The Most Genuinely Terrifying People in Electronic Music

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Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been amusing ourselves identifying some of the most terrifying people in various musical genres — hip hop first, and then metal. For the last in this impromptu series, we thought we’d look at the world of electronic music. While it generally isn’t home to convicted murderers or flesh-eating lunatics, that isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its share of disconcerting types. So here are 10 such individuals, from a twisted firestarter to the Biggest DJ in The World™. As ever, suggestions are welcome.

Alec Empire

Atari Teenage Riot aren’t teenagers any more, but the terrifying racket they create hasn’t become any less intense or uncompromising as the years have gone by. Empire himself seems like a similarly intense kind of character, and while in interviews he comes across as generally pleasant and well-adjusted, we can’t help but think there must be a temper in there somewhere — one that we’d rather not be on the wrong end of.

Keith Flint

Sure, he looked like a big sweetie in his E’ed up hippie days, but the leering, apparently psychotic nightmare of the “Firestarter” video was a genuinely scary looking unit. Even in 2012, with his impact rather lessened by familiarity, you wouldn’t really want to run into him in a dark alley. Or an abandoned tube tunnel.

The Widdler

His stage name rather undermines his terror credentials, but even so, anyone responsible for a song like “Red Rum” (above) — which should, incidentally, be listened to with decent headphones or a big soundsystem with room-shaking bass bins — gets our vote for being a rather disconcerting individual.

Deadmau5

Freaky mouse mask + awful music = terrifying combination. (See also: Skrillex, replacing “freaky mouse mask” with “ridiculous haircut.”)

Mater Suspiria Vision

Whether or not witch house is scary, silly, or both is a debate for another place, but whatever your views on the topic, there’s definitely something a wee bit discomfiting about Italian genre godfathers and horror film enthusiasts Mater Suspiria Vision. Beyond the freaky nature of the music, there’s the fact that its creators are such shadowy and mysterious figures — they’re probably two straight-laced dudes with day jobs in accounting, but maybe, just maybe, they really are zombies!

Justice Yeldham

Behold: a man who makes a living playing a sheet of glass. With his face. The sounds that Justice Yeldham — named after a judge who committed suicide after a 1996 sex scandal — creates are disconcerting enough, but it’s the fact that he tends to slice his hands/face/body up with the edges of his “instrument” that makes him a really discomfiting proposition.

DJ Hell

Would you leave this man alone with your daughter?

Tricky

He’s apparently better these days, but if you were unlucky enough to see Tricky perform over the course of the late 1990s or early 2000s, you probably saw an apparently genuinely unhinged individual who spent as much time shouting at the air around him and smoking spliffs on the drum riser as he did actually performing. We’re glad to hear that he’s on the mend, but we’re glad we never had to interview him during his “dark” period.

Aphex Twin

It’s that terrifying fixed grin! (And the “Come to Daddy” video, obviously.)

Tiësto

When the lizard people reveal themselves, it will be to a soundtrack of godawful stadium trance music provided by their faithful android lieutenant.