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.
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.
The latest single from Italian duo, Kill Your Boyfriend came out the end of 2019, called “Elizabeth” on Depths Records and the label is based in London. This is the appetizer before they release their new album this year.
An anguished, noise filled introduction reminiscent vocally of Kirk Brandon (Theatre Of Tragedy and Spear Of Destiny) with the intensity of Andy McElligott (Sex Gang Children), asking ‘why are you here?‘. This is experimental noise with a shoegaze twist. Heavy beats and grating industrial screeching as “Elizabeth” undulates and graduates until the last prolonged note heralds the end.
Almost three and a half minutes of song and yet it pulls you in and spits you out, like hardly any time had passed at all. Plus there is a remix of “Elizabeth” for your listening pleasure. If you enjoy your industrial noise then there is no doubt you will get into Kill Your Boyfriend and if you haven’t heard of these guys before, then this could be the gateway drug that sucks you in.
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.
July saw the release of the concept album, “AloneInTheNetwork” by αOri and Yaka–anima. JulianA Lacroix’s experimental project is αOri, composing dark ambient/electronic pieces. Yaka–anima is SábilaOrbe from Chile who is also the programmer for his other experimental music project, the duo, Humanfobia.
“Alone In The Network” is of course the title track and starts the album off ominously with its slow beat and a female, who sounds like she is in a clinical void, talking over the top.
The electronic journey continues with “Blue Lights” with its fusion of regular synth with experimental bleeps and keeps an interesting rhythm.
Now you can feel the futuristic adventure taking on form and speeding up. “StretchedPlain” is aloof and imperious. What is that woman telling us? This is a foreboding shadow.
We have entered the Twilight Zone. “LyricalPain” is light yet creepy. Trapped neither here nor there which leads into “GlitchedPain” which features Wildsilences. Imagine hearing breathing that is not breathing. The whispered acknowledgment of the disembodied voice of a tortured soul.
Track six is “RoseAltitude” and an electronic sound scape. A computerized heartbeat of a ghost of an organ reaches out without reply.
All computer data is essentially zeros and ones and maybe it is kept in the “NumericCrypt“. I love the glitching, chirping sounds over the ambient music, as it just adds a new element.
“MoireHormones“ is the kind of track that makes you feel a little on edge with its inconsistent tones and rhythm.
The wondrous “Cybernetic Owl” breaks up the moody pall with its strange yet charming ethereal quality, indeed almost Zen like but finishing in noise.
Everyone knows these days about the Matrix, the centre of the computer mind and now “Archons In The Matrix”. This delicately reminds me also of the music in Akira.
Does artificial intelligence fear passing away and no longer existing on any plane? “Electronic N.D.E.” or electronic near death experience might be the equivalent of leaving the physical and going towards the light. But it isn’t time to go and return is inevitable to the last track, “Level 0“, the shortest and most loneliest of the tracks. It calls out to the world.
If you haven’t guessed now, the album is based on the Japanese manga/anime GhostIn The Machine, which looked at a future where a human’s conscience could be downloaded to a computer but with that came with all sorts of other issues including the knowledge of no longer being a human who could physically love because in the machine, it is cold and lonely.
Ghost In The Machine was also a huge influence on the movies of The Matrix, a futuristic society anchored to a programmer’s code.
You can both see and hear the Japanese influence on both the art and the music. This album is thoughtful and thought provoking as it digitally creates you a picture.
The album was released on Cian Orbe Netlabel and the artists, αOriandYaka–anima are offering it to you for free. Sometimes good things can be free.
Brisbane is not synonymous with the industrial/gothic music world and yet acts have spawned from this Australian city, of which one of the latest is FailedAssimilation.
This five piece postindustrial band had been working up to their debut album and have brought us the single “Wolves“.
Vocalist, JohnGreen aka JohnnyDaeus, wants to beseech you and drag you into the lyrics of love, hate and the void between. A winding whirlpool of a destructive relationship that is bringing out the worst personality traits from the darkest recesses of a human’s brain.
The rhythm section is held in good stead by Luke “Siebz” Siebenhausen on bass, powering through with CameronDodds bringing the heavy guitar work that pushes this number along, building and making it feel like an out of control rollercoaster.
This is all held together by the electronic wizardry of Jethro “Jay” Hilliard on synths and programming.
There are four remixed versions of “Wolves“, done by various artists. The first by the American-Australian hybrid group, 11Grams, followed by DominationKorporation (which is actually Siebz but we won’t tell if you don’t) followed by Brisbane’s DirtFactory and Sydney’s Z-Cluster. All are so very different in their interpretation and yet they all work.
Throw in a cover of NadaSurf’s “Popular” and two other original songs to round off this release.
I first remember seeing Failed Assimilation live as support for Amelia Arsenic and Snvff in 2016 and since then, have seen them perform in other venues as well as heard them first grace the airways on Dark Essence Radio.
This is a tight single to release and I encourage those who like the industrial genre to have a listen especially with all those tasty, talented remixes. Let’s see what the future holds for this wolf pack.
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.
Sci-Fi Society is the latest release from German act Dedalos, whose home town is Saarlouis.
Rev up the synth as we start with the title track,“Sci-Fi Society”. This transcendental piece is techno inspired with piano interludes and electronic graduations. it really does have an ultra modern feel to it and could be set to a futuristic utopia.
“Eyes” is quiet frankly very creepy. A dead beat with a deep voice droning over the top about ‘beautiful eyes’ as you listen to the lament of this disturbing fellow. An expression of love or a regret of what never was?
Grim electronic tones bring in “Darkness”. This is a sombre synth piece with generous swells in tone and texture as it builds a soundscape. Then best I can describe it is like being in a car at night. It is dark and yet you see the flashes of light from the street lights and other vehicles illuminating you unexpectedly.
Dedalos is more of a spoken word artist, over the music like a modern-day beat poet. “We Are Ice” is about holding onto your humanity, that we need to feel and not becoming frozen inside.
“Parted” sounds grandiose and yes, a little sad and retrospective. The feeling something has been lost and the search goes on to find whatever it is, emotions or people. This guides you on your journey.
“Dedalos x ElektroTerapi”isn’t the name of the song but I am not familiar with the Russian cyrillic. ElektroTerapi is a singer and she lends her vocals to this number in Russian. Woohoo, I understood the word Vodka! This song goes through burst of energy and quiet moments with the building emotions. She has a sweet voice.
This is another synth piece called “Desire” with again no vocal intervention, as it builds your anticipation and you feel the joy the musician does for the music itself, Next the keyboard leads you to “Water”where you feel the music pulling you under, as it ebbs and flows
“Dance At Midnight” is a return to the techno beat and I almost think I am listening to Swedish electronic aficionados, Covenant. A nice constant wubbing beat with a good amount of programming.
The final number is “Lifetime” and this is the longest track on the album, coming in at 8 minutes flat. It is reflective and soft and yet shimmers in it’s own way. There is a play with discordant tones which in no way detracts from the sound of the piece.
This is very much really an instrumental album with a few vocals added to bring balance and interest. Dedalos obviously enjoys music that not only moves him but makes him move. Dance beats are never far away from many of these but they are far more ambient than hard-core techno. If I had to say anything at all about this album, it would be that this is like a journey, where you are being taken through the emotions that connect us as living beings.
From the online music publisher, Ton Doigt Dans Mon Cul Netlabel comes the artist La Flore Intestinale, whom recently released Onani: Ambient Works Volume One.
La Flore Intestinale is the nom de plume for the female mind and noise artist, Florence, behind this experimental, avant-garde music, who is based in Saguenay, Quebec.
“Apres Le Guerre Lorsqu’il Ne Reste Que Les Morts” literally means ‘After the war when only the dead are left’. A haunting, wavering electronic noise breaking with distortion greets your ears. You can almost image a far off war being waged in the distance getting louder as the mortars go off, as it closes in on you, only to fade out.
Is it industrial knocking of a machine in constant motion? Getting gradually louder with a near imperceptible buzzing drone above it all that eventually takes centre stage. This is “Blank Keurig Space Tape”.
The science fiction effect of “Tentaculas” is a temporary interlude before “Satic Black Tits”. Like a radio in a Faraday cage, the voices cut in and out as the static takes over the airways, creating its own morse code calling out to the world.
Beautiful chords strike out for “Melissa, The Professor’s Daughter”. This is relaxing and floats with lightweight synth, lulling you into a sense that all is in equilibrium. It gently charms your ears into another realm.
Ton Doigt Dans Mon Cul Netlabel puts all of its music online for free download, so what is stopping you from checking out La Flore Intestinale? Absolutely nothing, so enjoy the electronic soundscapes today!
Adam Majdecki-Janicki is an artist from Darlowo, Poland, who creates ambient/experimental industrial music and he has a new album out on Bandcamp calledNext Bardo.
Distortion, static and grinding/high-pitched squealing industrial is the basis of “Work, Consume, Die, Become Cremated”. A commentary of what daily life as an adult in the modern world is really like. A drudgery of endless monochrome, until the human machine fails and is no longer of use.
“The Flower Thief” is an ethereal floating experience. The almost sound of bells tolling in a strange ambient world that feels not quite in focus and drifting. What could be strings can be heard in the distance, trying to call your attention.
A slight 1950’s science fiction feel mixed with Hammer Horror style pipe organ music heralds “Melancholy Baby Dies from an Overdose of Time”. Dark gothic overtones with a pounding beat that never slows or stops but just when you are used to that beat, it disappears into the dirge, though later reprised without its former strength..
“A Thunder of Eternal Music” is like a hypnotic drone trying to lull you. The drum machine keeps time while the distortion wends it way into your brain. Most definitely almost tribal and ancient, a calling to our primitive past.
It has the avant-garde feel of Cabaret Voltaire. Being experimental means that in the end, everything is up for interpretation and reinterpretation, so what you perceive this time may not be the same on a second listen. So get a bit old school dark/ambient/electro.