Shizuo R.I.P.

June 8, 2011
By Paul Simpson

According to posts made on Facebook by Cobra Killer and Hanin Elias, David Hammer (a.k.a. Shizuo) has died, presumably of an overdose. Shizuo only released one album (1997′s Shizuo Vs. Shizor) and a handful of singles, but his music had a junky, lo-fi aesthetic that truly sounded like nothing else at the time, and barely anything that’s happened since. Unlike the music of Digital Hardcore labelmates such as Atari Teenage Riot, there was no political sloganeering; this was a truly warped short-attention-span trip that sounded like it was made on a barely-functioning sampler, featuring some of the most blown-out distorted breakbeats ever recorded. One of the songs sampled Hasil Adkins, and there was a video for the album’s Residents-sampling cover of The Cramps “New Kind Of Kick”, which even managed to get some late night MTV airplay. Somehow the album was incredibly well distributed thanks to the Beastie Boys, who released it on their Grand Royal label in the USA, but I’m guessing most people who heard it didn’t know what to make of it. Nevertheless, the album, along with the other ’90s releases on DHR, was a huge influence on the breakcore scene, even if nobody ever really came close to doing anything like it. Various websites have pointed to Hammer joining a band called The Nothings, who I’ve heard described as either punk, country, rockabilly, or a Ramones cover band. I always hoped he’d resurface someday with a second album, even if it sounded nothing like his first. Regardless, Shizuo is one of the most original artists I’ve ever heard, and will be missed.

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2 Responses to Shizuo R.I.P.

  1. [...] Foxy Digitalis reported the death of David “Shizuo” Hammer, citing Facebook posts by Cobra Killer and Hanin [...]

  2. [...] The Daily Swarm (via Foxy Digitalis) reports that abrasive electronic producer David “Shizuo” Hammer recently passed away [...]

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