Ultraviolence (band)

Last updated

Origin London
Genres Industrial, hardcore, electronica, techno
Years active 1991–2004, 2010–present
Labels Earache Records, Food Records, White Label Music, Safe
Members Johnny Violent, Mel Allezbleu

Ultraviolence is an industrial/techno band formed in London in 1991 and headed by 'the Quentin Tarantino of techno' [1] Johnny Violent (b. Jonathan Casey). To date, they have released five studio albums, including a ten-year retrospective, [2] and six EPs/singles. The group have produced a number of club classics [3] which include the tracks Hardcore Motherfucker and Psycho Drama and have been recognised as being at the 'forefront of the UK Industrial-Cyber scene'. [4] The Ultraviolence sound incorporates elements from various styles including hardcore techno/gabber, breakbeat hardcore, industrial techno, power noise, metal and rap.

Quentin Tarantino American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor

Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American filmmaker and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear storylines, satirical subject matter, an aestheticization of violence, extended scenes of dialogue, ensemble casts consisting of established and lesser-known performers, references to popular culture and a wide variety of other films, soundtracks primarily containing songs and score pieces from the 1960s to the 1980s, and features of neo-noir film.

Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. Many styles of techno now exist, but Detroit techno is seen as the foundation upon which a number of sub-genres have been built.

Gabber is a style of electronic music and a subgenre of hardcore techno.


A substantial body of the Ultraviolence releases received positive critical reception [5] since the first album Life of Destructor gaining '5Ks' from Kerrang magazine. [6] In 2004 Ultraviolence released a retrospective two CD album titled Blown Away 1994-2004. [4] ' [1] [7]

A retrospective, generally, is a look back at events that took place, or works that were produced, in the past. As a noun, retrospective has specific meanings in medicine, software development, popular culture and the arts. It is applied as an adjective, synonymous with the term retroactive, to laws, standards, and awards.

Johnny Violent has worked with several female vocal artists on different releases, but as of 2005, singer and angle grinding stage performer Mel Allezbleu has become a permanent member of the band.


Johnny Casey first experimented in making electronic music in his teens. After attending Goldsmiths College in London for a diploma in sound engineering and working in a record shop, he tried his hand at gigging locally with a college friend.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Johnny got into production in a serious way in late 1990 and adopted the name Johnny Violent (aka Ultraviolence) in reference to the film A Clockwork Orange . He saved up money for some studio time and recorded and handful of tracks including "You'll Never Sleep Tonight" which was played by John Peel on BBC Radio 1 and gained the attention of London label Food Records, who signed Johnny in 1992.

Record producer individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

<i>A Clockwork Orange</i> (film) 1971 dystopian crime film directed by Stanley Kubrick

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. It employs disturbing, violent images to comment on psychiatry, juvenile delinquency, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian near-future Britain.

John Peel English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft,, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004.

The relationship between Ultraviolence and the trendy, indie-orientated Food Records was never likely to be a happy one and soon dissolved. In fact it was 1994 before the debut album Life of Destructor was released on Nottingham's Earache Records label. Earache had been previously known for releasing extreme heavy metal acts such as Carcass and Napalm Death. Nevertheless, the relationship between Johnny and Earache's label owner Digby Pearson proved a fruitful and durable one over the next decade.

Food Records was a British rock record label set up in 1984 by David Balfe, who later took on Andy Ross as his partner. Originally formed as an independent record label with distribution going through Rough Trade Distribution, Food also licensed acts though WEA Records, before becoming closely associated with the EMI group's Parlophone label. EMI invested in the label and then in 1994 EMI gained complete control and folded it into Parlophone in 2000.

Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

It was the second Ultraviolence album, Psycho Drama (1996), that made critics start to believe there was more to the act than pure noise terror. Highly ambitious in concept and execution, Psycho Drama was a full-length gabber "opera", telling the tortured love story of the "Hitman" and "Jessica" characters.

In 1995, Ultraviolence toured the US with fellow UK industrialists Cubanate. However, the limitations of Johnny’s one-man stage shows were becoming apparent and American audiences never quite took to Ultraviolence like Techno-aware European crowds. From this point on, Johnny usually appeared on-stage backed by various singers, dancers and showers of sparks from male or female angle-grinders.

The third album, 1998's Killing God marked a new transition to a new, more commercial Ultraviolence sound, dubbed "happy hardcore" by some, although the lyrical themes remained as bleak as ever. The album contained a cover of the Black Sabbath classic song "Paranoid".

In 2001, the fourth Ultraviolence album, Superpower was released, again groping for a wider market.

In 2014, Jonathan Casey won the Gardens Category of the Royal Horticultural Society Photographic Competition 2013 [8] for his photograph of Kentwell Hall Moat [9]


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Ultraviolence or Ultra-violence may refer to:

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  1. 1 2 New Releases, Sandman Magazine, retrieved 17 July 2010
  2. Blown Away 1994-2004, Amazon.co.uk, retrieved 17 July 2010
  3. Ultraviolence Interview, Side-Line Magazine, retrieved 17 July 2010
  4. 1 2 Best Of The Batch: Stocking Stuffers, MusicDish, retrieved 17 July 2010
  5. Ultraviolence: Superpower, Metro Times, retrieved 17 July 2010
  6. Life of Destructor, Kerrang! Magazine issue 517
  7. Ultraviolence Blown Away 94-04, dB Magazine, retrieved 17 July 2010
  8. RHS Photographic Competition 2013, RHS, retrieved 29 January 2014
  9. RHS Photographic Competition 2013 Slide Show, RHS, retrieved 29 January 2014