Weimar is an experimental industrial EP in three parts, by Brian Tibbs of Chicago. A little bit of background on Weimar, that not only is it a city in Germany, but it became in 1919, the German Reich (Republic of Germany), which also heralded in the rise of the Nazi Party

Part 1 is “Dream, Reminisce and Secession“. that starts off light and airy, with dreamy chimes, yet then it seems to have a darker level below… That darkness is so low key that the listener might not realise, considering this track full of sparkling synths. The menace of what is to come, starts to flower in “The Fruits Of Ingenuity“, as the music snakes along, the light absorbed by the encroaching storm The music bleeps and bleats, becoming almost insistent, clashing and claustrophobic. The piano wanders aimlessly, before the interspersed harsher electronics beats, let themselves be known, and that dalliance with the off-kilter synths in Part 3 called “Agnosis And Rupture“. There is a digital distress in the second half of this track and a foreboding in the dominate piano, amidst the screams and cries.

I don’t think this is that far a reach to correlate a musical comparison of the rise of political powers that seek to remove human rights in many countries, and how the Nazi’s came to power under the guise of being a country’s great saviour. What are they saving people from? From threats that they have deemed relevant and supported by zealots. Brian Tibbs has brought you Weimar which is thought provoking and a journey into the socio-political rabbit hole, through a combination of industrial married with experimental classical music.

Weimar | Brian TIbbs | Brian Tibbs (bandcamp.com)

Vermin, vermin everywhere, and now there is the EP Vermin by Non-Bio. Non-Bio is UK based, Howard Gardener’s power/rhythmic noise project, when he is not working on Decommissioned Forests or Pillars Of Golden Misery.

As soon as I hear the first bars of “Vermin“, my lips turn up into a smirk. Yeah, this is the good stuff. It is heavy on the vibrating bass and fritzing electronics that are completing crescendos and decrescendos. It is verbose and Gardner’s voice is within. Feel yourself consumed by the wubbing loops of “The Feast,” as it literally feels like it is trying to pull itself apart at the seams. The rhythms fighting against each other like a battlefield, as they celebrate the gourmet banquet provided for Death.

Center Negative” is an instrumental track and as it rolls on, it gathers more and more noise to itself, growing exponentially in terrifying voracity. It leads into the last track, “Clarity“, which is about where truths meet half truths, feeding into lies, The rhythms jackhammer with Gardner’s words and the crunchy noise threatens to overtake all.

Humans are amazing creatures but they are also the scourge of the planet. We over populate, consume resources and destroy the habitats of the other animals that we share Earth with. In fact, we will even destroy each other to gain that which is not ours. The EP is a look at this darker side/nature of the human race and Non-Bio’s disillusionment embodied in Vermin, with its beautiful, skull beating rhythms and brain addling reverberations.

Vermin | Non-Bio (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/nonbiomusic?mibextid=ZbWKwL

http://www.downwithfreedom.com/non-bio

Mike Smith is also known by his project named Fiction 8 and he has produced the new EP, Life Is Fiction by Bow Ever Down. The EP contains five original synth inspired tracks that walk on the dark side of life.

Life Is Fiction” is the jaunty start to the EP and there is a subtle 80s vibe to this track. A sweetness tempered by memories and the delicate ideal that life is not real. Oooh, the guitar in “Seasons Change” struck me being very much in the vein of Wall Of Voodoo, while the electronics dance through with Kimberley’s vocals.

Next we are “Somewhere In The Nightfall” and the beautiful synths flow forth. A tale of being more than the people that try to control us and when we do escape, they are nothing but a spectre. “Ready To Die” is a meatier track, even with the music swirling, there is a seriousness lurking beneath and speaking of serious, the last track is the “How I Wish You Were Dead“. That title basically speaks for itself. The lament of being involved with the wrong person comes through in the vocals, while the synths soar like they have been given wings of freedom.

Church. Photo by Kimberley Bow Ever Down

Often, things that happen to us don’t seem real, or we create a narrative to escape the sadness, poverty, or crushing expectations of life. So, Life Is Fiction and the production is spot on by Smith, so clean and magical. The title track and “How I Wish You Were Dead” are probably my favourites and for those who are wondering about the cat on the cover, created by Ange Battiste… that is Church, and she is there to give a bit more joy with Bow Ever Down.

Life is Fiction (produced by Michael Smith of Fiction8) | Bow Ever Down (bandcamp.com)

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Music | Fiction8 (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/Fiction8sound?mibextid=ZbWKwL

The late Burt Bacharach asked us what do I get if I fall in love, but in reality, maybe he should have asked what do we get when Sonikdevil and Mach FoX (Zwaremachine) join forces? For April, it seems to be an EP called New Dead Wave, with FoX as the vocals and Kyle Sonik playing instruments, with the pair cowriting all tracks.

The title track is the starter, and it sets the mood for the EP with a music vibe of that period of time where the 80s melded into the 90s industrial and the unquenchable hunger of the vampiric kind. The possible hint is in the name, “New Dead Wave“. If you were in doubt, this was a horror themed release, there is the guitar filled “Little Monster“, a rock ode to the female terror in your life that wants to reduce you to a tasty jelly mess. Psychedelic effects and a big rock sound stalks, waiting to “Let Us In“, where there is actually a liberal amount of glam rocker style in the offering.

Garden Of Rust” kind of reminds me quite a bit of the Ramones when they wrote “Pet Cemetery” with that very up-beat punk attitude, though this is at complete odds to the far more electronic “Circus Of The Damned” with FoX channelling a bit of Alice Cooper thrown in for good measure. The reminiscing of crazier times is the punk “Barstools & Broken Fools” and yet there is a story of loss behind the bravado. Of course, the aliens have not been forgotten about, and the last track is “The 4th Kind” that almost has horrorbilly feel to it, which is a really nice end to the EP.

Feels a bit mealy-mouthed to call this an EP when I’ve seen albums with fewer tracks on them. This is a recording that runs the gamut of rock from the wham bam glam 70s, punk, post-punk to industrial, with a sprinkling of psychobilly horror tongue in cheek, giving it the spooky flavour of B grade monster movies, which I think are the best sort. The hills might have eyes, but Sonikdevil and Mach FoX have New Dead Wave.

New Dead Wave | Sonikdevil & Mach FoX | Mach FoX (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/machfoxband

https://sonikdevil.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/SonikdevilOfficial?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Apparently, the project Habitable Moons is air and atmosphere out of Stockholm, but actually, it is a guy called Peter Lindstr√∂m out of Stockholm and back in January, they debuted the EP, oddly called….well… EP1. This kind of alludes to the fact that there might be other EPs in the future.

October 3” kicks off, with highly rhythm intensive textures layering over each other. The pulsating electronics are almost futuristic in nature. Perhaps this is a date in future that we are awaiting with trepidation. There is the feeling of movement and the build-up of something ancient in “Winter Storm, Baltic Sea“, though it does not seem like a violent storm, but rather swells and ebbs with driving rain. The third track is “Cape Breton, Nova Scotia” and the sounds of gulls and guitar give you a glimpse of sun drenched beach running into the ocean, and early morning when the day is but young. It seems at peace with the world as the land wakes up. The guitar looping could be mistaken for church bells, and we even get to hear the voice of the progenitor, Lindstr√∂m.

Just a small observation of mine was that the Bandcamp player that you can preview tracks on, was not showing any minutes, nor seconds for any of the three tracks, which is something I am not used to and it kind of gave an air of uncertainty as to how long the tracks went for. Maybe I should pick the word “timeless” as that suits these electronic tracks that conjure up visions with their rhythms and experimentation. EP1 runs for approximately twenty-five minutes, but it definitely doesn’t feel that long, and maybe that is what happens on Habitable Moons.

EP1 | Habitable Moons (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/habitablemoons?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Australians Gerry Hawkins (Cryogenic Echelon) and Lawrie, aka Lawrie Masson (Studio X), are back with a new single/EP for their project Avarice In Audio, called “War Tanz“, tanz meaning dance, on the Alfa Matrix label. 2022 saw the release of the fifth studio album, Our Idols Are Filth and “War Tanz” is the second single.

Slamming electronic beats, Hawkins‘ gravelled vocals and those warbling synths that breakout during the chorus. They are pounding the dance track into your skull, the motivation to stop being a observer inside your own life, in “War Tanz“. Alien:Nation next have the remix, injecting heavenly synths into the more techno influenced version, though those mammoth beats still blast through, highlighted by the tinkling keyboards.

Lawrie is no slouch nor stranger when it comes to the remix, so the Studio-X mix is hardly a surprise. From the beginning, it is stripped down with the vocals at the fore, with hints of synths and it is amazingly effective, and equally danceable. It might be time to bust a move with the “Downer Grooves“, an instrumental to get on down with, and get on up again, which does not appear on the album.

Brilliant heavy beats, evocative vocals and scintillating remixes…. does it get any better than that? Industrial dance music done right by Avarice In Audio and they are calling you to the “War Tanz” against mundane.

War Tanz EP | AVARICE IN AUDIO | Alfa Matrix (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/avariceinaudioaus?mibextid=ZbWKwL

http://alfa-matrix-store.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Italian band Codice EGO has dropped their EP, Rainbow’s End on April 21st. This three track EP, is the journey of one band member, who found himself confronted with an illness that no one could diagnose and faced with his own mortality.

The title track, “Rainbow’s End” is the first single and is full of a slinky cool vibe, and smooth vocals lending themselves to the Portishead sound, while the throbbing guitar settles below, occasionally breaking out in flourishes. “Errors And Repairs” has post-punk jangliness wending its way through the ebb and flow of emotions in a period of time of being unable to fix the human machine but the most important component is convincing the brain to move on. The last track is the male voiced “Contriver“, the electronics are at the fore with the rhythms pounding from the drums and in an amazingly powerful ending. The survivor looking at what they have gone through.

Post-punk mixed with shoegaze and an understated degree of electronics is a part of the concoction that makes Rainbow’s End so easy to listen to, yet the vocals, fuelled by the ocean deep lyrics, for Codice EGO that make it all gel perfectly.

https://en-gb.facebook.com/CodiceEGO/

https://www.instagram.com/codiceego/?hl=en

IMJUDAS is the solo project for Maxx Maryan, who is also half of the Italian duo HELYAN FLOWERS. Maryan has released two EP’s, People Of The Blame and So Untrue, on the Spleen+ label which is a mixture of electronic and post-punk sensibilities.

Both EPs are a mixture of songs off the previous album Yrjudas, however you will find remixes and also unreleased demo versions. People Of The Blame indeed takes the track of that name and giving you the glorious canned anger mix and the Octolab remix which brings a very techno vibe dance track. Madil Hardis gives the track her elegant touch as well as delightful vocals, making it poignant and thoughtful, or you can enjoy the alfa remix and the 2016 demo version. The Neikka RPM mix of the single “Ritual” whirls out into the universe and you are also are treated to the demo of “Tulpa“.

So Untrue follows the same formula with the standout remix of the title track by Elektrostaub, where the guitar has been removed and filled by beautiful synths. There is the slower version by Phil from The Breathe Of Life that pulls at your heart strings and yet another demo of this track. You can hear yet another electronic interpretation of “Ritual” and the demo of “Outcast“.

Maryan really does have a brilliant voice that is the lynch pin between all the tracks and it is really interesting to see the progression between demo, single versions and remixes. It has been stated that this is the last look back at the Yrjudus album….. and what a look back it has been. It might seem too good to be true but you should definitely get into IMJUDAS.

People Of The Blame EP | ImJudas | IMJUDAS (bandcamp.com)

So Untrue EP | ImJudas | IMJUDAS (bandcamp.com)

https://m.facebook.com/IMJUDASofficial/

https://www.instagram.com/maxx_maryan

https://www.facebook.com/spleen.plus?mibextid=ZbWKwL

A new band from France, CODE 150, released their self titled first EP on April the 1st. I don’t know much about these guys other than they are a four piece band. So, in other words, we will let the music speak for them.

The start is a solemn one with “IRON EAGLE“, as the electronic writhe with an almost siren like wail. The guitars are in attendance for the next track, “BROKEN“, the bass twangs delightfully, with the lead guitar flourishes. It reminds me a little of a slow dance from the heart. The synths definitely give “DANCER IN THE DARK“, a coldwave sound, and combined with the female vocals, it has a beautiful symmetry, that whirls through the chorus. The final track is the sexy “MORE“, and I will leave that to your imagination… or even better, you can go listen to it.

This is a great first release and I implore you to listen to “DANCER IN THE DARK” as it deserves to be a dance floor favourite with its charged rhythms and vocal charm. It conjures up visions of a time when Visage and Ultravox were kings of the new wave scene. Keep an eye out for CODE 150 because I have a feeling bigger things are coming.

CODE 150 | CODE 150 (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/CODE150band

https://www.code150.fr/

We are off to Austin, Texas, to have a look at the first EP, “We Dissolve“, from Gleaming. Maybe we can let the man behind the project, tell you about himself….

“After drumming for a handful of different screamo and indie/dream-pop bands, I found my way to electronic music. I wanted to take the inspiration and influence from artists I love and blend it with my experience in the indie and dream/synth-pop bands. Creating a dark, danceable tone with really catchy melodies and lyrics, hoping to capture the perfect segue from dark to light.” – Darryl Schomberg II

The first track is also the single “Run Faster” and the tone of this song alone sets up the whole EP, which is about putting distance between yourself and the things in life that have dragged one down the darker paths, such as depression, and finding a better future. The synths are bright and sweet, and the rhythm bounces. “The Ashes” is the second single that builds in tension, echoing vocals that explode into a cascade of crystalline synth shards. Of note is the track “Rat Me Out“, feature Vestite, also from Austin, which has a great keyboard line through it as the dual vocals snake through this piece in the chorus.

I kind of wished that Schomberg relied on his own clean vocals more, which I will admit, are soooo much better than using autotune, (yeah I am the first to say I hate autotune with a fiery passion and I will blame Cher forever). The electronics have an 80s synthwave ring to them, that can soar, and having Vestite is a stroke of genius, as it made “Rat Me Out” a real joy. This is just Gleaming starting out with We Dissolve, so it should be interesting to see what he does next.

We Dissolve | Gleaming (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/gleaming.atx

https://www.instagram.com/gleaming.atx/