Adriana Martinez and Miguel Bastida are the Mexican duo that make up Deer Mx. The band met, formed in 2013 and reside in Hong Kong of all places and released the beginning of the year, the single, “There’sNoFuture” with a video clip.

The video itself is made up of news disaster and war footage, conveniently called the WWIII Version.

This song seems to deceive you into thinking it is a slow number and for the most part it does start out that way. Though slow to start off, it is persistent even with Martinez’s dulcet tones.

This reminds me of 4AD’s time with the Cocteau Twins that offered dreamy vocals to get lost in. Add in a small dose of P.J.Harvey with Slow Dive and that’s a pretty close estimation.

The music starts to crescendo and crashes inwards with synths and a guitar blazing away.

DEER MX

Every time I hear this piece, it grows more and more on me. Pop savvy with industrial rawness. Enjoy Deer Mx and ‘There’sNoFuture”

http://www.deermx.com

https://www.facebook.com/Deer.Mx/

Feature photo by Alfonso Rosales

Konqistador released at the end of last year, the album Nafada. The band started back in 2005 and is a collaboration of Detroit musicians, Reginald Tiessen and Elizabeth Graham as well as Sydney artist INfest8.

This latest album has a theme, in which Konqistador invited female hip hop artists to perform on their tracks, although they are more known for their industrial, gothic and electronic music. These women are as diverse in nationalities as they are in sound.

Kicking off is Medusa Tn also known as Boutheina El Alouadi, from Tunisia with the single “Eden,Woman’s War“, a powerful start. Not only does Medusa Tn rap but her singing voice is beautiful and provocative, woven with the middle eastern traditional music and an industrial beat.

Adrestia” by Moroccan artist, Soultana starts as a staccato monologue with backing synths that you feel building up and then the beats kick in and it becomes a whirlwind of sound. This is a great mixture of electro and vocals. A Greek warrior goddess, Adrestia punishes those who cause injustice.

Solemn beats bring in “Hamazam” and if I didn’t know any better, I would say Meryem Saci has a cheeky little smile on her face. Meryem is from Algeria singing in French and English. She is bold and sexy and makes the intricacy of this song work for her. It is about strong women that use their power, not for war but rather strengthening bonds of love and peace.

Fourth track is “Karitha” by Iranian, Salome MC and featuring from Detroit, DJ Los, a heavy weight in the hip hop/rap/beatboxing world, who does all the scratching on this song. Salome’s voice soars to the heights and yet will hold your attention even when at a whisper. This is why Salome MC has been recognized not only as the first Iranian female rapper but perhaps one of the best in the world. For a song about the evil residing even in the best of intentions, it is such a gorgeous blend of industrial background with female sass.

Traditions can be safe and easy to follow but sometimes they are also meant to be broken and this is “Safiyya” by Moroccan songstress Soultana aka Youssra Oukaf, who has been rapping since she was thirteen and a strong voice in advocating women’s rights. The music with her voice at the beginning reminds me of vast deserts and then unleashes the storm.

Nafada” is the title track and the call rise up and rebel. Nafada means in Arabic tremor. Meryem Saci returns and is accompanied by Sultana who hails from Turkey and is yet another progressive female that championed hip hop in her country. It begins low and dark and the ladies voices are like a light, drawing you up. It feels ancient and yet it most definitely isn’t. Saci and Sultana compliment each other so well, whether they are rapping or singing.

Sahar” literally means awakening in Arabic. This piece is based on an Iranian folk tune, Morq-e sahar and performed by Miss Undastood of New York aka Tavasha Shannon. ‘My talent a gift and a curse’, when the eyes are opened to all possibility there is the realization of the double knife edge of going two ways… rising above or falling down. You can hear the influence of being brought up in America in Shannon’s style of rapping but this just brings a new facet to this story of traditional verses modern.

Kahina” by Medusa Tn is just epic. Such a big voice. Passionate hip hop bringing to life Kahlina, a queen and warrior of the Berber people. She is remembered with great fondness and kept alive in spirit as the invocation of the power women hold and that females should never be kept down or silenced because of their gender.

This could be a song Skinny Puppy created when you hear the start. Han Han brings her native Filipino languages to “Visaya“. This is fresh and dynamic with synths chiming in. The Visaya are a people in a region of the Philippines but more so the song is about how we are far more similar than we are different.

I have to use the word powerful again because that is what this album is. I’m not in any way into hip hop and yet these women are inspirational in every way. They bring a beauty to the art of rapping and yet they are so much more than that.

They are mostly the voices of a female minority of the countries they represent and this makes them pioneers and bravely throwing light on the music they love. They are most worthy of being looked up to with much respect. Not just because they are originators of an art form in their homelands but rather for their conviction to never give up or give in.

INfest8, Reginald Tiessen and Elizabeth Graham are the trio of writers that carefully crafted all the songs presented and you can hear the devotion to this project through the beautiful lyrics, as well as the fact each hip hop artist was able to inject their own influence into their track/s.

It’s an amazing cross cultural exploration and recorded mostly on two different continents, utilizing many different musical genre, mixed by INfest8 in Australia and mastered in the United States.

This is exotic and the Arabic/ middle eastern/ Filipino influences just push this into a different realm of wow. Social order, peace, solidarity and the support of women who can be the centre of change because music is the voice of change. This is Nafada by Konqistador….. hear the call.

https://konqistador.bandcamp.com/

https://www.konqistador.com

https://www.facebook.com/Konqistadormusic/

Pete Crane might be a familiar name to some, as half of Australian band Shiv-r. March heralds the album that will be the premier solo release for Crane, called That Annihilated Place, on German label, Infacted Recordings.

But before that, he has released a taster to tease our palates before the album in the form of (pre) single, “You Are Not Your Body“.

There is an instantly a bass synth heavy start to “You Are Not Your Body” and you find yourself starting to move in time to the rhythm… It combines a techno savvy rhythm with precision synth and electronics, that is delivered with industrial sledgehammer.

PETE CRANE

The second track, “Norilsk” is just full on joy. Bouncy and heavy all at the same time. If this doesn’t make you want to dance, then not even the devil could tempt you.

The Xotox remix of “You Are Not Your Body” is a heavy industrial rhythmic version that starts to drill into your brain almost literally as well as figuratively.

Moris Blak does remixes that smack you up the side of the head and his interpretation is also of title track. It winds up to the spoken word and it is a sexy beast indeed.

Dkag remix off the album a track called “Messed Up” which has an awesome amount of high energy, which you kind of expect from guys who are club DJs, because they just want people to hit the floor.

Crane has on board some impressive talent so far to remix his music and the statement is “That Annihilated Place” is a club album. So far this offering doesn’t disappoint and currently the way this music for “You Are Not Your Body” is definitely having an effect on mine. Get your groove on and wiggle to this in anticipation of more to come.

https://infactedrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/you-are-not-your-body

January the third was the release date of the album, Le Désert Rouge, which is a combined effort from experimental, ambient, electronic musicans, Poetry Of Thorns of Mexico and I, Eternal of France.

There are four tracks on the album with the first three composed by Poetry Of Thorns using sounds given to them by I, Eternal and vice versa for the last number.

La Porte de Sortie” translates the The Exit Gate. This short piece is metallic and almost oppressive as it reveberates with its own self made rhythm. It is eerie in the insistence as if the Gate leads to some eternal doom.

Ces pensėes pyromanes” literally is These Arsonist Pens and again there is that hollow presence of ghostly design. This is delicate and almost other worldy with a french girl speaking a little in the back ground. Maybe the title eludes to how words can inflame hearts and minds.

Echos intersections et Aubes” or Echoes intersections and Dawns reminds me of a radio trying to find the channel but not quite catching the signal. Dawn with seagulls wheeling in the grey early morning skies as they mournfully cry to each other, dropping from one wind draft only to be lifted by another, in the meeting of stale dark and new light.

This blood-colored desert or “Ce dėsert couleur de sang” is the fourth and final track. This is noise building on noise but slowly and purposely, as you hear from within the distant storm odd snippets and echos. Like a sand filled, unbearably hot desert, it is relentless and has a life of its own and a near audible heartbeat. This experimental piece goes for a whopping twenty five minutes and twenty six seconds and has an almost trance like quality.

Poetry Of Thorns‘ last album was produced by none other than goth – industrial legend, Martin Bowes of Attrition, which means they have quite a bit street credability. Both these acts really seem to enjoy the collaboration and have a great respect for the other, it shows or rather it can be heard in the care they have taken.

This is what experimental music is all about, pushing boundries and artists encouraging each other to go one better. If noise and experimental industrial music on an ambient plane is your thing or whets your curiosity, please check out Poetry Of Thorns/I, Eternal with Le Désert Rouge.

https://poetryofthorns.bandcamp.com/album/le-d-sert-rouge

https://ieternal1.bandcamp.com/album/le-d-sert-rouge

When you talk about industrial electronic noise acts like Coil, Throbbing Gristle and In The Nursery, you have to add Coventry band, Attrition. January saw the release of a new single, “The Great Derailer” from the album, The Black Maria, which is due out in the coming months.

Martin Bowes is the one member who has been continuously part of the group from the beginning in 1980 and has always steered Attrition to being a much lauded and still viable act now, even in 2020.

Martin Bowes

Of course the title song is first, “The Great Derailer” which is exactly five minutes long and begins with the jangling of guitars, juxtaposted with female vocals. Bowes‘ gutteral tones gravel along with Emese Arvai-Illes as the female lead, almost floating above Bowes. Who is “The Great Derailer“? There is a sound bite that seems awfully like one U.S. president called Trump. The violins are discordant and almost manically high pitched with fervour, off-set by the mellow tones of the cello, all heightened by the soprano wailing, rising and falling. Whoever this Great Derailer is, they revel in the turmoil created by the direputable and unruly.

The B-side is “The Pillar (For Ossington)“. Ossington Subway Station is located in Toronto, Canada and also the place that Martin made field recordings of the trains as they pass by and stop. This is a much more sublime piece, almost clasical in nature, with female vocals like the calling of the sirens to lure you into their world within a hurtling steel carriage.

There are a bonus four remixes of “The Great Derailer” on the digital format. There is “The Great Derailer” by Planetdamage remix, “Entertain YouDead Happy remix, “The Great DerailerMr Toma Vs Noirmagnetik remix and Khost‘s remix “Derail“. Each is diverse and a new surprise from Planetdamage’s laid back dismantling to Khost’s reimagination in industrial power noise.

My first real introduction to Attrition was in the early 90’s with the compilation Recollections ’84 – ’89, put out by the label Projekt, who are well known for their electro ambient releases, even though I had heard the odd song here and there. As leaders in their field, they have released some powerful albums full of creativity and dark beauty.

Now in 2020, on the Two Gods label, Attrition is about to grace our ears again. Martin Bowes is threatening us with another single and new album….. and I for one can’t wait to hear what comes next.

https://attritionuk.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-derailer

https://www.facebook.com/ATTRITIONMUSIC/

http://www.attrition.co.uk/

What do you get if you cross Australian and Russian industrial music? Nova State Machine and they are going to be releasing their back catalogue in the form of EPs, as spanking new remixes.

Nova State Machine is the collaborative brainchild of Sydney sider Craig Saunders who is also know as SiK from the band Novakill and moscovite Dima Ilyn who is best known for his band, Ultimate Soldier.

The first EP to get the treatment is TCZ RMXs 001: Harsh Reality, which is made up of four songs off the Total Control Zone album, from 2019 on the lads own label, Shoknova.

Teaser for Harsh Reality

Harsh RealityShokhammer remix by Novakill is a fantastic number to start off with. Who doesn’t like hard and fast tempo straight up to get the blood pumping. Novakill is Saunders main project and sometimes it’s a worry having the band do their own remixes but not here.

Making themselves a “Hard Targetinsurgent mix” by giving a pounding industrial electro upgrade to this piece of hardware. This is a nice body rocking piece and no body armour required.

The cry to war in “Never More” is the Ultimate Soldier RMX. Using sound clips of news based around the Kurds and the war against the Taliban, this is less doof power and more thinking man’s electro synth. Not to say there isn’t still a driving purpose but this is has a certain amount of finesse. Ultimate Soldier is the Russian project for Dima Ilyn.

The Future” has the Uncertainty mix by Holon gracing it. This is a slow build up, spiraling and growing. Beautiful synth chords that seem to go on towards….. well we don’t know yet because it’s the future. For those those who are unaware, Holon is an electro ambient group.

This is a rather cleverly put together EP when you think about it. “Harsh Reality” is the current view, “Hard Target” is what is required to survive, “Never More” is what is desired and “The Future” is the unknown.

TCZ RMXs 001: Harsh Reality has an impressively good quality production and worthwhile supporting to hear what other exciting remixes will follow and who will be involved in this endeavour. Nova State Machine has given us an impressive example how industrial music is ever evolving. Get some in your ears and the best bit is that you can name your price on bandcamp. Ace!

https://novastatemachine.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/NovaStateMachine/

https://shoknova.bandcamp.com

December, 2019 was the release of Cellmod’s latest album, The Dissident, on the label Mekanick.

The man behind this EDM/ industrial/electronic juggernaut is Juan Espinosa of Florida.

This latest album consists of new pieces but also remastered versions of the singles “Praying Mantis” and “The Machine” which were both first released in 2017.

Juan Espinosa of Cellmod

It would be an injustice to pull this album apart but rather just give you a glimpse of this pure electronic offering.

There is always a driving beat throughout each piece of music. Each is seamlessly put together and flows in a hypnotic fashion.

A fusion of EDM, techno, industrial, wrapped up in a synthesized dream. This is technically diverse, as Espinosa mixes it up, keeping the tracks fresh with an almost agrotech taint creeping in.

Every track is very much a DJ’s dream of high paced rhythm. I suspect “Fire Storm” may be paying homage to the Prodigy’sFire Starter” but then maybe a nod to Studio X as well.

That is the beauty of this style of music, as it can and does borrow from others and builds on it.

For me the feature tracks are “Harder Serum“, with a special hats off to the featured Giant Monsters On The Horizon on the remixed version and “Ransacked” with its high energy.

The Dissident is a highly danceable album with a superb production. Cellmod has made a brilliant, futuristic masterpiece that deserves your attention if you like any of these genre.

https://cellmod.bandcamp.com/album/the-dissident

https://www.facebook.com/Cellmod/

https://www.facebook.com/infactedworld/

Sleepless Droids is an electro industrial group from Sydney, who have been on a slight hiatus, however January has seen the release of a new single, “Dust“.

They first started in 2011 and the member lineup is as follows – Aaron Potter on vocals, Shaun Allen on drums and Derek Dimitri playing synth.

Okay, yep. Love the first opening cords. They somehow speak to my soul. I am a sucker for a jangly guitar but I’m gathering this is a synth and not a guitar… hell who cares!! The mix of electronics is just another level. Beautifully heavy bass and drums fleshes this out as the synths compliment perfectly.

The vocals are bloody good as well. Potter can go from pained whispers to open hearted singing. It just comes down to have good technique and an excellent set of pipes.

The ‘b’ side is “Believe“, a quirky piece of drum inspired number. The intermittent bleeps and bloops that gets heavier throughout, is a just over three minutes piece of ear candy.

The third song is a remix of “Dust” called Substance. It is almost hard to believe it is the same song. Up tempo, faster beat and layers of synths change this song completely.

They might have been on a break but it looks like Sleepless Droids are back and bringing the good s and hopefully there is a new album in the works because of this single is anything to go by…. it’s going to be brilliant.

https://sleeplessdroids.bandcamp.com/album/dust

https://www.facebook.com/sleeplessdroidsofficial

From across the southern oceans, the New Zealand capital of Auckland, in November 2019, Death With Machines released their latest EP, Leech. Lawrence Legacy (aka Lawrence Baniecivich) is mastermind and/or overlord

Let me introduce you to the murky, sleazy beats that is “Born Evil“. Baniecivich forcefully whispers to you which is punctuated by the gutteral groan saying ‘born‘ with the follow up whisper ‘evil’. This is reminicent in some ways of Aesthetic Perfection. It is catchy and a good start to the EP.

“Leech“, the title track is just begging for you to groove along to as the lyrics are puncuated out. This is reminicent of industrial bands from the 80’s and 90’s like Front 242 and Suicide Commando, who often had sado-masochistic themes.

‘I hate the way you make me laugh, I hate the way you make me cry’ and we have the song aptly titled ‘Hate’. This is a smoldering beat that is even and constant…. even insistent. If you hate someone then you can’t love them and they can’t break you, except that hate turns inwards.

Last song is “The Gallows“. This is slow and if you can’t guess, a song about death and cold bodies. All returns to nothingness and all are equal in the eyes of death. A nice depressing little number.

So gravely growling is Lawrence’s trade mark vocal and it works for an EP of lust, loss, anger and something just a bit demonic. Get into some Kiwi cyber industrial, listen to Leech by Death With Machines.

https://www.facebook.com/DeathWithMachines/

https://deathwithmachines.bandcamp.com/

January saw the bandcamp release of Dirt Factory’s debut EP, Random Songs For The End Of The World. This electro industrial band is comprised of two brothers, Michael Gillman (programming and synths) and Daniel Allen (vocals and programming). More surprisingly is the fact that one lives in Brisbane and the other in Melbourne.

From the get go “Saibanetikku” is a koto drum dream that leads to an electronic beat followed by deep ahhhs and a fabulous synth accompaniment. Daniel’s modulated voice joins this simple and yet spine tingling build up. The way Michael mixes and brings in sounds and beats is subtle while still holding your attention completely.

Still on the Japanese cyber/futuristic theme, we have “Kaiju” which basically means monster. A commentary on our world, as we play with science and create the monsters that will eventually destroy us. Godzilla (Gojira) is a kaiju, created by exploding nuclear bombs. This is a science fiction nightmare which cuts a little closely to a dark reality.

DIRT FACTORY

Track three is an “Unseen Tragedy“. This is punchy with syncopation weaving throughout. The layers of vocals with different voice mixers and electronic synth is an immersive experience.

Sleazy greasy and oozing, “Give Me The Drugs“. Slower but still a ravenous beat is your pusher, making you desire more of this ode to wanting to throw one’s self into the arms of your chosen drug. Daniel will cajole and threaten you to get what he wants…. no placebo accepted.

DIRT FACTORY live December 2019 Flamin Galah, Brisbane

Will machines with AI eventually obtain “Digital Consciousness“? Is it a scientist speaking in the background? The music is again powerful and evocative with heavy drums and a futuristic feel… that Terminator efficiency, so to speak.

Robitic vocals bring you “Error Delete” with undulating electronics with such a catchy rhythm and breakout synths. This definitely brings visions of Bladerunner or Ghost In the Machine.

Slaughterhouse Shutdown” is horror movie homage with mentions of plastic for the blood splatters and no one is getting out of there alive. Haunting with gothic keyboard for ultimate creeping doom and everyone’s favourite …. fairground carnival music with screams overlayed with Psycho violin tendencies.

The final piece is “Corporate Greed” which brings to mind another song, “Corporate Slave” by another electronic Australian artist, Snog from the 90’s which was another excellent dance number. Could be the sounds of the financial world that become lost in the growing noise as the harsh beat takes over. The low vocals grace but do not take over. This loops and reverbs in a most delicious way with unbridled angst.

Remixes of “Error Delete” by Digital Anodyne (DJ Wolf Aud) and Vargil (Camilla Astrid Strand) have been added onto the end as extra bonus numbers for your listening pleasure which you are sure to enjoy.

Movies, especially in the genres of horror, science fiction and anime, have had a huge influence in the vision of these songs. Synth and noise maker extraordinaire, Michael’s roots in industrial music lay in the Wax Trax era and the burgeoning onslaught of the Belgium and German bands such as Frontline Assembly and co. However, more than this, he has not tried to ride their sound but rather forge his own, with brother Daniel firmly giving the band a voice.

The music is savvy, clever and down right satisfying. There is great depths to each song, crafted to sound bigger than just a two man effort, giving them an epic EP. As yet unsigned, Dirt Factory are far more than an uncut diamond, rough where needed and cutting edge when they could have been mediocre. These are the Random Songs For The End of The World.

https://dirtfactory.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Dirt-Factory-1924745841101379/