The single, “Just Like Rain” was released in April by Fargo native, Todd C Ruzicka under the moniker Immune System. Ruzicka is also known for his other, main project, Seven Federations.
This is a bright and synth bubbling piece, reminiscent of the early 80s electronic era mixed with a Euro/italo dance appeal. If this is a love song, it seems a little on the dangerous side. The beats drop and swell, building and swirling with the end containing the surprise strings.
Retro synth-pop is the order of the day and this is a busy little number. Not breaking any new ground but “Just Like TheRain” is rather enjoyable and if electronic music is your thing then go check out Immune System.
December 2020, saw the album release for StereoTYP by Canadian artist, JHNN. Based from Calgary, JHNN said ‘Basically the album was made from 2016-2020 and it’s about my biggest pet peeve of society which is the existence of StereoTYPs“.
Kicking it off with with the soundscape science fiction plains of “Children Are The Future“. My first foray into JHNN’s style and it’s smooth strangely, almost hypnotic with his voice drifting above the electronics as he explains that children don’t see skin colour or disabilities like adults do. They see another human.
“East Hastings” is a very stripped back piece with a machine gun style beat. The lyrics are literally ‘Remember, When you said, Never again‘ with the never again said a hundred and fifty- one times. It does build to a climax that reminds me a little of Boy Harsher.
I can hear the techno and house influence in “Again“. There is the ever pervasive synth line throughout with others layering over and around it. It feels slightly haunting, trying to survive the after effects of a traumatic relationship.
The lyrics alone for “The Takeaway” made me instantly think of the David Bowie single, “I’mAfraid Of Americans“. Maybe the format and purpose are similar as this was Bowie and BrianEno’s industrial phase. However JHNN does far more slow burn electronic, that harkens back to a more European flavour.
From the sing song beginning, “The Warning” is claustrophobic. The tale of how a person wants to control everything around him to stop him losing control and yet he knows he can’t control anything, least of all himself. The bursts of static style noise and wandering plucked notes keeps you on edge.
“The Warfare” is a follow on from “TheTakeaway” and “The Warning“, a trilogy of mental health breaking down. You feels his growing tension and anxiety with the nervous beats growing with JHNN’s vocals making you wonder when he might explode.
Addiction…. explaining that anything that you invest too much of yourself into and get lost in, is almost as bad as an addiction to “Heroin“. It can be self destructive. This music starts like a drug induced stupor where everything feels great and there is nothing outside of this. Towards the end, it seems like a free fall with JHNN’S breathy vocals.
Is someone into you due to an ideal or because you look like someone else? Do they see the person below the surface skin colour? “Fetish” asks these questions. There is a slight disjointed nature to the music, like the vocals don’t quite gel with the music, which is entirely on purpose to put you at unease.
“The Lie” starts like is being played backwards. It launches a great synth line with layers of electronics added and diminished throughout. It’s a heavy subject. Is religion the greatest lie ever told? If you believe, does it mean you need all the indoctrination to believe in a God?
For a moment I don’t hear anything, before a simple few notes register for “Crisis“. This is a instrumental, a graduation of textures, that then wends its way, then seemingly falling into the pit of despair.
Track number eleven is the final on the album. “Darkness Will Always Be There” could be a downer but oddly, this is light and free, a type of acceptance. There are sparkling synths accompanying the harsher ones.
This is a starkly personal album. It’s about struggling with mental health, personal relationships, the struggle of not being defined by your colour or being held to account by systems you can’t believe in, especially if they inhibit the person you are.
JHNN has taken you on a journey that includes anxiety and occasionally hopelessness but in the end there is also the realisation that unless you love the darkness within, then then you can’t live with yourself. This is an electronic saga that uses subtly to great effect. StereoTYP is a more laid back type of electro/darkwave that touches on the field of industrial and it is very powerful with its sentiment. Check out JHNN
Deine Lakaien have been gracing our ears for 35 years and are now giving us their 10th studio album, Dual. These maestros of the experimental electronic – classical hybrid, have released a double album, with the first being all new music and the second showcasing covers that influenced vocalist Alexander Veljanov and composer/multi instrumentalist Ernst Horn.
The medieval flavour of “Because Of Because“, is a stately start. The classical overtones are simple and mix beautifully with the electronic components, Veljanov’s silken crooning, dripping over it all, about finding one’s piece of mind.
A slight middle eastern touch to “Sick Cinema” and a comment on artists involved in promoting less than reputable causes. The organ swirls and picks up pace. All quite gorgeous.
A ballad in the form of “In Your Eyes“, and it is a perfect piece of Deine Lakaien crystal that reflects a myriad of emotions and colours, of sadness and joy. The pledge of eternal love.
“Snow” is as slow as it is beautiful. A tale of another era or a dream of what was. It is facile and warm, as if you can feel the shafts of sunlight that are sung about.
The electronic brilliance comes to the forefront in “Happy Man“, where a smile is enough to lighten a heart. The experimental textures abound and it conjours the mood of a courtly dance.
A near futuristic impression is given with electronic music of “Run“. Whatever happens in life, they ask their ‘braveheart‘ to stay on the move and keep their hopes alive.
“Les oiseaux” is French for the birds and the feel is of feathers whirling in flight, going higher and higher with purpose. Maybe you can even hear them crying out to each other.
Sounds like a harpsichord in “Unknown Friend“, with a haphazard rhythm, making your senses spin. The synthesizer witters away in this timeless piece.
What is a qubit? A unit of measurement as seen in the Bible. “Qubit Man” comes with stringed instruments that make it sound off kilter, while the vocals seem near monastic.
The last song for the first album is “Someone To Come Home To“. A reflective piece about loss and longing for that person that makes you complete. The hurdy gurdy of emotions is keenly felt.
The second half of this album is the tributes to songs or acts that influenced Deine Lakaien but also they have matched to the feel and sound of tracks on the the first album. Starting with the Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen piece, “Because The Night“, “Spoon” by Krautrock group Can, The Cure’s classic, “The Walk“, “DustIn The Wind” by Kansas, Kate Bush’s “SuspendedIn Gaffa“, also surprisingly Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun“.
There were for me, some really stood out. “La chanson des vieux amants” was originally performed by Jacques Brel in 1954 and in English is known as the Song Of OldLovers, which is wonderfully nostalgic. The CatSteven’s track, “Lady D’Arbanville” is treated like electronic spun satin with golden threads.
The oldest cover is of the Russian, 1879 piece, “Song Of The Flea” by Modest Mussorgsky and lyrics from Goethe’sFaust which has gone from a piano accompanied piece to a cheeky, fun and quirky number with chimes, bleeps and Veljanov giving amazing belly laughs whilst singing in Russian. I admit to never really being into Linkin Park but have a new found respect through Horn’s handling of “My December“. It is delicate, sad and profound with strings making this feel even more compelling.
Ernst Horn has again created the near magical world that is occupied by Deine Lakaien. Classical/medieval traits mixed with the electronic genius we have come to expect. The warm timbre of Alexander Veljanov’s voice is so brilliant and utterly recognisable, the trademark of the band. Dual is the present and the past for Deine Lakaien, in a musical extravaganza which will make you fall in love with them all over again.
Always difficult to get band members together at times and for some, well, some make music in between different countries. The lads from Gomddam Memory released their first single this month and are based between Norway and the UK and “One Last Job” is the name of this debut.
‘They lie, they lie‘ and there is no question that those in power never tell the truth, while they pillage the earth of its resources and leave those most at risk to suffer because it doesn’t make good business sense to do anything else. There is a plaintiff cry for the the world and the atmospheric feel of the experimental music seemingly, semi-teetering on an abyss, in an off kilter way.
Gomddam Memory isn’t going to be for everyone and yet it is an interesting project. They did make think that this is what it would sound like if an industrial machine that ate the Candy Skins and I’m not sure if this says more about me or them. Have a listen to the eco industrial tune “One Last Job“.
Sally Wolfdreamer is a fairly new band, but even so they have been very busy. In December, last year, they released their maiden EP and now in April, they have brought us their second EP, titled Dissected.
James Mitchell is from the East Midlands in the UK and may or may not have stolen the name SallyWolfdreamer from a local communicator of the dead. Originally starting out in the music industry as a drummer, who has always had an interest in electronic music.
Like a caress, “Lobo” fills your ears, growing and expanding, an introduction to the EP that feels like it only just started and ended far too quickly… even though it was just under two minutes.
The beginning of “Black Phillip” does not give you an inkling of what depth this track truly holds. The intro is so diminutive and then explodes with bass filled goodness you just didn’t expect. Black Phillip is the goat from the movie, The Witch, who turns out to be Lucifer in disguise.
The next piece, “Buried Alive“, has a science fiction feel to it. A future that has no future, with a disconnected female voice and a rhythm that starts to unravel, so to speak.
A few years back, there was a manga created called Snowpiercer, (later a movie), about the last survivors on Earth, all packed into a train, after a failed attempt to terra form the ruined planet. A dark tale of lies and decit, where the drug of choice is “Krenole“, a suspension substrate that is also highly explosive. The notion of being on that train and moving through an eerily dead world is all pervasive. A sense of urgency with the clicks and whirls.
Final track, “Kunicki“, could be a reference to the Polish revolutionary, Stanislaw Kunicki, who was hung for his convictions at the tender age of twenty-five. The take off is slow and this piece picks up speed, growing an expansive soundscape that cannot be pulled back in. The sounds of the wind of change?…
Themes of sin, revolution and the road to a maybe apocalyptic future, saturate these dark-electro ambient instrumental pieces. This is really enjoyable to listen to music that has more going on under the water than just above, yes reference to the cover art. You are invited to “Dissected” Sally Wolfdreamer.
2020 has brought in big changes for many bands and this includes Minneapolis based band, Zwaremachine. After a dalliance with Brutal Resonance Records, releasing their last EP the band has expanded to now include the live crew as fully fledged recording members and released a single/ remix EP.
The single “Conquest 3000” is the first off the soon to be released album and features Zwaremachine stalwart, visionary & lead singer, MachFox, Dbot on bass plus vocals and DeinOfficer brutalising the drums.
The very nature of industrial music lends itself to political protest and the voice of the underdog, so “Conquest 3000” is a prime example. Especially in this currently climate of fear, disease and corporate avarice, angry dissent voices are needed more than ever. This has a cleaner sound compared to Zwaremachine’s previous singles. With a hard hitting electronic and drum rhythm, this powers along and the synth lines created a smooth juxtaposition. Fox’s vocals are the fired salvos destructively hitting their mark.
The “Conquest 3000” X1L3 remix is harsher and in a Ministry vein, yet it has this cyber swirling, wonderous feel to it within the brusqueness.
The near disco beat at the beginning made me smile. The Floridians, Batavia, remix of “Conquest3000“, shows a gossamer touch, air light keyboards and that damn beat that had me wiggling in delight from the beginning.
Final mix is by Australian act, HOSTILEARCHITECT., MitchKenny knows how to push a song into a new realm. Cyber punk, futuristic and high energy, that keeps you guessing where he’ll take it next.
The new members bring a new and exciting dimension to the direction Zwaremachine is heading. The single is great and is pointing to an even greater album, meanwhile all the remixes are noteworthy in their own right and I don’t think I could pick a favourite. Name your price on Bandcamp so there is nothing stopping you checking out Zwaremachine’s “Conquest 3000“.
Congratulations has to go out to Australian act, Hostile Architect, not only for releasing his current single/EP, ::LOG.2:: DAWN OV, but also being signed to Brutal Resonance Records.
Not going to lie, I’ve heard this a few times and it’s angry music for an angry time. “DAWN OV” is a reaction to the current climate of distrust in governments, a virus pulling apart people and communities with the vision of a bleak future, filled with cybernetics and where life is cheap. Mitch Kenny’s anguished, distorted vocals ride the wave of this synth assault. It is heavy and hard hitting industrial noise.
“PROSCRIPT” I would describe if The Art Of Noise had been far more aggressive and militant, this is what they could have sounded like. Eclectic and yet it works so well in an epic conglomeration of structured electronic beats.
Mach Fox of Zwaremachine and fellow stablemate on Brutal Resonance, remixes “DAWN OV“. He peels back the vocal distortion and gives this remix, almost, a simpler feel but by doing so, Fox has also made this version even more raw and bitter.
The Brisbane electronic scene is very strong and Hostile Architect is definitely a reflection of this. Not to mention that Mitch Kenny (Hostile Architect) and Mach Fox are some of the nicest guys in the industrial scene as well as being very talented.
This is another strong single from an act taking no prisoners and the more you listen, you more it gets under your skin. So check out ::LOG.2:: DAWN OV and keep your attention on the Hostile Architect.
Released on November 6th, was Neurobash’s single, “Blame 2K2X“, off the Swedes’ album, 2K2X. This single also offers 3 previously unreleased numbers which is a nice addition.
So the single, “Blame (Subsequential)” has the momentum of a freight train, full of rampant beats that hold your attentiona nd the vocals are like silk over the top. It feels like a social commentary on this age of the rising extreme right… ‘what you going to do when they come for you, what you going to do when everybody knows‘.
“Overtime” reminds me a lot of club classic “Hitman” by Tobias Bernstrup mixed with Kraftwerk. It’s new and yet it feels like something good from the past.
We have “Offset A” which is far more slower in tempo and yet more drum inspired while “Offset B” is far more futuristic synth based, no where at heavy feeling as the previous piece and yet it contains a much more crunchy texture. Both numbers are purely instrumental in nature.
I was unable to link the YouTube video of the single because it contains scenes of the band being water tortured and therefore is restricted viewing. Oh my, so you can either listen to the album version here, go listen on Bandcamp or go seek out the offering on Youtube through the Neurobash channel.. Either way, you are bound to enjoy Neuobash’s, “Blame 2K2X“.
British act, Analogue Blood released on November the 9th, their second EP, “Kill Those Beats”, following in the wake of 2019’s AdvancedWeaponSystemsActivated EP. Ian Hanratty and LeeTeasdale make up the core of the band.
The first tantalising beats of “UntilTheSun“, it will catch your attention, from the middle eastern influence to the relentless rhythm. This drives as we are introduced to guest vocalist, AliceHour from the band, In EvilHour and she kills it.
“Frozen” brings it, with a fast techno beat, Hour cooing to our ears and thawing us with a bouncing synth guitar mix.
The influence of the techno music scene can be felt on “E.B.S.” and is mostly instrumental with vocals cut into it.
The eastern influence and vocals of “Awakening“, are spinetingling and work so well with the swirling guitar work.
Yeah ok… love the start to “Insomnia” as it reminds me of how most electro music, just makes you feel exhilarated. This is the more aggressive, modern version of Berlin, from the early 80s, ever so perverse and sexually charged.
Title song for the EP, “Kill Those Beats“, is a noisy, slightly aggrotech/rap inspired number with Nathen Miller, also known as hip hop act Endem, another guest vocalist on the microphone, verbally attacking your senses.
Chris Davison is the vocal talent on the single “Never Fall Down” and it’s smooth like silk with harmonies yet has that hard edge of the electronics. Davison specialises in vocals and guitars as both a solo artist and with three bands.
The most influential thing this year has been the outbreak of COVID-19. It has changed the world currently and how we interact in these days. “Virus 2020” is a reminder of this impact, so therefore it is brooding and darker. Yet the vocal loops give it such a rich texture
The end of the EP is the Inertia remix of “Never Fall Down“. This album isn’t breaking any new ground in the EBM scene but those that love to bounce around to a good beat are going to enjoy this.
To the ghouls that inhabit the dark, this Halloween is the release of DirtFactory’s second single on Brisbane based music label, ViralRecords, called “Violence”.
This release contains the title track plus three remixes by various artists, of the same title track.
Riots anyone? When people have no other avenue of having a voice against the forces of oppression, protest is the last choice. This punk attitude of ‘fuck thesystem…detonation‘ is all pervasive.
A litany of cause and effect is gravelled out by Allen with robotic style, that is still very angst ridden. As always, there is the hints of KMFDM and Skinny Puppy being a big influence on Allen and Gillman.
The 11 Grams remix is a bit more sleazy sounding as they seem to have made Daniel’s vocals almost lascivious. It has the very futuristic finger prints of 11 Grams all over this and it’s wonderful.
The next remix is by Z Cluster from Sydney. It’s like listening to crunchy trap with periods of creepy clarity due to the vocals being kept more sedate but with a disturbing, higher pitched electronic scream emitting over all.
Last remix is by Brisbane act, Dreams Of Machines (aka ZaneSeymour). This is almost old school industrial sounding with the distorted vocals and oppressive drone that makes “Violence” spine tingling. Slower to take off, but when it does, it has a definite nod to Leæther Strip.
It’s hard to believe these are all the same song and yet at the heart is this one DirtFactory number. From the original to each mix, are equally enjoyable and nothing feels staid.
This, almost, completely Australian effort does show the strength and talent of the industrial scene in the country with Rob Early of 11 Grams an honorary Aussie by default.
Another great track from Dirt Factory which has us asking, where is the album? If current standard is an indication, it’s going to be a cracker. An industrial single in this dystopian world climate, “Violence” from DirtFactory.