Based somewhere between Brighton (UK) and Barcelona (ESP), Alta Intensidaz Tapes have been releasing some of the most vital raw punk on the planet for the last couple of years. Over the course of five cassette-only releases, the label has established a reputation as the home of raw punk, introducing connoisseurs to bands such as Cisma, Mierda, Sentencia, Destruye/Huye/Krea (DHK), and System Defector.
These five tapes are all available to download online, and, with the exception of Sentencia’s ‘Vida O Muerte’, are still available on cassette from most quality distros. The following testaments on each release have been culled from their respective moorings in the interests of enlightenment:
Cisma – ‘Imagenes Podridas’
“Cisma is a new band based in Tenerife (Canary Islands) featuring members of Guerrilla Urbana, Generazion Eskizofrenika, Destrucción, Otan & Firmeza 10. The band have only been playing together since November 2011, but they’ve been working hard, playing live and practising as much they can. Here they bring us their first recorded attack, a pro-copy demo tape with 9-tracks of total hardcore punk with anarchist lyrics and nods to old-school Iberian hardcore. In fact, one of their members has been playing this shit since 1983. The recording has a good sound, despite being a 4-track recording. These guys are definitely using their scruffy tools better every day. You will find mid-paced and faster songs, but everything on this tape is frenetic. It seems like Cisma won’t stop shouting for freedom and punk until this nauseating society stops killing systematically” – Remote Outposts/Solo Para Punks, 2012.
Mierda – ‘Hardcore Poble Nou’
“Mierda were formed in 1985 by Tonyo and Chico Becerra, two brothers born in Barcelona to a humble family who emigrated from the south of Spain to work in the industrial city. The Becerras grew up in Poble Nou, a neighbourhood with plenty of factories. They played football in the streets, ate falafel, and discovered punk and hardcore. Since that moment, nothing has been the same. The Becerras were contaminated by the punk virus.
During their lives, the Becerra bothers have played roles in Violent Headache, Angry Mob, Mobcharge, Mob 97, Becerrukers, Anti-Clinex, Obni, 45 Revolutions, Totalickers, Pandemedium, Scrap of Food, and tons of other bands. I’ve learned a lot from these brothers. I started to write to them back in 1995, and they welcomed me when I moved to Barcelona in 1997. I passed my Nordic Beat exam with Chico as examiner, because he’s a D-Beat master, though at the time we didn’t recognise the term D-Beat. In BCN the Becerra brothers called it Nordic Beat, because of its association with bands from Sweden, Norway and Finland who were influenced by Discharge. I’ve spent many hours over the years talking about compilation tapes, scrappy bands, Latin-American HC and demos with the Becerras. We were collectively obsessed with the RAW punk sound.
Over the last 25-years, Mierda have released only demos: homemade during in the 80′s, one pro-copied tape in 1996, and, in September 2010, the band recorded their latest tape: ‘Hardcore Poble Nou’ – 19-songs of eternal, fast, raw, dirty, hardcore punk with plenty to say. They recorded the songs themselves with a PA, but the sound is very good nonetheless. Mierda sound like a mixture of Nikoteens and Zyclome A. Listen to them! I love this cassette (so much so, it’s released by this very zine)! The lyrics are formidable, pure protest cries. Mierda shit on the internet because they see it as one of the reasons why punk is more alienated everyday. Step-by-step punk is more a consumerist act than a protest movement. Mierda’s lyrics attack capitalism, music privatization, violence, the Israeli State, VIP punks, fashion, and the destruction of nature” - Alta Intensidaz zine #7: Feb, 2011.
System Defector – ‘System Defector’
“Short-lived, inept punk project from Brighton. High on hope, energy and idealism. Low on musicianship and production. These 5-songs are the raw sound of anarchy filtered through the budget instruments of 4-punk lovers with no time to waste. We think the band’s manifesto puts it better than we could ever attempt to”:
“We feel that a lot of this new “raw noise punk”- as much as we like it – is often more style than substance, more in music than in deed/politics. This is for all those who keep punk the no-talent-required sound of protest & resistance worldwide. A DIY network of friends, not just another commodity or business model” – La Vida Es Un Mus: 2012.
Sentencia – ‘Vida O Muerte’
“For whatever reason, the Spanish seem better than just about anyone else on the planet at making painfully amateur hardcore punk sound like the most intensely brilliant music on the planet. KANGRENA and MG-15 in the ’80s, bands like DESTRUCCION in the interim, and today’s visitors, SENTENCIA, carrying the fine tradition well into the new millennium. Über simplistic and rudimentary ramshackle hardcore built on the D-Beat model, but delivered with a grade school charm and an urgency impossible to fake. The vocals are desperate and pained, while the guitar and bass struggle to keep up, even though they are playing the most simplistic three- chord punk imaginable. Nine-songs in ten-minutes, but then you get to listen to them all over again. This is pure brilliance. ‘Vida O Muerte’ was recorded in 2007, and is well worth your internet time, and your Euros, if you can track down a copy” – Terminal Escape: Feb, 2012.
Destruye/Huye/Krea (DHK) – ‘Odio Tu Kumbia Moderna’
“The folks at Alta Intensidaz Tapes can seemingly do no wrong. The MIERDA tape rules, SENTENCIA still gets regular spins at TEHQ, and this gem from 2009 is perfectly raw Spanish styled punk, surging forward with the subtlety of a tidal wave. The bass at the start of ‘Jode Lo Maz Ke Puedaz’ personifies the ramshackle descriptor, this is lo-fi punk at it’s absolute best” – Terminal Escape: April, 2012.
DHK hail from Peru, and have since released the essential ‘Primera Maketa’ EP, a 6-track seven on Odio Los Disco: OdioLosDiscos@hotmail.com
A new record is currently in production for La Vida Es Un Mus, with a release scheduled for later this year. Alta Intensidaz Tapes are also available from La Vida Es Un Mus