October the 1st, saw the release of a new Mach FoX single, “Hollow Moons“. Zwaremachine is Mach”s main project but he has always maintained his own musical outlet since 2005. “Hollow Moons” was written with Dbot and also recorded with Dein Offizier, whom both are members of Zwaremachine.
There are feather light synths that delicately highlight the darker edge to this number. Mach’s singing fits perfect with the textures and beats which gives us a science fiction future where the world has been used up and only those with enough wealth will be able to afford to live in the new, lush settlements in the hollowed out moons.
Originally meant to be on the latest Zwaremachine album, I can hear why they decided to not add it. Not because this in any way a bad song, to the contrary, but rather it does not fit the more hard industrial sound cultivated by the band. “Hollow Moons” has a far more pop industrial feel, smoother and no growled out vocals. Really enjoyed the more synth/future pop vibe and hopefully we will hear more of this side of FoX’s musical endeavours.
Slated to be the second track on the soon to be released full length album, Horses In The Abbatoir, TRAITRS‘ latest single, “Mouth Poisons” is yet another teaser with yet another very slick, very professional video of an eerily macabre nature. The single was released on September the 17th, 2021 on Freakwave Records by the Toronto duo, Sean Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker.
“The core sketch of this song was written late at night at a very good friend’s place in Frankfurt, Germany. ‘Mouth Poisons’ is an extremely personal song and lyrically I set myself up as the main target. It carries an air of ‘come see what’s going inside of me that wants to burn down everything in sight’. Definitely my favourite single we have ever released to date,” says Shawn Tucker
“‘Mouth Poisons’ was initially supposed to be a fast, angular punk track and it remained in this form for several months until Shawn wrote the bass guitar part and completely changed the way I heard the song. His melodic bass line brought out a sadness and vulnerability in the track that I didn’t know was there. All of a sudden this frantic punk song sounded more like The Smiths or New Order, so I completely rewrote my synth part to tease out those elements even more. The break before the outro is one of my favourite parts on the album,” says Sean-Patrick Nolan
Nolan was not joking about sounding like New Order, though for my money, I would have to say The Cure has to have been a big influence. The vocals are like listening to Robert Smith himself, mournfully gliding over the top of the insistent guitar while the synths gleefully run rampant in this still rather upbeat piece, in that joyfully manic way. For added extra enjoyment and killer chiller vibes, don’t forget to indulge in the sumptuous video.
A new industrial project has hit the scene, with the debut single, “Pews In A Panic“. They are called The Royal Ritual, a solo act featuring the talented David Lawrie. Fans of London After Midnight might recognise his name from being a live tour member, however Lawrie also works as a sound designer for films as well as being a composer/producer in his own right.
From the beginning of the single, the beats are harsh and ring clean, insistent for your attention. Commercial religion is the focus, with its constant demands for money and blind obedience, using and abusing followers until there is nothing left because in the end everything belongs to you, but you belong to me. “Pews In A Panic” is just a really great industrial song that has something to say. The b-side is a cover of fellow Brit and singer/composer Phildel’s “Glide Dog“, that originally was released in 2019, This so different musically to “Pews In A Panic” and yet there is this tone of something brutal under the seemingly smooth surface. Lawrie gives “Glide Dog” the electronic cool treatment and it slips along giving one the feeling you shouldn’t dwell on what lays beneath the surface.
It is really amazing when you listen to “Pews In A Pandemic” and every time you heard a new or unusual sound that isn’t necessarily a traditional electronic one. More than likely and due to his profession, Laurie has more than a passing interest in incorporating left of field recordings to accentuate his music. This creativity only points to the looming album being anticipated as a corker and we are looking forward to hearing more of The Royal Ritual.
The latest single from the Boston lads, Cristian Carver and Johnny E. Veil, aka MAN1K1N, hit us on October the first. Cryptically named “Don’t Let Me Try” is their attempt to put into words and music how the pandemic has affected them and others, both mentally and personally.
‘The heavy solitude of this past year during quarantine was a poignant influence in the moment this song exists in. Too often, suicidal ideation is regarded as a trope. But the anguish felt in those private moments is threatening and devastatingly lonely.‘
From the start, the music has a weight to it, oppressive and even a little bitter-sweet. The desperation is in the groaned and growled out lyrics, as the synths swirl and pulsate in a menacing manner. The lyrics speak to the frustration and a hollowness of the drudgery that life has become, taking a toll of one’s mental health.
Definitely a powerful piece that builds and diminishes just as waves of hope and despair do. The anguish in Veil’s voice is palpable and Carter’s rhythms mix so well with the searing electronics. Interestingly, Tom Baker was brought in to master engineer this single and for those in the know, Baker has been involved with mastering Nine Inch Nail’s Downward Spiral and Ministry’sPsalm 69. Having this craftsman onboard has lifted the number and given it extra polish, so you should have a listen to “Don’t Let Me Try” by MAN1K1N.
Based in Calgary, Eva X is soon to be be dropping the newest album titled I Dream Of A Reality, but before that happens, she is giving us a taste with the single “Machine“, released in September. Added bonus is the remix done by Erik Gustafson who is best known for Grendel and Adoration Destroy.
Would you change yourself to fit a style, become someone else to suit a trend, a part of the machine to suit the views of others through make up or even surgery? Eva X asks if this would make them happy but more to the point, would she be happy in this fantasy world that can’t last. The music has a very futuristic feel with Eva X’s vocals ringing over all, at times plaintive and at other times playful. The remix by Gustafson has these sparkling synths that highlight the track even further and guitars that push the music into a stellar realm.
It’s a good song and the Grendel remix really compliments Eva’s singing. I could definitely see this doing well on dance floors and live gigs, with people bouncing all over the place. Maybe that is the beauty of being in the alternative scene, you do as you please for yourself because not fitting in, is fitting in. Don’t become a part of the “Machine“.
SpankTheNun have definitely been blazing a trail through the industrial scene. Texan, Eric Hanes has been rather prolific not only with his own recordings but also becoming rather well known for his great remixes. His latest single, “Off Beatings“, features ClausLarsen of legendary LeætherStrip/Klutæ fame, on vocals. This is paired with remixes done by 5 very different industrial acts.
There isn’t any one original version as all five are a remix which doesn’t happen all that often. The first mix is by Mirland also known as John R. Mirland, who is involved in other projects like Mirland/Larsen, Negant and Eisenwolf but to name a few. His remix is raw and the bleak imagery just adds to the overall impact with the Danish Mirland bringing the fuzzy/crunchy beats that the Europeans do so well.
The second mix is by Florida based Batávia, It definitely has a big 90s feel, with wonderful twiddly bits all throughout, such as the computer game sounding keyboards. Ed and Terri Cripps have left their prints on this version and speaking of noticeable style, the third mix is by Brisbane act, HOSTILE ARCHITECT. You are always guaranteed huge industrial beats with Mitch Kenny, as it pounds it’s way into your head.
Calgary’s Eva X has the fourth remix which is a more somber and dark affair, claustrophobic and dense. The final remix is by Rebel Empire which has that great Mexican, high energy synth/electro sound and I’m not just talking the counting in Spanish.Throughout all these mixes, Claus Larsen snarls at us. The voice of reason against a world where patriotism overrides human feelings and body bags pile up as most turn a blind eye in the name of not rocking the boat, the false ideology. A great mix of styles to please most industrial fans and a testament to SpankTheNun’s music to be reinterpreted. This is “Off Beatings” and we annticipate the soon to be released album, Bunker Tapes Vol 2.
What do you get when a radio anchorman, a neurosurgeon and a philosopher create a band? ¡-PAHL-! Based in Leipzig, Germany, Peter Hardlab (vocals), Leo von Leibnitz (lyrics & production) and Olaf Parusel (composition), came together in 2016 to ruminate over the questions of life, the universe and industrial pop.
The crunchy, bleak electronics and synths build a soundscape, of what feels like a vast area of encroaching darkness, with Hardlab’s vocals breaking that vastness, accompanied by the lonely playing of a piano with one finger. That is until the music builds in emotion, swelling before the inevitable end.
Telos is a term coined by Greek philosopher, Aristotle, in regards to the full potential or purpose of a person. With this in mind, Hardlab asks Who am I? Am I who? Why am I?. This is the thinking man’s electro/industrial. Thoughtfully written and beautifully executed with those deep, smooth vocals that suit this so well. If you are searching for Mein Telos(my Telos), then look no longer and immerse yourself in ¡-PAHL-!
It has been about a year since we were first introduced to the HOSTILE ARCHITECT, who is also known as Mitch Kenny. The first single, “HOSTILE THEME“, was released in June 2020 and seems ever since then, he has continued to grow into this persona, gathering fans, airplay and signing with Brutal Resonance Records. Now Brisbane based Kenny, has his first full album to unleash onto the converted and the yet to be. This is LOWGRADELIFE.
Kicking off is “MEASURE TWICE” and the ARCHITECT is judging you and the mistakes you make more than once, If you have never heard HOSTILE ARCHITECT before then I can guarantee this mix of gravelly vocals, infectious beats and scintillating keyboards is going to beguile. Originally released as the b-side to “LOWGRADELIFE“, we have the beat heavy, “EVERY FOLLOWER A BOT“. It is a nice static crunchy instrumental piece and yet there is time for a serene, almost Japanese inspired interlude. The fourth single to be released this year was the wonderful “SEMTEX“, and I dare you to not find yourself bobbing to the beat of this. The futuristic theme that you are not not the decaying flesh that holds your spirit is backed up by the science fiction feel of the music.
The title track for the album, “LOWGRADELIFE VER.FINAL” was also the second single and as it may imply, has been further reworked for the album. From the near disco start that launches into the infectious rhythm, there is so much to listen to and still it is utterly cohesive. Speaking of reworked songs, there is also “WAGESLAVEVER.FINAL“, again was another b-side, a delightfully beat filled instrumental that flows along in a trance like way. The brilliant “DAWN OV“, yet another single, body slams you with it anguished vocals and electronics almost mimicking blaring horns, while the instrumental b-side to this single follows it up. And like all the others, “PROSCRIPT” won’t disappoint you as it winds it’s way into your ears. The single that started everything, “HOSTILE THEME“, introduces us to the ARCHITECT and soon you will be singing along I’m hostile!
The first two remixes are done by fellow Brisbane dwellers of the industrial scene. Dirt Factory with their stellar remix of “SEMTEX“, in which Michael Gillman makes the song even more angry plus a little dirtier, highlighted by those bright synths. Zane Seymour is Dream Of Machines and he gives the treatment to “DAWN OV“. Seymour has brought the vocals to the fore and yet still the synths dance beneath, threatening to overtake at some point from their zen interlude. “LOWGRADELIFE” remix is by Wollongong act CheapCoffins and it feels electronically gritty and heavy. Then the guitars just chime in gloriously as the song wends it’s way skyward.
The Null Cell remix of “PROSCRIPT” just sparkles and is unearthly with how light it feels. Nebraskabased IsabellaChains really makes this instrumental piece a rhythmic delight. The last two remixes are from Black Hole Zion and Mach Fox, the former residing in West Virginia and later in Minnesota. Second remix of “LOWGRADELIFE” by Black Hole Zion and it definitely has Ministry inspired guitars and then again a near jazz influence which would seem an odd combination but it works. Zwaremachine’s Mach Fox gives his remix of “DAWN OV” which pops and carries the Fox signature of substantial and searing electronic noise.
First off, have you ever known an act that is exceptionally talented and then when you have met them in real life, they are as nice in person as well? This is Mitch Kenny, completely. He is self effacing and has this enormous gift for music which shines through in this debut album.The mastering done by Roger Menso of Nyteshayde Music is first class, with beautiful clean tones and delicately balanced. The acts chosen to do the remixes have been equally up to the task. It would be easy to rant on with superlatives but in the end you just need to go hear it. If you appreciate good electronic music, then I think you will love HOSTILEARCHITECT and his LOWGRADELIFE.
Kimberly Kommeier is the founding member of the band Bow Ever Down, which was formed in 1998 and in 2020, a full length album, Lost In The Woods was released. Now we have the June release for the huge electronic/darkwave album, Let It Burn.
From the get go, the title track, “Let It Burn“, will set the tone for this album. There is an electronic simpleness that adds to the sorrowful and yet defiant storytelling. It is of no longer taking the blows life has handed out, yet proudly showing those scars. For me the standout number is “Cold Machine” which it’s wonderful swirling and tinkling chorus that rises up to proclaim I would give anything to be human because they are the machine. Truly a lovely and yet so mournful sentiment. “Born Into Darkness” continues the dance of damnation.
Silence In Machine aka Wess Fowler lends his harsh vocals to the songs, “Shed My Skin” and “Not Your Victim“. While the former is a pulsating piece from start to finish, the latter is like waves on the shore as it draw back, then comes crashing in. The common theme though is owning your fate which again can be seen in the track, “Burn You Alive“, and it has some really nice synth transitions. “BurnThem To Ashes“, has a certain, reflective quality and a anger that is almost palpable in the chorus, while “My Last Day” is such a despondent expression of the inability to go on, this is still quite full of great, infectious beats.
The remix for “Cold Machine” is a jewel and Assemblage 23 has really outdone themselves. Miss Suicide from Germany remixed both “Shed My Skin“, giving it a far more aggressive sound and “Glass Doll” which has those synth lines dancing all over it. “Burn You Alive” remix by Replicant RME, takes this song into new territory while the John Ruszin III, whom plays on the album, gives us a version of “Not Your Victim“, and it feels more pensive than the original. The Stahlschlag remix of the title track definitely has teeth, as Sebastian Sünkler is the master of that wonderful crunchy power noise, while the Silence In Machine retake of “Burn Them To Ashes” feels very off kilter, as if the insanity is too much. Continuing in this vein is the forever haunted remix of “Not Your Victim” by Adian Caine with it’s introspective and quiet defiance. The album is completed by the new version of “Glass Doll“.
The prominent concept is the use of the word burn. Fire is not only thought of as dangerous but also as cleansing, to wipe away completely what was. A renewal like a phoenix dying and coming back to life through fire. These are songs about survival and coming from a dark place. Kommeier has a big voice that is quite delightful and garnered a host of talented musicians to remix her tracks, so you should check out Let It Burn by Bow Ever Down.
Brisbane’s DirtFactory released a new single in August called “CrashLanding” and we are here to let you know it’s of the little green men kind. This is the first single from the soon to be released, third album from brothers DanielAllen and MichaelGillman who reside in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively.
You will be regaled by the story of making first contact as the beat pushes you along with a sense of urgency. It is raw and metallic, grating your nerves as you know that they are out there waiting for you. Apart from the person telling his story of a conspiracy to hide that aliens are here, there are really no other vocals to accompany, just the sound of Allen screaming into the void.
There are remixes from proponents of the thriving Brisbane industrial scene. FailedAssimilation guitarist, CameronRees gives us a explosive, metal coated version. There is the laid back, laconic remix by Cosmos Synthetics which will take you to a different state of mind. Nyteshade is RogerMenso, a mastering genius and member of the infamous Dogmachine and he brings us an almost experimental feel to “CrashLanding“, keeping us off balance with the changing beats. Exocult is DanielAllen’s new solo project and also signed to ViralRecords. His version has an 80s feel to it with a heavy guitar creeping up from behind.
Suddenly there is a shift in momentum with the HOSTILEARCHITECT remix heading in a far more dance oriented direction. H.A.’sMitchKenny is a man who can do no wrong currently and this is a really glorious remix. Next is the newest band on the block but don’t let that fool you as members are not new to the scene. This is RAZRWHIP with their dream like offering, though this dream is more like a drug induced fantasy. The synth lines from JethroHilliard are sublime. Last is not the least. Vargil is the talented CamillaAstridStrand and her take on this piece is a science fiction techno myriad. It pulsates and is simply joyous.
There is literally something different on every track which means there is going to be something to tickle the tastebubs of everyone that enjoys this genre and is a showcase of local talent. So if this is the “CrashLanding“, can’t wait for the invasion.