January saw the bandcamp release of Dirt Factory’s debut EP, Random Songs For The End Of The World. This electro industrial band is comprised of two brothers, Michael Gillman (programming and synths) and Daniel Allen (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.

DIRT FACTORY

Track three is an “Unseen Tragedy“. 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, “Give Me The Drugs“. 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.

DIRT FACTORY live December 2019 Flamin Galah, Brisbane

Will machines with AI eventually obtain “Digital Consciousness“? 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 “Error Delete” with undulating electronics with such a catchy rhythm and breakout synths. This definitely brings visions of Bladerunner or Ghost In the Machine.

Slaughterhouse Shutdown” 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 “Corporate Greed” which brings to mind another song, “Corporate Slave” 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 “Error Delete” by Digital Anodyne (DJ Wolf Aud) and Vargil (Camilla Astrid Strand) 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 Wax Trax era and the burgeoning onslaught of the Belgium and German bands such as Frontline Assembly 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.

https://dirtfactory.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Dirt-Factory-1924745841101379/

The latest single from Italian duo, Kill Your Boyfriend came out the end of 2019, called “Elizabeth” on Depths Records and the label is based in London. This is the appetizer before they release their new album this year.

KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND

An anguished, noise filled introduction reminiscent vocally of Kirk Brandon (Theatre Of Tragedy and Spear Of Destiny) with the intensity of Andy McElligott (Sex Gang Children), asking ‘why are you here?‘. This is experimental noise with a shoegaze twist. Heavy beats and grating industrial screeching as “Elizabeth” undulates and graduates until the last prolonged note heralds the end.

Almost three and a half minutes of song and yet it pulls you in and spits you out, like hardly any time had passed at all. Plus there is a remix of “Elizabeth” for your listening pleasure. If you enjoy your industrial noise then there is no doubt you will get into Kill Your Boyfriend and if you haven’t heard of these guys before, then this could be the gateway drug that sucks you in.

https://killyourboyfriend.bandcamp.com/album/elizabeth-2

https://www.facebook.com/kyboyfriend

https://killyourboyfriend.net/

Third Realm are back with a brand spanking new album and I have been lucky enough to have been listening to it before the release date, thanks to the main driving force and frontman, Nathan Reiner.

Since 2000, Reiner has been creating music with this project and the latest album is out on the darkTunes Music label with bandmate, Luis Felipe Blanco, from their hometown of Buffalo, New York.

Let the insanity ensue with “Bipolar Pop” featuring CHIASM. Emileigh Rohn is the solo artist behind CHIASM, an electro/darkwave project but here backing up Reiner. Slower more deliberate beat with the atmosphere that you could be stalked by some sex crazed (well there is a little sensual moaning) porn pop princess or prince. This is still raw in its electonic style which is a nice way to start.

‘I tried to be myself and suffer…’ is the start of the chorus, “Be Myself” which I am guessing is the fear of putting your true self out there…. and then finding rejection or indifference. I hear hints of Chris Pohl‘s Blutengel influence, especially vocally which is no small feat as many wish to be Pohl but often fail.

The first single from the album is the amazing, “When The Sun Goes Down”. Third Realm couldn’t have picked a better single to introduce their latest work with. Totally danceable and more to the point, you will find yourself singing away in no time to the vampiric chorus. The beat is driving and the vocals just weave themselves into pleasure centre of your brain.

Fourth song off the rank is “Banshee” which gives a slight nod, it feels, to Sisters Of Mercy’s “Vision Thing” crossed with Blutengel‘s flare for the dramatic supernatural.

“Gazing At The Stars” is a ballad with a beat. It’s a sweet ode to dreams of love and wishing. It is poignant tribute and the synths sing out true over this catchy number.

A more techno start for “Garden of Lust” gets the body moving. There is a strange electronic moog like synth in the chorus which is a tad distracting while Reiner is singing but in all its an agreeable song, with spooky intonation.

“Background of My Mind” has a punky retro feel. It’s bouncy and very two fingers waved in the air in sentiment…. ie you cannot rule my life by playing me.

Love the synth beginning with a disco beat for “Who’s Really Listening?” and this lends to the claustrophobic nature of the album, fraught with paranoia.

With the release of the album is the second single, “Tides of the Sea” featuring again CHIASM. This is just a beautiful electronic number and vocally, Reiner and CHIASM interweave so well and compliment each other. Expressing love as being as constant as the tides, that pull and rush, the heartbeat and pulse of the seas.

I can hear the infuence of Marilyn Manson in “Deviant”, in the way the song is structured. The chorus is a persistant and tenacious stream of conciousness which pushes to be heard. One man’s deviance is another’s normalcy because we are who we are.

First impression of “Medusa” was it is going to be a power noise piece until the melody kicks in. Even though Medusa was a gorgon, this is another homage to vampiric beings and reminds me very much of the 90’s goth/electronic sound.

“Passion” has air light keyboards and that great constant danceable beat, with the slight VNV Nation smoothness that makes their older songs just soar. This is EBM at it’s best.

Some believe that soul mates are awaiting us, also known as “Twin Flames”. The ultimate partner that completes you and that joy can be heard in the jauntiness and pop sensibility given to this piece.

Slowly, the title track, “The Art of Despair” crawls darkly across the floor, a vision of murky oblivion. It is insistent and pokes at your reality.

The last three songs are remixes of “Bipolar Pop”, “Be Myself” and “When The Sun Goes Down”. Aesthetic Perfection‘s Daniel Graves, really injects himself into “Bipolar Pop” which brings extra raw power. “Be Myself” mixed by Subliminal Code, just leaps out as an electronic dance number and last “When The Sun Goes Down” is given the super slick treatment by Panic Lift.

Third Realm‘s sound is developing over time. Originally, a harsher industrial music style which has become a bit more electro and synth savvy but hasn’t lost any of its intensity.

It is not lost on me that you can almost taste the heavy German EBM, darkwave and gothic influences and especially, Blutengel and L’Ame Immortelle.

Nathan Reiner‘s Third Realm has unleashed for you a gothic horror album of inner demons, monsters in human guise and immortal love, all to a wonderous industrial beat.

https://thirdrealm.bandcamp.com/album/the-art-of-despair

https://www.facebook.com/ThirdRealm/

https://www.darktunes.com

American industrial/EBM is alive and well, with the prime example, Slighter, also known as Colin Cameron Allrich. This accomplished musician and producer is based in Los Angeles and can be found on the Confusion Inc. label.

In May, Slighter brought forth his latest album call Automata which can be found on Bandcamp and most recently released a deluxe version with ten extra tracks.

SLIGHTER

There is nothing more memorable than a heartbeat and “The Shadows” has this familiar rhythm. This is a quiet and retrospective feeling number about things now passed and how the past can repeat itself to start off the album

In isolation, there is a loss of identity and the ability to be forgotten. Oscillating electronic tones with the vocals droning over the top of “Isolate”. This is serpentine in the way the music flows. If you can’t guess by now, this isn’t going to be the happy joy album…

“Give Me” is a solid EBM track. This features Craig Joseph Huxtable on vocal duties, who is best know for the Vancouver bands, Öhm and Landscape Body Machine. It has those wonder low vocals and heavenly ‘oooohs’. This isn’t the first time Huxtable has a dalliance with Slighter, as seen on the Erode album with the song, “Lights Out”.

The dark, atmospheric piece, “Survive”, is made even more delicious by the whispered lyrics. Colin’s enunciation is brilliant and so very crystal clear, so you can see the darkness reflected over and over again, accented with that solo guitar.

“Imbalance” is a spoken word observation about the destruction humans have caused our planet and that the Earth will go back into equilibrium without us in the end. Kadin Contois is the featured voice, speaking at us in a monotone, matter-of-fact way. Contois is an industrial musician from Virginia, formerly known as Pseudocide..

Not much is known about Floridian vocalist, Christy Hannon but her sweet tones ring true from the start of “Walls”. A hint of a swelling musical build-up and growing beat, yet this is deceiving, as the song does not get any faster.

Moris Blak is a Bostonian industrial powerhouse on the Australian label, Blind Mice Productions and can also be found on the track, “The Hunt”. Allrich gives us a much bigger vocal presence which might be influenced by Moris Blak’s heavy, moody bass beats. This is great. It’s seedy, bold, dangerous and could be picking its nose but you wouldn’t dare tell them to stop. Well worth looking for the Moris Blak Industrial Bass Edit on SoundCloud.

“Undertow” is a great gradual building, almost symphonic sounding piece. Not symphonic because of an orchestra, rather the vastness of the sound. It is so simple and yet so huge in its concept. Maybe this is also the link to tidal waters… A drop is nothing but a sea is deep, mysterious and powerful. All this is managed with simple electronics and vocals

If “Undertow” wasn’t good enough to set the hairs on your neck on end, then “A Moment of Inexplicable Clarity” just might. This is so ambient and thick with delicate vocals and synths that wouldn’t be amiss on Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. American author, Rachel A. Desilets lends her hushed tones to her husband’s masterpiece. It has to be said, these two numbers compliment each other so very, very well.

The final track for all intent and purpose, is “Static on the Line”. This is slow and grimy, like you are stuck in a greasy, dirty hotel room, with a phone against your ear, dealing with the grainy reception.

On the deluxe version, there is a reworked version of each song, from darkwave to techno/trip hop. Soundscapes through to dark electro but it never feels disjointed or at odds with itself which is an artform.

There is a reason Colin C. aka Slighter, is featured on television programmes such as Bones and True Blood. Simply put, he is quite the evocative musician. If you like to not only hear your music but also see and feel it, then you should definitely give Slighter an opportunity to get into your ear and maybe even introduce you to some talent you may not have had the delight to be entertained by yet.

https://www.facebook.com/slighterofficial/

https://confusioninc.bandcamp.com/

It is really amazing how much the gothic/darkwave scene is thriving in the Latin American countries but not so surprising as they have always been fond of their rock music.

On this note, the band Nohycit has been around since 2010. The label Advoxya Records, in 2018, released their album, Anomico. In the last month, several music clips were put onto YouTube from Anomico and this is one of the EDM/industrial pieces.

If you are a sucker for a good dance beat, then you are going to love this, especially if you like Combichrist yet it isn’t vocals heavy. The growling versus whispering vocals, constant beat and the smooth synths would not be amiss in a European club or gothic festival.

Now if this has whetted your appetite, then your next move it to seek out some more by this band. I couldn’t find out much about Nohycit but then I found out about them through Twitter (https://twitter.com/NOHYCIT1) and some things, if you are willing, are worth searching for.

 

 

Xentrifuge are an aggro-tech/industrial band from the US, a duo in the form of Chris X and Lisa Hellen, who might we say are on the up and up.

Their debut album is out on Cleopatra Records called Desensitized Parallels which many of their fans have been waiting for with eager anticipation after the release last year of the single, “Circles of Dust”.

xentrifuge 2

Chris X and Lisa Hellen – XENTRIFUGE

“Irra” kicks this off with an almost slow ambient beat, for an industrial group, as it serpentines it way along with the electronic whispers. This is just to whet the appetite so to speak.

Now the pulsating “A Summoning” takes the stage and it has that dark guilty pleasure of beats and synthesisers duelling with each other. This definitely will be summoning the industrial/goths.

Industrial music is known for being cold and dominating and there is “Winter Machine”. Hellen’s keyboard winds through this piece as the sequencers keep up their eternal beat.

The hopelessness of the cyber age, of lies and deception seem to be a theme and this is most definitely felt in “Encrypted in Visions”. Chris X snarls, ‘We sift through debris born of lies, in this place of deceit’.

“Fated” just rolls like the surf, crashing in then pulling back before crashing in again with sound. That use of sound control is very appealing and builds you up before dropping you in those waves.

Have a funny feeling “Unknown Divine” is about religion. Is this belief real or something contrived and self-delusion? Not unusual to question this especially in the electronic age, an age where even people put themselves up to be worshipped on social media. It’s a good steady number.

The 8th track seems to be a play on words. “N.M.E” or enemy, they will take on those whose existence offends the dark and be the avenging cyber angel of dark doom as they vanquish their doubting foe.

The single, “Circles of Dust” is apocalyptic and nihilistic and most certainly a number fans would be moshing to with great abandon. This is raw industrial cool and yet the band has not relied on a booming back beat, as it is almost inferred which is really amazing.

Last song is the title track, with its intricate beats and strained synth sounds creating a vision of discord and ultimate futility as it wraps up the album.

Xentrifuge really seem to like playing not only with the variation the rhythms but also whilst doing so, creating spaces within. Lulls that then suddenly project you forward. You can hear the echo’s of influences such as Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb but in a modern vision of the post apocalyptic cyber age.

These guys are on Bandcamp so check them out and if this is your thing, then please support them.

https://xentrifuge.bandcamp.com/album/desensitized-parallels?fbclid=IwAR1NxShTwFUIMXuqZL4W8B0FxftO1nEN09bfDzorZ48tl3T-91NsvVZkGss