When most bands say that they are original, they are saying this only because they are too close to the product to see the forest for the trees. A four-piece band with a guitar, vocalist, drummer and bassist has been covered in just about every possible way, and at this point, it’s impossible to be truly original with such a configuration.
In fact, in today’s music atmosphere, it’s become significantly more difficult to break new ground or even be original (which is why so many metal/rock bands feel forced to turn to gimmicks in order to stand out). However, in the case of Gabber Nullification Project, not only are they truly original musically, in some aspects, they have even ventured into uncharted territory.
For years, hardcore electronic music has been particularly rigid with sticking to fully programmed tracks, with each successive group trying to up the BPM ante, essentially turning the live shows into elaborately predictable karaoke performances.
This is not what Gabber Nullification Project is or does.
What Gabber Nullification Project, or GNP for short, does is take a standard gabber beat, typified by a distorted 4/4 kick drum, take some breakbeats, totally chop them up to the point that they are not recognized, create some stunning and virtuosic keyboard riffs, toss everything together and pepper them with screams, growls and video game samples. In a nut shell, this is GNP.
They take this approach while writing songs, and bring it to their live show as well. There is no reason that an electronic act needs to sit behind a laptop and rely on the shitty house lights that the cover band the night before was using.
Armed with a brilliant video setup, at any given GNP show you may see clips of leprechauns, overweight cosplay transformers or flashback inducing American bicentennial propaganda, coupled with the fact that the duo, Aaron and Xiv, refuse to stay immobile behind their keyboards, thrashing as hard as their metalhead counterparts.
Their new album, 2A03, is rooted around their love of old school video games. Spanning fifteen tracks, GNP plows through the tracks with ferocity, recognizing that everything is not about speed, and that sometimes a well planned stomp can be just as effective as a blazing thrash. 2A03 provides a healthy balance of both.
Every track of 2A03 has elements of 8-bit audio from start to end. Some elements may be recognizable; others are just allusions to the gaming induced sore thumbs of yesteryear. All of them will elicit some bodily movement, be it a head-bop, a head-bang or some classic slam-dancing.
With 2A03, Gabber Nullification Project swims to new water, and turns it into a tempestuous whirlpool, one which is unlikely to release its hook laden grip.