[dropcap]Today[/dropcap], Nitzer Ebb‘s Douglas McCarthy turns 49 – so this is a good time to celebrate one of the most influential singers of the electronic music scene! If you ever haunted a dark club on the weekends, I am sure that you heard Douglas’ voice at least once – anthems like Join In The Chant, Murderous or Control I’m Here, three of the many Nitzer Ebb tracks that turned out to be club hits are a key staple of many DJs, regardless whether they do sets at your local goth venue or Berghain, thus the influence of Nitzer Ebb and Douglas McCarthy on many styles of electronic music is undeniably huge.
Starting in 1982, the band released their demo collection Basic Pain Procedure, featuring excellent tracks such as The Home or Crane one year later – back then they were heavily influenced by acts such as Killing Joke, Kraftwerk, Malaria!, DAF or Die Krupps, with whom they collaborated on The Machineries of Joy. Dominated by pounding beats, heavy bass lines and usually devoid of any synth leads (cut it short – EBfuckin’M!), it was Douglas McCarthy’s duty to give those tracks a life, a human touch to raise them to the next level – something he gloriously did with his unique voice and his shouting style which is, to this day, copied by many and mastered by few, regardless how much distortion is used.
His voice, with which he could as well do an excellent drill sergeant and a charming, melancholic crooner, is, to this day, one thing that sets Nitzer Ebb apart from the rest, and not just Nitzer Ebb – techno producer Terrence Fixmer, with whom he releases excellent album under the moniker Fixmer/McCarthy, Alan Wilder, for whose Recoil project he provided vocals for a cover of Alex Harvey’s Faith Healer or Cyrus Rex, with whom he did a collaborative concert in 2013 for Danish television – which you can see in the embedded video – and recently formed the project DJMREX. preceding the concert, you can hear some excellent words of Douglas McCarthy about the beginnings of Nitzer Ebb. Enjoy!