Impaler is an experimental music outfit fronted by Anthony Volpe, performing under the moniker "Ataco Cardiaco, the Latex Warrior."
Originally when the project started in 1995, it was created in response to the techno movement and was meant as a mean-spirited swipe at its repetitious nature. The group's most infamous song, "Laxative," was programmed in 1993 and is essentially nothing more than a re-write of Moby's early hit "Ah-Ah" (featured in the movie Cool World), with fart noises replacing the main synthesizer riff. It was the first song Anthony composed on the Ensoniq ASR-10 workstation his main collaborator Bill Gow purchased for their band, Death Before Disco. Not long after that, Anthony decided to create another song, "Antihistamine," a more original sounding recording with numerous sickness-related sound effects providing the main "instrumentation."
With the suggestion of several of his co-workers at the time, Volpe decided to make an entire album and try to capitalize on the techno movement while adding his own touches and commentaries to the project. Initially the project was to be called the Cult of the Flying Cockroaches. It was originally intended to be a duo with volpe collaborating with Larry Friedman (the God of Hellfire), but the project never took off. Volpe pressed on alone and recruited Zaha Doom (a.k.a. Bob Uncapher), Exmartyrenine (a.k.a. Tomas Howell, a.k.a. T-Bone, the new white master of funk), and Michael Purri (who was slated to appear as Poe before the name was taken by another artist) to help with a few songs.
Shortly before finishing the album in 1995, Volpe's musical tastes took a massive detour. Uncapher introduced him to new age artists Patrick O'Hearn and David Arkenstone, which influenced his more ambient endeavors within the Impaler Squadron ("Drift" in particular). Volpe also became a major fan of Aphex Twin and The Orb and was so impressed by their albums that he felt nothing more could be done in regard to the evolution of music — this led him to create "Music is Dead," an obvious tribute to Aphex Twin, and "Head Cleaner," the closing track of the album, which was literally a recording of a cassette deck head cleaner.
Volpe's attitude about music being dead also influenced the public face of the Impaler Squadron. Fashioning himself and Uncapher as two aliens and renaming themselves Ataco Cardiaco and Zaha Doom, they declared music dead and chose to make ''anti-music'' as opposed to music. Volpe also jokingly claimed that Cardiaco and Doom surreptitiously planned to take over the world using techno music in the 90's and failed, thus fueling their jaded attitude toward modern pop. In the anthemic industrial track "Ecstacyde," Ataco Cardiaco revealed "the truth" about the rave movement: it was started by him as a takeover attempt of the Earth. He brainwashed several musicians in England in 1985 and instructed them to create monotonous electronic dance music in their bedrooms using homemade recording studios, blenders, pornography samples, and cheap keyboards. Throughout England, Germany, Austria, Japan, and America, Cardiaco claimed that his musical master plan began to work. A chain reaction of noisy, head-pounding dance-floor anthems spread throughout the Earth by 1991, coupled by wild parties of 20 to 30,000 in empty warehouses and a mammoth increase in mind altering substances such as ecstasy, dust, LSD, crystal meth, and Kool Aid. Unfortunately, Cardiaco's arch-enemies, the Grunge Movement, foiled his plans. Using loud guitars, depressing martyr mantras, Boston ripoffs and flannel, the GM's led the helpless people of Earth out of the warehouses and into the mosh pits, convincing them the world sucked so bad that it wasn't worth taking over. Cardiaco, having a change of heart, believed the Grunge Movement and came to the realization that "Music is Dead" and his hopes for taking over the world were dashed once and for all, sparing the lives of millions of innocent flannel-clad, angst-ridden teenagers everywhere.
Their second and far superior album, Welcome2Hell, was intended to be a 99-track album that was meant to "contain more guest appearances by area musicians and non-musicians than USA for Africa's We Are the World and will surely go down as one of the most uncategorizable and truly horrific albums in music history." Volpe decided to take the album more seriously and try to make some decent music this time, and his decision to do so paid off. His primary collaborator this time was Tomas Howell, with whom he co-wrote 7 of the album's tracks in his mother's basement. Howell searched for keyboard patches with Volpe on the ASR-10 and layered some gothic melodies and tones into starter tracks for Volpe to add rhythms to. Eventually, Volpe built on Howell's ideas and constructed the songs that would provide the starting point for Volpe to finish the rest of the album. Before long, Volpe added some of his own songs, many of which were influenced by the IDM movement and many of the artists on the Warp label at the time. Rounding out the album were two songs Volpe was hired to create as background music for websites ("Breathe Easier" and "A World of Your Own"). Volpe even attempted to create music that no one has heard before, using sounds from the abrasive SIDStation keyboard module on the utterly bizarre "0fedh" and "Buzr Musc."
Volpe feels that even today, Welcome2Hell contains some of his best musical pieces.
The Impaler Squadron is currently on hold, however Volpe may resurrect the project in order to create experimental music and satisfy his desire to "do something new."