"Anti was just me recording jam sessions," says Haas. "It was all done live. It took about three months. With Radio Blackout, the process was more complex. I was going not so much for a techno sound, but for more pop appeal. This is the music I had in my mind, but could never make because I didn't have the time to execute my ideas. Novamute [Haas' new label] paid me before I even turned on my computer. They gave me enough money to live on for a year, so I spent nine months working on Radio Blackout. It was a perfect situation. When you record for an indie, you usually don't get paid till after your record comes out." (If at all, some shafted producers might add.)
Radio Blackout--which features vocals from electro chanteuse Miss Kittin ("The Game Is Not Over") and raps from MC Soom T ("A Million Brothers [Blah Blah Blah]")--bears a striking similarity to Electronicat's 21st Century Toy, as well as some of Adult.'s and Magas' work. The common bond? A heavy Gary Glitter and T. Rex influence. It's funny that these old glam rockers' stompin', chooglin' rhythms are finding their way into new electronic music. But Haas disagrees with my observation.
"I'm not influenced by Glitter or T. Rex," he says. "I'm just used to playing that groove from being a drummer in rock bands. I started making electronic music in 1995 because I was sick of compromising with bandmates over arranging, sounds, and so on." (Haas used to play with Storm Bow and Zorn; he now moonlights in the punk-metal band Crack Whore Society, the hypocrite.)
Granted, not all of Radio Blackout apes Glitter's "Rock & Roll, Pt. 2." Some of the disc's best moments deviate from that template: The totally wired "Rabaukendiscko" buzzes and squeals like Add N to (X) infected by the Locust; "MuSick Boy" is glitched-up electro, a rancorous noise sculpture à la Otto Von Schirach or Alec Empire; and the moody title track abounds with the phantom tones and tweaked-out textures you might hear coming down from a 'shroom trip.
While Haas is immersed in Germany's astonishingly fertile electronic-music scene (he runs the excellent Shitkatapult label with Sascha Ring), he rarely listens to it at home. He's more likely to play jazz, ambient, recent releases by A Perfect Circle and Blur, or bump albums by his favorite rock bands, Shellac and Helmet. Which may explain Haas' preference for extreme bass frequencies in his tracks. "I like the dirtiness; it's very sexual," he says. "I try to get, how do you say, offensive noises."
Finally, we must tackle the most important issue regarding T.Raumschmiere: Does he wear a trucker hat onstage with irony or sincerity?
"I've been wearing this hat for three years," Haas replies. "I wear the hat to bed. Then all of a sudden it became trendy, but I'm not going to stop wearing it just because of that." Hats off, dude. DAVE SEGAL
With Samuel Kirkland, Nordic Soul, Module. Thurs Nov 20 at Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm-2 am, 21+, $10 adv.