The industrial machine that is Mach FoX, has teamed up with producer/EBM musican, Zeven Odd Gods, aka D.Corri, and the end product is the single, “A Sickness“, released on the 16th of December.
Slick EBM beats ooze into your ears, picking up your heartbeat. Subtle synths waver in the background, while the electronics deliver the jolts to make your body move and FoX’s vocals are the mantra. The sickness is all consuming, a fever of needing to replace the soft human flesh, that is so unreliable, with cybernetics.
The constant augmentation to become more machine has become “The Sickness“. FoX’s vocals/lyrics/arrangement, really blends in very well with the music production of Zeven Odd Gods, complimenting each other. So, if this is the sickness, hopefully there is no cure.
Covid decimated the music festival scene, around the world for 2020, 2021 and a good chunk of 2022. Things are coming back to normal and in fact, you can add a new festival to endeavour to attend. Dark Force Fest will kick off in 2023, over three days, March 31st to April 2nd, in New Jersey, USA.
The event is being run by VampireFreaks, at the Sheraton Hotel, in Parsippany and this is not the first time the venue has been used by the VF crew. The hotel was built like a castle, including crenulations (just in case you find yourself in a siege situation with all those goths).
There will be over 100 vendors, to buy things that make your little dark heart happy, clubs, costume competitions and sideshow performances. However, the most important thing is the music… there will be 30 plus bands/artists ranging from darkwave through to industrial. A chance to see pioneers such as Das Ich and Suicide Commando, big hitters Combichrist, Solar Fake, HEALTH, EmpathyTest and ACTORS plus brilliant acts like MORIS BLAK, Third Realm, Bootsblack and Rabbit Junk.
That is a whole lot of music and an amazing line up, so you are spoilt for choice. As the inaugural show, you want to be able to say you were there for the first ever…. unlike myself, stuck in another country, half way around the world, who will have to live vicariously through others, and the buckets of fun they are having. (Insert gothic weeping).
MATT HART has been a busy lad of late it seems, and now has unveiled his new single, as of the 18th of November, “TERRAFORM“, a completely new track that carries the story on from the previous album. There are also two guest remixes from Blue Ant (Matteo Seduta) and Sirus (Josh Rombout), as well as the mixing and mastering done by KrischanWesenberg of Rotersand.
Oh, here is a short story synopsis——> bad robot aliens take over the planet, make it really cold and try to knock off the humans, so they go underground. 🙂
First thing that hits you is that “TERRAFORM” is kind of serious business. The rhythm and the music are measured and work like, no messing about here, heavy electronics that drop down on your senses. There is purpose in the not only the music but also HART’s vocals, pushing on the survivors to carry out their tasks.
Woohoo, the Blue Ant version is going deep down and on the low down, the electronics nowhere as heavy and just popping, rolling along. Damn it, I found my head bobbing away with that catchy rolling beat. Someone just pushed the track into techno territory and that would be Sirus. Again, this huge, both threatening and exhilarating at the same time.
What I found a little disturbing about the original track was the fact the vocals had started to become metallic. This we had come to expect from the alien invaders, so does this start to point to the fact the humans are starting to lose their humanity….the one thing that separated them from the robotic overlords? They have fought so long to survive, that this seems to have become consuming. All three versions could be played on a dance floor and I think I can best sum up the three styles as electronic menace (MATT HART), electronic supreme cool (Blue Ant) and electronic bitch slap you up the side of the head/you better dance fool (Sirus). Love it.
In September, the latest Mach FoX album was released. Titled, VideoLogico, Mach FoX of Zwaremachine, is unleashing his vision of a cyber western world….Mad Max meets The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, shaken and poured into an industrial martini glass (which probably looks more like a beer stein). VideoLogico is the big baddie in this tech tale, out on the label Phage Tapes.
The networked links are exchanging data in “DigitalNations“. The electronics convey the movement of information in the modern era, the synths glide lightly with the backing of the rhythm, though this starts to waver. The single, “LowTech“, can be heard, phasing, glitching and yet serene, like the stranger on the horizon riding into a town. Does low tech refer to the analogue electronics or is the stranger a person who has been implanted with cybernetics? “MainFrame” suggests that the general public are logged into the hive mind of VideoLogico and the music is suppressed and mellow. It seems to wander and never settle, lest you find yourself able to think clearly.
They are being chased down by the “ModTracer” sent by VideoLogico to find the aberrations, those that have not succumbed to the system, There is a tenseness, the beats going in and out of rhythm and the machines scanning for the rebels, metallic and menacing. VideoLogico is trying to create absolute order and “No Design” would not fit into the ideal perfection. The music wavers from flipping around to a far more permanent sound.
Is “TheOne” the stranger, a cybernetically enhanced warrior of the wastelands? Cobbled together tech is keeping the survivors going, with the only solace, that when the power grid goes down each morning, they must regroup for the next round of battle. “VideoLogico” is the mastermind. Phasing in and out like an untuned radio, the sparks of being self aware from the artificial intelligence, taking off and asserting itself through brainwashing.
Of course, this is a storyline in my head, inspired by the music and the few words on the Bandcamp page about the story. It may or may not be correct but then this is only limited by your imagination. A lot of care has gone into the not only the creation and manipulation of the music but also the concept. I like to think of that stranger on his steel horse, riding into town to bring justice to those who need a person/totem to galvanise themselves behind. The industrial cyber western scene is set in Mach FoX’s VideoLogico.
Looking for something cyber industrial with quirky edges? Neon Shudder might be the ticket. Based in Philadelphia, their full length album, Welcome To The NET, was released on October the 7th.
This is a project purely instrumental and from the first track, you can tell the mind behind it all, draws their inspiration from a lot of different electronic styles. “Welcome To The NET” has this speeding trap style with flowing synths. The “Tiger Drive 86” start has a very Nintendo game feel and then launches into full flight…..I swear I can hear the occasional plane engine. The music sparkles and yet there is a urgency. Something sinister this way comes, stalking and persistent in the single “Something Darker“, with the graduating keyboard work creating an air of foreboding.
Things have sped up again through the cyber highways and the sun is merrily shining on the “IO Pathways“. “DReaMCuBE//SYSTEM MENU MUSIC” is an ambient piece, star struck and meandering, possibly waiting for the gamer to press play, leading into the “inter(NET)mission“, which is literally a bridging track of very cute burbles. There is something a bit special about “Brain Drive” with its languid swells below the piano styled keys, holding a promise of something else. The else is a build up of wavering electronics entrancing the senses.
“Ｒａｎｓｏｍｗａｒｅ コンピュータウイルス“…….no one likes ransomeware, unless they created it. Police sirens before we launch into a drum & bass inspired cyber-menace with storyline attached. There is a nice flow into the heavier and noisier “TECH BRUT!“. Here we find some gorgeous synth lines in this track and experimentation with the time signatures. Finally, “A Port in a Storm” both beautifully swirling and dominating at the same time, waiting out the inclement weather.
This really does drag me back into the early period of the 80s, with gaming consoles, where we were excited if we had a few snakes to whack or aliens to blip off the face of the black screen and the fantasy/science fiction movies that embraced synth music, that caught our imaginations. Even though this holds that elemental sound, this is far too modern to be from that time, the advancement in technology creates some scintillating and smoother music that indulges those childhood memories. Welcome To The NET for this is Neon Shudder.
MATT HART is your friendly, neighbourhood cyber industrialist and his latest block rocking release, came out on October the 24th, in the form of a three track remix EP, titled INFINITE HORIZON REQUIEM. One and three are mixed by Adi Calef while track two is mixed by the man himself.
The DNA mix of “INFINITE MARCH” fair rattles your teeth with the crackling bass, sweeping all before it with monumental contempt. EVENT HORIZON is named for the movie and it feels like we are going to hit the black hole at maximum warp speed accompanied by the blood curdling screams and voices of dissent.
The final track is the TERRA TANZ mix of JUDGEMENT (REQUIEM). A requiem is an orchestral piece for death or loss, stately and noble which is exactly what you hear but the angelic chorus has been hijacked by screaming electronics and the distorted vocals. A perfect vision of terminators in their robotic cold fury, wiping the fleshy humans out of existence.
HART’S music already has that harder edge which translates well to ramping the industrial to a grandiose flurry of rhythm and noise. I love how JUDGEMENT (REQUIEM) turned out, both powerful and fragile. It is name your price on Bandcamp so now find your INFINITE HORIZON REQUIEM.
Time for a quickie.. and honestly, who doesn’t like a bit of a quickie?! Recently, our hero, Sebastian Sünkler aka STAHLSCHLAG, has released the new, epic album, A Zone Of Silence. Soooo, what do you do from here? Where do you go?
Why, you throw open a remix project for musicians around the world to participate in, releasing it with 34 artists and calling it More Zones Of Silence. And what a collection it is, with a wide array of styles for one to choose from.
From more synthwave lead remixes, dark ambient, rhythmic noise, EBM, harsh noise, experimental and everything in between under the industrial banner are represented. MATT HART, Non-Bio, Blue Ant, MissSuicide, Mikrometrik, SublimenalStimuli and Dirty K are just some of the bands/projects whom have taken these tracks and twisted them to their will, creating their own monstrous machinations. Very worth of your listening time and then explore the other artists. Immerse yourself in More Zones Of Silence.
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.
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.
Viral Records have released the new Dirt Factory single, on the 10th of September, ahead of the fourth album, due on October the 1st. “Troops Of Death” is the latest offering from the Aussie duo, Michael Gillman and Daniel Allen, with a bonus four remixes from both local and international talent.
The original mix has Daniel with far less distorted vocals and he sounds fantastic as the beats fall around him, stalking you to extinction. The synths graduate in tone causing a sense of creeping doom. The NOVAKILL – Boots On The Ground remix is harsher, with Craig Saunders injecting a cleaner edge that cuts like a knife and a techno style rhythm. Rob Early of 11Grams has taken the track and turned it into a dance floor phenomena, and the synth absolutely fly around in a storm.
The beginning of the Cosmos Synthetics remix seem understated, until it goes into a glitching deconstruction, like a horror movie with no escape, with what sounds like electronic shaking breaths. Last is Roger Menso, whom is NyteShayde, with the Crazy Shady remix and this is the only track to incorporate a guitar into the mix, giving the track a more Korn/nu-metal styling, heavy and metallic.
The theme is apocalyptic, genetic engineering of soldiers, who feel nothing, stop for nothing and everything is the objective. The cyber future which makes for a pretty cool single. Michael and Daniel have created a darkly oppressive track with a catchy rhythm, to get your imagination fired up and the remixes are great additions to enjoy.