We here at Onyx, decided that since Brisbane band, Daylight Ghosts, have released their first length album, Urban Umbra, that if might be prudent to talk to Karl O’Shea and Adam Dawe about the album and things that have brought them to this moment. No vorpal bunnies were hurt in the asking of any questions.

Welcome to the dark side of Onyx, which may or may not be as dark as my soul.

Karl O’Shea: Not my first dalliance with the dark side, I can assure you of that.

Adam Dawe:  Hello darkness my old friend…

The new album, Urban Umbra, is your debut full release and before that, you had brought out 5 singles, two remixes by the talented Matt Dodds and a live recording. Was it a natural progression to bring out the album? What impact has COVID had on all this?

Karl O’Shea: I annoyingly kept changing my mind on how we were going to do this. The original idea was to release all the songs as singles and compile them as a playlist but then decided that was probably not super smart for a very small band so we decided to make this group of songs an album instead. COVID has definitely slowed things down but it did afford me a lot of time to work on the rough demo arrangements. The main impact for us was we didn’t end up doing a live “in person” gig until the tail end of 2020 and a few postponements and cancellations in 2021. That being said, that lovely folk at Live On Mars helped facilitate our first performance as a livestream. To help with the nerves, we had a few friends (COVID-distanced of course) in my living room to help it feel a little bit more “normal”. And it was pretty nerve-wracking for me as that was the first time I had played guitar live! I think I did okay.

What is the meaning behind calling the album Urban Umbra, as an umbra is a shadow or darkness?

Karl O’Shea: Put simply – moody, melancholic music made from the perspective of people who live in cities and have experienced the darker side of city living (as well as the good). Where you live definitely has an influence on the art you create, whether that’s overt or subtle. The acoustic elements mixed with the synthetic and electronic in our music are a vague reflection of the cultural melting pot that is city living.

Adam Dawe: And we also thought it would be really hard for people to say the phrase “album Urban Umbra” quickly without falling over their words.  

I particularly like Before The Fall. What is the significance of this song as I am intrigued by the last line about going back into the sea where you left her buried?

Adam Dawe: Thank you. That song is a personal favourite of mine and seems to be one that a lot of people are taking a liking to, which is great. I don’t really want to go into the lyrics too much due to the personal nature of them, but I will say the “buried” part is more metaphorical than literal. I haven’t buried any women at any beaches yet. It’s really about how certain places can invoke certain memories of certain people, and I chose the sea because of its metaphorical relation to emotions and wild, untamed spirit. A powerful force of nature under the right circumstances, or also a quiet, contemplative place of tranquility and peace.  

Both of you are in or have been in a number of bands in the Brisbane scene. Adam in Lunar Seasons & Novus Wild and Karl in Balloons Kill Babies, inovo, Sarah Stockholm & Ghostwoods. How did you both end up playing together?

Karl O’Shea: Nothing too exciting to be honest. I posted an ad on a Facebook music group looking for a vocalist/collaborator for a little dark-folk project I was working on and Adam was the only person that I felt projected fragility and melancholy with his voice and actually got the brief. The dude’s got a great work ethic and is up for anything which are excellent qualities in a collaborator. Plus, he’s a really lovely guy and that’s an especially important quality in a human being, creative or not.

Adam Dawe: After the initial contact on Facebook, Karl sent me 4 or 5 of his song ideas. Once I heard the caliber of the music Karl was coming up with, I was hooked. I’d been wanting to create music in this style for a very long time and felt like I had something I could add to these songs. When we met up in real life, we bonded over shared musical tastes and a love of all things that take a turn off the beaten path.  It also doesn’t hurt that Karl is an absolute champion of a person too.

The other bands you are involved in are a lot heavier or noisier for want of a better word, whilst Daylight Ghosts is far more organic and folky in feel. Was this the sound you were striving for or is this how the project has evolved naturally?

Karl O’Shea: My original vision for Daylight Ghosts was to create more intimate dark-folk in the vein of artists like Death In June, Chelsea Wolfe, King Dude among others. It was only when we started work on After The Flood with Matt and introduced drum loops and more synthetic sounds that I was inspired to push the music in a more “dark-folktronica” direction and incorporate other styles like indie music, post-punk, goth, hip-hop and electronica. We’ve basically been working this out as we go along and honestly, it’s much more exciting to me to try and blend a lot of these styles together than just ape the artists that originally inspired the project.

Adam Dawe:  As Karl said, the original idea was simply an acoustic duo. But once we started introducing other instruments in our recordings the project evolved into what it is now. Which I think is something even more interesting.   

Both of you are involved in the writing of songs, so who comes up with what?

Karl O’Shea: I generally compose and arrange the musical side of things. The process normally is: I write a really basic structure on acoustic guitar, send a demo to Adam, then slowly come up with an arrangement, go back and forth with Adam to refine the structure and arrangement and then work with Matt to record and get the right sounds.

Adam Dawe: I’m the lyrics guy and it’s my job to translate the mood of the music into stories. The only standard I set for myself is that the lyrics and vocal parts need to complement and potentially elevate the music.  

A lot of the imagery for Daylight Ghost has to do with nature, even the original images you sent with your singles In The Glow and Golden Hour could be you but all filmy and light distorted outside. What influences your artwork for the band?

Karl O’Shea: This isn’t a very artistic answer. I have, over the course of the last 5 or so years, taken various “artistic” (or pretentious) photos on my iPhone and messed around with them with never much of a plan for using them. I’ve always wanted Daylight Ghosts to be as DIY as possible and when we started to require imagery for releases, I decided to go through these images and there was a decent handful that I felt matched the vibe of the music. Even though a lot of these images are from nature, the images are distorted and doctored which kinda works with our whole “acoustic-mixed-with-electronic” style.

Do you sometimes feel like ghosts that walk in the daylight hours?

Karl O’Shea: Not really a proper answer to your question but the inspiration for the band name comes from the book “Junky” by William S. Burroughs. The line is talking about drug addicts who had metaphorically withdrawn from the world but still walked around in daylight as a former shadow of themselves. Without going into my history too much, I do have a past with substance abuse, bad relationships and have generally struggled to feel like I fit in with most groups of people. Something about that line resonated with me and I felt it fit the band.

Adam Dawe: I’m a night person by nature, so any time I’m awake during the day I feel a bit ghost-like.  Or maybe more zombie-like? Daylight Zombies doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though.  

There seems to be a certain amount of darkness in the lyrics and music. Which one of you is this coming from?

Karl O’Shea: I think we’re both responsible for the darkness. I bring it to the music and Adam brings it to the lyrics. I’m not especially interested in writing happy music and if I did, it wouldn’t be genuine.

Adam Dawe: The lyrics are 9 times out of 10 a reflection of what I’m getting from the music.  So we’re definitely both responsible for it.  

Will there be live shows to support the album, especially with venues being allowed to open to full capacity again?

Karl O’Shea: We are planning a launch at It’s Still A Secret on the 6th of May with Reverb Springs (more details to be announced). This will also be the first show where we FINALLY incorporate the rest of the sounds that you hear on the recordings. Outside of that, we’re just going to see what happens. I’m a big believer in doing a handful of decent shows instead of plenty of middling ones and I’m personally not too interested in wasting thousands of dollars on touring. If something decent comes along in another city, I’ll definitely make the time and effort to travel. But touring up and down the coast off our own backs with such a small fanbase to possibly play to 5-10 people a night? There are much easier ways to waste money and a lot of them are more fun too.

Adam Dawe:  There certainly will, and it will be our first show in nearly six months and with our new instrumentation set up. Previously we’ve played only as an acoustic duo so it will be great to play the songs in a manner much closer to their recorded counterparts.  

What bands and music did you grow up with that influenced your tastes?

Karl O’Shea: There’s quite a lot of music I love but I would say that bands that most influenced my current tastes whilst growing up were Something For Kate, The Cure, Joy Division, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Porcupine Tree, David Bowie, Radiohead, Helmet….the list keeps going.

Adam Dawe:  Definitely David Bowie, The Cure, Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails for me as well.  Then also singer/songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Nick Cave.  

Who or what do you listen to now?

Karl O’Shea: I’m always all over the place but the artists I’m currently listening to the most are GGGOLDDD, Nilüfer Yanya, The Body, Ethel Cain, Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari, Julia Jacklin, Soccer Mommy, Einstürzende Neubauten and probably dozens more. I’m also currently obsessed with a couple of podcasts which are Not Another D&D Podcast and Tanis.

Adam Dawe: I’ve been getting into Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders and Beth Hart of late. And a lot of the Rolling Stones. On the heavier end of the spectrum, Zeal and Ardor and The Ocean Collective are getting a pretty solid spin too.  

As the reincarnation of Wizard Tim, I will ask what is your quest, favourite colour and what will be happening in the future with Daylight Ghosts?

Karl O’Shea: I’ll go for the basic goth answer and say black is my favourite colour though I’m quite partial to grey, red and blue. As for the future of Daylight Ghosts? Simple – keep creating and releasing music. We’ll figure out the rest as we go along.

Adam Dawe: I seek the holy grail. My favourite colour is blue. And I hope Daylight Ghosts continues to soar with the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow!

Thanks heaps for playing and congratulations on the album Urban Umbra!

Karl O’Shea: Why, thank you very much!

Adam Dawe: Thank you!

Music | Daylight Ghosts (bandcamp.com)

Daylight Ghosts | Facebook

Anchorage, Alaska, is the home to gothic duo, Cliff And Ivy who released the single, “Bloody Ghost” on March 10th, 2022. Cliff Monk (guitars, drum programming, songwriting, production) and Ivy Silence (vocals, lyrics, percussion, piano) are the musicians that make up the band

The very start seems a little off kilter, only for the guitars to come booming through with Ivy’s staccato vocals about the bloody ghost. There is a psychedelic quality to this track the way the guitar swirls in the mix and it could be the spectre at the end trying to join in. The message is that there may be liars, nay-sayers and things might not be easy but you should believe in the good of others and actions speak louder than words.

This track was inspired by someone Cliff And Ivy had known and now have passed beyond the vale plus their own life experiences. “Bloody Ghost” is both verbose and quirky, and actually very fun to listen to. I am still in awe how Ivy manages to get all those lyrics out so quickly. So enjoy this life and live it to the full because we are only here for a short time.

Bloody Ghost | Cliff and Ivy: Alaska’s goth duo (bandcamp.com)

Cliff and Ivy | Facebook

The post-punk/goth single, “Heartvine” was released in March 2022 by the New Mexico project, Blood Relations. E. K. Wimmer is the man behind Blood Relations, as he plays all the instruments, vocals and even created the video for the single.

Between the gentle guitar and the delicate synths, there is a light touch here. The vocals are actually a slight surprise as Wimmer’s voice is melodic and graceful as it sits above the music. Plaintive and sorrowful without being suffocatingly heavy.

The track is name your price on Bandcamp but I digress. This is a song of what is meant to be love eternal, though death will eventually slow and stop all hearts. Sweet and darkwave candy. April sees the release of the second single, so it will be really interesting to see how this sound develops for Blood Relations.

Heartvine | Blood Relations (bandcamp.com)

Blood Relations – The Art of E.K. Wimmer (ekwimmer.com)

нашим друзям (For Our Friends) based in Hamburg, Germany, have putting together compilations to raise awareness and funds for the people of Ukraine. So far three compilations have been put together by them and we would like to draw your attention to the latest which is For Our Friends Vol III, There are 42 artists in this edition who all fall under the electro/industrial theme.

Of course with 42 acts on one compilation, so I am not going to review every song but I am proud to say I know some of the people that have donated tracks. From my hometown of Brisbane, the wonderful Dirt Factory with their nihilistic cyber industrial track, “Violence” and Roger Menso’s Nyteshayde, whom I have known since I was about 19 with his slow burn, borne of war trauma number, “Whispers And Shouting“.

There is also Dogmachine, who I knew in the 90s, with their fantastic, angst ridden “Headwound” which was often heard at nightclubs, with Kraig Durden as the lead singer, who went onto create Replikant and his track “Anaesthetic” appears, full of wandering synths as if in an induced dream.

But there are bands from all over the world such as the German maestro of crunchy rhythmic power noise, Sebastian Sünkler’s STAHLSCHLAG, with “Shunde Null” along with another big, rhythmic noise act KiEw with “Mariupol, Ukraine“. In other words there are all sorts of goodies here. Transponder featuring Leæther Strip, Sven Phalanx with Miss Kitty and I could go on.

If this was put together as a regular compilation, it would be well worth buying, however what it stands for makes it much more valuable. Not only are you getting music you are going to enjoy and find new artists you never knew about but you are supporting a cause, helping those who, currently, are in dire straits, in the middle of a illogical and terrible war. Remember this is For Our Friends.

For Our Friends, Vol. III: Electro Edition | нашим друзям (bandcamp.com)

What happens when you mix New Zealand’s Robots In Love with Sweden’s JA/VI? You get a dancefloor remix of the single “Good Cocaine“. Elenor Rayner is Robots In Love and formerly, half of Australian act, The Crystalline Effect with Pete Crane (Shiv-r) as well as performing in Snog and Soulscraper. JA/VI is an emo/pop singer as well as producer who has molded “Good Cocaine“.

The track is catchy with the beats and synths that erupt with fire going into the chorus. An undercurrent of raw sexuality, oozes through, with JA/VI’s vocals in a most pleasing manner. It is an interesting premise that love is like cocaine, addictive and that is great, thought the other side of the coin is cocaine is addictive…..so will love kill you? What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, so they say. What is addictive is this song, so you might want to heart Robots In Love.

Good Cocaine – Robots In Love remix | Robots In Love, JA/VI | Robots In Love (bandcamp.com)

Robots In Love (facebook.com)

JA/VI Music | Facebook

Suburban Spell is Melbourne based, Peter Endall. He released his second album, Split Levels, in February, 2022. He creates 80s inspired, synth music with sparkling electronics and lyrics that points to a far more murky depth to everyday ordinary life. There is a sincerity within each song covering aging, beliefs and living in the modern era. So with that in mind, Peter graciously spoke to us about things that create a Suburban Spell.

Onyx welcomes you to the dark side of crazy, Peter Endall of Suburban Spell. Make sure your seat is in the upright position and trays away for take-off please.

We like to ask the hard questions. You are from Melbourne but we have no information on any previous bands you might have been involved in other than Schizo Scherzo in the 80s (although I did find a Peter Endall in a group called The Spinners and their thing was sea shanties). Musically what were you doing before Suburban Spell?

Hiya. I was keeping my hand in musically, and played lots of piano for the enjoyment of my dog and son for many years! Immediately after Schizo Scherzo, I played in another incarnation of the band called Love and Dr Forrest: a new wave pop band, really good fun. We didn’t release anything, but had a blast playing live. Following that, I got sick of lugging around loads of keyboards and decided to play guitar, so played in a band called Dive, and did a few gigs, demos, and appeared on some promotional compilation albums. I’m not a very good guitarist. I also did some songwriting with local cinematic writers John Bartholomeusz and Colin Swan, in an outfit called The Candle Makers. Following that, I decided to learn the Double Bass and played it for a number of years. The highlight from that was a stint with local Bluegrass band The Stetsons.

Your second album, Split Levels, came out only a year after your self-titled debut. That is a rather quick turnaround in writing. So, do you find writing music easy?

I find musical ideas do come relatively easy. The work comes in trying to refine those ideas into a cohesive and interesting song. I was never really into lyrics that much, but since I’ve pushed myself into that space, I’ve really enjoyed the process, and find it quite cathartic. Writing lyrics has crystallised my thinking. Previously, I’d had lots of loose butterfly concepts that didn’t amount to anything. Having to create a narrative around those concepts has been a revelation; it has helped me articulate who I am, and I love it.

Both albums are kind of like your covid babies, aren’t they?

I must admit Covid did give me the time to conceive the baby. But now the baby is growing up, and turning out be quite a formidable force that is now wonderfully consuming me.

Split Levels refers to the architectural style of house, so what convinced you to name the album this?

The term Split Levels resonated with me on a couple of… levels. The initial thought was its link to the veneer of suburban life, and how if you have the opportunity to look deeper into the everyday, there will always be multiple layers there. And quite often those layers that are revealed are dark and sinister. Every day there is an awful story on the news of domestic violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide and I suppose I wanted to write about that. I find it really interesting to understand what motivates and drives people to do the things they do. There is no one size fits all here, but I’m a bit of a bower bird, as I’ll observe, look, and listen to people on public transport, at the market, at concerts, political rallies, TV etc, etc… there are so many stories… and most of these people go home into their suburban life at the end of day. We all go home at some time.

Peter, your music is rooted in the late 70s and early 80s electronic style which of course was before the onset of fast computers and mobile phones and most musicians wrote about life and what was around them. Do you feel that simplicity in a way has shaped the way you see things and write?

Without question it has. I’ve always loved the bravery of un-cluttered and direct music; that style of songwriting is a constant battle for me, as I think it requires great confidence to write in that beautifully simple way. I’m learning to trust myself more and more as I develop my taste and musical confidence. As a musician / songwriter who has probably had the benefit of many years of life experience, it surprises me how much more “complete” I’ve recently become as result of this process.

Do you find it easier being a solo artist or are there disadvantages as well?

At the moment, I’m really enjoying being a solo artist. There are disadvantages, of course, as it’s good to be challenged and to be pushed by working with others. But right now, I’m enjoying the indulgence. If I met a fellow musician who I felt I could work with, I would certainly be interested in following through with that. But I’m not going to push the issue. If it happens, then that would be great.

The synths are often bright and mesmerizing while the lyric content can be a little dark. It this intentional?

YES, it ties back the to the suburban life, and how what is presented to you isn’t always what it seems. And I’ve always been attracted to grand melodies (sometimes not to the greater good though). My wife is a great sounding board for this, as she was (and is) a hardcore punk who is often reminding me to toughen it up a bit… and I listen to her.

Being in the Australian music industry since the 80s, you would have seen a lot of changes. Has it changed for the better or worse in your opinion?

I don’t want to sound like every other old fart by saying “oooo you know things were so much better in the old days”, ‘cos it’s not true!! There is a lot of rubbish out there but there is a lot of good stuff too, you just gotta search it out. I’m really enjoying this band called Plague Pits atm, they’re wonderful.

Can you tell us about all the bands that influenced you to take up keyboards and play?

The old faves really; Klaus Schultz going way back, Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, YMO… then leading into Ultravox, Human League and Depeche Mode. My first ever band was called The Underjives, who were a bluesy guitar band – not sure why I joined them… I just wanted to play in a band. I was 17 and they let me join ‘cos I had good equipment!!

Who do you listen to now?

Bandcamp is my friend, so as noted before Plague Pits, Fragrance, Verdaine, Solar Fake, Solitary Experience to name a few, I could go on and on…

You have a great voice. Originally the first album was not going to have any vocals… WHY?!!

To be honest, I didn’t think my voice was worthy when I first started. But I’m getting better and more confident with my vocals every time I record, and I love that, so am going to keep going (thanks btw).

Are there any intentions of playing live?

Yes, there are, insofar as I have a concept in mind of what the Suburban Spell live experience would look like. I would need to commit to a show before it would happen though. If I could find likeminded people and I created the time, I would definitely be into it.

The next question is very important. Who do you choose – John Foxx’s Ultravox! or Midge Ure’s Ultravox?

The last international act I saw live before Covid locked everything down was Midge Ure.

What is in the future for Suburban Spell and Peter Endall?

World domination and a nice cup of tea. Seriously though, I’m very, very excited about my musical journey. I have so many musical thoughts and concepts that I want to explore, so I just want to keep creating. Having UTM on board as my promoter has been critical in the inspiration too: having my music pushed out into the world is a dream come true.

Thank you Peter for flying with Onyx airlines. We hope you enjoyed it even with the lack of snacks and fluid delights. I won’t hold it against you for choosing Midge Ure………or will I?!

Split Levels | Suburban Spell (bandcamp.com)

Suburban Spell | Facebook

In a very short amount of time, George Klontzas’ solo project, Teknovore has come a long way. George has been a part of industrial acts such as Croona, the new Neon Decay and Cynical Existence which means he has a wealth of experience behind him, not to mention a tonne of talent and an ear for the good stuff. Seeing as the new album, The Theseus Paradox was out, we spoke to George about ancient history, mythical heroes and music.

Welcome George Klontzas to the ancient darkness that is Onyx. We have the Moirai in a corner doing their thing and we can just shoot the breeze like the Oracles of Delphi.

How did you originally get into the electro scene?

In my teens I was mainly into Metal but I was also interested in electronic music to a lesser degree. Eurodance was huge at that time, and that was obviously a major influence on the Aggrotech sound. In fact one of the first albums I bought was 2 Unlimited’s No Limits. The real gateway albums for me though have to be the Mortal Kombat soundtrack which introduced me to Fear Factory, KMFDM, Juno Reactor, and the Quake soundtrack which introduced me to NIN. Of course, living on a Greek island before the advent of the Internet not much was available to me and I was just skimming the surface. It was as a student living in Edinburgh, attending Goth and Industrial club nights that I really got into the scene.

There are a lot of goth/industrial/metal acts from Greece, so what is the scene like there in Athens especially and has it changed over the years?

I’m still living on an island (Crete) literally and I suppose metaphorically too in a sense. Sometimes I feel a bit removed from the Greek scene, looking in, so I don’t really feel like an authority that can speak on it. What I can say with confidence is that we are surely blessed to have many talented and multi-faceted artist s and bands here in Greece. Just off the top of my head I need to mention Siva Six whose latest album is excellent as always. I was happy to see recently that Cygnosic are back recording new stuff. Technolorgy are releasing something in April I believe. I’ve been listening to ΦΩΝΟΠΤΙΚΟΝ a lot recently too and a young artist that I think deserves more attention is Saint – I encourage you to check out their album Erga Omnes. Again though, I feel bad because there are so many others I could and should mention and I have to give you props for reviewing and shining a spotlight on many Greek artists recently!

You have been in a few fairly big name industrial acts What prompted you to start Teknovore?

Mostly it was a desire to try my hand at various different styles that I love like Goa and Psytrance, Techno and the EBSM sound that’s emerged out of France in recent years. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to make an album when I started. I was just making all these tracks in different styles, seeing what I could do with them, what worked for me and what didn’t. After I had made the decision that I was indeed making an album I started the process of reworking the tracks so they could have some cohesion as a whole. Many of the tracks on the album are the 3rd or 4th vastly different versions of what I had originally made. Teknovore basically became about not playing it safe and in the end what I found is that the tracks that caused me the most frustration in making are my favorites on the album.

How different has it been for you doing a solo project from being in a collective?

It’s given me a lot of freedom creatively. No rules to follow or guidelines to adhere to other than those I set for myself. Especially not having a singer has allowed me to be much more creative with song structures. Many of the genres I love are instrumental and it makes a lot of sense to me to work with guest vocalists when needed, at least from an artistic point of view. However, from a commercial viewpoint, vocals and lyrics can help the music connect with an audience so bringing in someone on a more permanent basis or even doing taking on that role myself is something I may consider. I’m not leaning in the direction currently but you never know.

Let’s talk about The Theseus Paradox album. The paradox is that if you replace everything is it the same object/human when you first started. Is there a particular significance in the title for you?

I certainly saw the parallels in my own life. I went through a period of introspection a couple of years ago when I decided to leave some parts of my life behind. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago and yet I am. Would my younger self recognize me now and vice versa? This was also reflected in how I felt about the music I was making. What expectations, if any, would there be based on what I had done in the past? How much should I hold on to and how much should I reject or replace? This whole thought process took over in the early stages of making The Theseus Paradox and became the main concept behind the album.

The album is amazing. Where did you even start in creating this debut monster?

Thank you for saying so! I guess I’ve already inadvertently answered this question. I’ll also mention that I invested in a brand new setup before getting started and much of the experimentation in the early stages came from learning the new plugins. That’s also how the cover of Dark Soho’s Save Me God was born which was on the Anachronist single with vocals by Z from Siva Six. A made a couple of covers as a training exercise when I started. There’s a cover of FLA’s Plasticity sitting on my hard drive somewhere. I focused a lot on some aspects that I felt I was weak at in the past like sound design. The right or wrong sounds will make or break a track.

You are on Infacted Recordings with j:dead and you have mixed tracks for Jay Taylor plus he appears on two of your tracks. So when did you ask Jay to do vocals?

Funnily enough the first track Jay and I worked on together, Tearing Me Apart, was originally supposed to be a track for Croona. Fredrik and I then decided to put Croona on ice so it became the J:dead vs Teknovore single you may have heard and the collaborations on my album happened as a result of that. Really I have Fredrik to thank for putting me in touch with Jay as he is a great guy and I really enjoyed working with him. Hopefully there’ll be more Teknovore x J:dead stuff happening in the future.

Jay Ruin or RNZR also does an amazing job as well as Neon Decay which is another non de plume for Fredrik Croona. How fortunate do you feel having all these amazing vocalists contribute to your album?

Very fortunate indeed. Fredrik and I have worked on various projects together over the last decade and he’s a great friend. Neon Decay is a new project we’ve been working on that’s a continuation of what we did with Croona mixed with synthwave… so nothing like the track we made together on my album!

I’ve been following Jay’s work since he was CeDigest, you know, the glory days of Noitekk! I agree he did an amazing job and he’s also just released a new RNZR single called Chaotic Erotica. Check it out, it’s gloriously filthy!

The artwork is stunning for the cover. Nikos Stavridakis is the man that created it. Are you still amazed by it?

Nikos and I go back a long way. He’s one of the first people to support me as a musician. When I started putting together The Theseus Paradox it was important to me that I work with people I can trust. When I explained the concept he loved it and was really excited to work on it and that is reflected in the end result. It’s such a powerful and striking image. Just perfect.

What gets your blood pumping now?

Other than making and listening to music, I watch A LOT of movies. Talk to me about horror movies – I can go all day! And I love re-watching my favorite movies with my daughter and introducing her to them so I can hear her comments. It’s like seeing them again with fresh eyes. That’s one of my favourite aspects of parenting – re-experiencing things through her. I’m into gaming too, though I kind of gave it up over the last year so I could focus on music. If The Theseus Paradox sells well I’ll reward myself with a PS5!

If you could be a mythical Greek Hero for a day, who would you be?

This feels like a trick question because almost all of them had tragic ends…but if it’s just for a day I suppose I’d avoid those. I won’t say Theseus as it is too obvious and I’m tempted to say Orpheus because of his legendary musical ability. I’m going to go with an out-of-the-box answer though and say Diomedes, one of the main characters in the Iliad. He is the most valiant hero of the Trojan War who while possessing great fighting ability also displays great wisdom. He fights and injures both Ares and Aphrodite in a single day yet shows humility thus avoiding committing hubris.

What is next for you and Teknovore?

I’ve just finished working on the Neon Decay album so now I can turn my focus back to Teknovore. I’ve got a few ideas about where I’m going with the next release but nothing solid yet. I’d like to get an EP and single ready to release by the end of 2022. Finally, I’ve had some initial discussions regarding some live shows. We’ll see what happens!

Thank you George for running this gauntlet…luckily no sirens were hurt in the asking of these questions!

Thank you for having me and keep up the good work! Calling back to your mention of the Oracle of Delphi earlier I’ll leave you with some Ancient Greek wisdom in the form of the three maxims inscribed outside the temple of Delphi: Know thyself; Nothing to excess; Surety brings ruin

I think there is a lesson in that for all of us……..

The Theseus Paradox | Teknovore | Infacted Recordings (bandcamp.com)

Teknovore | Facebook

Infacted Recordings | Facebook

Faux is French for false or fake and so we have the band, Faux Fear. They are based in Reading, PA, they have a double single called “Uncharted“/”Legacy” released on the 26th of March and they seem really cool….. yep that’s it. I have nothing else about them, so I guess we have to wait for them to give us clues. Oh and it is out on Death March Records!!

From the beginning of “Uncharted“, there is someone playing bass that sounds like it comes straight off the original Duran Duran album, circa 1981, which may I say was a very good year. There is the scratchy slide guitar sound which was a hallmark in Bauhaus tracks as Faux Fear lead us down this post-punk path. The female vocals hold you in a trance. “Legacy” is a far more fast paced track and there is something very bouncy about the chorus which would be very fun to dance to or yell out I didn’t need us at a live gig.

Okay I like these a lot and especially “Uncharted“. It is charmingly retro in some ways but still modern in flavour and it tastes like something a little forbidden and a secret to be hidden from those who won’t understand. Alright Faux Fear, keep your mysteries for now but I am sure we will see more from you soon!

Uncharted <<<>>> Legacy Single | FAUX FEAR (bandcamp.com)


Brisbane band, Daylight Ghosts have been tantalizing you with singles since 2020. Comprised of musicians Adam Dawe (vocalist/songwriter) and Karl O’Shea (guitarist/composer/programmer/shaker of reindeer bells), this duo is involved in no less that 6 other bands between them but they decided to embark on a musical route neither has traveled before. The 25th of March, 2022 marks the release of their album Urban Umbra, which is a collection of the singles and extra tracks.

I have reviewed some of the singles previously, so I was already familiar with many of the tracks. I would have to say my favourite off the album is “After The Fall“, It is simple in its delivery, with a slow intense burn that you feel to your very core. Dawe’s singing is so perfect, giving you goosebumps with the sadness and tenderness. You can be consumed by tracks like “Golden Hour” which reflects the fading of points in time which cannot be recaptured, the melancholic “No Man’s Land” (no doubt Nick Cave inspired) and the intricate “After The Flood“.

In the end Urban Umbra runs a gamut of lost and unrequited love, lost perfect moments in time and tunes that you can decide what they mean to you. There is a divine symmetry between the acoustic and the use of synths, giving each of those tracks a well of emotional depth. O’Shea composes tunes that in essence have a dark core to them and wend their way into your mortal fabric. Dawes creates lyrics that pull at your heart strings, evoke memories and sentimental ideals, while his singing paints pictures of what has been and mirages of what could have been, in colours of murky dusky hues. This is the essence of Daylight Ghost’s Urban Umbra, a shadowy world of memory and dreams, drenched in longing. To that end……bleakly exquisite.

Urban Umbra | Daylight Ghosts (bandcamp.com)

Daylight Ghosts | Facebook

A Cloud Of Ravens have released the single “The Call Up” and all sales are going to International Rescue Committee who will disperse to organisations in support of the people in Ukraine. “The Call Up” was originally released by The Clash in 1980, off their fourth album Sandinista!. The single was written as a voice against the institution of conscription for the purpose of war and that no one wins in a war, the last at that time being in Vietnam.

Well this is a much different version. Performed only with electronics changes it completely. The vocals are subdued and compassionate while the synths make the song feel much more fragile, glass like reflecting the words at you. It is strange to hear the drum machine in this but it then it fits in perfectly with the rest of the track.

Okay, it was strange listening to The Clash go electronic and yet it was delightfully enjoyable all at the same time. The Clash wrote damn strong songs which is why they became classics and you can feel this in A Cloud Of Ravens version. Those four British punks wrote that song because they believed that it could make a difference and now we seem to need their essence with today’s music. Though never out of vogue, A Cloud Of Ravens has re-freshened the track and given it new purpose. Check it out this classic song, buy it and feel good about getting a great song and supporting others.

The Call Up | A Cloud of Ravens (bandcamp.com)

A Cloud of Ravens | Facebook