[Superpower sleeve]"Superpower" (Album, 2001)


There are people out there who cannot get enough of Johnny Violent's anarchic, tongue in cheek speed techno stuff. I'm not one of them. But critiquing Johnny's work, which includes Hardcore Motherfucker is a largely futile and pointless exercise. His sense of wit is discernible through his bastardised version of dance music's epic anthem style, and you either play this ludicrously loud and leap around or go mental to it in a club. Or you don't. It's not music you sit down and write a musical thesis on, placing it in some historical context.

This could almost be one of a number of geeky European remix DJs, except there's an undeniable Englishness behind it that always sets Ultraviolence's stuff apart from the genres from which it gladly plunders. The repeating, hi-BPM pumping beats collide with antique house motifs and cheesy drum n bass riffs, but there are several indicators to support the claim that Johnny V knows precisely what he's up to. And there's is no denying the man does know how to put together a good sequence of notes as in the main theme of Separation, by far the best thing on the album and my favourite Ultraviolence track to date. Then there's Airbreak which cleverly incorporates the most famous notes from Prokofiev's Montagues and Capulets. Not original in itself but what's most remarkable is that it blends so well with the remainder that you could be convinced that Johnny came up with it first. 5/10

Rob Dyer (February 2006)