Last updated
16-17 AMSTERDAM.jpg
Background information
Origin Basel, Switzerland
Genres punk jazz, industrial, jazzcore
Years active1983–2000
LabelsPathological Records, Big Cat, Savageland Records, Virgin, Digital Hardcore Recordings (DHR)
Associated acts God, Ice, Godflesh
Members Alex Buess
Michael Wertmüller
Damian Bennett
Past membersKnut Remond
Markus Kneubühler
Daniel Buess (died 2016)
Kevin Martin
G.C. Green

16-17 was a band from Basel, Switzerland. Their music combined punk rock, hardcore punk, jazz and industrial music.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

Hardcore punk Subgenre of punk rock

Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".



16-17 was founded in 1983 by Alex Buess, Knut Remond [1] and Markus Kneubühler. When the group played its first concerts in 1983 it was received with controversial reactions: there where hardly no groups that played in an approximately similar style. Only some years later around 1986 groups like Painkiller, Last Exit or The Flying Luttenbachers appeared . They played a similar mix of rough noise, heavily amplified instruments and free jazz inspired improvisation. 1983 to 1994 the group did a lot of tours and played many gigs all over Europe, Japan and USA. From this period there are three official releases: the cassette Buffbunker and Hardkore , the LP 16-17 (Label Rec Rec) as well as the LP When All Else Fails... (Label Vision/Praxis). These first three productions of the group are exclusively live recordings.

Alex Buess experimental musician and composer

Alex Buess is a Swiss composer, saxophone player, producer and sound artist born in 1954 in Basel (CH).

Painkiller is a band that formed in 1991, combining avant-garde jazz and grindcore. Later albums incorporated elements of ambient and dub.

Last Exit was a free jazz supergroup composed of electric guitarist Sonny Sharrock, drummer/occasional vocalist Ronald Shannon Jackson, saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, and bass guitarist Bill Laswell. They were active from 1986 to the early 1990s, releasing primarily live albums recorded in Europe. Sharrock's death in 1994 caused the dissolution of the band, though touring had not occurred for several years before his demise.

1994 Alex Buess met Kevin Martin during the recording sessions of the group Alboth! for their CD Liebefeld [2] Alex Buess played saxophones on this album as a guest musician and Kevin Martin produced it. This first meeting of Buess and Martin was very important: they both got along very well: they both went similar paths, Kevin with his group GOD and Alex with 16-17. Consequently, 16-17 worked on the production of their first studio album Gyatso . [3] The album was produced by Kevin Martin and G. C. Green (Godflesh) appeared as a guest musician. Kevin Martin said in an interview by Jason Pettigrew ( Alternative Press ): "I liked the sheer intensity of 16-17's Early Recordings very much and I intended to increase this intensity by the additional use of studio technology." He was indeed very successful. The CD found a lot of attention in the international press, the media and the audience.

Kevin Martin (British musician) English dubstep musician

Kevin Martin is a musician, record producer and journalist, often known under his recording alias The Bug from England, UK. Martin moved from Weymouth to London around 1990 and is now currently based in Berlin, Germany. He has been active for over two decades, in the genres of dub, jazzcore, industrial hip hop, dancehall, and dubstep.

<i>Gyatso</i> (album) album by 16-17

Gyatso is the final studio album by industrial punk jazz band 16-17, released on May 10, 1994 by Pathological Records and Big Cat Records, re-released by Savage Land 2008.

G. C. Green British musician

Ben George Christian "G. C." Green is an English musician, best known as the co-founder and bass guitarist of the Birmingham-based industrial metal band, Godflesh.

After the production of Gyatso the line up of the band changed. The bass player Damian Bennett (Deathless, khost, Techno Animal) replaced Markus Kneubühler and the drummer Michael Wertmüller [4] (Full Blast) replaced Knut Remond. 16-17 toured all over Europe with this new line up. The idea was to reproduce the sound of the Gyatso album live. The concert appearance at the Taktlos Festival 1995 was one of the highlights of 16-17's new sound. 1999 the EP Human Distortion was released on Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore Label (DHR) and in the same year the Mechanophobia EP appeared on Praxis [5] the Berlin-based label. In autumn 1999 16-17 toured again extensively as 16-17 Soundsystem with Daniel Buess [6] (MIR, My Daily Noise, Noise Zone) on drums. In 2000 the group disbanded.

Techno Animal is an industrial hip hop duo formed in 1990 in London, England by British composers and musicians Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin. The name addresses the concept of a technological animal and is not a direct reference to the techno genre.

Alec Empire German musician

Alec Empire is a German experimental electronic musician who is best known as a founding member of the band Atari Teenage Riot, as well as a prolific and distinguished solo artist, producer and DJ. He has released many albums, EPs and singles, some under aliases, and remixed over seventy tracks for various artists including Björk. He was also the driving force behind the creation of the digital hardcore genre, and founded the record labels Digital Hardcore Recordings and Eat Your Heart Out.

Digital Hardcore Recordings record label

Digital Hardcore Recordings (DHR) is a record label set up in 1994 by Alec Empire, Joel Amaretto and Pete Lawton. Most of the music is recorded in Berlin, though the label is based in London where the records are mastered and manufactured. The funds for setting up the label came from the payment which Atari Teenage Riot received for their aborted record deal with the major UK record label Phonogram Records.

It was very difficult to get hold of the 16-17 productions for quite a long time. But in 2005 Savageland Records a Lyon-based French record label re-released a CD box called When All Else Fails... a.k.a. Early Recordings and later in 2008 Gyatso . Weasel Walter has remastered both productions and Jason Pettigrew wrote extensive new liner notes for Gyatso.

<i>When All Else Fails...</i> (16-17 album) album by 16-17

The two-CD collection, When All Else Fails...a.k.a. Early Recordings, gathers together three different recordings by Swiss trio 16-17: 1984's Hardkore & Buffbunker, 1987's 16-17, and 1989's When All Else Fails. This live album by the industrial punk jazz band was released on May 20, 2005, by Savage Land.

Weasel Walter American composer

Weasel Walter is a composer and instrumentalist who founded the band The Flying Luttenbachers in Chicago in 1991. He has played in the bands Cellular Chaos and Lydia Lunch Retrovirus. Walter moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003, where he reformed the Luttenbachers with the addition of bassist Mike Green and guitarist Ed Rodriguez. Mick Barr joined the group in 2005. The Flying Luttenbachers broke up in late 2007. On November 25, 2009, Weasel Walter announced that he was moving to New York City to join the band Behold... The Arctopus on drums. He formed Cellular Chaos with Marc Edwards, Admiral Grey, and Ceci Moss.

Live at Taktlos Festival 1995 16-17 Taktlos 1995.jpg
Live at Taktlos Festival 1995


<i>When All Else Fails...</i> (16-17 LP) album by 16-17

When All Else Fails... is the second vinyl LP by 16-17, released in 1989 through Vision. It is the second full-length vinyl album of the band.

<i>Human Distortion</i> album

Human Distortion is an EP / MCD by 16-17, released in 1998 through Digital Hardcore Recordings (DHR).

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  4. "Michael Wertmüller". 10 May 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016 via Wikipedia.
  5. "Praxis - Nothing essential happens in the absence of noise". praxis-records.net. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
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