruments on-stage as well as for recording samples. Examples include road signs, oil drums and other pieces of scrap metal. The blade from a bulldozer was included for a time, but it was abandoned because of the hassle involved in transporting it to the venues. DIY electric implements like drills, angle-grinders and jackhammers are also used, with some more for the visual effect than the musical merit of including it.
*"Protskrog" — Album — 20 April 1995 — One F Music / Tic Tic Bang
*"Strop" — Album — 23 August 1996 — One F Music / Tic Tic Bang
*"Strop" (Limited Edition) — Album (limited to approximately 300 copies) — 23 August 1996 — One F Music / Tic Tic Bang
*"Gris" — Remix EP — 29 September 1997 — One F Music / Tic Tic Bang
*"Gris" (Limited Edition) — Remix EP — 29 September 1997 — One F Music / Tic Tic Bang
*"Wrok" — Album — 17 October 1998 — One F Music / Tic Tic Bang
*"Sondebok" — Album — 14 July 2002 — One F Music / Gallo Record Company
*"Straks" — Album — December 2005 — One F Music
* "Ocean Culture"
*"Akwa - Pure South African Dance"
Euphoria - Industrial EBM Compilation"
*"Om te Breyten"
*"Essential Indie Vol. 1"
*"Alternatief op sy beste"
*"Mondmusiek - Breyten Breytenbach"
Paul Riekert and various other members of the band have collaborated on many other musical projects. Examples include the "Breinskade" (Brain damage) album which mainly featured the smashing of anyhting they could lay their hands on. More recent projects include the General Dealer electronica album, as well as the eerie almost-
folkalbum "Floukop" by Paul Riekert and André van Rensburg (a former Battery 9 guitarist) under the name of "Die Menere".
* [http://www.battery9.co.za/ www.battery9.co.za ] — The official Battery 9 website (updated and relaunched 2007.03.01)
* [http://www.screaming-machine.com/ Screaming Machine] — An unofficial Battery 9 website
* [http://www.myspace.com/batterynege Myspace] — The Official Battery 9 Myspace
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