James Lees’ project, Ghostwoods, began in the Covid lockdowns of 2020, gaining members and releasing an EP. Based just outside of Brisbane, Ghostwoods is back with a new single, “Terminal Bliss” and with the rather exciting news, that they have been signed to the label 4000 Records. Lees provides drums, Mark Angel on electric guitar, Karl O’Shea on bass, Andrew Garton & Andrew Saragossi sharing the duties with saxophone/clarinet/flute and James Halloran & Rohan Seekers tickling the keys/synths.

Photo by Sam Scoufos

There is a finality to “Terminal Bliss“…. it could be slow and steady beats or the saxophone that wails its discontent with the world. The guitar strums its way gently through the demonstrative sax, courting the piano along the way, wending until its ultimate demise.

In contrast, “Brighter Soon” is a more ethereal affair, creeping beautiful darkness, echoing in pulsating loops of electronics that caress your ears, luring you into another plane of existence. The piano hypnotically runs up and down, keeping you rooted in the here and now.

Dark electronics, fused with jazz sensibilities, makes up “Terminal Bliss“, while “Brighter Soon” is a sophisticated track, that catches you off guard with a certain degree of crystal clarity. As always, Ghostwoods paints emotion filled pictures without words or boundaries. The best bit is that in the new year, a new album should be ready.

https://ghostwoodsau.bandcamp.com/

https://4000records.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ghostwoodsmusic

https://www.facebook.com/fourthousand

I’ll be the first to admit…. I am not a gamer. The PS4 is there to confuse me but I have heard of Call Of Duty. Prototype KB is a French experimental electronic project for Khalil Boughali, whom has sampled this video game, fusing it with ambient electronics. The EP is called Warzone and has three tracks.

Warzone I” has the obligatory bursts of automatic gunfire, the gasps of the dying and chatter of command. It almost surreal in comparison to the transcendental soundtrack meandering below. The muffled sounds of pounding shells welcomes you to the interim, “Gulag“. Sirens and mass destruction return to greet you in “Warzone II“. More rapid fire, cocking of weapons, which ends with the beating of chopper propeller blades and fading into silence.

I could see this being popular with RPG table top miniature wargamers or people that love the Call Of Duty franchise as it would bring back fond memories. I was so fixated on the music, the sounds of war eventually no longer registered (trust me, it is a talent learnt over the years). Truthfully, this is not for me but for hardcore gamers, I can see the appeal in Warzone.

Warzone | Prototype KB (bandcamp.com)

Khalil Boughali (@khalil.boughali) • Instagram photos and videos

HXGNL Sounds is where the single “Saturn” was recorded in Barcelona, by 6ymo. Is it is single? It goes for over 17 minutes but there is only the one track, but this is an album. So, with that in mind we should delve into space and see what this track, released on the 2nd of September, has to offer.

This is an electronic, instrumental, noise track and the beginning loops and pulsates like a cosmic life force. As you travel, there is monumental interference that reverberates and clashes, swooping the flight. This is the music representation of the heart beats of the solar system, solar winds and things we have yet to experience.

Juan Pablo Egúsquiza is 6ymo and he has created this opus experimenting with both analog machines, effects pedals and electronic instruments. The more you listen, the more immersed you become in his world of “Saturn“.

Saturn | 6ymo | HXGNL Sounds (bandcamp.com)

HXGNL Sounds | Facebook

@6_y_m_o • Instagram photos and videos

Machina ad Noctem are a fairly new label and their area of expertise lay in electronic music. With this in mind, as of the 11th of July, their first release ever, was in the form of a compilation, titled Dreams Out Of Joint: A Tribute To Philip K. Dick, Yes, this is 26 tracks, inspired by the science fiction genius of Philip K. Dick, who penned many classics including Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, which of course became the movie Bladerunner, that has been a huge catalyst of inspiration for many electronic/industrial musicians. Of special note is the fact that the first half is dedicated to Dick’s short stories and the second to the novels.

With so many tracks, we thought maybe we could give you a taste of this. Edge of Decipher with their track “Frolix 8“, is a cyber journey through realms of space and light, mysterious and a constantly evolving adventure or Chrono 87 doing “2 Weeks On Mars“, light, delicate and with changing rhythm signatures. There is “A.M.O.D” by beepeater with tis tortured experimental electronics, Ran Kirlian unveiling the ambient track “Time Out Of Joint” which is like the final cooling death of a star or ∑V∑RYTHING with “Ubik Opening Credits” that has a wonderful soundtrack feel to it that suddenly falters in the middle to then pick itself up again.

There are tracks that play for nearly thirty minutes, tracks with beeps and whistles to give you the impression aliens are trying to communicate and other tracks with music so quiet, nearly imperceptible at first until you start to really listen. Soundscapes and beats and everything in between. If you enjoy experimental ambient music or just love old fashion sci fi movies to the more modern, then I think Dreams Out Of Joint might just feed your imagination. The beauty is not always human and we dream of Philip K. Dick.

D reams Out of Joint: A Tribute to Philip K. Dick | Machina ad Noctem | machina ad noctem (bandcamp.com)

Edge Of Decipher (@edgeofdecipher) / Twitter

May saw the release of French darkwave project, SPIRYT, with the album BLOOD TWINS. jluc Courchet has joined forces, yet again, with US vocalist Kimberly Bow Ever Down to create an experimental project spanning across two continents.

There is a blurring of reality and fantasy throughout the whole album, such as the track “In Cold Blood” and the imagining of shooting another down in their dreams. Experimentation with time signatures, which create an on edge mood, along with the unorthodox arrangements, while there are discordant notes that right themselves.

A definite industrial element creeps in with the clashing and bristling electronics, grating and pointy. You still have ballads, such as “V“, though these are more about surviving another’s love that tried to crush them. It might sound a little odd but I hear a lot of another band, from the 90s, in Kimberly’s vocals and the music. Inkubus Sukkubus lingered in the back of my mind as I listened. SPIRYT’sBLOOD TWINS” might not be witchy but there are just as many elements that make your toes curl in a most delightful way.

BLOOD TWINS | jluc Courchet aka SPIRYT | jluc courchet (bandcamp.com)

The Spiryt page | Facebook

Bow Ever Down 0fficial | Facebook

July the 28th saw the release of the EP, Ad Aeternam Damnationem, by the Italian band Horologic Mime. This is an independent release for the group and their second EP, describing their instrumental style as experimental industrial metal.

Metal infused with off kilter electronics, seemingly wanting to consume you alive in “Excessive Fat Accumulation“. This leads into “Acufene Scolopendra” that has a winding purpose, with those chiming synths, belied by angry guitar, laying below, ready to pounce, pushing and prodding onward. Crunching industrial metal invades your ears, as we are taken on the great circus ride that is “Bird Up“. It lurches and tumbles into chaos, broken and looking for resurrection, slowly rising like a ghoul from a grave to haunt you.

Horologic Mime seek to use their experimental style to create soundscape worlds with the noise they pull from their instruments, mixing delicate bell like synths to aggressive metal guitar and changing rhythms. With this in mind, I remind people that this is experimental and you approach this style without expectations and just bathe in what the musicians are inviting you into.

Ad Aeternam Damnationem | Horologic Mime (bandcamp.com)

instagram.com/horologicmime

Portland’s Xibling (Sibling) are a synth lead duo on the experimental edge and on March the 1st, the label Young And Cold Records, combined two previously released EP’s, Yesbody and Maladjusted onto one vinyl. Moriah West and Julian Thieme have so far released four original EPs, plus other livestream material.

Hello Stranger” exudes the enthusiasm that this band seems to be all about with a rhythm that thrusts you forwards, glitching with the howling vocals replicating a wolfs’s call. The single, “Butterfly Curbstomp” is a brutal space oddity of having your teeth kicked in, with an strangely B52’s feel while “Fold” could have come from the early 80s with its manic robotic intent. To be a model, you might have to be made of “Plasticine” to keep your looks and figure, which is exactly about what this song is about, sung with such passion. “Schadenfreude” or the pleasure gained by someone else’s failure, the male German style vocals in staccato, all over this piece and this mixes so well into “Maladjusted“, with the rap inspired spoken word that melt into beautiful, silken tendrils of singing and who can say no to lyrics like a maladjusted little shit, dropping the bass. There is a slow burn to”Slow Fold“, as it curls around you, fingers digging into your throat.

Butterfly Curbstomp IV” is possibility what it is like to be on speed in a formula one vehicle, an insane ride for a remix. The darker allure of fetish and sexual angst is “Latex Gloves“, which is going to stalk you with those commanding beats, though this all hits the brick wall in “Vine“, with the echoing, glossy attitude. The bleeps and electronic distortion vie with the vocals for control with “Contract“, while “Puppet” has an air to it like the Siouxsie/Budgie project, Creatures, especially vocally. There is this beautiful synth line that runs through “Reflection” and though the lyrics are not a happy affair but the music itself whirls around you. The last track is one of the title tracks “Yesbody” and it had an amazing vibrancy and a pop like perfection.

Bloody marvelous and such a fun collection of tracks. I love how they manage to pull so many different sounds out of their electronic equipment and it is all about the passion behind the music. You can hear the enjoyment Xibling exude when they play and while they might play electronic music, but they really have a very punk attitude behind it all.

Yesbody / Maladjusted Split LP from Young and Cold Records | Xibling (bandcamp.com)

Xibling | Facebook

Young & Cold Records | Facebook

We like a bit of the voodoo music, so when I crossed paths with Voodoo Drummer, I thought….ooohhhh. There is the new single “Set The Controls (Pink Floyd in 7/8 Greek Rhythm)” and yes this is a kind of cover version of the Pink Floyd classic, “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun“, off their 1968 album, A Saucerful Of Secrets. Now I do say kind off because they have recorded it in a tradition Greek rhythm of 7/8, instead of 4/4 and at the end you get to hear the “Milo mou kokkino” from which the tempo comes. Within all this, they have mixed in John Coltrane’s track, “A Love Supreme”, which is from the album of the same name and possibly one of the most influential and important jazz releases ever.

BUT WAIT! There is the added bonus of not only a Voodoo Drummer playing drums, tubular bells & percussion but also Stavros Parginos on cello, Tasos Papapanos on bass and it features Adrian Stout, of The Tiger Lillies, on musical saw. Yes you read it. MUSICAL SAW. Life is good! The saw makes those wonderful eerily haunting sounds, cello and bass give a hefty weight, pinning the saw down so it doesn’t fly away. The drums and percussion guide you through and it amazing to listen to such a fascinating version. There seems to be only the YouTube version to listen to this project but if you like quirky covers with strong musicianship, then I highly recommend you check out Voodoo Drummer.

Voodoo Drummer | Facebook

http://www.instagram.com/voodoo_drummer/

Have you experienced High Castle Teleorkestra yet? If not then let me draw your attention to a good time. Signed to Art As Catharsis records, with members flung across the globe, who have been involved in many bands like Farmers Market, Mr Bungle and Estradasphere, and they are about to fling apon the world their new album, The Egg That Never Opened, on June the 17th. So, to whet one’s appetite for the onslaught, here is their first video single, “Mutual Hazard“.

There are classical overtones that rapidly breakdown into a cacophony of metal fused with amazing traditional folk music and drumming that only enhances this brilliant piece. And if that is not enough, there is also the wonderful satire video, as it incorporates the televisual component of the band, while the music spirals in it’s dervish whirlings. High Castle Teleorkestra, utterly bonkers and loving it.

Mutual Hazard | High Castle Teleorkestra (bandcamp.com)

High Castle Teleorkestra

High Castle Teleorkestra | Facebook

Art As Catharsis | Facebook

What do you do when you are handed a release from a project called =^._.^= ? You damn well listen to that sucker!! This is the EP, D3M0N5, from Seattle’s =^._.^= (pronounced catface), which was dropped on May the 5th. Don’t know anything about this project other than they wrote and recorded this between 2018 – 2022 and, I quote… ‘Under the influence of Alec Empire, Richard D. James and Trent Reznor‘.

The first thing you get is “SP!T“, which is the screaming of electronic alarms in a trap stew. The glitching of the languid “Bl4cK P4nth3R“, as it stalks you to your untimely squeaking end with all those lovely fuzzy notes. “y o w l” is a sassy little track with a nice little heavy bass beat and it out on the prowl.


Through all the feedback you can hear the synths lurking and biding their time in “H3llc4T“. The fuzzing tones leasing into a faster rhythm, leaving you wondering if the hellcat might suddenly spring. Swirling electronic glitches bring a little drum’n’bass to the party in the deceptively heavy “TH3 R!S3N“. The zombies are coming to get you and may the heavens help you if they are zombie cats. The asthmatic wheeze of “p u r r” pervades your senses with tortured digital sounds that wind down to dead silence.

=^._.^= are doing some pretty funky, experimental trap and industrial noise. It is fairly easy to listen to and actually rather fun because you are trying to discern if there are cat noises or slinky, shifty hisses. More to the point…..IT’S A KITTY and that was enough to hook me in. The Onyx cats completely agree with me that you need to go check out the Bandcamp page, which is name your price! Meow.

D3M0N5 | =^._.^= (bandcamp.com)

CatFace | Facebook