Newly formed industrial duo Black 13 performs at Most Wanted Fine Art | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Newly formed industrial duo Black 13 performs at Most Wanted Fine Art

click to enlarge Wanderers: Black 13
Wanderers: Black 13

Science-fiction movies are often set in high-tech corridors, and old-school industrialist duo Black 13 is one local group whose music may remind you of creeping down fearful spaceship walkways shrouded in mist or dripping with alien goo. Originally called Black 13 Krew, Black 13 consists of Aliquippa native Robert D'Atri and Noah Nine, who recently returned to the area from Seattle. Together they've released the Black Lodge EP and the new Wanderer of the Waste CD.

"We wanted it to be straight-ahead beats that aren't extremely IDM-ish but driving and industrial, though it's not the EBM or trance that the goth kids are dancing to right now," says D'Atri. "It's more influenced by '80s bands like Skinny Puppy. I don't think we sound like [Puppy], but we have samples and a high degree of sound design."

Although this group is new, it has a backstory -- D'Atri has a solo project called Realmz on the Sonic Groove label, and Nine has released music as Son of None. They've also known each other for awhile.

"My history with Noah goes back to the mid-'90s, when he lived here," D'Atri says. "He made several cassettes on a four-track with whatever instruments he could get his hands on, in the genre of experimental/electronic with bits of folk." The concept of Black 13 was kicked off by Noah's return from Seattle last year with friend Patrick Urn, proprietor of the label Backwards Records, in tow. Urn, who performs as Syphilis Sauna and Herpes Hideaway, "came out to work on stuff with Noah because they're friends," D'Atri says, "and it looks like he's going to stay."

D'Atri admits that sampling his favorite films can be direct inspiration for some tracks, such as the famed "blessings of the state, blessings of the masses" quote from the George Lucas classic THX-1138, or a quote from H.P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu. "That's something Noah and I only really do with Black 13. A certain movie will [catalyze] a song -- we'll get a whole bunch of snippets from it and use that as our basis."

Although much of Wanderer is cinematic, thickly layered ambience ("that's the influence of Coil, and Aphex Twin's Ambient Works 2"), there are occasional exceptions -- like the Front 242-esque "Escape from Discordia." Both will join newer beat-oriented tracks in the live show, when Black 13 performs this Fri., Feb. 19 at Most Wanted Fine Art.


Black 13 with Moon Colony, Herpes Hideaway and Erreur Fatale. 8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 19. Most Wanted Fine Art, 5015 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5. 412-889-7526

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