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“.
October 30th was the release date for the debut album, Abyss by In Tenebris. Power noise extrodinaire, SebastianSünkler of Stahlschlag, is the driving force behind this project, out on the label, Crunch Pod.
And so into the inky Abyss we travel, with the lonely, echoing call of a raven to “Inferis“, otherwise known as the Underworld. This slow build of wind tunnel sound, rings with eerie chimes.
One of the scariest creatures is “Mandkind“. They consume everything, create war and destruction and continue on. A mixture of subtle power noise creeps into this unrelenting march, with possible gun shots and Sünkler’s distorted vocals.
An electrical impulse, that could be a message. It then stops, with the atmosphere becomes murky and oppressive. This is “Interception“, with graduating industrial bangs in the background.
“Hollow Hills” might emit whistles and groans, with an errant wind blowing through them. This feels bleak and forlorn, haunted by ghosts of the unfortunate, as the electronic chimes, twitters and knocks never seem to cease.
“Mandragora” is the drug form of mandrake and this starts off like a bad, tormented trip. The lone piano, followed by struck chords and hazy noise, make this feel other worldly and darkly unrealistic. Mental screeching and lost filaments of lucid thought, drifting away.
The wavering apparition of the “Phantasm” is a very constant electronic echo of things past, making their presence felt. This shadow is what has been and never will be again, reaching out to the living. The finish with heavy breathing makes you apprehensive.
The final track is, “Antinatal“. Maybe this is opposite of birth and a return to the aether, the limbo between life and non existence. This music is like a fog, seemingly feathery and yet heavy and unable to be penetrated by light.
This is very much an album of dark ambient style sound scapes with leanings towards the nightmare realms.
‘I started this side project because of a coincidence. Someone on instagram asked me if I could do a spooky soundtrack for one of his lost places videos. Well, in the end he didn’t like what I did for his video but because of that I discovered how much I enjoy to create dark soundscapes.’, Sünkler explained to me.
With a taste for these dramatic, brooding vistas, one can presume that this is not the last we have heard from In Tenebris and nor should it be. Have a listen to the creeping doom coming from the darkly, delightful Abyss.
Sebastian Sünkler is the man behind German, industrial, power noise act Stahlschlag and September has seen the release of his 6th studio album, Alive!.
Based in Hamburg, Stahlschlag have a reputation for experimental rhythmic and atmospheric noise and he does not disappoint on this album.
From the start of “Bitterness“, the production on this album is just beautiful. The synths are clear, the beats pound into your brain and there is that hint of static fizzling. The name for this track is almost an anomaly, as it is almost joyous.
The same cannot be said for “Hate“. Grating and metallic, mincing the powerful noise into one angry climaxing beast, broken with a soliloquy from young Arya of Game of Thrones fame, on the hate she feels.
Fabulous beats hail in the smooth synth sounds for “In Tension“. It is driven in its contrasts of heavy beats with delightful, lilting tunes hovering above it.
“Addiction” with its female moans has you wondering what this addiction might be. Could be sexual, chemical or maybe to do with the music as it screeches along on its merry way.
And low, like Thor hamering on iron girders, “Rage Of Fury” is just as the name implies. A whirling cacophony of industrial noise held together with yet more noise.
There is a world of painful electronic distortion in “Wohlstandstrotz” repeatedly slamming into your brain, only broken by voice clips, as it gathers itself together for another onslaught.
You can almost imagine yourself in a jungle with the crickets singing in the humid night air, as the natives beat their drums. This is “Madness” and it almost tastes different.
“Pan” continues the tribal feel but this is far more Germanic and foreboding. This is forceful and moves at a terrifying speed, like a freight train that will not stop for anything.
After the last track, “Disbanded” is almost, positively light… almost. The the keyboards lure you into a state of near bliss before the beats drag you further in.
“Shake ‘Em” is somewhat an interlude which isn’t fully noise but isn’t sitting still either. A rhythmic breather with psychedelic oddities.
Back to German efficiency with extreme power noise in “Whataboutism“. Again this is so god damn crunchy, that you can almost feel it grating your skin.
In “Sui generis“, there is a futuristic vibe as it is cleaner than any other number in the album and yet there is such a undertow of tension.
Any track called “Plague“, is going to be coming from a dark place and the ambience indeed feels grim. Again there are those wonderful static beats that stick out starkly to the ambient tune.
The concluding track is “Aufstand“, a crunchy rhythm piece. It feels tortured and wind swept, as it echoes into the metallic void. This is the uprising.
I am not the world authority on electronic/industrial noise but I know what I like and quite frankly this is a feast for the ears. Sünkler is quite the musician, sinking melodies into distortion and noisy rhythmic sound scapes.
Alive! is tribal in a way, as the music is very motivated by Sünkler’s high energy rhythmic input. You can hear two of the bands that heavily influenced Sebastian, in his musical endeavours, those being XOTOX and NOISUF-X.
Released on Crunch Pod, I can do nothing else but highly recommend that if you have any interest in industrial music, you must check out Alive! for an intelligent and superbly crafted album that might just make you see noise in a whole different way. For the converted, you are going to seriously enjoy this Stahlschlag gem plus he’s a seriously great guy. Get Alive!
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.
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.
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, RichardRussell, 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.
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.
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.
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 DieAntwood. 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.
Neurobash are a two piece electronic/ industrial group from Sweden and in April, they released a new album, 2K2X.
On vocals and keyboards is Ewan “Oberfunk” Kelley and on electronic wizardry is Patrik “G-Nome” Nelson 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.
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 “TheNight” 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.
Another single from the end of last year is “SolidState“. 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 “SolidState” 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.
Zwaremachine are from Minneapolis and on the 20th of May , will release their latest EP, Ripping At The Fabric. Over the years, they have become a three piece with original member, singer/synths and writer, Mach Fox at the helm, D–bot on bass/vocals and Dein Offizer creating the rhythm on drums/percussion. They describe their sound as ‘minimal, hypnotic, industrial bodymusic‘.
This is also one of the first releases on the new label, Brutal Resonance Records and if that name sounds familiar, it might be as it is the same group that have been responsible for the long running music Zine of the name.
Mach Fox is a rather interesting fellow who has been heavily involved in the industrial scene since the 90’s and has a healthy respect for Gary Numan and John Foxx.
Can you “Resist” the 80’s feel of the first song on the EP? This pays homage to Skinny Puppy in its vicious simplicity. The synths are understated and this makes it feel even more in your face.
Time to feel the groove flowing through you with a “New Design“, guaranteed to get your body moving. The beat is like something from old Front 242 as it angrily stomps into your head.
The first single off this EP is also the title track, “Ripping At The Fabric“. It sort of reminds me a little of those science fiction movies with the electronic soundtracks except this is more full on blunt force trauma. Fox growls that this is not the beginning of the end and we certainly hope not. There is no surrender!!
The assault to your ears doesn’t stop there. “International Hero” belts you over the head. This is like electronic overload with distortion and delightful synth tones which keeps making me thinking back to Ministry’s “Stigmata“.
Last track is “What We Are” and is feels fresh and fast, with a high energy rhythm. This is a great number that really shows Mach’s writing ability, even though he’s snarling lyrics, the music in the background is almost ethereal in its delicacy.
The energy is aggressive and definitely punchy throughout the whole EP. It is hypnotic and will suck you in. I hear so much of the timeless, classical industrial sounds with Zwaremachine, who are smashing their own apocalyptic, minimalistic, agrotech noise into the mix, doing exactly what makes industrial music so interesting…. experimenting with whatever gets a great a sound.
Zwaremachine’sRipping At The Fabric isn’t re-inventing the wheel but rather, taking said wheel running you down with it and you’ll enjoy every bone crunching moment of it.
January the third was the release date of the album, LeDésertRouge, which is a combined effort from experimental, ambient, electronic musicans, PoetryOf Thorns of Mexico and I, Eternal of France.
There are four tracks on the album with the first three composed by Poetry OfThorns using sounds given to them by I, Eternal and vice versa for the last number.
“La Porte de Sortie” translates the The Exit Gate. This short piece is metallic and almost oppressive as it reveberates with its own self made rhythm. It is eerie in the insistence as if the Gate leads to some eternal doom.
“Ces pensėes pyromanes” literally is These Arsonist Pens and again there is that hollow presence of ghostly design. This is delicate and almost other worldy with a french girl speaking a little in the back ground. Maybe the title eludes to how words can inflame hearts and minds.
“Echos intersections et Aubes” or Echoes intersections and Dawns reminds me of a radio trying to find the channel but not quite catching the signal. Dawn with seagulls wheeling in the grey early morning skies as they mournfully cry to each other, dropping from one wind draft only to be lifted by another, in the meeting of stale dark and new light.
This blood-colored desert or “Ce dėsert couleur de sang” is the fourth and final track. This is noise building on noise but slowly and purposely, as you hear from within the distant storm odd snippets and echos. Like a sand filled, unbearably hot desert, it is relentless and has a life of its own and a near audible heartbeat. This experimental piece goes for a whopping twenty five minutes and twenty six seconds and has an almost trance like quality.
PoetryOfThorns‘ last album was produced by none other than goth – industrial legend, MartinBowes of Attrition, which means they have quite a bit street credability. Both these acts really seem to enjoy the collaboration and have a great respect for the other, it shows or rather it can be heard in the care they have taken.
This is what experimental music is all about, pushing boundries and artists encouraging each other to go one better. If noise and experimental industrial music on an ambient plane is your thing or whets your curiosity, please check out Poetry Of Thorns/I, Eternal with LeDésertRouge.
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.
For those uninitiated, Neon Insect is the personal industrial project of German based musician, Nils Sinatsch. He has been at this from a fairly young age and is a rather accomplished fellow. This year sees the release of his album,New Moscow Underground.
Thanks Nils for the Cyrillic text of the opening piece, “.До свидания!“, aka “Goodbye!”. Unless you can read Russian, this will be lost on you but the intro greets you with national drunken fervour and the sounds of maybe someone being tortured and gunfire……..
“Fist, Hit, Cracking Bones” however really packs a nice punch, if you can forgive the pun with this first single. Featuring KVMILLA on vocal backup, complimenting Nils‘ deeper tones, highlighting the darkness. There is very little information on this lady other than she lives in Sweden, has a YouTube channel and likes to cook.
‘If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever…..’ is a hard to forget quote from George Orwell and the start to “This Is Our City”. A build up of sound apon a constant beat, only to broken by the unearthly vocals. Defiance in the face of the ever tightening grip of authority.
Like an ode to Blade Runner, “Dear Cyborg” featuring NURS, starts in the rain with low menace as the tempo builds in an ever growing electronic screeching/squealing of song. This slightly experimental mash of sounds has New Yorker, NURS who is known for her industrial/post industrial/experimental noise.
The beginning of “Mazerunner” featuring Earl Squanchy (the next door neighbour who just happens to be a rapper), just really hits me as a reminder of Fields Of The Nephilim. A slower track with it’s desolate, wind swept feel, plodding along to meet whatever is left of humanity. Slightly discordant with that old saloon piano at the end.
Long Live The Queen or “L.L.T.Q.” is dark heavy stuff and previously features on the album Glitches. Featuring Claus Larsen of Leæther Strip and this time around wonderfully remixed by Slighter, this has hints of that beat made famous by The Prodigy in “Firestarter”, punctuating this number once it takes off from a sludgy beginning. Static and noise crest to a nearly unbearable level, until it drops, only to clean you up in the follow through. Having Claus Larsen singing on your track is the industrial equivalent to having the Queen of England as your personal Facebook friend.
“h4CX” has my imagination thinking it sounds like the synapses going off in the brain, this is the joy of brilliant beats with light electronic tones. It feels like a journey at light speed. There is something almost delicate about this, which I can’t quite put my finger in and its over it seems so quickly, even though it goes for almost four and a half minutes.
Second single off the album is “It’s Gotta Be Me”. This is actually a really funky number with a super infectious chorus. Very electronic and yet it just seems so smooth. Vocally this is suitably low and growly, just what the doctor ordered. Definitely nothing wrong with this song what-so-ever.
“Downtown Network” featuring New Moscow Exile Ensemble is great piece of music and it is a mixture of noise and feedback with classical instrumentation woven into the fabric. There is a most ambient air to this.
Slow and oppressive is how “Blossom” feels. Heavy like the steel in Sinatsch‘s voice for such a light title of a flower. The female voice is what gives this piece shards of light filtering in the dark folds. And so end this journey.
There is an audio drama at the end which has talented voice actors helping to tell this tale.
An Orwellian vision of the future or a dystopic view of current life? You are going to have to decide this. But while you ponder this question, you can revel in the music Neon Insect has offered up which is so very varied and rich in it’s textures. It is like looking though a fractured lens with dark hues and lengthening shadows.
This is the third album under the name of Neon Insect, however Sinatsch is a seasoned artist with many more projects under his belt as well as being a sound engineer.
We hope this is a successful venture leading to more albums. So if ruination, Orwell, cybernetics and visions in noise are your thing, then you better get this album now!!
Please note that you can order the CD on September the 15th and the Cassette on August the 30th through Bandcamp.