“Night Device” is not the name of the single from Mexico’s Edge Of Decipher, but rather the encompassing ideal for the two tracks. Released on the 4th of December, on the Machina Ad Noctem label, both “Against The Night” and “Loaded Trembling Device” are not new, though now having a remix overhaul, each are ready to breathe anew.
“Against The Night” has the Hollow Mix and I wonder if this name comes from the rhythms that sounds like plucked rubber bands and struck empty bottles. The darkness of the night could never dim, nor contain this joyful myriad of exuberant noise, only enhancing the brightness against the inky blackness.
In contrast, The Late Version of “Loaded Trembling Device” is not about beauty, instead, very much has a purpose. A seriousness crept in. Do machines fear and would the thinking be the whirring processors computating every variable? The music running up and down over and over again, with sudden breaks of clarity before the race to freedom is recalculated.
Edge Of Decipher has this wonderful knack of combining electronic instrumental music and imagination, in such a way, that it tells you stories without the need for words. He creates worlds of men, machines and starlight, which is a gift. “Night Device” is for name your price on Bandcamp.
LMX has released his third album, Habits & Addictions, on the Meshwork Music label, as of October the 28th. Keep in mind that this German electro-pop musician isn’t even twenty yet…….
There is occasionally, a harder edge to this music than you think. “Addiction” has elements of industrial experimentation, while the circling fragile sadness of “Not Made For This” is in the morose synths even with the constant paced rhythm.
There are beautiful synth lines in the spiralling “More Time” with almost an 80s feel to it, then you have a kind of ambient euro dance thing going on with “That Summer“. The heart rending “Stay” is yet another facet of the performer and writer, with such a simple track that bares his soul. In all, there are ten tracks, all flourishing these incredible electronics and lyrics.
I know that it is the current rage to use those vocal modulation thingies to give the singing that echoing tone but I’m not a great fan of it, especially when you can hear the fact they can sing. I really wanted to hear LMX without it, however I’m sure maybe it’s just one of my foibles and I am fairly certain there is a multitude out there that absolutely love it. Other than that little quibble, it’s a really excellent dark pop album and some tracks did become embedded into the old brain box, refusing to leave.
LMX is going to have a long future in the music scene, if this is to go by and he does have a great pedigree, being the son of X Marks The Pedwalk’s ESTEFANÍA and SEVREN NI-ARB, who also helped produce this album. Habits &Addictions is emotion filled, raw and yet, in the end, looking for the light, LMX might become your addiction.
Non-Bio is the most excellent industrial project of the rather busy Howard Gardner, whom is based in London and is also in the projects Pillars of Golden Misery and Decommissioned Forests. Halloween was the release date for his latest album, Monkey Feather.
The first track is also the first single/video, “Island In A Lake Of Spinal Fluid“, and the electronic reverberations are already tingling under your skin. Low and intense with Gardner’s voice adding to the noise, the screaming metal sounds, causing ripples to send those tingles down your back. Rhythmic noise is the order of the day, so with that in mind “Monkey Feather” will not disappoint. The crunchy beats fall over each other with sharp agitation, the vocals almost inconsequential in the scheme of things, as all that matters is the pile driver pushing into your head.
Primal is one way to describe “The Melting Man“, not only with the beats but with what sounds like horns bellowing, before the ancient warriors storm the palisades of their foe. “Pressure” is a slower beast, like an iron lung life support, giving the needed air to a patient who cannot fend for themselves. Inhale and exhale with the pressure of accumulated shadows, death is waiting as the life stutters under the heavy odds. It is almost like a chopped up classical piece, gurgling in the background at times.
The grinding electronics vibrate and buzz, consuming the human you are. This is “Amputate Product“, as each bit of the body is replaced by cybernetics… bringing you closer to being part of the machine. The screeching beats chomp away incessantly. Down in “The God Factory” they are busy, twiddling knobs and generating those miracles of life. Making things to keep you alive for longer, glitching and oscillating, usurping the laws of natural order.
Now one is more cyborg than man, here comes the “Imbalance“. The memories of a life lived different or seemingly flashbacks of another person’s previous existence, which is surely not yours. The synapse pulse within the electrical stream trying to reconcile the loss of what was so readily given up. A sharpness and a metal tinged pain. The last track is an absolute treat. When you get two very capable artists of rhythmic noise….well hold onto your pants. “Amputate Product” the STAHSCHLAG remix, has Sebastian Sünkler taking an already heavy track, winding it up and amping up the existential dread. A monster lurks below the surface wanting to escape.
Yep. I hate to tell you but I think this might be the best Non-Bio album to date. It fair pummels the senses, raw and brooding with Howard’s discombobulated vocals filtering through, a comment on the desire to enhance the body and live longer, though, then is it truly considered living? A Monkey Feather is an incongruous thing when talking of playing God but damn it, so good when Non-Bio pushes that electronic noise.
When things go bump in the night, you are sure to get music to remind you not all is known or seen. October 31st or All Hallows Eve, saw the new EP, Avernus, be unleashed by In Tenebris, upon the world while the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. This is the more ambient product of German electronic musician, Sebastian Sünkler, whom is better know for his power noise project, STAHLSCHLAG.
Something unnatural this way comes, in the form of an ancient “Relic“. The synths waver in high pitch warning and the clash of tones signal there is something that feeds on the darkness, an aberration has become unbound. Sinister electronic overtones, coalesce with slow rhythmic beats… a heartbeat from a demonic being, in the cathodic noise, casting a foreboding shadow for this is the “Dynastic Cult“.
The beginning of “Traits” is almost transcendental, though almost immediately drenched in a claustrophobic pall of dank noises. The ringing, instead of being enlightening, joins the overbearing build up of portent. The final track is “Iconoclast” and the beast waits, no longer in torpor, as the music oozes with sharp edges, stalking so that you can almost feel the fetid breath on the back of your neck, though nothing can be seen through the mists. How long do you have?
Avernus strikes a chord somewhere in your brain that stores your animal ability to sense danger. Something dark and threatening lurks within, nothing like us and with evil intent. The music conjures a myriad of feelings and visions, like a good horror movie, never showing you the monster but rather letting your imagination run away with the subtle suggestion simply in the tone or noises within each track. And each listen will reveal more than you previously heard. Sünkler’s famous crunch is bleeding through a little into this EP, giving the ambient tracks a rather delightful texture and most definitely increasing the menace.
Today I added a new tag to my list. Industrial space music.…. I’m pretty chuffed about that. The reason behind the new tag is the debut EP from Perth ambient electronic/industrial project, Open Mirror, called Contact Void, out on Western Australian label, Lightarmour Editions. Grant Slee is the human component of OpenMirror, as they windup for the release of the full length album, Contact Mortis.
The three track EP starts with “Contact Void” with its vast tendrils of sound and synth wavering out into the reaches of unknown universe, amongst the stars, quasars and heavenly bodies. Expansive and glittering. Somewhere in the back of my head, “Oxygene Pt 4” by Jean-Michel Jarre is prickling at my concious, because it reminds me very much of the space sound scapes created by the electronic French genius. The next track is “Contact Void” revisited as the Liminal mix, longer than the original. Brusque, more drawn out, as if this wasn’t the shiny and smooth trip expected. There is hesitation in the music as it plucks up the courage to sail forth. Those brighter synths are there but also an underlying ground swell of harsh noise creeping into the rhythm. Maybe contact with aliens beings, in the transmissions.
Sequentially, the tracks keep getting longer, with “The Dead Hotline“, clocking in at 13 minutes and 40 seconds. This is the Signal Extended mix, a different concept in some ways as it is not space related. There is a sadness in the music and the harsh noise is making its presence felt now, like the static on the radio, unable to find a channel. The music is now a spirit box, a conduit for the voice of the dead. A very Australia voice asks the aether questions, with the hope of a rely.
Though one is Earth bound and the other about space, there is a common theme… discovering what is it, there in the dark, or rather who. Well played OpenMirror because not only is this EP thought provoking, it’s genuinely both fascinating to listen to and very enjoyable. So how will you ContactVoid?
Who is Andrei Rikichi? Hmm, even with the bio, we think he might be a bit dodgy. A multi-instrumentalist son of a Japanese diplomat, working between Switzerland and Belgium. Seems legit. His album, “Caged BirdsThink Flying Is A Sickness” was released on the Scottish label, Bearsuit Records on August the 31st
From the first track, “Theme From The Butcher’s Parade“, the first salvos are fired, giving one an insight to the unbound lunacy and charm within this very short album, the whole thing weighing in at just over 26 minutes, for fourteen tracks. Tastes of hurdy gurdy classical music, warbled operatic singing and crazed hazed guitar barrelling through. Some tracks are like sitting inside someone’s head while they trip out on acid, glitching electronics binding it all together.
“Whatever Happened To Whitney Wallace” assaults your senses, “This” literally being a 10 second noise, which amused me to no end, and “They Hide In The Dark Forest,” is kind of like Laibach on mind altering drugs married to elevator music. The title track, “Caged Birds Think Flying Is A Sickness” is slightly more winsome and thoughtful, similarly for “Death Of A Postmaster” in a wandering, ambient way.
We have no pictures of Rikichi and some say he only comes out at night to hunt for food and record. Who honestly knows and unless you are willing to set bear traps to find out……. probably no point in losing sleep about it. For some reason, I fully believe the fellows from Monty Python’s Flying Circus would have found it all rather inspirational, due to the psychotropic qualities, which may well have you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what could happen next.
UNFEELING is one of Derek Rush’s projects, a New York electronic artist who has recently been on the road touring. His latest ambient album, VERTICAL SLEEP, is out on the CHTHONIC STREAMS label, created between June to October 2022, on the previously mentioned US tour.
Ever been so tired that you drag yourself around while everything and everyone is conspiring against your ability to shut down? This is the premise behind VERTICAL SLEEP, where one’s sleep cycle is so contaminated, nothing seems real. The music is slow like being caught in a nightmare, every movement laboured.
Even the names of the tracks conveys the near death like state of the subject due to the trauma of not being able to rest. There is “PAROXYSMAL” which is at such a low level of noise, that when there is a change it actually seems like a big deal, to “BAROTRAUMA” slowly pulsates and grows in seeming pressure, from the void, that slowly dissolves into the state of near nothingness.
The burbling and twittering of “SURRENDER” definitely conveys the loss of one’s senses, as the conscious stream goes for a wander due to the inability to turn off, or in other words that unhinged feeling and spacing out. The whole point of this electronic quest is to express how the mind reacts once it has passed the limits of regular sleep patterns, into the realms of mental torture and numbness. UNFEELING might be not as unfeeling as they pass into VERTICAL SLEEP.
The label Machina ad Noctem, is back with another compilation, inspired by author Philip K. Dick, called PDK II. As like the first compilation, this is a group of musicians whom have pursued their love of the science fiction, written by Dick, though the music they compose.
The beginning of “VALIS” by Edge Of Decipher, starts off hesitantly but soon grows in sweeping assurance, waking out of dream perhaps, into another plain of reality. Cumsleg Borenail gives us “Man Has Not Eaten God, God Has Eaten Man” is as quirky as the name suggests, synths like synapses sparking in a metaverse, unable to be contained by man or God.
A train has set the rhythm in “Second Variety” by Non Union, on a journey to who knows where, but it seems otherworldly and ominous, before we are met again by Edge Of Decipher. The track, “The Future We Create“, inspired by Ubik, speaks of stars, moons and whirling galaxies beyond ours. The experimental HyMettus Woods, bleeps, fades in and out of static in “A Scanner Darkly“, trying to find the rapidly fluctuating channel but constantly on the knife’s edge until the fuzz clears momentarily, rapidly gaining veracity.
The only track with vocals is Priestessdeath and their “Like Tears In The Rains V” with smoldering female singing that meanders like rivulets of water down a pane of glass, inspired by the Orient. A change of pace for Edge Of Decipher as the music becomes urgent and the synths are trying to catch your attention for “The Agentic State“. There is a movie like quality to this track which leads onto the final number, “Eye In The Sky” by Non Union, as the electronics reach out in waves, invading all spaces and detecting all.
The music is eclectic, electronic and often experimental just as science fiction is. The tracks are like points of light in a sea of literature and dark electronic music, bidding you to further sink into the worlds of Philip K. Dick with them. So I bid you adieu on your journey as you experience this new adventure with PKD II.
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.
Machina ad Noctem are a fairly new label and their area of expertise lay in electronic music. With this in mind, as of the 11th of July, their first release ever, was in the form of a compilation, titled Dreams Out Of Joint: A Tribute To Philip K. Dick, Yes, this is 26 tracks, inspired by the science fiction genius of Philip K. Dick, who penned many classics including Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, which of course became the movie Bladerunner, that has been a huge catalyst of inspiration for many electronic/industrial musicians. Of special note is the fact that the first half is dedicated to Dick’s short stories and the second to the novels.
With so many tracks, we thought maybe we could give you a taste of this. Edge of Decipher with their track “Frolix 8“, is a cyber journey through realms of space and light, mysterious and a constantly evolving adventure or Chrono 87 doing “2 Weeks On Mars“, light, delicate and with changing rhythm signatures. There is “A.M.O.D” by beepeater with tis tortured experimental electronics, Ran Kirlian unveiling the ambient track “Time Out Of Joint” which is like the final cooling death of a star or ∑V∑RYTHING with “Ubik OpeningCredits” that has a wonderful soundtrack feel to it that suddenly falters in the middle to then pick itself up again.
There are tracks that play for nearly thirty minutes, tracks with beeps and whistles to give you the impression aliens are trying to communicate and other tracks with music so quiet, nearly imperceptible at first until you start to really listen. Soundscapes and beats and everything in between. If you enjoy experimental ambient music or just love old fashion sci fi movies to the more modern, then I think Dreams Out Of Joint might just feed your imagination. The beauty is not always human and we dream of Philip K. Dick.