Art of Fighters (AoF), conceived in 1997, consists of Cristian Nardeli, Matteo Pitossi and Luca Lorini. Hailing from , this trio creates an unbeknownst genre of music known as gabber or hardcore techno. You probably haven’t heard of “gabber,” and “hardcore” might evoke images of Every Time I Die, From Autumn to Ashes, etc. But I’m afraid you’ve been misled. AoF create hardcore techno, and their latest achievement, a three track EP titled Revenge, is a collaboration with fellow hardcore DJ’s, Nico&Tetta.
The title track opens with a clip from Kill Bill, “If any one of you fuckers has anything else to say, now’s the fucking time!” AoF chop up the sample and drop it over the beat to build momentum, until everything disintegrates and a muted melody emerges. As the resonating beats distort, the song continues to build up, reaching a sonic euphoria via distorted synthesizers, badass sound bites and ruthless percussion. Hands down, the best track on the EP.
“Shotgun (Reloaded),” a remix by AoF of a Nico&Tetta song, includes macabre samples over a furious rhythm with a minimalist melody. Halfway through, the song switches gears to a depraved house track, complete with someone crying “give me your love,” followed by the sound of a gun being cocked and someone vomiting. The song lacks in terms of harmony, but its intense beat and creativity make up for it.
The last song is a remix by Angerfist of AoF and Nico&Tetta’s “I Became Hardcore.” The original track’s repetitive sound bites, looped melody, and absence of creativity just didn’t cut it. The additions made by Angerfist are high-pitched effects reminiscent of acid trance, more samples, tweaked drums and background synths. Decent song, but pale in comparison to its predecessors.
If you’re interested in listening to AoF, head over to their website (www.artoffighters.com) and preview Revenge. If you like what you hear, you can order the vinyl from their distributor’s website (www.sonicsolution.it). Unfortunately, the EP isn’t available on CD. In an interview, Christian of AoF explained that their EPs are primarily for DJ’s to spin in their sets. But fear not yee devoid of turntables, he assured me that AoF “take care of [their] fans, so there is another way to get Revenge: www.dance-tunes.com.”
In response to what the future holds for the group, Christian said, “our future plans include an AoF’s album, a sort of great hits plus some unreleased stuff.” He also commented that AoF appreciate their growing fan base here and that they hope to “have the opportunity to visit the in the next months.” They’re rumored to be an amazing live act, so get to it: Buy Revenge and help AoF come to . After all, we don’t want Europe to have all the fun.