This year has been a big one for Jacksonville based duo, Batavia. Earlier in 2020 was the release of their first EP, Graveyard and since then, they have been signed to Tigersquawk Records with the new EP, Quite Mean Spirited.

Terri and Ed Cripps tell true historical tales of the grotesque through their music, bringing them to life. With this in mind, this EP is the story of a young woman who was taken away to an island, somewhere in Russia, a prison that she never deserved to be incarcerated in. She was assaulted and raped by the guards and then her fellow prisoners did not offer help nor comfort but rather murdered her and cannibalised the corpse.

The title track is also the first cab off the ranks. “Quite Mean Spirited” thumps in with one Charles Bukowski’s spoken word soliloquy about ‘people are not good to people‘ before Terri brings forth her sweet vocals.

Upside Down” hits you full on with its up beat rhythm and grungy guitar plus distorted vocals. This is a cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain song and it is a rollicking, industrial interpretation.

The water and the waves flow with the acoustic guitar and lilting synths giving “Ab Initio” a near dream like quality. A reality skewed with Terri whispering to you to be aware that not all is that peaceful.

With heavy gothic over tones, “Finis” is the beginning of the end for our heroine. Russian can be heard after the frightened breathing of the young woman. The dominant piano with the organ beneath, create a feeling of madness. A litany of the terror issues, as the noise builds on a maelstrom of desperation.

ED & TERRI CRIPPS – BATAVIA

For a awful way to go, “The Absinthian” seems so light and free… maybe it is when the flesh is no long the cage of the soul and the pain cannot be felt any more. Angels to take her away to a better place than she was.

Quite Mean Spirited” (Leæther Strip remix) finishes up the EP, which brings you full circle of the horror humans will put other humans through. Claus Larsen was very impressed with Batavia’s previous release, so he came on board to do this remix and it has the Leæther Strip lead’s finger prints all over it. It’s a beautiful and thoughtful enhancement with that industrial harshness running deep under it. Such a brilliant way to conclude.

Batavia know how to blend gothic horror with intelligent rock and industrial blends. They have created an EP with a darkness that makes the the breakout tracks shine even brighter. The Leæther Strip remix is like the icing on the tasty, gothic- industrial cake that is Quite Mean Spirited.

https://batavia.bandcamp.com/

https://m.facebook.com/officialbatavia/

https://m.facebook.com/tigersquawkrecords/

This has been a strange year so far with uprisings and COVID-19 bringing the world, it feels, to a grinding halt. Australian act, Dirt Factory 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. Michael Gillman 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 Birthday Massacre 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.

DIRT FACTORY- DANIEL ALLEN & MICHAEL GILLMAN

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.

https://dirtfactory.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/FactoryOfDirt/

https://viralrecordsau.bandcamp.com/

Even in these times of isolation and social distancing, we really don’t need much of an excuse to party in our own homes. Biomechanimal have released, as a single, one of their most popular live numbers, “Enter The Animal“.

Don’t let the slow beginning mislead you, as Matthew Simpson’s vocals slam your senses. This is a song about partying and enjoying life, all to an intense techno beat with screaming synths, that lulls and then comes back at you full force.

There are also two remixes included. One is by Melbourne act, Sirus, done in a more aggrotech kick arse style with what sounds like rapid fire at times and a jack boot stomping rhythm.

Second remix is by Mexico’s C-Lekktor and is a joyous, hyper version. This is a dancefloor killer which you can bounce joyously around to the beat.

Released by Hybrid Blak and mixed/mastered by X-Fusion Music Production, this obviously is a song the band really are invested in and they asked close international friends to participate in the remixes.

These are the people you want to party with and Biomechanimal don’t fail to deliver with their Bruce Lee musical style, smack to the head, “Enter The Animal“.

https://biomechanimal.bandcamp.com/album/enter-the-animal

https://m.facebook.com/BiomechanimalMain/

Welcome to the era of big brother is watching you and using your fears to control you. This is the theme explored in the latest Vexillary EP, SurViolence which was released at the end of July.

New York based musician and chemist, Reza Seirafi, is Vexillary, who has four previous EP’s under his belt and his style is dark electro/techno/industrial.

Kicking off with the single “Maritime Panic“, which is the current single from the EP and this sets the tone for Seirafi’s very electronic style which feels at times clinically modern… almost futuristic and yet there are lapses of stability. The music quivers and becomes almost uneasy feeling and slightly oppressive.

Annihilation” at first feels very upbeat and light with its techno heart beating. But this just seems to be the cover for what is in store. The complacent move to the ordered beat of the hierarchy.

VEXILLARY – REZA SEIRAFI

With technology, authority figures can feed the populace information, track them and even surveil them from a far. “Forged Skies” has a cold feel about it, the imperial rise of the machines as the synths bleat at us like we need them.

The starting beats are like the ticking of an overwound watch. In “The Geneticist“, we finally get to hear Reza and implores us to see how humans are becoming more computerised and that even sexual voyeurism is being used to control people through fear. ‘A snap of his fingers, and the beast is in your land‘.

This could be science fiction but then looking at today’s current global geo-political climate, this could be very much reality.

This EP flows well with its electronic instrumentation without vocals until “The Geneticist“, which gives an extra punch of impact. If you like to close your eyes and have the music take you away or just love good synth based pieces, then Vexillary’s, “SurViolence” could be what the government never wanted you to hear.

https://vexillary.bandcamp.com/album/surviolence-blaq120

https://m.facebook.com/Vexillarymusic/

Whilst in isolation, Tesla Cøils from the Gold Coast, Australia had been working on a single with video and now in July, “The Party” is out for our entertainment.

The band is made up of Jed A Walters, the writing mastermind/renaissance man on lead vocals, keyboards, guitar and programming with drummer extrodinaire, Chris Dennis.

Jed A Walters and Chris Dennis of Tesla Cøils

The Party” is aptly, as the name implies, the experience of attending a party…. and hating every second of it because you are a gothy antisocial, not a smoker, rarely drink or just dislike humans.

Love the line about latching onto the dog so they don’t have to interact with other people. This is very much tongue in cheek dark humour and yet so very relatable.

It has your attention from the beginning with the rumble of drums that suddenly come to the fore with Jed’s very distinct voice. The chorus it just a wonderful swell of sounds, jangly guitar and it just barrels you over. Just so good. Even after listening to it several times, I’m still finding new layers to marvel at. Even to the low baritone vocal sound in the instrumental interlude which makes it so rich.

I first saw Tesla Cøils live when they were the support for the 40th anniversary Peter Murphy and David J (Bauhaus) tour of the album, In The Flat Field, which left enough of an impression on me to video a portion of their performance.

Not only is this a cracker of a song that will worm its way firmly into your head but the music video is genius. Highly recommend having a look as it is really well done.

Whether you like or hate parties, this “The Party” is so danceable and really deserving of airplay and you can find the lads on Bandcamp or support them on Patreon. Tesla Cøils are delivering the quirky yet intelligent, dark electro industrial we need in these times.

https://teslacoilsmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://m.facebook.com/teslacoilsmusic

https://www.patreon.com/teslacoilsmusic

http://www.teslacoilsmusic.com/

The Batavia, in the early 17th Century, was a ship of the Dutch East India Company and in less than a year after her maiden voyage, would find herself wrecked off the West Australian Coast. A tale of murder, mutiny, slavery and abandonment followed.

TERRI AND ED CRIPPS

Batavia are also a goth, industrial rock group, hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, consisting of Terri and Ed Cripps. This is the married couple’s debut E.P., Graveyard, under this moniker and was recorded in isolation. Keys and vocals are from Terri while Ed gives us guitar, programming and backing (spoken) vocals.

The wind swept feel is prominent in “Field Of Gray” as the synths grace their presence and breath into the intro piece while the angelic vocals hover just above the turbulence. Ed speaks to us, as from another time, perhaps as a marooned sailor who dreams of home as his life slips away.

TERRI “LUCRETIA JAN” CRIPPS

Now for something completely different as far as a cover goes. Not that someone would not cover Duran Duran, but rather the choice of their 1988 single, “All She Wants Is” kind of blew me away. It is raw and pulsating with sexuality and very feminine. Terri’s vocals really capture the fervour whilst being classy and the industrial styling of the guitar work, really lends itself to making this a cover that completely works for them.

Scab Mask” is grating at the beginning, setting up for the vocals to resolve the disparity. This is the industrial machine, that pounds along and one can’t help but feel that this may be a commentary on the current political turmoil, that their country currently finds itself embroiled in. The anger seems to feed into the slowing, off kilter, loss of hope.

An orchestrated piece with no vocals, “Flyboy” is cuts of air chatter from ground personnel, Richard Russell, which burst through with accelerating urgency as a man losses his sanity while handling a multi million dollar plane. Meanwhile air control tries to talk him around and for historical content, he purposefully crashed in 2018l This is the futile end.

ED “JERONIMUS CORNELISZ” CRIPPS

This is a really neat little E.P. and Bartavia are proving themselves to be storytellers, connecting the past to present, even when that past was not so long ago, for as humans, we seem to have short memories.

We need those that write meaningful human tales with good tunes and a rollicking good cover every so often doesn’t hurt either. Get your education and entertainment with the delightful Batavia and open their Graveyard.

https://batavia.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/officialbatavia/

If you are looking for quality industrial music then we might have a lead for you. From Brisbane, Australia, Hostile Architect has released their debut single on Bandcamp called “Hostile Theme“.

This is an independant release which you can find on Bandcamp and the mastermind behind this project is Abelisk, also known as the music producer and musican Mitch Kenny.

Hostile Theme” is intelligent industrial with wonderful strong synth lines, supported by a pounding rhythm and gritty vocals. This track is a harking back to classic Skinny Puppy with its experimental rawness in a cold cyber world.

The accompanying number is “Wage Slave” which slow burns with its dirty reverb, clear singular note synth and relentless beat.

All in all, a really catchy single and Hostile Architect is hitting all the sweet spots when it comes to electro industrial music so far. We await more but for now enjoy “Hostile Theme“.

https://abelisk.bandcamp.com/album/log-0-hostile-theme?fbclid=IwAR1P6_aF3jEI8q8oK015GgLNRu0-ngNrX9EN1-7Hcfm1Pcpql1PtXGmg-MI

https://www.facebook.com/Abeliskaudio

http://www.abeliskaudio.com/

From Wroclaw, Poland comes the band xDZVØNx with their album Everything We Dreamt About, released April 3rd.

Welcome to the sweet insanity that is Børa on main vocals, synths plus mandolin and Snufkin on backing vocals, synths and programming.

They describe their style as noisepop, mixed with brutalistic architecture and glitch art, and originally were associated more with the witch house scene in Europe.

XDZVØNX

Intro piece to the album is “Why I Called You“. Just by listening to the lilting short number, you can tell that this is going to be a highly electronic album.

Current truth is “Face By Face” right now is my favourite track off the album. The vocals are wonderful and just something about this is almost soul deep.

The Final Boss” really feels like a cheesy platform game tune gone cyberpunk. It’s fast and fun, brilliantly light yet bassy massive beats in this short piece.

Rolling seamlessly straight into “Panic“, the vocals puncture your ear membranes as they shred straight ahead, frantic with a reprieve at the end.

The dulcet and seductive tones of Børa in “Pray” lead into fast paced beat, that spirals and twists in an almost out of control fashion.

Bubbles” actually does sound like foamy spheres floating and eventually popping. A low electronic buzz in the bass ties down those light bubbles of sound.

The somewhat dirge start of “You Have To Be Alone” is a bit confusing until the cacophony of noise breaks through. And so we have lulls and crescendos of screaming synths as well as the human machine.

You might find “I Want To Find This Girl“, sweet and understated, almost ballad like. It is pieces like this that show a lot of depth.

Like a bad trip, the single, “Litzmannstadt” featuring Belmondo, wavers, like you are in and out of consciousness and there hints of Die Antwood. Belmondo is the rapper that embellishes this with his deep vocals and polish lyrics.

Imagine an 80’s electronic wonderland mixed with Ladytron and you have “Playground“. This is nearly hypnotic in the way it is written.

I Will Vomit Glitter” is a get your punk/industrial on extravaganza of a single. A fun upbeat track about literally vomiting glitter.

The song, “No Eyes” just explodes in a glorious wave of sound. It will suck you in with the tune and make you want to bounce.

Angelic vocals over soaring synths and hard bass is the style of “Stupid Smile“. Booming and echo filled visions of a smile that is left in the mind. You might think for a moment that something is wrong as the sound skips and wobbles like a tape being eaten by the deck but this is part of the experience.

Not sure if the vocals are Børa or Snufkin on “I Am Saint“, as they have been slowed right down to a deep rumble of a voice. And this is also the last number for xDZVONx and it leaves you wondering who that was.

There is nothing boring about this album. This is avant-garde, experimental expressionism in electronic art form. We hear Børa both sweet and harsh and Snufkin helps push the boundaries of electronic music as an extension of themselves. Every time I listen, I hear something new. This is Everything We Dreamt About from cool tunes to dance beats from xDZVØNx.

https://xdzvonx.bandcamp.com/album/everything-we-dreamt-about

https://m.facebook.com/xdzvonx

Neurobash are a two piece electronic/ industrial group from Sweden and in April, they released a new album, 2K2X.

On vocals and keyboards is EwanOberfunkKelley and on electronic wizardry is PatrikG-NomeNelson 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.

NEUROBASH

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 “The Night” 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.

NEUROBASH

Another single from the end of last year is “Solid State“. 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 “Solid State” 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.

https://neurobash.bandcamp.com/album/2k2x-special-edition

https://www.facebook.com/neurobash/

http://www.neurobash.com/

German composer and musician, Alexander Kling, just released his latest album, Love, which consists of nine song. You will find synth and piano lead music with soundscaping from his project, Dedalos.

This is the beginning and it starts with the “Ending“, a slow yet gradual building piece, with piano at the front and centre and synths giving depth. There is definitely the feeling of melancholy.

Why” is a soundscape that taps into the Massive Attack feels. A lonely expanse with whispered questions.

Third number is “Missing“. This is the loss of another or even a part of one’s self. A languid piece of realization that not all is right. There are musical outbursts along the way as the feeling builds. The buried vocals in the background lamenting ‘miss you so much‘.

Next is a bit of “Insanity“, a reflection of a mindset. The plodding rhythm of sadness settling into ones soul which then becomes the deafening noise that encapsulates all reason.

Darkness with bright areas is how I would describe “You“. There is such poignant bubbles of joy that slowly are eaten by the intruding dark fringes.

And so “Unbearable” follows. Low flowing and tidal with sound enveloping your senses. Nothing else but the feeling of being overwhelmed and that heartbeat rhythm.

Last” is like the slow waking and a movement towards the dawn. It pauses for an effective break as the music builds. It is not joyous nor does it feel relieved but rather purpose driven.

The completion of any relationship is the “Farewell“. This is release with emotions still attached and yet within you hear the freedom to launch forward and leave the shackles of mental torment.

The conclusion is “Love“. Reflective and careful but with hope of the future, this is the title track and the end of a journey.

This is very much dark ambient/synthwave instrumental music which is very much based on real life. Alexander Kling explained to me how the album came about after the breakdown of a relationship.

ALEXANDER KLING

I started with this album after the end of a relationship. But I started to recording this album with the burning pain. Sometimes I cried while recording, it is tear notes. You can feel the atmosphere, you can feel the pain, the depression and sometimes salvation and peace’.Dedalos

This is an instrumental journey through the heavy realization that not all loves last and that there is a beauty in that suffering, though painful non the less. This is despair, loss and revelation with Dedalos and his Love.

https://dedalosmusic.bandcamp.com/album/love

https://www.facebook.com/dedalosofficial/