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).
When you are a weirdo, you build community with other weirdos. So we are putting out the word that online monster munch, electro/industrial magazine, Brutal Resonance have launched their maiden ship of a podcast, streaming into the void of cyberspace, where someone can hear you scream and probably turn it into an epic industrial track.
That long haired hooligan, Steven Gullotta, captain of the good ship BrutalResonance, is looking to bring you commentary, new music, interviews and formatted shows to both inform and thrill the audience… but then, quite frankly, like it or not, this red headed renegade takes no prisoners and you will listen to the ‘good shit’.
Resonance has gone from strength to strength and in the last few years, become a record label as well, signing some very radical acts such as Her Noise Is Violence and HOSTILE ARCHITECT.
Has this peaked your interest because it should have. Knowing Gullotta, there will be screaming, f-bombs and a lot of laughing, along with a tonne of interesting music for you to ingest. So, support the scene and my only piece of advice is, don’t let this man near a didgeridoo…. it’s really obscene………
This year, the band, Amaranth, in conjunction with SoundsAndShadows, released the epic goth/EBM/industrial compilation, Tiny Gods Who Walk Beside Us. All songs were donated by the bands for a rather wonderful cause.
Most dark alternative types will tell you they are very fond of animals and especially cats. When band member of Amaranth, KenMagerman found out his young cat, Freya, had cancer in her leg, Ken was devastated and desperately wanted to save his feline companion’s life. This is an expensive procedure, so musician friends from around the world offered songs to help pay for this treatment, so began this complilation.
The classical undertones of LoreleiDreaming bring us “Edge Of The World” (I.X.XI Remix), which is grand beginning with beautiful choral touches that give this great depth and a glittering beauty.
“For Freya” is a very raw piece from Amaranth, but then this is understandable knowing where this song is coming from. With bluesy overtones that expand to anguished gothic rock.
A quieter synth lead piece from US act, Covenant Of Thorns in “Dahlia” (The Joy Thieves remix). A sweet number that is both darkness and light at the same.
Got to say, Corlyx‘s “Deform” (ESA remix) is a really a great song and remix. A mixture of trap syncopation and lazy beats keeps this very entertaining.
Antipole and their sexy song, “1983” featuring the completely sexy Eirene (PeopleTheater remix) show you their brilliance. Danceable, pop electro synth number which you can’t help but enjoy the airy joy it exudes.
Like silk, Ego Likeness “Darkness” (Dracos Deep Mix) will grace your ears. This is smooth, electro beats and oh so catchy to boot with this remix.
Machinery Of Desire drip with gothic honey in the form of “Forever Remain“. I would not be surprised in the least of they were influenced by Wayne Hussey’s The Mission. That similar winding flowery style.
The synth musing of Adoration Destroyed in “Both of Me” (Authentic Impulse Remix) as they try to reconcile the two sides of their personally. Those that like Third Realm will really enjoy this number.
CryingVessel “Illusions” (remix DeadAgent) is a throw back to the early 80s electronic period. A simple, clean track with a light touch in the remix, making this a really danceable track.
The haunting number of “CodeBlue” by I Ya Toyah (remix Arcontas Blank) rings out with that wonderful heavy organ based synth filling it out. A song close to singer AniaTarnowska’s heart, about the loss that comes with suicide.
Really digging TwinTribes the more I hear them and “DarkCrystal” is a great example of their post punk, goth electro sound. Really fabulous tune that chimes away and gets into your head.
Radiograph is in essence JohnEdwards from PalaisIdeal and he has contributed “Catnipped“, an instrumental piece centred on an electro beat/ synths with guitar accompliment. Edwards is well known musician in the scene and a deft hand at penning a tune.
SilverWalks has remixed “FuckThatFascistBeat” by Caustic. This already a good song which now is even more urgent in the remix. The song is probably more poignant than ever before and is old school style industrial done well.
Straight from the beginning, you hear that this is going to be a bit special. Seven Federations gives you “Syzygy” or a celestial alignment. It is reminiscent of Attrition’s classic “Into The Waves“, with its simple beauty.
Vlimmer “Schnittstelle” is ethereal and unearthly as they try to interface. Even though ethereal, it feels so organic at the same time, natural.
Dogtablet are kind of a mini super group. “Showtime” (Melodywhore Slave Remix) is a rhythmic groove piece with piano as the standout instrument amongst the electronica.
If you like pure instrumentals with some sublime synths and an interesting configuration, then Kiss Of The Whip has “This Pain Is Ours” for you.
Welcome to Steven Archer’s “The Showroom“. It’s s little dirty and has a bassy chorus which is never a bad thing. Archer who is also Stoneburner, is all class.
This isn’t even mixed and Cliff and Ivy have a tremendous earworm in “Will To The Power“. I have to say, Christian Death. It smacks of many the great things about Rozz Williams and company in the 80’s.
The off kilter start by Orcus Nullify, launches “March Of The Lost“. Very much in the vein of the Bauhaus vibe with a experimental edge. A dirge to the those forever destined to wander without end.
The sombre tones of Ritchual‘s “You Lied” lilt with a plaintiff anguish. This is clean, delightful synth wave with a European flavour even though they are based in Austin.
Sister Sarin is the project for Hemlock and she gives to you “Split“. This is a percussion heavy piece with all the keyboards rounding out the beat heavy sounds.
Get ready for the nightmarish spokenword performance of Swansect with “Clovermouth“. This is claustrophobic and sinister in the modern era electro.
RobEarly and SimeonFritzpatrick are 11Grams and you are going to feel them in your “DNA“. This is a blend of old school industrial with a clever reinvention, which they are well known for. Slow and menacing, as it gets under your skin.
Ego Likeness is the last track on the album for the digital download with “Breedless” (Sombre Remix). The lyrics are truly interesting to listen to, with ‘maybe my mother was a hydra‘ as well fae folk and other such creatures making EgoLikeness the crooning sexy beasts they are.
This is a great showing of gothic, synthwave, EBM, darkwave and industrial being represented and definitely worthy of many listens. The best part of this story is that Freya may have lost a limb but she is still with Ken and a truly loved being.
My last cat passed away at 20 years of age and I mourned her death for many years until l adopted a rescue cat and to be honest, fell in love all over again.
Once cats were revered as celestial beings in Egypt and one can understand why. We love their arrogance, sass and let’s face it, they can be completely selfish pricks yet if you do love them, they will give you so much in return.
So show some love for Freya and her kind as well as all the wonderful bands that have been so generous.
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.
Biomechanimal are a EDM/aggrotech/industrial group from London who released in February a new single, along side fellow London drum & bass musicians, Mechanical Vein, called “Waves“.
There are three versions of this song, so hold onto your hats because this is not a carousel ride.
The original single version is fabulously raw and angry. The bass line is turned right up and it’s an instant assault on your hearing. You can almost feel the hardstyle techno within.
Second version has been remixed by the Netherlands drum & bass duo, SinisterSouls. This is hard and fast aggrotech pure and simple with a mad EDM beat ripping it up. This is a great remix to hear on a dance floor and never lets up for a second until the fading end.
Third remix had been done by industrial master, Grendel. This is slower and starts off more like a rap number then the growled vocals, heavy guitars and almost metal blast beats kick it hard in the balls. And so, in an almost bipolar fashion, this track goes from one to the other but the industrial synths always remain true.
So three versions of “Waves” with the imput of four different artists definitely shows in how influences can vary the sound of each track. When all is said and done, it’s a banging number. “Waves” is about the ebb and flow of creativity but this song is a force of nature.
January saw the bandcamp release of DirtFactory’s debut EP, Random Songs For The End Of The World. This electro industrial band is comprised of two brothers, MichaelGillman (programming and synths) and DanielAllen (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.
Track three is an “UnseenTragedy“. 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, “GiveMeTheDrugs“. 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.
Will machines with AI eventually obtain “DigitalConsciousness“? 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 “ErrorDelete” with undulating electronics with such a catchy rhythm and breakout synths. This definitely brings visions of Bladerunner or GhostIn the Machine.
“SlaughterhouseShutdown” 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 “CorporateGreed” which brings to mind another song, “CorporateSlave” 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 “ErrorDelete” by DigitalAnodyne (DJWolfAud) and Vargil (CamillaAstridStrand) 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 WaxTrax era and the burgeoning onslaught of the Belgium and German bands such as FrontlineAssembly 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.
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.