If not familiar with the industrial project 40 Octaves Below, then let me introduce you a resident of Vancouver, Drake Moore. The single “Splintered” came out on August 19th, with an epic four remixes by some fairly hard hitters in the scene today, before the soon to be released album, MetaVerUs.

“The song itself is a casting that calls for the guilty to come to Justice.” – Drake Moore

Splintered” lumbers into being like a monster with frizzing electronics and Moore’s angry and distorted vocals railing against the general movement of popularising lies and untruths, seeking retribution. MATT HART is the first remixer and his version is cold cyber steel with casual disdain, while the Anthony (H) mix is pared-down, slinky and dirty sexy. The mix by Live Evil Productions is going into rhythmic noise territory, a ride that feels a little out of control and intense, leaving the last remix to Silence In The Machine which cleverly incorporates a far more synthpop edge to the track that spins and spins until you might become dizzy.

You feel the contempt in “Splintered” no matter the mix. Unbridled rage is palpable and the guest mixers have interpreted that in their own styles, which is always interesting to hear. The music video definitely conveys the horror theme to go along with the track… Halloween is just around the corner and remember that at 40 Octaves Below, no-one will hear you rumble.

Splintered (Single) | 40 Octaves Below (bandcamp.com)

40 Octaves Below (facebook.com)

I’ll be the first to admit…. I am not a gamer. The PS4 is there to confuse me but I have heard of Call Of Duty. Prototype KB is a French experimental electronic project for Khalil Boughali, whom has sampled this video game, fusing it with ambient electronics. The EP is called Warzone and has three tracks.

Warzone I” has the obligatory bursts of automatic gunfire, the gasps of the dying and chatter of command. It almost surreal in comparison to the transcendental soundtrack meandering below. The muffled sounds of pounding shells welcomes you to the interim, “Gulag“. Sirens and mass destruction return to greet you in “Warzone II“. More rapid fire, cocking of weapons, which ends with the beating of chopper propeller blades and fading into silence.

I could see this being popular with RPG table top miniature wargamers or people that love the Call Of Duty franchise as it would bring back fond memories. I was so fixated on the music, the sounds of war eventually no longer registered (trust me, it is a talent learnt over the years). Truthfully, this is not for me but for hardcore gamers, I can see the appeal in Warzone.

Warzone | Prototype KB (bandcamp.com)

Khalil Boughali (@khalil.boughali) • Instagram photos and videos

The label, Brutal Resonance Records, had a bit of a coup, signing the cyber synth project, Slighter to their stable. Colin C. is Slighter and to celebrate this union, has brought forth the EP, Welcome To Riot City made up of five original tracks and five remixes.

Welcome To Riot City” is brooding and dark from the start. The hairs rise on the back of your neck with the movement of the sleek synths, which runs into the the robotic vocalised “Breaking In“. A sleaziness invades “Comadose“, foreign and exotic, waving in and out of reality. The tension builds as there is a “Firefight On Warett Street“, where you can almost hear evasive sirens in the music, as well as the cocking of a gun. Last track before the remixes is “High Tech, High Life” with its crunchy glitching married to the soundscape building synths that are taking you on the journey.

The remixes are made up of Eva X with her intriguing wubbing and chunky power noise influenced “Welcome To Riot City“, the HOSTILE ARCHITECT brings in stellar beats and bass drops to aid you “Breaking In“, royb0t is definitely not going to let you slip into a coma with what they do with “Comadose“. Planetdamage take on “Firefight On Warett Street” and the shells are falling as we go into hyperdrive mode while Kizunaut gets all prickly and dance inferno for “High Tech, High Life“. It is a really fun EP with Slighter showing his expertise in electronic music and getting five amazing musicians to give each track a thumping good makeover. Welcome To Riot City, and come and get some!

Welcome to Riot City | Slighter | Brutal Resonance Records (bandcamp.com)

Slighter | Facebook

Music | Brutal Resonance Records (bandcamp.com)

Music | Eva X (bandcamp.com)

Music | Abelisk (bandcamp.com)

royb0t (bandcamp.com)

Planetdamage (bandcamp.com)

Music | Kizunaut (bandcamp.com)

Berlin band, Golden Apes, have returned with a new EP, From The Sky, released on July the 29th, out on Icy Cold Records. You know anything recorded at places called Blackstone Studios & The House of Zarathustra have got to be good. Peer Lebrecht (music, words, synths, vocals) and Christian Lebrecht (bass) are the founding members, joined by Gerrit Haasler (guitars), Frank Flenz (guitars) and Joe Tyburn (drums) making up the Golden Apes, and we might soon be graced by a new album in the future, because even though there has been a little bit of a break since the last full length release, Kasbek in 2019, does not mean music has not been in the collation……

Title track and first single lifted is of course “From The Sky“, and the first notes roll into a torrent of wondrous sound, taking flight. It is glorious to hear the guitars and Peer’s sonorous vocalisation with a tale of falling from grace due to secrets held. “Hold Me” isn’t quite the ballad you might think from the name, full of fear and pain but also hope that another’s touch will anchor your soul. A sentiment echoed by many who desire contact.. There is something very sensual about “A New Day’s Dawn” but also driving as the guitars push this along with the mammoth drumming. I would happily dance away to this and I have a feeling the track is going to amazing live.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, then there is the whirling “Hole (In My Head)“. A wall of angelic sound and it is mesmerising. The track ebbs and rushes you making this feel as old as magic. “Satori” was a single released originally in 2021, but for the EP it has been given a make-over called the 2022 Mix. It is a beautiful track, a ballad of love and passion in limbo. The last track is the Gravitas mix for “From The Sky“, by Voyna. Those familiar with Voyna, will know this is the name of Peer Lebrecht’s solo project. The mix is devoid of guitars in preference for synths, which of course brings a new facet to the track, surreal and mirrored, seemingly otherworldly.

Errmm….God damn, I love those deep rich vocals from Peer Lebrecht. They are like sweet syrup pouring into your ears. The music itself is equally as satisfying, forbidden dark wine given to you to savour and become drunk on with the gothic headiness and textures. Golden Apes are in fine form with “From The Sky“, which points to the fact that the next album might just have us intoxicated..

From The Sky | Golden Apes (bandcamp.com)

GOLDEN APES

Music | Icy Cold Records (bandcamp.com)

Icy Cold Records | Facebook

Kevorkian Death Cycle was a band that stormed the industrial scene in 1996 with the release of the album Collection For Injection. The music was raw, uncompromising and high with energy, perfect for dancing too. In 2022, Kevorkian Death Cycle are now on the Negative Gain label, with the core members Ryan Gribbin and Roger Jarvis joined by Rob Robinson and Sean Whitman. The group is releasing tracks from Collection For Injection, modernised, as a group of EPs and the first, Injection: 01, was released on July 15th.

The four tracks include fan favourite, “Veal” and it stonkingly good. I had forgotten how brilliant it actually is with those machine gun beats. Real body music with overwhelming heart. The fabulous “Man Made“, “Send Me The Machine” and “Spring Heel Jack” make up the rest of the quartet, really there isn’t any chaff as each track holds it’s own.

When I first heard of this, I wondered what it was going to turn out like….. you wonder if you are going to feel sad about how they have changed something close to you memories. I really should not have been concerned. These four tracks have been lovingly treated, a few rough edges smoothed off, the sound quality is much better but it is still fucking amazing, drilling into your head and splashing around in your brain with abandon. Nothing sounds like it was written in the 90s and this is just as much a testament to the band’s song writing skills as much as the mixing done by Robinson. If you are a Kevorkian fan, don’t be afraid to give this a listen because it has the ball ripping intensity and if you are new to the fold, I can’t think of a better way to immerse you into the Death Cycle. Bring on the next EP.

Injection: 01 | Kevorkian Death Cycle (bandcamp.com)

Kevorkian Death Cycle (facebook.com)

Brought to you on the German label, Blackjack Illuminist Records in Europe and self released in their homeland, Social Union is the Aotearoa (New Zealand) darkwave/synthpop project with their latest EP, Fall Into Me.

With the title track, “Fall Into Me“, kicking things off and it feels old school synth with beautiful rolling vocals entwined with the electronics, smooth and tugging at your heart strings. “Choke” has these lovely guitar jangles infiltrating the tune which gives this track a nice dark feel with the lyrics about needing a friend but instead, being put in a situation of wanting to escape.

Staccato beats between the drum machine, guitar and synths, herald in “Abscond” and the vocals fall into your ears, while the vocals in “Our Hands Don’t Fit“, are gorgeous as they sit hand in hand with the guitar. “Fall Into Me (Social Sport Remix)” just kicks this track into a new realm. Bass heavy with touches of power noise and trance, that pierce your insides in a rather pleasant way and this would be great on any dance floor.

What can I say? It is pretty lush mix between the vocals, electronics and guitar work. Social Union holds your attention with their wonderful compositions, borne of light thrown on murky corners, matched with soul touching simplicity. Fabulous darkwave coming from New Zealand that easily matches the likes of Twin Tribes or She Past Away.

Fall Into Me EP | Social Union (bandcamp.com)

Social Union | Facebook

July the 28th saw the release of the EP, Ad Aeternam Damnationem, by the Italian band Horologic Mime. This is an independent release for the group and their second EP, describing their instrumental style as experimental industrial metal.

Metal infused with off kilter electronics, seemingly wanting to consume you alive in “Excessive Fat Accumulation“. This leads into “Acufene Scolopendra” that has a winding purpose, with those chiming synths, belied by angry guitar, laying below, ready to pounce, pushing and prodding onward. Crunching industrial metal invades your ears, as we are taken on the great circus ride that is “Bird Up“. It lurches and tumbles into chaos, broken and looking for resurrection, slowly rising like a ghoul from a grave to haunt you.

Horologic Mime seek to use their experimental style to create soundscape worlds with the noise they pull from their instruments, mixing delicate bell like synths to aggressive metal guitar and changing rhythms. With this in mind, I remind people that this is experimental and you approach this style without expectations and just bathe in what the musicians are inviting you into.

Ad Aeternam Damnationem | Horologic Mime (bandcamp.com)

instagram.com/horologicmime

Portland’s Xibling (Sibling) are a synth lead duo on the experimental edge and on March the 1st, the label Young And Cold Records, combined two previously released EP’s, Yesbody and Maladjusted onto one vinyl. Moriah West and Julian Thieme have so far released four original EPs, plus other livestream material.

Hello Stranger” exudes the enthusiasm that this band seems to be all about with a rhythm that thrusts you forwards, glitching with the howling vocals replicating a wolfs’s call. The single, “Butterfly Curbstomp” is a brutal space oddity of having your teeth kicked in, with an strangely B52’s feel while “Fold” could have come from the early 80s with its manic robotic intent. To be a model, you might have to be made of “Plasticine” to keep your looks and figure, which is exactly about what this song is about, sung with such passion. “Schadenfreude” or the pleasure gained by someone else’s failure, the male German style vocals in staccato, all over this piece and this mixes so well into “Maladjusted“, with the rap inspired spoken word that melt into beautiful, silken tendrils of singing and who can say no to lyrics like a maladjusted little shit, dropping the bass. There is a slow burn to”Slow Fold“, as it curls around you, fingers digging into your throat.

Butterfly Curbstomp IV” is possibility what it is like to be on speed in a formula one vehicle, an insane ride for a remix. The darker allure of fetish and sexual angst is “Latex Gloves“, which is going to stalk you with those commanding beats, though this all hits the brick wall in “Vine“, with the echoing, glossy attitude. The bleeps and electronic distortion vie with the vocals for control with “Contract“, while “Puppet” has an air to it like the Siouxsie/Budgie project, Creatures, especially vocally. There is this beautiful synth line that runs through “Reflection” and though the lyrics are not a happy affair but the music itself whirls around you. The last track is one of the title tracks “Yesbody” and it had an amazing vibrancy and a pop like perfection.

Bloody marvelous and such a fun collection of tracks. I love how they manage to pull so many different sounds out of their electronic equipment and it is all about the passion behind the music. You can hear the enjoyment Xibling exude when they play and while they might play electronic music, but they really have a very punk attitude behind it all.

Yesbody / Maladjusted Split LP from Young and Cold Records | Xibling (bandcamp.com)

Xibling | Facebook

Young & Cold Records | Facebook

Pennsylvania based, The Number H has dropped the EP, The Conditioning, on May the 27th, with Lost Glacier Records. This is their second dark electronic EP release, which, in true industrial style, they are using recordings of everyday noises and fusing them into into these techno and bass influenced tracks.

Straight off the bat is “Nothing“, sexually charged industrial beats, that build up and breakdown, lulled by her vocals. Industrial bass is beautifully used to full effect in “Grief“, with science fiction overtones, the electronics in a juxtaposition of being smooth and abrasive at the same time. “Tell Me” is a techno whirlwind with glitching vocals, designed to build you higher with those rhythms and then you are plunged into the dark depths of “Miss Me“, which gave me goosebumps.

Hideous Dream” is in no way terrible to listen to and in fact delightfully works its way through your senses, the electronics implanting themselves into pleasure centres. Last track is “Undone“, ominous and foreboding as it builds to a whirling techno synth vortex, that collapses only to take you an unwinding journey.

Erotically charged, surreal and sublime. The low spoken vocals, not quite disinterested, drawling out, cutting into your skin. I think I could easily listen to The Number H all day, if I am being perfectly honest. She has an amazing flow that grabs you with the intensity of the music. Loss, intense sorrow and hopefully healing, now you have The Conditioning,.

The Number H (bandcamp.com)

Lost Glacier Records | Facebook

I am not sure what is going on in Portland, Oregon, but I feel a little disturbed. Why disturbing? Because there seems to be a wealth of good acts from this one place. Brought to my attention is this band called Darkswoon, with their single, Eaten By Wolves, released on May the 27th in the form of an EP, which is off the soon to be released album, Bloom Decay. The single is accompanied by three other tracks, one off a soundtrack and the other two, remixes.

The title track, “Eaten By Wolves” has this beautiful flow that reminds me a little of Ride, though far more electronic, with the drum machine keeping time as the vocals, so gorgeously clean, cleave their way across the music, while the synths vie with the guitar.

Ruin(2020) is such an oddity. It is about waiting for the one who will complete you but also seems quite dark when mentioning the fact when they die, their family will get the body….though I found it rather amusing as well. It is an uptempo sounding track, with the swirling shoegaze guitars and entwining vocals, that drag you away to another place.

Really like the electronic start to “Human Faults“, mixed by experimental electronic Portland act, We Are Parasols. Heavy and light tones invaded by the altered ghostly vocals. This has an amazing soundscape feel to it, stretching out into the buzzing aether, married to a danceable rhythm.

Final song and it is another cracker of a dance mix. “Fireplace“, the Sn<che mix, is pure joy, in the vein of Boy Harsher. A cacophony of sound with those marvellous staccato vocals that fold into soaring melodies, which fade into a mist filled end.

Holy crap. I love it. Darkswoon, where have you been hiding? Synthpop grace, coupled with shoegaze wisps and emotion filled vocals. In a word, sublime and the remixes are utterly on point, really rounding out the EP. After listening to this, you might want to be Eaten By Wolves.

Eaten By Wolves EP | Darkswoon (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/darkswoon.pdx/

Music | We Are Parasols (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/weareparasols/