Those who like their industrial, dance music, will be familiar with the name Simon Carter for his solo work and also his collaborations with Studio X. He has since left the label, Alfa Matrix and joined forces with German chanteuse, Fabsi, to create Simon Carter and Fabsi. Their first album, The Bitches Potion, was self released on March 20th, 2022.
This album has everything going for it. The single “Hex Hex (Wir Sind Die Hexen)” is dance floor candy, even at seven minutes long. In fact, most of the tracks average out at six minutes each. The single, “Beautiful Destruction” is a great track and “Pink Queen” is absolutely bombastic with its deep, pulsing techno rhythm. The amazing and creepy, “Nanobots (Are You My Mummy?)” is a little gem of industrial techno, only to followed up by the thumping “This Is Only A Test“. That is only a selection of the eleven original tracks and all could be played at a club easily.
As a lucky bonus, you get seven remixes, including the likes of Matt Hart, Moaan Exis, Teknovore and Ruinizer (Jay Ruin). The Teknovore remix of “Hex Hex (Wir Sind Die Hexen)” is brilliantly smooth and menacing at the same time, while the Moaan Exis remix of “The Witching Hour” has a wonderful, crunchy texture to it. “We Are The Witches” is given a nice helping of heavy electronics by Matt Hart, who touches them up in all the right ways and the Ruinizer version of “Pink Queen” feels like a free fall of deranged rhythmic delights. The other mixes are done by Carter, under the guise of his other projects and they are just as note worthy as the guests. For goodness sake, checkout the Narconic version of “Hex Hex” as you really need to hear it
The Bitch’s Potion will beguile you as it traverses and incorporates so many styles of dance music. Techno, industrial, rhythmic noise and trance, whilst the vocals of Fabsi entrance you. This is one magical elixir that one must imbibe to get the full heady and intoxicating taste. Talking of mystical things, Simon and Fabsi were generous in giving us some of their time to talk to us about their supernatural musical powers!
Welcome to the darkside of Onyx. where we have a no gremlins past the front door policy. So please empty your pockets of all little munchkins but feline familiars are most welcome and will get complimentary tickles.
How did Simon and Fabsi meet and become the fabulous Simon Carter & Fabsi?
Simon: It was during the beginning of Corona and we met in a few Twitch streams, we found our music tastes had a lot in common. The very first collaboration came about when Fabsi left me a rude late night voice mail and I used that as a sample at the end of a joke/comedy track called “Oh Yeah”. It wasn’t long before we thought we should try and do something a bit more serious together! The ‘Simon Carter’ bandcamp page was never meant to be serious, it was my playground for silly tracks and deliberately horrible artwork! Whilst I’d never take myself too seriously… Since (and including) the “Beautiful Destruction” EP I am taking the tracks with Fabsi more seriously and hopefully that shines through in the quality of the music and can also be heard in the later releases on that bandcamp page.
Fabsi: We played some online games together and he kept recording bits of me and made silly little songs. So we thought let’s do something proper and I recorded the vocal for “Beautiful Destruction” with my iPhone and he challenged himself to make as many different versions as possible with spawned the “Beautiful Destruction” EP. That worked out so well that I bought a proper mic and we decided to try and make a full Album together.
Congrats are in order. The album is pretty mammoth, so how long did it take to create?
Simon: I think it took around 12 months to complete, the lockdowns due to Covid allowed me a lot more studio time than I’m used to and as is often the case when a project is new and exciting I had a lot of motivation and inspiration for it from the get-go.
Fabsi: We started straight after releasing the “Beautiful Destruction” EP, which was released exactly 1 year (to the day!) before the “Bitches Potion”.
Has covid interrupted your ability to play and record or did it allow you more time to do things?
Simon: I think we can say that Covid helped launch this project! A glimmer of something good in an otherwise sad and unfortunate time for the world.
Fabsi: Was not a problem from my side as I was recording from Germany. I had time for a new project because I couldn’t go out much here due to the restrictions.
There is a witch house and witch theme throughout, why did you go with beings of the magical arts?
Simon: We can blame Fabsi for that theme, I’m fairly certain she is a witch… but it’s a great theme and a fantastic concept which I’ve really enjoyed embracing, her witchyness is a huge part of this project.
Fabsi: The witchy idea came from me. I get a monthly witchy subscription box and I was so inspired by that and I still am. So there is more to come. We both love watching series and my favorites are those with magical or supernatural backgrounds/topic. I’m also a big Harry Potter fan!
The single Hex Hex (Wir Sind Die Hexen) is this huge, trance.techno track that feels like it is looping over and over again, with Fabsi’s vocals in German over the top. Is it about spells and you must be pretty pleased the way it turned out?
Simon: I’m super pleased with this track, it was one of the first to be finished and I knew we had something special, I knew it was a bit of a banger and I think Fabsi sounds best in her native German. Even though it’s a long track, I just knew this is the one for the music video. It’s interesting you should mention Trance as I do have a bit of a background in that scene from my Narconic project but this new techno sound is something I’ve only recently started to explore.
Fabsi: It’s mostly a translation from another track on this album “We Are The Witches” and as German is my native language It was a lot easier for me to record that vocal than some of the others.
Where did you film the video as it looks like it is in the middle of nowhere?
Fabsi: The video is filmed near Frankfurt (Germany) next to a forest. It’s a 2 hour drive away from where I live.
Is someone a big Dr Who nerd? Nano Bots (Are You My Mummy) has to about the episodes where it is WW2 and there is a child walking around in a gas mask asking Are you my mummy. (And now he’s stuck in my brain again)
Fabsi: Maybe it’s me. That’s my favourite Dr. Who episode, with captain Jack Harkness and Rose, they are a perfect combo. During corona, I was reminded of those children with the gasmasks.
Simon: When Fabsi shared this idea and I hunted the sample down (in fact we watched the episode together!) I initially thought there’s no way this will work in a track, no matter what genre I try. I’m pleased to say my initial thoughts were wrong and it’s turned out to be one of the most popular tracks on the album.
Time to fess up. Three of the remixes are done by Simon projects aren’t they?
Simon: Aha yes! I think you’re the first person to realise this! Sometimes I want a break from the hard pounding techno beats and rhythms so I mess about with the vocals and often produce something entirely different, when that happens (and we deem it good enough!) I put one of my other projects down as the remixer.
The other four remixes have been done by other great musicians Matt Hatt, Tecknovore, Ruinizer and Moaan Exis. How did you get these guys onboard?
Simon: Myself and George (Teknovore) go waaaay back so that was a no brainer for me. Since he departed PES0.1 and started Teknovore I knew he was developing a really unique and special sound and I wanted him and only him to remix what I believed to be the best track on the album Hex Hex (Wir Sind Die Hexen). Matt Hart & Ruinizer are fellow Brits who were returning remix favours for me, whilst Moaan Exis was someone I approached after hearing some of their tracks and thinking they could come up with something juicy for us.
I have been watching a lot of the European and British electro/industrial scene people and you guys are so supportive of each other both in terms of helping each other out and morally there for each other. Does if feel that way to you?
Simon: We do like to put on a united front! The world has changed so drastically since Corona and that has affected the scene greatly too. Surprisingly my biggest support still comes from Australia, Canada, the US and Mexico but since this release I have been receiving a bit more interest from Europe including my homeland, the UK. It’s a small scene and I’m very much inclined to support and help out as much as possible where I can.
Fabsi: We both have our qualities and they match perfectly together. We can help each other out and support each other where necessary. It’s crazy that other people can see that and mention that about us. You really need someone you can trust 100% that has your back for doing such a project.
Simon, you are well known for your musical creations with Australians, Studio X and you were both on Alfa Matrix but recently you seem to have struck out on your own, so can you tell us a little about this?
Simon: That’s right, myself and Studio-X released 3 albums, 6 EP’s and 1 single, all on the Belgian record label Alfa Matrix and we both had respective solo projects on that label too. Those were crazy days when I think we both had more time and the creativity was just flowing like a river. We’re still good friends and who knows if they’ll be more in that direction in the future, I am certainly one to never say never. The record label discussion is an interesting one. Since releasing this album a few offers have come in for this project. I’ve never touted this, Narconic or my Humans Can’t Reboot projects to a record label. I know a record label would give us greater exposure but the world is a very different, constantly evolving place these days and I feel happy in the knowledge that I have 100% control in regards to every specific aspect of these projects, their distribution and their futures.
Have you played live yet under the guise of this project or is this going to be something you consider taking live, into the future?
Simon: We have definitely spoken about this, I think it’s fair to say I am more keen on this idea than Fabsi! I’m currently in the process of re-decorating and moving but once that’s done then who knows.
Fabsi: We haven’t played live yet or planned any concerts. But you never know what the future brings.
What music got you into the scene?
Simon: I’ve always had such an eclectic taste in music but I do recall how I first came to find out about the scene. As a youngster I was really into my cheesy harder dance music and especially the vocal tracks. I’d often go to school with my walkman playing such tracks. I heard some tracks from Force & Styles with a male vocalist (MC Junior) and it blew me away. I’d literally only ever heard female vocalists in electronic music prior to that so I did my research and I found bands like VNV Nation, Neuroticfish, Covenant etc. Ok the music was considerably slower but it was amazing to hear electronic dance music with male vocals and passion! I was hooked form then on and dived deeper and deeper into the scene and all the different offshoot genres the scene has to offer.
Fabsi: In My Teenage years I was listening to a lot of Emo and Metal, but my first gothic or industrial song was “Combichrist – Electrohead“ in about 2008 and from then on I was dragged further into the gothic music and style. I’m always open to other genres too, like Hardstyle or Trance.
Who or what do you listen to now?
Simon: A lot of scene music and I like to see what’s hot, what’s the current flavour of the month and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Sierra, Minuit Machine, Mark Dekoda and Tecknovore to get my techno fix and then I’ll mix it up with something like a bit of Empathy Test because Isaac’s voice is fantastic and they make some really nice synthpop.
Fabsi: My favourite band is “The Birthday Massacre” and I could listen 24/7 to their music. But of course I do not, so the rest of the time I listen a lot to Simon’s music and I like to listen to female voices in the gothic scene. My favourite Podcast I listen weekly to is “Communion After Dark”.
We are trying to decide if you are a witch or a normal person by throwing you in the lake because witches float but someone says ducks also float. What do you do?
Simon: Entirely depends on if I’m wearing my armbands (water-wings) or not!
Fabsi: So no-one would think I am a witch I would turn myself into a duck!
When you look into the magic looking glass, what do you see for the future of Simon Carter & Fabsi?
Simon: a big black void of witchy goodness! I’ve really enjoyed this theme and project and would definitely like to continue with this sound in the future.
Fabsi: I see Simon and me doing a stream together on twitch, when I can visit the UK and hopefully a lot more magical tunes to create and release.
Thank you for joining our timey whimmey magical mystery tour and that enchanting things await you. Not cave fairies though as they little terrors.