Reptiljan : The Hellbender Suite

Reptiljan : The Hellbender Suite CD

Reptiljan combines the blast-beats of grindcore and the broken rhythms of drill’n’bass/ breakcore, samples in everything from 1980’s heavy to modern hip-hop and lets in a good dose of abrasive noise and distortion.

Reptiljan is a manic burst of noise, hectic rhythms and splintered guitars, making the listener squirm, laugh uncontrollably and see lizards on the walls.

Reptiljan is a mutant radiating energy, related in spirit to artists like Napalm Death, Venetian Snares, Kid606, Painkiller (John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Mick Harris), Beherit, who are breaking the different boundaries of music.

Reptiljan is a violent and humoristic combination of different styles and something completely new.

Reptiljan is music you can laugh at! This music is far removed from the dead seriousness and graveness all too often connected with electronic music. Reptiljan’s latest gig came to a grinding halt after just three minutes burst of ruckus and
tormented beats as the PA went silent, leaving the artist swearing and laughing. The audience reacted with applause spiced with laughter. Even the mystical Snap Crackle Pope was laughing into his mitre somewhere behind the curtains…!

Reptiljan is a project by Niko Skorpio. A project where he lets go all the energy bubbling inside him, sparing nothing. Niko Skorpio has been actively involved in underground music scenes from the beginning of the 1990’s. He has behind him a
number line-ups, styles and albums; this album by Reptiljan is the latest and certainly the loudest and most energetic!

The Hellbender Suite is a half-an-hour package of compressed energy, a dirty bomb purifying both mind and soul. In “Pangrenade”, blastbeats get layered over and over again, growing into an aggressive wall of sound, which collapses under its own weight in order to rise up again. Freegulls is arrogantly pilfering a recent hit, bending it into unrecognizable knots. “Outauguration of the Chimp Zombie” is an instinctual regurgitation on world politics pouring straight out from the spine…
All in all, 11 tracks and 28 minutes.

The Hellbender Suite is dedicated to Nuclear Death, Beherit and Impetigo (cult bands from the change of the 80-90’s, in case you didn’t know) and naturally to Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, who lent his name to the album.

CD, edition of 500 copies.


“Ah…Oh….Um…Yeah…Ok…??? So I played it again. Ah…Oh…Um…Yeah…!!! Then once more. Ah…Oh…fucking hell! In the interests of being fair and constructive I persevered and played it once more. Ah…Oh…now I get it. Or do I? I’m fucked if I know. If this was any other recording that could be easily defined or labelled I could bung up a quick review either praising or scathing the work but “The Hellbender Suite” isn’t a piece of music that falls into a specific category. Mixing noise, grind core, drill n base and the semi experimental avant- garde over the eleven, fairly short, tracks makes for one very unusual unsettling listening experience. Very fucking unusual it has to be reiterated.
Put it this way…if you had a white t-shirt in a washing machine then proceeded to add further different highly coloured items in along with it and stuck the wash onto the hottest setting…the resulting t-shirt would, colour wise, be all over the fucking shop but still wearable. And that is what this CD sounds like. It goes nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Totally dumb but exceedingly intellectual with it. The musical equivalent of Forest Gump. Breakneck beats collide with obtuse electronic bursts and patterns of noise that fly off in different tangents then fall apart before joining up again to repeat the process. Unrelenting in its desire to disorientate and confuse.Comparable to…no-one I‘ve ever heard of. It has multi personality disorder stamped high across its forehead. So many styles wrapped up in the same body of music.”
(Aural Pressure)

“Here we have 11 generally succinct tracks of glitchy noise and electronics from Finnish experimentalist Niko Skorpio, recorded from 2003 – 2005 and totaling just under a half-hour. Expect lots of wispy, crackling electronic textures, ranging from mangled fast paced beats and unintelligible vocal/musical samples to spurts of dark ambient soundscapes or buzzing, machinated textures. But know this: After the awesome subdued, sinister ambience of opener, “Dehibernate”, nothing really sticks around for too long, so the end result is fairly frantically structured, and tracks skip from one to the next without much of an indication – so before you know it you’ll be midway through the disc and not even know it! “Outauguration of the Chimp Zombie” is among the only tracks that gets significantly louder and harsher for the duration of its two minutes, complete with searing distortion, chaotic blips, and multiple layers of sampled vocals – including those of George (The “chimp zombie”?) W. Bush. The only composition that surpasses three-and-a-half minutes, the much longer “Kafka Snores” is a bit more subdued and consistent in its use of chopped up beats and warbled drones over distant wails of eerie hums (Which I’d love to isolate, because they sound incredible!), before breaking down to a light grade of sizzling distortion towards the close – which is when “All Songs Must Die” brings back the cutup beats and sporadic movements so dominant everywhere else to end things out. The packaging looks very nice, with lots of bright colors and dirty textures with interesting visuals and text arrangements. There’s not a great deal of information provided, but what’s here does at least look quite interesting, so that’s cool. In large part this isn’t really the kind of thing that I get into when it comes to experimental noise, but at the same time, the overall quality with which the release has been handled is something that I can respect and appreciate on several levels. The sound quality is super crisp and clear, the packaging looks excellent… it’s just a really professional outing, and those efforts count. I realize that this is a short review, but the CD itself is actually surprisingly quick, and for the most part it plays out almost like one odd, lengthy selection. There’s not all that much more to it!”

“Niko Skorpio isn’t a newcomer to the pages of Vital Weekly, either under his own name, or releases on his Some Place Else label or as Reptiljan. Under the latter moniker Skorpio offers his breakcore styled beat cum grindcore stuff. Short tracks going on, eleven in about thirty minutes, of highly fucked up rhythm stuff, going at an incredible speed – sometimes the bpm is so high, the sound becomes a drone. Ultra vivid rapid cut ups, taking samples from grindcore bands, feeding them to computer’s plug ins, until mayhem arises. Although listed with eleven tracks, it rather hears as one long track. Music that leaves the listener quite tired after this intense thirty minutes. Think Doormouse and Venetian Snares, dressed in black and playing grindcore and you get the picture of this. Not my regular digest, but nevertheless quite alright on a weekly basis.”
(Vital Weekly)

The Hellbender Suite on todellinen extreme-electronican sulattamo. Hektisen säröisestä break beat -naksutuksesta alitajuntaan porautuvaan droneen ja levottomasti ambient-vesillä aaltoilevasta äänimaalailusta elektronisen ”grindin” kautta raastavan infernaaliseen noiseen. Levy tarjoilee myös moninaista soundi- ja sämplepolitiikkaa. Tilkkutäkkiestetiikkaa oivallisesti hyödyntävistä kappaleista voi löytää sekä ikivanhoja Aavikon kone ja moottori –tyyppisiä analogipulputuksia että nykyajan veitsenterävää digitaalimelskettä. Sämpleistä löytyy niin nopeutettua hittimusiikkia kuin lokkejakin.
Reptiljan sorvaa kaikesta tästä konehälystä informaatioähkyisen puolituntisen joka repii, riuhtoo ja ylikuormittaa mieltä. Tästä ylikuormituksesta saa pirunmoiset sävärit. Sen kiihdyttävästä meluekstaasista löytyy sekä hauskoja oivalluksia että toden teolla piinaavaa meteliä. The Hellbender Suite vie kuulijansa ääripäästä ääripäähän, jättää jälkeensä hikipisaroita ja raukean mielentilan. Extreme-ääniurheilun ystäville suosittelen levyn kuuntelemista kuulokkeilla, jolloin asettaa itsensä Reptiljanin herkeämättömän informaatiotulvan solmupisteeksi.”

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