MissSuicide is a one person project from Cologne of the dark electro/industrial persuasion. Demian’s (MissSuicide) latest EP is Herbivor, set free as of the 1st of October with guest artists. STAHLSCHLAG and GRENDEL.

A gypsy violin, ominous synths and a sound clip from Breaking Bad start the odyssey of “Persona Non Grata“. Dance beats enhanced by spinning synths. Like a tape in reverse, we are hit by the title track,”Herbivor“. There are dueling synths and the rhythmic signature feels like it is in constant flux, itching to fly free. “Präzisionsarbeit“, featuring STAHLSCHLAG, the maker of the rhythmic crunchy noises, just leaps out at you. Those static oscillations, tweaks and synths are great but the banging beats get the heart working.

Ocelotte” is mentioned as a part of a video game sample and the track itself is dark and sharp. The GRENDEL remix “Herbivor” is most definitely geared towards the dance floor, with JD Tucker, tightening the synths and condensing to an almost science fiction flavour of sound. Sebastian Lohse (ex- Letzte Instanz, Die Feine Gesellschaft) does guest vocals on “De Profundis” which has been given the STAHLSCHLAG treatment. The remix has those tell tale sounds of Sünkler tweaking the track with his crunchy static, while Lohse’s singing is just the icing on the cake.

There are tracks on here that are going to to be club floor fillers but also, others that will truly tickle the taste buds of industrial connoisseurs. The mixture of styles between Demian and Sünkler, as well as Tucker, makes for very enjoyable listening. Be the Herbivor in the MissSuicide buffet.

▶︎ Persona Non Grata | MissSuicide (bandcamp.com)

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Music | STAHLSCHLAG (bandcamp.com)

Music | Grendel (bandcamp.com)

This year saw Belgium project, Psy’Aviah, celebrate twenty years of music, with the label Alfa Matrix releasing a huge best of, called Bittersweet, that had been re-recorded with guest vocalists. On September the 22nd, Yves Schelpe, founder of Psy’Aviah, is asking “Is Everything Going OK?“, a maxi single/EP of the highly successful single “Ok“.

Huong Su takes on the vocal duties for “Ok(rediscovered), so very sweet and sentimental, with classical instrumentation. After this version, the gloves come off, so to speak, as the HeiG trance mix takes hold, onwards and upwards, followed by the magical Miss Suicide mix, which is also guaranteed to hold a crowd on the dancefloor. There is the beautiful trance mix by LLM, Digital Factor with their slow burn electronic mix and the After Dark remix from Am Tierpark that builds a world of lightness encased in darkness plus some stellar synths. But wait there is more….. Pulse Mandala remixes into an ethereal glow, the trippy Nethermere breakbeat remix before the ALUCVRD breakbeat mix that glitches and lunges with a Middle Eastern soul and then there is the stripped back version with Huong Su and violinist Irina Markevich.

I am not even going to get into the 12 inch remixes, of which there three. Yes, you are going to get bang for your buck on this single/EP. “Ok” has been lovingly handled by each musician, shaped into tracks to ignite the soul from heartbreaking sensuality to dance floor fillers and it started with a song from Schelpe’s Psy’Aviah. Good music does not age and this is a corker of a release.

Is Everything Going OK? EP | PSY’AVIAH | Alfa Matrix (bandcamp.com)

Psy’Aviah | Facebook

Alfa Matrix Records (alfa-matrix-store.com)

Alfa Matrix | Facebook

Looking for a bit of retro in your electronic music? The look no further than the newly released EP, EP.01 from RetCon. Jason Hollis fully admits to being kind of stuck in 1988 and we say that is kind of cool.

The sound for the single “New Day“, is definitely rooted in the 80’s, with analogue synths that chirp along and the vocals of Jason Hollis, floating in the electronic aether. The threat of nuclear weapons is the highest it has been since the Cold War and the pulsating “Blink” is about this imminent demise of the human race by its own hand, while “First Light” is cool and trance like, urging the oppressed not to give against the might of crushing enemies. Last track, “Xcommunication” is eerie in its stalker like persistence and whispered vocals.

Musically, there is something that tells me that Hollis was very influenced by Front 242. Me thinks there is a corelation to the cool beats and unhurried electronics. There is a lot of care put into this EP and a love of certain era but also within, is a message that in these times of global instability, one should not become complacent.

EP.01 | RetCon (bandcamp.com)

RetCon | Facebook

Portland duo Lore City, released their new EP on the 6th of October. Named “Under Way” and consisting of two tracks, Laura Mariposa Williams and Eric Angelo Bessel are the masterminds behind Lore City.

Animate” has an ocean deep sound, depths of emotion mixed with tribal styled drums and echoing beauty. Laura’s vials delicate and angelic in hushed tones. Second track, “Very Body“, is a sonically engrossing instrumental, wavering electronics like heat off a desert, growing like a phantasm on the horizon, never within reach.

There is a hint of Dead Can Dance, especially vocally, in the first song but also a certain amount of experimentation in both tracks. Weaving sounds to both evoke memories and invoke sparks within dormant ancient genetics. Lore City are handing you something of themselves in “Under Way*

Under Way | Lore City (bandcamp.com)

Lore City Music / Lore City

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