The 31st of October was a rather busy time for releases that I’m working my way through. In that vein, the Boston based label, Info Sec Records has put together a compilation of electronic artists called Music For Hacking.

INFO SEC RECORDS

The Neon Droid brings a “Cloud Of Ashes“, sailing across the net, floating in the electronic world, while “terminus” from Rap2h has its video games inspired tones.

There is the cool beats and ambience of Inter Gritty’sThe Chase” or you can go full cyber angst with Psi Drive with the tracks, “Master’s Revenge” and “Hail Overlords“…. plus there is the synthwave crossed with crunchiness of “REJUVENATE” by TWINKLE MARIA きらきら マリア.

Not all is instrumental, with Neon Tuesday covering “Rhythm Of The Night” which is a bit more calm that the original and later also providing another cover in the form of the Amiga game theme from “Lotus III” which is full on cheesy and amazing. ThyHarvest has this wonderful techno sound, with synths trickling down, making you think of the Matrix code in “Net Terminal“.

M73 is surfing the “Interlinked” data, like a stream of conciousness, with dark synth intent and, oh my, _NetNomad with “Build“, makes me think of the old games like Prince Of Persia, with its whimsical chip tune style.

This is another project where a label is showcasing independent musicians to help raise their profiles but also garner more interest in the electronic scene. There is an inclusiveness in this compilation with synthwave along side darkwave, chip tune, ambient and even industrial, all sharing a deep passion for experimental electronica. So plug in and become one with the interface with some Music For Hacking.

Music for Hacking | Info Sec Recs (bandcamp.com)

https://neondroid.bandcamp.com/

https://rap2h.bandcamp.com/

https://intergritty.bandcamp.com/

https://psidrive.bandcamp.com/

https://twinklemariamusic.bandcamp.com/track/it-s-out-of-this-flaesh-world

https://touzimsky.bandcamp.com/album/rhythm-of-the-night

https://thyharvesting.bandcamp.com/

https://m73dk.bandcamp.com/

https://netnomad.bandcamp.com/

Beware, there is something in the air, in the night breeze. The Contagion Collective are a group of dark alternative musicians and producers, from around Australia, under this banner for the purpose of supporting each other and the scene. Their first compilation came out on the 22nd of October, titled Outbreak Vol. 1, which indicates that there is a lot more to come. This has all been facilitated by Brisbane label Viral Records but all proceeds will go back to the Contagion Collection, for they are legion.

I am not going to breakdown the whole release because there are thirteen tracks but also I want people to get curious and have a listen as they won’t be disappointed. From New South Wales musicians, Cheap Coffins, with his glorious metal infused industrial track, “Liminal Self” and ALUCVRD’sNail Fetish Hate God” with those drum and bass drops.

Queensland is well represented with dark rock juggernauts Killtoys with “Come Alive“, the amazing electronics in “Black Summer” by HOSTILE ARCHITECT and eat the sensual “Brain Candy” on offer by Jerm. Other artists include Dirt Factory, Disfigured Mistress, Isserley, NyteShayde, Shadowbox, The Grey, Vargil and ZCLUSTER. This lot pack a punch and like assorted chocolates, not all will suit your taste but some will become firm favourites.

You might notice that you can’t buy individual tracks on Bandcamp and there is a good reason for this. First off, if you really like a song, then you have the chance to go to the band’s Bandcamp page and purchase it directly, perhaps even checking out more of their stuff. Secondly, the compilation doesn’t cost that much and you are getting a big slice of music to sit down with, possibly finding new favourite acts to follow. That’s called winning.

This is something close to my heart and kudos to Viral Records having put a lot of effort into the compilation. Australia literally has a plethora of talented darkwave and industrial musicians but often they go unrecognised both overseas and even in their own country.

We are putting you on high alert, raising awareness, raising the stakes. Catch the infection and give it to your mates. The is the Contagion Collective and this is only the beginning.

https://contagioncollective.bandcamp.com/album/outbreak-vol-1

https://www.facebook.com/contagioncollective

https://contagioncollective.au/

https://www.facebook.com/viralrecordsau

https://viralrecords.com.au/

Riveting Music are a US label, whom have decided to make a stand and with the help of a whole bunch of artists, created a compilation of twenty-one cover songs, all previously recorded by powerhouse women of pop/rock. The recording of this compilation is in reaction to the overturning of the historic Wade Vs Roe and the degradation of a woman’s rights to have autonomy over her own body.

There are three singles off the album consisting of The Joy Thieves robust kick arse version of Pat Benatar’sLove Is A Battlefield“, Laurie Anderson’sThe Day The Devil” by The Blue Hour, which I think is much better than the original, and File Transfer Protocol with their rather stunning recreation of Eurythmics’, “Here Comes The Rain Again“. Of course there are plenty more musicians and their cover versions to encounter here and most of the song’s originate in the 80s, going into the 90s, so there is a chance to find music you do or don’t know, as well as checking out current electronic/industrial musicians.

All money raised will go to the Global Fund for Women but not only that, it is about raising the profile of this subject and saying that this new trend against the rights of women is not okay, because if this is happening in a first world country such as North America, then how long before other countries decide to go down the same path? My body, my life. So fucking Regulate This!

Regulate This! | Riveting Music (bandcamp.com)

Riveting Music | Facebook

The label Machina ad Noctem, is back with another compilation, inspired by author Philip K. Dick, called PDK II. As like the first compilation, this is a group of musicians whom have pursued their love of the science fiction, written by Dick, though the music they compose.

The beginning of “VALIS” by Edge Of Decipher, starts off hesitantly but soon grows in sweeping assurance, waking out of dream perhaps, into another plain of reality. Cumsleg Borenail gives us “Man Has Not Eaten God, God Has Eaten Man” is as quirky as the name suggests, synths like synapses sparking in a metaverse, unable to be contained by man or God.

A train has set the rhythm in “Second Variety” by Non Union, on a journey to who knows where, but it seems otherworldly and ominous, before we are met again by Edge Of Decipher. The track, “The Future We Create“, inspired by Ubik, speaks of stars, moons and whirling galaxies beyond ours. The experimental HyMettus Woods, bleeps, fades in and out of static in “A Scanner Darkly“, trying to find the rapidly fluctuating channel but constantly on the knife’s edge until the fuzz clears momentarily, rapidly gaining veracity.

The only track with vocals is Priestessdeath and their “Like Tears In The Rains V” with smoldering female singing that meanders like rivulets of water down a pane of glass, inspired by the Orient. A change of pace for Edge Of Decipher as the music becomes urgent and the synths are trying to catch your attention for “The Agentic State“. There is a movie like quality to this track which leads onto the final number, “Eye In The Sky” by Non Union, as the electronics reach out in waves, invading all spaces and detecting all.

The music is eclectic, electronic and often experimental just as science fiction is. The tracks are like points of light in a sea of literature and dark electronic music, bidding you to further sink into the worlds of Philip K. Dick with them. So I bid you adieu on your journey as you experience this new adventure with PKD II.

PKD II: Philip K. Dick | Machina ad Noctem | machina ad noctem (bandcamp.com)

Machina ad Noctem are a fairly new label and their area of expertise lay in electronic music. With this in mind, as of the 11th of July, their first release ever, was in the form of a compilation, titled Dreams Out Of Joint: A Tribute To Philip K. Dick, Yes, this is 26 tracks, inspired by the science fiction genius of Philip K. Dick, who penned many classics including Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, which of course became the movie Bladerunner, that has been a huge catalyst of inspiration for many electronic/industrial musicians. Of special note is the fact that the first half is dedicated to Dick’s short stories and the second to the novels.

With so many tracks, we thought maybe we could give you a taste of this. Edge of Decipher with their track “Frolix 8“, is a cyber journey through realms of space and light, mysterious and a constantly evolving adventure or Chrono 87 doing “2 Weeks On Mars“, light, delicate and with changing rhythm signatures. There is “A.M.O.D” by beepeater with tis tortured experimental electronics, Ran Kirlian unveiling the ambient track “Time Out Of Joint” which is like the final cooling death of a star or ∑V∑RYTHING with “Ubik Opening Credits” that has a wonderful soundtrack feel to it that suddenly falters in the middle to then pick itself up again.

There are tracks that play for nearly thirty minutes, tracks with beeps and whistles to give you the impression aliens are trying to communicate and other tracks with music so quiet, nearly imperceptible at first until you start to really listen. Soundscapes and beats and everything in between. If you enjoy experimental ambient music or just love old fashion sci fi movies to the more modern, then I think Dreams Out Of Joint might just feed your imagination. The beauty is not always human and we dream of Philip K. Dick.

D reams Out of Joint: A Tribute to Philip K. Dick | Machina ad Noctem | machina ad noctem (bandcamp.com)

Edge Of Decipher (@edgeofdecipher) / Twitter

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)

We are going to get a bit serious here. For Peace. Against War. Who Is Not? A Compilation For The People Of Ukraine was released this month by the label Component Recordings. A whopping 199 artists have donated a track each and all money raised will go to Ukrainian Red Cross and VOSTOK SOS to help the people who are suffering. I could say it was generous of the bands on this compilation but I think every single one would say they felt it was right and the decent thing to do.

I only know a few of the acts on this release but they come from around the world and all are from the electro, synth, industrial, experimental scene. It was our friend Tim Tigersblood Vester of the band Warm Gadget that brought it to our attention and I noted Decommissioned Forests. There seems to be a lot of great music and it really is not a lot to pay for 199 tracks which includes Wolfgang Flür (Kraftwerk), Steven Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire) and Jack Dangers (Beat Meat Manifesto)

Music in history has been used to create war fervor and march armies into battles but since the 1960s, especially, it has been a focal point to show injustice and discourage war mongering. Music can feed the hungry, call for justice and inspire people to embrace each other, creating common bonds. So please check out the Bandcamp page and consider buying this……. humanity starts with us.

For Peace. Against War. Who Is Not? A Compilation For The People Of Ukraine | Various Artists | Component Recordings (bandcamp.com)

We are going back in time but also forward if that makes any sense. Greek industrial band, Pre-Emptive Strike 0.1 dropped Declaration Of War (2006-2015), a six track release on download or collector’s nuclear slime green tape (most attractive). There is one new track, though not actually new but rather written in that era but never released, while the other five tracks are classics that have all been reworked. Founder, Jim Blaster (D. Argyrakis) and Yiannis Dseq (Yiannis Chatzakis) are the current members.

The Base Was Overrun” is the first track and it is also the track that was never released due to the band finding at the time that it didn’t quite fit into the tempo of Epos V when written in 2014. It is definitely slower and deliberately in the contemplative mode that all hope is lost to an unknown foe. It is the track “Lethal Defense Systems” that propelled Pre-Emptive Strike 0.1 into the industrial light for fans though this version is based far more closely on the 2005 demo version. This is a actually a little more stripped down and not as harsh as the original but works so well and it will still make you want to dance. A fan favourite is “Preeemptive Strike (2021 Version)” and this revamped version has lost none of its aggression.

Declaration Of War” was released in 2010 on The Kosmokrator, originally all in German but now performed in English by Jim Blaster. It rolls smoothly and honestly it could be in Gaelic and it would still sound so good. Blaster replaces the vocals done by guest singer Deranged Psyche from NEBULA H/EX-ES in “Robotic Disintegrator” originally for The Kosmokrator. Angry and antagonistic, the lads throw you into a whirlwind of extreme electronics because the machines are coming to get you. The last track is “Epos Of The Argonauts (Dark Mix)” which was on the 2015 album Epos V. You really can’t get more Greek than telling the tale of Jason and The Argonauts. The original has almost traditional quality to it but this has been turned into a stellar, near science fiction version of a modern age tragedy.

The original version of Lethal Defense Systems

Those wandering highlighting synths are still as wonderful as ever and the gravelly vocals were/are their trademark. I really love “Lethal Defense Systems” with fond memories of listening to it when it first came out and forgotten how dance inducing Pre-Emptive Strike 0.1 can be. Would cyber industrial been as good without these guys,,, I don’t think so. These songs still hold up and it might be time to become reacquainted with the 2021 versions.

PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 – Redeclaration Of War (2006-2015) | Preemptive Strike 0.1 (bandcamp.com)

Pre-Emptive Strike 0.1 | Facebook

Greek duo, Mechanimal, are celebrating 10 years together and releasing albums. So it is fitting to release a best of collection. This best of however is made up of songs that were picked by other artists and then they have remixed them. The compilation is called Living With Animal Ghosts and was released on Inner Ear Records on January the 14th, 2022.

If you are a fan of Mechanimal already, you will enjoy this look back and re-interpretation of past works. There is also pretty much a style to suit everyone. The Dans Mon Salon remix of “In Somber Account“, with it’s trap influenced industrial or the minimalist vision Psychedelic Trips To Death have given “Un/Mobility“. There is the 80s sounding “Shadows On The Wall” by Jared Kyle, while the Lia Hide version of “The Den” is a classical, stripped down affair. And that is only four songs into this 17/18 track album.

Special mention of the Rodney Orpheus (Cassandra Complex) club mix of “Red Mirror“. The song is molded into a far more post-punk direction, adding extra guitar and maybe even giving it an extra air of being subversive and dirty.

It is a melting pot of musical styles with Mechanimal as the flavouring ingredient and their friends have lovingly reworked songs to show their admiration for the talent that has gone into each. A wonderful way to celebrate a band, their work and hopefully another ten years!

https://innerear-mechanimal.bandcamp.com/

Mech_nimal | Facebook

Inner Ear Records | Facebook