Welcome to the era of big brother is watching you and using your fears to control you. This is the theme explored in the latest Vexillary EP, SurViolence which was released at the end of July.
New York based musician and chemist, RezaSeirafi, is Vexillary, who has four previous EP’s under his belt and his style is dark electro/techno/industrial.
Kicking off with the single “Maritime Panic“, which is the current single from the EP and this sets the tone for Seirafi’s very electronic style which feels at times clinically modern… almost futuristic and yet there are lapses of stability. The music quivers and becomes almost uneasy feeling and slightly oppressive.
“Annihilation” at first feels very upbeat and light with its techno heart beating. But this just seems to be the cover for what is in store. The complacent move to the ordered beat of the hierarchy.
With technology, authority figures can feed the populace information, track them and even surveil them from a far. “Forged Skies” has a cold feel about it, the imperial rise of the machines as the synths bleat at us like we need them.
The starting beats are like the ticking of an overwound watch. In “The Geneticist“, we finally get to hear Reza and implores us to see how humans are becoming more computerised and that even sexual voyeurism is being used to control people through fear. ‘A snap of his fingers, and the beast is in your land‘.
This could be science fiction but then looking at today’s current global geo-political climate, this could be very much reality.
This EP flows well with its electronic instrumentation without vocals until “TheGeneticist“, which gives an extra punch of impact. If you like to close your eyes and have the music take you away or just love good synth based pieces, then Vexillary’s, “SurViolence” could be what the government never wanted you to hear.
July has seen the release of the EP, Unicorn Bones, by Chicago duo, Karen Righeimer and Ivan Russia, also known as Bellhead. I can definitely say the rhythm section for this band is tight. Both Righeimer and Russia both play bass, low and high respectively, both share vocal duties, though Ivan is very much the lead singer and are backed up by their dependable drum machine.
The band in their bio, make reference to their influences from goth rock legends, Bauhaus to the alternative rock royalty that is the White Stripes to the gothic/post punk stylings of She Wants Revenge, yet truthfully, they definitely have a sound that is very much their own.
“Snuff Film 1974” is straight off the bat with it’s thumping heavy rhythm that grabs your attention before dragging said attention to the graveled out vocals of Russia and the disturbing lyric content about a small female child murdered in film for others entertainment. This is the only track not written by Bellhead but rather penned by Sheriff Michael Scabs of the Sheriff Scabs band of which Russia has also been a member of. A thing of nightmares.
Really dig “Unicorn Bones” as it is a very nonchalant, grooving number that just has that keep ontrucking feel. The vocals play tag as they paint a vision of glittering violence and sad demise of those that live in the shadowed, dangerous places. Sinister and sleazy.
A song about a conman or less than reputable fellow, trying to stay one step in front of oblivion but wanting to take to take one last stab of having the person they have always loved. A final last chance is of happiness is “Always (Running After The Sun)“. This is a far more poignant track, slower and thoughtful with intensity.
Annnd serial killer/psycho time. “Knife” is sexy whispers with the intent of maiming and destroying. Low and distorted noise backs the bass just for that extra creepy ambiance.
“Sidewinder” has a more rock flare about it, but it’s all the dirty bits of rock. The low and high bass building the sound up in such a manner that it feels angry and greasy, finishing off the EP.
The choice and use of high and low bass without any regular guitar is an interesting marriage of instruments but works well for Bellhead. Bass brings on the rhythm and produces a rich, big sound.
So if you fancy the darker, more nightmarish side of the industrial, gothic rock genre, then do catch up with Bellhead and their not so sparkly but equally intriguing, UnicornBones, with none of the guitar bull.
The Batavia, in the early 17th Century, was a ship of the Dutch East India Company and in less than a year after her maiden voyage, would find herself wrecked off the West Australian Coast. A tale of murder, mutiny, slavery and abandonment followed.
Batavia are also a goth, industrial rock group, hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, consisting of Terri and Ed Cripps. This is the married couple’s debut E.P., Graveyard, under this moniker and was recorded in isolation. Keys and vocals are from Terri while Ed gives us guitar, programming and backing (spoken) vocals.
The wind swept feel is prominent in “Field Of Gray” as the synths grace their presence and breath into the intro piece while the angelic vocals hover just above the turbulence. Ed speaks to us, as from another time, perhaps as a marooned sailor who dreams of home as his life slips away.
Now for something completely different as far as a cover goes. Not that someone would not cover Duran Duran, but rather the choice of their 1988 single, “All She Wants Is” kind of blew me away. It is raw and pulsating with sexuality and very feminine. Terri’s vocals really capture the fervour whilst being classy and the industrial styling of the guitar work, really lends itself to making this a cover that completely works for them.
“Scab Mask” is grating at the beginning, setting up for the vocals to resolve the disparity. This is the industrial machine, that pounds along and one can’t help but feel that this may be a commentary on the current political turmoil, that their country currently finds itself embroiled in. The anger seems to feed into the slowing, off kilter, loss of hope.
An orchestrated piece with no vocals, “Flyboy” is cuts of air chatter from ground personnel, RichardRussell, which burst through with accelerating urgency as a man losses his sanity while handling a multi million dollar plane. Meanwhile air control tries to talk him around and for historical content, he purposefully crashed in 2018l This is the futile end.
This is a really neat little E.P. and Bartavia are proving themselves to be storytellers, connecting the past to present, even when that past was not so long ago, for as humans, we seem to have short memories.
We need those that write meaningful human tales with good tunes and a rollicking good cover every so often doesn’t hurt either. Get your education and entertainment with the delightful Batavia and open their Graveyard.
Zwaremachine are from Minneapolis and on the 20th of May , will release their latest EP, Ripping At The Fabric. Over the years, they have become a three piece with original member, singer/synths and writer, Mach Fox at the helm, D–bot on bass/vocals and Dein Offizer creating the rhythm on drums/percussion. They describe their sound as ‘minimal, hypnotic, industrial bodymusic‘.
This is also one of the first releases on the new label, Brutal Resonance Records and if that name sounds familiar, it might be as it is the same group that have been responsible for the long running music Zine of the name.
Mach Fox is a rather interesting fellow who has been heavily involved in the industrial scene since the 90’s and has a healthy respect for Gary Numan and John Foxx.
Can you “Resist” the 80’s feel of the first song on the EP? This pays homage to Skinny Puppy in its vicious simplicity. The synths are understated and this makes it feel even more in your face.
Time to feel the groove flowing through you with a “New Design“, guaranteed to get your body moving. The beat is like something from old Front 242 as it angrily stomps into your head.
The first single off this EP is also the title track, “Ripping At The Fabric“. It sort of reminds me a little of those science fiction movies with the electronic soundtracks except this is more full on blunt force trauma. Fox growls that this is not the beginning of the end and we certainly hope not. There is no surrender!!
The assault to your ears doesn’t stop there. “International Hero” belts you over the head. This is like electronic overload with distortion and delightful synth tones which keeps making me thinking back to Ministry’s “Stigmata“.
Last track is “What We Are” and is feels fresh and fast, with a high energy rhythm. This is a great number that really shows Mach’s writing ability, even though he’s snarling lyrics, the music in the background is almost ethereal in its delicacy.
The energy is aggressive and definitely punchy throughout the whole EP. It is hypnotic and will suck you in. I hear so much of the timeless, classical industrial sounds with Zwaremachine, who are smashing their own apocalyptic, minimalistic, agrotech noise into the mix, doing exactly what makes industrial music so interesting…. experimenting with whatever gets a great a sound.
Zwaremachine’sRipping At The Fabric isn’t re-inventing the wheel but rather, taking said wheel running you down with it and you’ll enjoy every bone crunching moment of it.
Last year, Matt Hart brought out the concept album Terra 3808, based on a post apocalyptic Earth where humanity scratches away, trying to just survive.
So in March, came the release of his new EP, Tales Of Terra: Triolith, which is a continuation of this storyline, as the last stragglers called The Outlaws in their struggle with the Machines, find a large three tower structure coined Triolith.
“Chaos Rising” throught to “Mechanical Dominion” are off previous releases, most now remixed by various artists and given a new lease of life.
The first number is the title track, “Triolith” and an alien voice rumbles forth to be accompanied by a beat as it rolls across the futuristic landscape. This is the single off the EP and it instantly gets your attention.
The song, “Requiem” has a wonderfully off kilter sense to it. Though not an overly fast number, it gives the impression of being relentless and constant. Xavier Swafford from 3Teeth is no stranger to the remix and you can tell.
“Chaos Rising” is the Nitronoiseremix which is about the survivors of apocalypse. Gritty and angry with power guitars in the chorus that builds this up. This isn’t a new remix but what the hell… it’s still bloody good and fits in well.
The dub of a club DJ is strong in “MechanicalDominion” (MXD_BLD remix). This power noise inspired piece just oozes with static as the machine rule and destroy all that does not fit the new world order.
There is a spooky remix of “Mercury Flow” by Witch Of The Vale and it’s low and smooth like quick silver and similar to the poison, it’s going to get under your skin.
Unlock the level “Chaos Achieved” (metalogueremix). Like repetitive fire comes the rhythm, thick and fast as if a massive metal colossus is whirring away with purpose and intent.
The remix by monomorte, is a lovely drone sludge in the second retelling of “Mechanical Dominion” and it sounds so completely different yet so perfect, finishes off this EP.
I am starting to wonder if Matt is, or ever has been a player of Warhammer 40K. It’s that style of enthusiastically enjoying putting together a story of light versus dark and humanity hanging on by a thread, becoming less human due to circumstance.
So far, it seems to be that the machines are going to extinguish the light of man and if a collapsing futuristic world of trauma with fabulous remixes is your bag, then you need to listen to Tales of Terra: Triolith and support Matt Hart so we can see how this all ends.
Previously we heard recently remixes from Australian and Russian duo of SiK aka CraigSaunders and Dima Ilyin, who make up Nova State Machine. We just had to let you know that on March the 24th, there was a third EP released called TCM RMXS-003 Drugs and Drums.
If you weren’t awake before you started listening you soon will be as SiK(Saunders) growls into your ear with a barrage of rhythm with “War Is A Drug– Ephedrine mix” by SEXGUN. This definitely reminds me of Ministry/RevoltingCocks both vocally and the melody syncopation.
For the rest of this EP you will be graced with the scintelating deep vocals of Dima. “Do or Die– BZP remix” by SEXGUN has a techno vibe and this feels like old style Front242/Nitzer Ebb, which is never a bad thing with that fast feverish pace.
Back to a previously remixed number, however it’s easy to see why someone would want to do another version of “Harsh Reality” as it is such a strong song. SiK brings RxSingular Obsession remix to bear down on your ears. He had made “HarshReality” sleek and clean while Dima’s distorted vocals rip through.
I get images of Judge Dredd, listening to “Total Control – MKUltra Mix” by FILTHmachine. It screams science fiction war games to me. Brutal vocals bellowing ‘total control, total control‘ and bouncy synths chirping in.
No Pain – Codeine Mix by nOvAsLuG who are the artists ToMsLuG from Vancouver and CraigSaunders, starts like a sound scape as it builds and swells. This becomes an industrial cacophony of noise. Dima sounds like he’s trying to convince himself he’s alright and yet it all reflects body or mind wounds.
Electronic burbles bring in “Destroy All Hope – krocodil mix” by Evil Against Evil. This starts off slow and dirty whilst it creaks and groans along. The minimalistic nature conveys the drudgery of a world bereft of all love, hope or joy.. just grey.
Most of this is not so much danceable but definitely more experimenting with the music at hand to see where it can be taken. Which is exactly what you need from a third part of a trilogy.
When all is said and done, this is another solid remix and there is everything to gain as this is pay what you want on Bandcamp. So be where the cool kids are before Nova State Machine unleash the next new album but for now lock and load some TCM RMXS-003 Drugs and Drums.
What do you get if you cross Australian and Russian industrial music? NovaStateMachine and they are going to be releasing their back catalogue in the form of EPs, as spanking new remixes.
NovaStateMachine is the collaborative brainchild of Sydney sider CraigSaunders who is also know as SiK from the band Novakill and moscovite DimaIlyn who is best known for his band, UltimateSoldier.
The first EP to get the treatment is TCZRMXs001:HarshReality, which is made up of four songs off the TotalControlZone album, from 2019 on the lads own label, Shoknova.
“HarshReality” Shokhammerremix 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 “HardTarget – insurgentmix” 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 “NeverMore” is the UltimateSoldierRMX. 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. UltimateSoldier is the Russian project for DimaIlyn.
“TheFuture” has the Uncertaintymix 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. “HarshReality” is the current view, “HardTarget” is what is required to survive, “NeverMore” is what is desired and “TheFuture” is the unknown.
TCZRMXs001:HarshReality 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. NovaStateMachine 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!
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 “TheGallows“. 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 DeathWithMachines.
January saw the bandcamp release of DirtFactory’s debut EP, Random Songs For The End Of The World. This electro industrial band is comprised of two brothers, MichaelGillman (programming and synths) and DanielAllen (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.
Track three is an “UnseenTragedy“. 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, “GiveMeTheDrugs“. 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.
Will machines with AI eventually obtain “DigitalConsciousness“? 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 “ErrorDelete” with undulating electronics with such a catchy rhythm and breakout synths. This definitely brings visions of Bladerunner or GhostIn the Machine.
“SlaughterhouseShutdown” 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 “CorporateGreed” which brings to mind another song, “CorporateSlave” 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 “ErrorDelete” by DigitalAnodyne (DJWolfAud) and Vargil (CamillaAstridStrand) 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 WaxTrax era and the burgeoning onslaught of the Belgium and German bands such as FrontlineAssembly 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.
End of November, 2019 saw the release of goth rockers, HerDespair’s latest EP, ExorcismsofEroticism. This 6 piece band are based in London and currently not signed to any label, though I wonder how long that will last.
“Pandaemonium” is a banger of a number to start off with. Those crystal clear vocals that draw you into the heart and heat of song. Author, JohnMilton, wrote the novel, ParadiseLost and created a capital of Hell called Pandaemonium, city of fallen angels and daemons. This builds in its terrible beauty of a soul left bereft and shunning heaven’s God .
A single off the EP is “TheExorcism“. Again you hear the wonderfully crafted lyrics with the musical sensibilities of VilleValo (HIM). A few goth girls are going to melt with this and I can see why. The guitar riff in this is a killer.
Third track, “In That Moment”, has the orchestration wooing you whilst giving you a sense of wonder at how they manage to make this sound so grand and polished. The electronic aspect is spectacular.
For such a darkly named song “Like A Crucifixion“, it feels so light and up beat with a great, catchy chorus. If this is the next single, I would hardly be surprised.
I think English icons, ParadiseLost might have misplaced a track in “Beyond The Veil” as it really reminds me of their goth phase. This is a slightly slower number and I’m not sure if the reference is a veil of mourning or the distance between death and life, though no matter as it all works.
Of course all this commentary of passing to the land of the dead leads well into the final track, “Final Rest”. The sentiment is beautiful as the music swells with the acknowledgment of going to a place of peace… their heaven.
For HerDespair, this is the second EP since the band first released Mournography in 2018. There is great wealth of literary expression and the use of poetic English language is lovely to see.
The band cites influences like The Sisters of Mercy, My Dying Bride and Karl McCoy’s wonderful, Fieldsof the Nephilim and honestly you can hear touchs of these 80’s iconic goth bands but also more recent acts like The 69 Eyes, LacrimosaProfundere and more than a passing nod to tragic love hero’s, HIM.
Goth rock needs shots in the arm like this every once in a while because what the world doesn’t need is another SistersofMercy clone, yet this is a classic example of love lost, longing and dwelling in darkness, set to a backdrop of heaven and hell. Beauty is in the darkness and in the music of HerDespair.