Berlin electronic/punk icon Hanin Elias

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Hanin Elias was born in Germany and spent part of her childhood in Syria. After her family moved to Berlin, she ran away from home and found her voice in the city’s then bustling punk and hardcore underground, and in 1992 she formed Atari Teenage Riot with fellow Berliners Alec Empire and MC Carl Crack. Fusing punk and techno aesthetics into what they termed digital hardcore, the band expressed anarchist and anti-fascist ideals, attracting controversy as well as industry interest. Using an advance from Phonogram Records, they set up their own Digital Hardcore Recordings, and in 1996 the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal label licensed their debut album Delete Yourself!, leading to stage dates with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan and Nine Inch Nails. In 1999, Elias left the band and over the next decade focused on solo work and her own label, Fatal Recordings, which championed female and female-identifying artists. She released her first solo album, Get It Back, in 2011, and continues to collaborate with both musicians and filmmakers. In this episode of Couch Wisdom recorded as part of the 2018 CTM Festival in Berlin, and held at the Red Bull Music Studios, Elias retraced her steps from punk squats to festival stages and onwards to a lasting independent career.

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