A musical project of ex-Nexus
21 mainmen Mark Archer
and Chris Peat
, both of whom are interesting in that their surnames are proper English nouns
They were a hardcore rave group who wore industrial protection gear and masks on Top of the Pops, and most of their singles were puns on the number '8' ('Activ-8', 'Evapor-8').
During 1991-1992 they were an extremly popular singles act in the UK, a bit like The KLF but cruder; they did a bunch of media stunts, and popularised Vick's Vapo-Rub (a nasal decongestant) as a way of somehow enhancing the effects of ecstacy.
Rave eventually wore off, however, and Altern-8 split up in 1993. Apart from the singles, they produced one album - 'Full on Mask Hysteria' - which is quite hard to find nowadays.
Media pundit and idiot Tony Parsons made a television programme complaining about declining lyrical standards in pop music - his main example being 'Hypnotic St-8', the lyrics of which were 'gonna take you higher and higher'.
Nowadays, their music sounds crude but fun; an exuberant reminder of a brief moment when two anonymous people with a sampler, an Atari ST and some decks could storm the charts.
See also Adamski, Messiah, The Prodigy, Urban Hype, The Smart-Es, Spiral Tribe, Electribe 101, the list is endless.