This has been a strange year so far with uprisings and COVID-19 bringing the world, it feels, to a grinding halt. Australian act, DirtFactory have been working hard and not only have they a new single out on August 22nd, “Salvation“, but a whole album is about to hit us.
This is not a happy, reassuring song and I would never expect anything less from these guys. It’s redemption through vice and sins of the flesh. There is a constant rhythm that is neither slow nor fast but bores into you while Daniel Allen’s guttural vocals give you the litany of what he wants, needs and desires. MichaelGillman creates a lot of the synth lines and these are heavy and brooding with twinkling highlights.
All in all there are five tracks on the release, with two remixes of “Salvation“, the Cosmos Synthetic mix which has a Skinny Puppy feel and the NyteShade – Dirty Dog mix which smacks of earlier Nine Inch Nails.
The last two numbers are the Appealing to the Dead and He’s Dead, Jim remixes of the track, “United Appeal For The Dead“. The first of these remixes reminds me of the BirthdayMassacre to begin with due to the delightfully tinkling keyboards. While the second is a mix of trap beats and creepy sanatorium giddiness. I was not giggling at the lines that you should know what to do when you are dead…. don’t drive a car. Obviously I was and I love it.
The “Salvation” is the premier release for the new label, Viral Records, based in Brisbane and Dirt Factory are the first band to have been signed up.
As always, the ingenuity of these two brothers, in two different cities, continues to amaze and surprise me. If you like good to honest industrial music, then you need to check out Dirt Factory and their single “Salvation“. Accepting shekels, pigeons but preferably dirty cash to keep making those wonderful sounds.
Neurobash are a two piece electronic/ industrial group from Sweden and in April, they released a new album, 2K2X.
On vocals and keyboards is Ewan “Oberfunk” Kelley and on electronic wizardry is Patrik “G-Nome” Nelson and they make up the stellar Neurobash.
We begin with “Consumed“, a high energy piece with great crisp vocals. And this also sets the overall feel of the album. Doom, questioning, desperation and spiraling decay.
Next is “Blame“, the insanity that comes about by being held responsible for terrible truths. The vocals are brilliant and it melds into the virtual maelstrom of music and yet the synths are kept so light.
Kelley has such a wonderful voice which rings effortlessly over the music and in “Screamer“, he is plaintive and evocative with a techno beat pairing with industrial crunching.
Just when you think the synth genre could not surprise you, music like “Fake” hits your ears. Distortion with heavy bass and a rhythm that is inconsistent and experimental, yet it works so well.
I almost cringed when I heard the internet dial up tone from another era. “Firewall” could be taken in this digital age as the protective shell people put around themselves to stop others from polluting or hurting them. Definitely more thought provoking and low key number.
Last year’s single, “Bloodlines” has a trippy feel to it with falsetto vocals! It’s groovy and yet ominous at the same time. This just moves along nicely as we reminisce on how we ever survived our youth. Beautiful big cords on this.
Club beat kicks in for “TheNight” and this really hits the sweet spot. As Neurobash lose themselves in the night, we can lose ourselves in this great song. It winds like a snake and squeezes you with the fabulous keyboards.
Slow and rolling, like a lake, is “Amber“. It is might be not be fast but do not underestimate the depth. This is slightly off kilter and a little bit dangerous in a experimental way.
Another single from the end of last year is “SolidState“. Angry electronics bleep out along with the vocals that threaten to make you go away. This is punchy and makes no apologies for its brashness.
The b- side for “SolidState” was “Impulse“, which makes an appearance. This is darker and dirtier than its angry brother. It oozes a contempt with a wonderful synth wall of sound.
Last track is “Reminder” and Neurobash are going out with a bang rather than a whimper. Big beats with a glorious synth lead array. Futuristic and oh so danceable.
Nice production but also this is rich in texture. These guys have a lot of style and class and if this is your first time hearing them, go listen to the 2015 album Doctrine, which will equally knock your socks off.
They still are looking to push the genre with experimenting whilst giving us simply stunning music and great dance tracks. If you love great EBM and Covenant makes your toes curl, then you need to check out Neurobash and their album, 2K2X.
Zwaremachine are from Minneapolis and on the 20th of May , will release their latest EP, Ripping At The Fabric. Over the years, they have become a three piece with original member, singer/synths and writer, Mach Fox at the helm, D–bot on bass/vocals and Dein Offizer creating the rhythm on drums/percussion. They describe their sound as ‘minimal, hypnotic, industrial bodymusic‘.
This is also one of the first releases on the new label, Brutal Resonance Records and if that name sounds familiar, it might be as it is the same group that have been responsible for the long running music Zine of the name.
Mach Fox is a rather interesting fellow who has been heavily involved in the industrial scene since the 90’s and has a healthy respect for Gary Numan and John Foxx.
Can you “Resist” the 80’s feel of the first song on the EP? This pays homage to Skinny Puppy in its vicious simplicity. The synths are understated and this makes it feel even more in your face.
Time to feel the groove flowing through you with a “New Design“, guaranteed to get your body moving. The beat is like something from old Front 242 as it angrily stomps into your head.
The first single off this EP is also the title track, “Ripping At The Fabric“. It sort of reminds me a little of those science fiction movies with the electronic soundtracks except this is more full on blunt force trauma. Fox growls that this is not the beginning of the end and we certainly hope not. There is no surrender!!
The assault to your ears doesn’t stop there. “International Hero” belts you over the head. This is like electronic overload with distortion and delightful synth tones which keeps making me thinking back to Ministry’s “Stigmata“.
Last track is “What We Are” and is feels fresh and fast, with a high energy rhythm. This is a great number that really shows Mach’s writing ability, even though he’s snarling lyrics, the music in the background is almost ethereal in its delicacy.
The energy is aggressive and definitely punchy throughout the whole EP. It is hypnotic and will suck you in. I hear so much of the timeless, classical industrial sounds with Zwaremachine, who are smashing their own apocalyptic, minimalistic, agrotech noise into the mix, doing exactly what makes industrial music so interesting…. experimenting with whatever gets a great a sound.
Zwaremachine’sRipping At The Fabric isn’t re-inventing the wheel but rather, taking said wheel running you down with it and you’ll enjoy every bone crunching moment of it.
Last year, Matt Hart brought out the concept album Terra 3808, based on a post apocalyptic Earth where humanity scratches away, trying to just survive.
So in March, came the release of his new EP, Tales Of Terra: Triolith, which is a continuation of this storyline, as the last stragglers called The Outlaws in their struggle with the Machines, find a large three tower structure coined Triolith.
“Chaos Rising” throught to “Mechanical Dominion” are off previous releases, most now remixed by various artists and given a new lease of life.
The first number is the title track, “Triolith” and an alien voice rumbles forth to be accompanied by a beat as it rolls across the futuristic landscape. This is the single off the EP and it instantly gets your attention.
The song, “Requiem” has a wonderfully off kilter sense to it. Though not an overly fast number, it gives the impression of being relentless and constant. Xavier Swafford from 3Teeth is no stranger to the remix and you can tell.
“Chaos Rising” is the Nitronoiseremix which is about the survivors of apocalypse. Gritty and angry with power guitars in the chorus that builds this up. This isn’t a new remix but what the hell… it’s still bloody good and fits in well.
The dub of a club DJ is strong in “MechanicalDominion” (MXD_BLD remix). This power noise inspired piece just oozes with static as the machine rule and destroy all that does not fit the new world order.
There is a spooky remix of “Mercury Flow” by Witch Of The Vale and it’s low and smooth like quick silver and similar to the poison, it’s going to get under your skin.
Unlock the level “Chaos Achieved” (metalogueremix). Like repetitive fire comes the rhythm, thick and fast as if a massive metal colossus is whirring away with purpose and intent.
The remix by monomorte, is a lovely drone sludge in the second retelling of “Mechanical Dominion” and it sounds so completely different yet so perfect, finishes off this EP.
I am starting to wonder if Matt is, or ever has been a player of Warhammer 40K. It’s that style of enthusiastically enjoying putting together a story of light versus dark and humanity hanging on by a thread, becoming less human due to circumstance.
So far, it seems to be that the machines are going to extinguish the light of man and if a collapsing futuristic world of trauma with fabulous remixes is your bag, then you need to listen to Tales of Terra: Triolith and support Matt Hart so we can see how this all ends.
Previously we heard recently remixes from Australian and Russian duo of SiK aka CraigSaunders and Dima Ilyin, who make up Nova State Machine. We just had to let you know that on March the 24th, there was a third EP released called TCM RMXS-003 Drugs and Drums.
If you weren’t awake before you started listening you soon will be as SiK(Saunders) growls into your ear with a barrage of rhythm with “War Is A Drug– Ephedrine mix” by SEXGUN. This definitely reminds me of Ministry/RevoltingCocks both vocally and the melody syncopation.
For the rest of this EP you will be graced with the scintelating deep vocals of Dima. “Do or Die– BZP remix” by SEXGUN has a techno vibe and this feels like old style Front242/Nitzer Ebb, which is never a bad thing with that fast feverish pace.
Back to a previously remixed number, however it’s easy to see why someone would want to do another version of “Harsh Reality” as it is such a strong song. SiK brings RxSingular Obsession remix to bear down on your ears. He had made “HarshReality” sleek and clean while Dima’s distorted vocals rip through.
I get images of Judge Dredd, listening to “Total Control – MKUltra Mix” by FILTHmachine. It screams science fiction war games to me. Brutal vocals bellowing ‘total control, total control‘ and bouncy synths chirping in.
No Pain – Codeine Mix by nOvAsLuG who are the artists ToMsLuG from Vancouver and CraigSaunders, starts like a sound scape as it builds and swells. This becomes an industrial cacophony of noise. Dima sounds like he’s trying to convince himself he’s alright and yet it all reflects body or mind wounds.
Electronic burbles bring in “Destroy All Hope – krocodil mix” by Evil Against Evil. This starts off slow and dirty whilst it creaks and groans along. The minimalistic nature conveys the drudgery of a world bereft of all love, hope or joy.. just grey.
Most of this is not so much danceable but definitely more experimenting with the music at hand to see where it can be taken. Which is exactly what you need from a third part of a trilogy.
When all is said and done, this is another solid remix and there is everything to gain as this is pay what you want on Bandcamp. So be where the cool kids are before Nova State Machine unleash the next new album but for now lock and load some TCM RMXS-003 Drugs and Drums.
PeteCrane might be a familiar name to some, as half of Australian band Shiv-r. March heralds the album that will be the premier solo release for Crane, called ThatAnnihilatedPlace, on German label, InfactedRecordings.
But before that, he has released a taster to tease our palates before the album in the form of (pre) single, “YouAreNotYourBody“.
There is an instantly a bass synth heavy start to “YouAreNotYourBody” and you find yourself starting to move in time to the rhythm… It combines a techno savvy rhythm with precision synth and electronics, that is delivered with industrial sledgehammer.
The second track, “Norilsk” is just full on joy. Bouncy and heavy all at the same time. If this doesn’t make you want to dance, then not even the devil could tempt you.
The Xotox remix of “YouAreNotYourBody” is a heavy industrial rhythmic version that starts to drill into your brain almost literally as well as figuratively.
MorisBlak does remixes that smack you up the side of the head and his interpretation is also of title track. It winds up to the spoken word and it is a sexy beast indeed.
Dkag remix off the album a track called “MessedUp” which has an awesome amount of high energy, which you kind of expect from guys who are club DJs, because they just want people to hit the floor.
Crane has on board some impressive talent so far to remix his music and the statement is “ThatAnnihilatedPlace” is a club album. So far this offering doesn’t disappoint and currently the way this music for “YouAreNotYourBody” is definitely having an effect on mine. Get your groove on and wiggle to this in anticipation of more to come.
What do you get if you cross Australian and Russian industrial music? NovaStateMachine and they are going to be releasing their back catalogue in the form of EPs, as spanking new remixes.
NovaStateMachine is the collaborative brainchild of Sydney sider CraigSaunders who is also know as SiK from the band Novakill and moscovite DimaIlyn who is best known for his band, UltimateSoldier.
The first EP to get the treatment is TCZRMXs001:HarshReality, which is made up of four songs off the TotalControlZone album, from 2019 on the lads own label, Shoknova.
“HarshReality” Shokhammerremix by Novakill is a fantastic number to start off with. Who doesn’t like hard and fast tempo straight up to get the blood pumping. Novakill is Saunders main project and sometimes it’s a worry having the band do their own remixes but not here.
Making themselves a “HardTarget – insurgentmix” by giving a pounding industrial electro upgrade to this piece of hardware. This is a nice body rocking piece and no body armour required.
The cry to war in “NeverMore” is the UltimateSoldierRMX. Using sound clips of news based around the Kurds and the war against the Taliban, this is less doof power and more thinking man’s electro synth. Not to say there isn’t still a driving purpose but this is has a certain amount of finesse. UltimateSoldier is the Russian project for DimaIlyn.
“TheFuture” has the Uncertaintymix by Holon gracing it. This is a slow build up, spiraling and growing. Beautiful synth chords that seem to go on towards….. well we don’t know yet because it’s the future. For those those who are unaware, Holon is an electro ambient group.
This is a rather cleverly put together EP when you think about it. “HarshReality” is the current view, “HardTarget” is what is required to survive, “NeverMore” is what is desired and “TheFuture” is the unknown.
TCZRMXs001:HarshReality has an impressively good quality production and worthwhile supporting to hear what other exciting remixes will follow and who will be involved in this endeavour. NovaStateMachine has given us an impressive example how industrial music is ever evolving. Get some in your ears and the best bit is that you can name your price on bandcamp. Ace!
From across the southern oceans, the New Zealand capital of Auckland, in November 2019, Death With Machines released their latest EP, Leech. Lawrence Legacy (aka Lawrence Baniecivich) is mastermind and/or overlord
Let me introduce you to the murky, sleazy beats that is “Born Evil“. Baniecivich forcefully whispers to you which is punctuated by the gutteral groan saying ‘born‘ with the follow up whisper ‘evil’. This is reminicent in some ways of Aesthetic Perfection. It is catchy and a good start to the EP.
“Leech“, the title track is just begging for you to groove along to as the lyrics are puncuated out. This is reminicent of industrial bands from the 80’s and 90’s like Front 242 and Suicide Commando, who often had sado-masochistic themes.
‘I hate the way you make me laugh, I hate the way you make me cry’ and we have the song aptly titled ‘Hate’. This is a smoldering beat that is even and constant…. even insistent. If you hate someone then you can’t love them and they can’t break you, except that hate turns inwards.
Last song is “TheGallows“. This is slow and if you can’t guess, a song about death and cold bodies. All returns to nothingness and all are equal in the eyes of death. A nice depressing little number.
So gravely growling is Lawrence’s trade mark vocal and it works for an EP of lust, loss, anger and something just a bit demonic. Get into some Kiwi cyber industrial, listen to Leech by DeathWithMachines.
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.
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.
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, “TheHunt”. 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.