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)

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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/

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