Robert Inhuman is in Realicide. And Realicide is Punk. Well, to be fair, the music itself is not Punk, per se. The sounds made by this collective of kids in their late teens and early 20s are part experimental Noise and part Gabber (a hardcore and fast-paced style of electronic music). However, Realicide shares many parallels with Punk: they have a disinterest in musical technique and their songs are rife with social commentary. Above all, though, just like Punk, Realicide emphasizes the importance of youth.
"I want ... the performers under that (Realicide) title to be in their teens and early-to-mid-20s," states Inhuman, the main driver behind the band. "It's intended to be youth-based." This provides opportunity for musicians who otherwise would have few opportunities for live performance. Too often, clubs and more experienced performers have a condescending attitude toward what he refers to as "extremist youth interest."
To this end, Inhuman has gathered a group of like-minded youth to join him: Mavis Concave, Aaron Quinn, Nick Nerswick, Swill and others have all recorded separately and collectively, under both the Realicide band name and the Realicide Youth label.
In a way, music scenes have their own version of the no-job-without-experience paradox, and this is his way of getting around that. "It's about giving opportunity to the next generation, a more open-minded and free-thinking group of youth."
Musically, 23-year-old Inhuman initially came from Punk Rock, progressing to other extreme music. The summer after he graduated from high school, he found out about the "Art Damage" show on community radio station WAIF, a focal point for experimental musicians in the area.
"I found out more about the actual extremities in the music world, like Noise and aggressive cut-ups and sample-based, appropriation-based music," he remembers. "Art Damage helped a lot to open my eyes."
For many, college broadens not only one's academic knowledge, but also one's musical knowledge, and Inhuman was no exception.
"I think once I was in college, I started to notice a lot of parallels between Punk Rock music and other things, like Electronic music, which, in the case of Techno, led me to an interest in hardcore Techno and Gabber," he says.
"This really fast, absurd, grotesque stuff still, amazingly enough, can carry a really firm and direct social message, if not just through the lyrics alone, also through the implications of it," Inhuman explains. "Kind of like the 'Obey Giant' thing, where he says, 'The medium is the message.' The process through which something is made could be just as socially relevant as the lyrics."
Inhuman is definitely aware of one problem with aiming at Cincinnati's youth. "(A) big factor is the lack of all-ages venues," he says. "For instance, when we play in the suburbs at a house, or some place a kid rented out, a lot of kids show up. A lot of underage kids show up. And that's why Art Damage, Inc. (the nonprofit organization recently founded by Ron Orovitz and Chris Roesing) is trying to score an all-ages venue right now." (The group recently announced such a space had been procured in Northside, above where all-ages Punk club The Void sat not long ago).
Inhuman has been heavily involved in Art Damage, Inc., organizing the "Brutal Damage Fest" at The Mockbee in January, which raised hundreds of dollars. The money from such benefit shows is used to bring in other experimental acts from out of town, as well as fund the new venue.
Realicide, both as a group and individually, have countless releases on the horizon, but in true Punk fashion, the commercial aspects of selling their music is downplayed. In fact, he prefers the term "documents" to "albums" or "tapes." "It's about communication," he says. The solo document, Robert Inhuman's Rockin' Summer, is due soon.
"It'll be kind of like in the movie Caddyshack when a Journey song comes on, except a real downer, too. It'll be like a rocking summer except with pure tears."
REALICIDE (realicide.tk) performs Aug. 14 at the new Art Damage space (4011 Hamilton Ave. in Northside).