'Nazi Techno' Fad Hits Dance Floors

The Last Word

Early last Oct. 4, the residents of a largely Jewish neighborhood in a suburb of New York City awoke to find that discs of neo-Nazi music, which listed contact information for the Aryan Nations, had been tossed onto their front yards overnight. One of the tracks contained samples of Third Reich-era Hitler speeches layered over jittery electronic dance beats. Media coverage referencing that song's title produced one of the most unforgettable media headlines of 2007: "Hitler's Dance Mix Album Left on Yonkers Lawns."

Rather than a one-off novelty track, "Hitler's Dance Mix" represented a new breed of hate music, one designed for neon-soaked dance floors rather than beer-drenched mosh pits. Fans of the genre are calling it "Nazi Techno," and the DJs playing it have stage names to match: DJ Adolf, DJ Panzerfaust, DJ-88 (88 is neo-Nazi code for "Heil Hitler") and DJ Ghost of the Reich are just a few examples.

As sworn enemies of blacks, gays and "race-mixers," young neo-Nazis couldn't have come up with a more ludicrous soundtrack. Techno music was popularized in the early 1980s in Chicago and Detroit by DJs catering to an interracial, gender-bending potpourri of gay and straight club-goers who liked to go out dancing, or "jacking," until dawn — a scene that would seem prone to giving neo-Nazis headaches, if not nightmares. Even so, young, racist DJs are now making their own migraine-inducing contributions to the genre.

So what does Nazi Techno sound like?

First, take distorted bass drum rhythms and blast them at 180 beats per minute. Add some synthesizer squelch and a few ambulance sirens, then top it all off with a looped clip of the late American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell declaring, "Our enemy is the Jews. … Spit in their eyes." The result is DJ-88's "Boot Party Mix 99," which is Nazi Techno's best-known single.

New York-based DJ Ghost of the Reich recently released "3rd Reich," a DVD music album of what he calls "National Socialist trance beats," which apparently means, "Nazi Techno, but slower." Another full-length Nazi Techno album, DJ Adolf's "Hatesampler," features dance-floor bangers with titles like "Hitler's SS", "Judentum" (Judaism) and "Berich Der Warheit" (Realm of Truth). Its creator posts music videos featuring the songs on YouTube that combine footage of Nazi concentration camps with Waffen SS war maneuvers. DJ Adolf is also the sonic mastermind behind "Down With Niggers," a Nazi Techno track featuring electronic beats mashed up with the racist country music of Johnny Rebel.

Although one of DJ Adolf's videos, "Hitler Party," has been viewed more than 200,000 times on YouTube, Nazi Techno is rarely, if ever, played live in clubs. But it's having an influence on commercial "hatecore," the more traditional, punk rock-derived music of racist skinheads.

NSM88 Records, a hatecore music company owned and operated by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, recently released an album titled "Racially Provoked Attack," advertising it as "a new style of music in the vein of DJ Adolf." According to NSM88, it's "Industrial Dance beats collid[ing] with old-school RAC [Rock Against Communism] riffs." "Prepare for the Race War" and another song attacking Jews are among its dozen tracks.

While Nazi Techno for now remains a primarily online phenomenon, some of its proponents have been trying to change that. "I think it would be great to have a pro-white club to play our music. I have been toying with the thought of hosting a rave," "SKINHEADfff/88" posted to the online white nationalist forum Stormfront. "I would play 100% white techno."

Since techno was created by black DJs, that's a bit like promising to play "100% white" jazz or hip-hop, which may be part of the reason why hatecore concert promoters aren't exactly warming up to Nazi Techno. None of the organizers of major hate rock festivals like Aryan Fest, Hammerfest and Nordic Fest have yet seen fit to include a DJ booth, thus saving the world, at least for now, from the prospect of jackbooted skinheads jacking.