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Name is pronounced in Afrikaans by anybody who knows them ('butter-ray near-gha')

battery 9 the Industrial project from the troubled soil of Johannesburg, South Africa, is the brainchild of Paul Riekert, who writes, plays and records the music.

He started recording under the name battery 9 in 1994, bored with the creative constraints of a standard rock band format. A platform to run various projects from, One F Music, was subsequeltly founded, in the form of an independent record label and a small home studio.

The first battery 9 album, Protskrog, was released in 1995. Made and backed by little more than a shoestring budget, it sold well enough to warrant a licensing deal with independent record company Tic Tic Bang.

The next release, Strop, (1996) saw battery 9 break through to a wider audience, with the songs "Kiss The Machine" and "Cross No More Rivers" receiving daytime airplay and eventually charting on 5FM, a major nationwide commercial radio station. For the first time, the major industry took notice and the project received major media coverage, while the live act played for increasingly bigger audiences, culminating in a solo show at the Viper Room in Pretoria in 1997 that drew 1200 people. In the same year, the album Gris, featuring re-mixes, re-interpretations and interactive CD-Rom-data was released.

In 1998, the album Wrok saw the light, which was awarded Best Rock Album in that year's South African Music Awards.

After a few major live performances, like supporting The Prodigy and Faithless on their tour here, battery 9 took a break for a couple of months to re-charge batteries, and re-assemble the live act.

Battery 9 is a prime example of what is wrong with South African music, or at least with South African music that makes it to the top of the heap: At it's most talented, slick, innovative and fresh-sounding (as Battery 9 surely is) it is still just a rehash of what came over from the US and UK a few years prior.

Battery 9's breakthrough track, kiss the machine is entirely in the territory covered by Nine Inch Nails, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, Apoptygma Berzerk, Front 242 and company.

But hey, it's just like the Yanks have, only it's in Afrikaans so it must be really good, right?

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