Alexander Leonard Donat... teacher, marathon runner, musician, man behind the label Blackjack Illuminist Records, co-conspirator for several musical acts, driving force behind his own project Vlimmer and very possibly a crime fighter by night (just saying Vlimmer man has a certain ring to it!). November saw Vlimmer’s second, full length album, Menschenleere, enter the watery light of day.

The first tastes of forbidden fruit came our way in the form of the two singles, the rhythm filled darkwave tendrils of “Erdgeruch” and the wondrously 80s inspired eccentricity of “Kronzeuge“. There are such gems hidden within, such as “Mathematik” with its giddy synths that remind me so much of the electronic trailblazer, John Foxx, even more so for the fact his backing band were The Maths.

Noposition” has a magical trance like quality within its warm embracing beats, while “Schwimmhand” leaves you not only amazed by the sheer brilliance but also experiencing tingles through your extremities. Even the title track has an ancient feel, whilst playing with time signatures. “Menschenleere” is vast and echoing in the chamber of what might not be a pained reality.

Yes you can dance to Vlimmer, but for me, there is something akin to multiple storylines. Each track is crafted just so, this one with a more science fiction vibe, another with more sombre tones and yet another with a spinning glorious shoegaze vision. All held together by Donat’s vocals, be they happy, sad or even imploring.

Vlimmer is the centre of this world he has created, and has the knack of spinning his musical tales that capture us up into this web of darkwave delights. Even better is the fact that Alexander touches back to the styles that have influenced him but he never let’s them consume him, rather experimenting to create tracks that encapsulate his music journey. Beautiful, fragile and ashened songs to drink, dance to, and watch the moon…Menschenleere (Deserted)

https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/menschenleere

https://www.facebook.com/VlimmerMusic?mibextid=ZbWKwL

https://www.facebook.com/Blackjack.Illuminist/?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Well, if you are going to do Christmas music then may you Have Yourself A Noisy Little Christmas care of STAHLSCHLAG. Sometimes I think German, Sebastian Sünkler is half man, half machine, the way he puts out music and tapping that vein of cybernetics, the noise master has graced us with an EP of Christmas covers.

Honestly, you really haven’t lived until you have heard a rhythmic noise version of “Jingle Bells“, which does seem to be a firm favourite with people, as Sünkler ramps up a screaming sleigh ride to get the heart pumping, in a most delightful way, hey! For me, however, my interest lay with the rendition of “Carol Of The Bells“, which is a beautiful track, even if it is a Christmas tradition and one can appreciate the intricacies of its splendour. Could Sünkler really pull this off? Let’s just say that I was not disappointed. Like razor edged snowflakes, perfect in their icy glory, both beautiful and full of cold fury.

There are also covers of “White Christmas” (no Bing Crosby in the mix), “Frosty The Snowman” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town“. If you don’t particularly like the Chrimbo music but want to kind of participate, then this is perfect. Christmas cyber party…. then you can’t go past STAHLSCHLAG’s, Have Yourself A Noisy Little Christmas.

https://stahlschlag.bandcamp.com/album/have-yourself-a-noisy-little-christmas

https://www.facebook.com/STAHLSCHLAG?mibextid=ZbWKwL

December is the time to catch Lunar Paths new single, “Shine“. The transatlantic darkwave duo are back after the launch of the EP, Fuse.

There is a crunchy, broken glass like texture in the rhythm at times from the electronics. The vocals are beautifully clean and clipped, holding your attention, until they drift into another dimension, sliding you with them.

Currently, I cannot put my finger on what exactly but this track reminds me a lot of Siouxsie And The Banshees, around the time of A Kiss In The Dreamhouse (1982). Lush, charismatic and experimental might be some of the reason why. The way they have distorted the rhythm, giving it a modern industrial feel, mixed with the gorgeous singing. “Shine” is possibly my favourite Lunar Paths’ track to date yet.

http://www.lunarpaths.com

https://m.facebook.com/LunarPathsMusic/

November 21st saw the Norwegian’s Dødsmaskin, release their sixth full length out on the ant-zen label. Based on the master and slave morality theory of Friedrich Nietzsche, the album is divided into two parts to represent both sides.

Have you ever started to listen to an album and had to instantly stop doing anything else, stunned into silence? Rare occurrence, but I found myself slightly slack jawed as I played the first 30 seconds to “Trusselbilde“, suddenly turning off the music thinking, ‘I must play this when I am alone, so I can turn it up as loud as I want!‘.

Okay, almost every track has a Norwegian title, but I don’t see the point of looking up the meanings, as the music will speak for itself and it most definitely does. “Trusselbilde” is the single and it is brutal. Super heavy rhythmic noise and yet there are these points of synth lightness where you can ‘breath’. It doesn’t seem possible and yet the noise grows and consumes, until it’s abrupt end. The sludgy “Døpt I Bensin, Renset Med Ild“, feels ancient and full of portent, while “Imperium” is on the move, ready to mow you down. There is the perceived horns of war, hammers of destruction and waves of domination.

This is just the first three tracks off the album and that quality is throughout the whole release. Dødsmaskin are known for their crunchy rhythmic noise, but this release seems heavier and even darker, intent on searing your nerves and probing your brain with a javelin. If harsh rhythmic noise is your thing, then you must listen to Dødsmaskin and experience their album,”herremoral | slavemoral“.

herremoral | slavemoral | Dødsmaskin | ant-zen (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/Dodsmaskinofficial?mibextid=ZbWKwL

https://www.facebook.com/antzen.official?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Soooo, fancy a bit of gloom with your goth? I may have the answer to your lachrymose prayers, in the shape of Sacramento duo, Venetian Veil and their EP, released on November the 11th, called The Lands Of The Living And The Dead, on the Dune Altar label. That title alone should have peaked your interest dare I say. The EP was recorded by Jim Willig in the Sinking Room between 2020-2021, and then mixed & mastered by Patrick Hills at Earth Tone Studios.

First we must be “Asleep In The Land Of The Living“. The guitar strums delicately over the droning noise, an electric guitar in sonic overload in the maudlin atmosphere. The shotgun drum machine rhythm and understated synths in “Quiver” really harken back for me to the early 80s. So simple and so effective, especially with the male vocals. There is something so utterly gentle about “The Lamb“. The soft, feminine vocals, the low and controlled bass belie a great sorrow and shame, for the blood of the Lamb was supposed to wash away the sins.

Awake In The Land Of The Dead” is the instrumental bridge and the mirror image to its sister, “Asleep In The Land Of The Living“, where now most is quiet but for the strumming guitar. “Treeline” offers perhaps the view point of a soul leaving it’s earthly bonds, heading for the void. Slow and thoughtful, with stirring vocals. The Cure like “Phantom“, tinkles with those sweet guitar notes and sweeping synth chords. The lyrics are not so much sad but almost an acceptance of something that can never be.

I hear the experimentation and in a way, it greatly reminds me of the early 80’s when The Cure created Faith, 17 Seconds and Pornography, albums that truly pulled you into their misty, Victorian era like, dark and tragic romanticism. Light the candles, a drink of what you please and settle down to the Venetian Veil, as they take you to The Lands Of The Living And The Dead.

The Lands of the Living and the Dead | Venetian Veil (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/venetianveil

http://venetianveil.com/

https://www.instagram.com/venetianveil

http://dunealtar.com/

http://facebook.com/dunealtar/

So time for another quickie. because here at Onyx, we know people love a quickie! British lads, Decommissioned Forests, have had their latest album given a polish over with a whole set of remixes. This is probably hence the title, Industry Remixes.

Most of the mixes have been done by members of the band, as Decommissioned Forests or under other project names such as Non-Bio (Howard Gardner), Raelism, History of Guns (Max Rael) and The Resonance Association (Daniel Vincent). Also they have been working on video releases for a few of these tracks, bringing life to the music visually. Duncan Perry (NNYz), Mox Salnikov and Dominic Hemy (The Resonance Association) are the guest artists that help round off the mixing duties.

I think “Spectral Kleptomania” was my favourite track before and now it just has this amazing whimsy on acid effect going on. “Triggers” gets four reworkings, from using heavy guitars, rhythmic noise, ambient tones to Remy’s disturbing but entrancing drone noise.

That is just me giving you a taste of what is in stall for you should you decide to take the plunge and delve these new depths. More to the point, there is nothing holding you back, so do it today. Immerse your ears with Decommissioned Forests’ Industry Remixes because there are a lot of jewels to be found.

Industry Remixes | Decommissioned Forests (bandcamp.com)

Decommissioned Forests | Facebook

Music | The Resonance Association (trahq.co.uk)

Music | Non-Bio (bandcamp.com)

Music | NNYz? (bandcamp.com)

Music | Misha MOX Salnikov and his projects. (bandcamp.com)

Trapped | Dominic Hemy (bandcamp.com)

In September, the latest Mach FoX album was released. Titled, VideoLogico, Mach FoX of Zwaremachine, is unleashing his vision of a cyber western world….Mad Max meets The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, shaken and poured into an industrial martini glass (which probably looks more like a beer stein). VideoLogico is the big baddie in this tech tale, out on the label Phage Tapes.

The networked links are exchanging data in “DigitalNations“. The electronics convey the movement of information in the modern era, the synths glide lightly with the backing of the rhythm, though this starts to waver. The single, “LowTech“, can be heard, phasing, glitching and yet serene, like the stranger on the horizon riding into a town. Does low tech refer to the analogue electronics or is the stranger a person who has been implanted with cybernetics? “MainFrame” suggests that the general public are logged into the hive mind of VideoLogico and the music is suppressed and mellow. It seems to wander and never settle, lest you find yourself able to think clearly.

They are being chased down by the “ModTracer” sent by VideoLogico to find the aberrations, those that have not succumbed to the system, There is a tenseness, the beats going in and out of rhythm and the machines scanning for the rebels, metallic and menacing. VideoLogico is trying to create absolute order and “No Design” would not fit into the ideal perfection. The music wavers from flipping around to a far more permanent sound.

Is “TheOne” the stranger, a cybernetically enhanced warrior of the wastelands? Cobbled together tech is keeping the survivors going, with the only solace, that when the power grid goes down each morning, they must regroup for the next round of battle. “VideoLogico” is the mastermind. Phasing in and out like an untuned radio, the sparks of being self aware from the artificial intelligence, taking off and asserting itself through brainwashing.

Of course, this is a storyline in my head, inspired by the music and the few words on the Bandcamp page about the story. It may or may not be correct but then this is only limited by your imagination. A lot of care has gone into the not only the creation and manipulation of the music but also the concept. I like to think of that stranger on his steel horse, riding into town to bring justice to those who need a person/totem to galvanise themselves behind. The industrial cyber western scene is set in Mach FoX’s VideoLogico.

VideoLogico | Mach FoX (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/machfoxband

Time for a quickie.. and honestly, who doesn’t like a bit of a quickie?! Recently, our hero, Sebastian Sünkler aka STAHLSCHLAG, has released the new, epic album, A Zone Of Silence. Soooo, what do you do from here? Where do you go?

Why, you throw open a remix project for musicians around the world to participate in, releasing it with 34 artists and calling it More Zones Of Silence. And what a collection it is, with a wide array of styles for one to choose from.

From more synthwave lead remixes, dark ambient, rhythmic noise, EBM, harsh noise, experimental and everything in between under the industrial banner are represented. MATT HART, Non-Bio, Blue Ant, MissSuicide, Mikrometrik, Sublimenal Stimuli and Dirty K are just some of the bands/projects whom have taken these tracks and twisted them to their will, creating their own monstrous machinations. Very worth of your listening time and then explore the other artists. Immerse yourself in More Zones Of Silence.

TERMINAL:
terminal-industrial.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/terminal_noise/
www.facebook.com/terminal.industrial/

Slichtnacht:
slichtnacht.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/slichtnacht
www.instagram.com/slichtnacht/

Cephy:
cephy.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/dacephy/

Marquee Steven_XL:
www.instagram.com/cpyist/
www.facebook.com/cpyist/
cpyist.com

Raudadler:
www.instagram.com/raudadler/
www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100073590882519

Sinergy[Cdio]:
www.facebook.com/SinergyCdio/
www.instagram.com/djbatty80/

Dirty K:
dirtyk.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/dirtykmusicuk/

Non-Bio:
non-bio.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/nonbiomusic/
www.facebook.com/nonbiomusic/

Sublimenal Stimuli:
sublimenalstimuli.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/sublimenalstimuli/
www.facebook.com/sublimenalstimuli/

Mikrometrik:
mikrometrik.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/mikrometrik_official/
www.facebook.com/mikrometrik/

Chains of Agony:
chainsofagony.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/chainsofagonymusic/
www.facebook.com/officialchainsofagony/

MATT HART:
matthart.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/matthart3808/
www.facebook.com/djmatthartuk/

Synaptic Defect:
synapticdefect.bandcamp.com

DJ Shane Aungst:
shaneaungst.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/shaneaungst/
www.facebook.com/djshaneaungst/

Blue Ant:
blueant.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/blue_ant_official/
www.facebook.com/blueantofficial/

Blacksmith:
www.facebook.com/Blacksmiths.ritual.music

MissSuicide:
misssuicide.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/misssuicideofficial/
www.facebook.com/misssuicideofficial/

Sawtooth:
www.instagram.com/djsawtoothma/
djsawtooth.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/IAmSawtooth/

Falling Bytes:
fallingbytes.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/fallingbytes/
www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063577960939

Primitive Noise Sector:
ciacreativeindividualarts.bandcamp.com/album/distorted-perspectives
www.instagram.com/primitivenoisesector/
soundcloud.com/primitivenoisesector/

Devil’s Breath:
raumklangmusic.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/devilsbreath999

SinThya:
sinthyamusic.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/sinthyathedevil/
www.facebook.com/SinThyaMusic/

TAZENTO:
tazento.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/tazentomusic/
www.facebook.com/tazentomusic/

Faktion[22]:
faktion22.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/faktion22/

Areal Kollen:
arealkollen.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/arealkollen747/
www.facebook.com/arealkollen/

Exsect:
exsect.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/exsectband/
www.facebook.com/exsectband/

Default Zero:
defaultzero.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/defaultzero_official/
www.facebook.com/DefaultZero-2508245982735540

Steinhart:
rauschkonzern.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/steinhart_band/
www.facebook.com/SteinhartesZeug

Prosthetic Patient:
prostheticpatient.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/prostheticpatient/
www.facebook.com/prostheticpatient/

electricArc:
electricarc.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/iconx.electricarc/
www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100082674884320

MS Gentur:
www.instagram.com/msgentur/
www.facebook.com/msgentur/

Pyroclastic:
pyroclastic1.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/ryantreeleyes1123/
www.facebook.com/pyroreeleyes/

Pillars of Golden Misery:
pillarsofgoldenmisery.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/pillarsofgoldenmisery/
www.facebook.com/PillarsOfGoldenMisery/

She Doesn’t 3xist:
shedoesnt3xist.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/exist_christie/

The 31st of October was a rather busy time for releases that I’m working my way through. In that vein, the Boston based label, Info Sec Records has put together a compilation of electronic artists called Music For Hacking.

INFO SEC RECORDS

The Neon Droid brings a “Cloud Of Ashes“, sailing across the net, floating in the electronic world, while “terminus” from Rap2h has its video games inspired tones.

There is the cool beats and ambience of Inter Gritty’sThe Chase” or you can go full cyber angst with Psi Drive with the tracks, “Master’s Revenge” and “Hail Overlords“…. plus there is the synthwave crossed with crunchiness of “REJUVENATE” by TWINKLE MARIA きらきら マリア.

Not all is instrumental, with Neon Tuesday covering “Rhythm Of The Night” which is a bit more calm that the original and later also providing another cover in the form of the Amiga game theme from “Lotus III” which is full on cheesy and amazing. ThyHarvest has this wonderful techno sound, with synths trickling down, making you think of the Matrix code in “Net Terminal“.

M73 is surfing the “Interlinked” data, like a stream of conciousness, with dark synth intent and, oh my, _NetNomad with “Build“, makes me think of the old games like Prince Of Persia, with its whimsical chip tune style.

This is another project where a label is showcasing independent musicians to help raise their profiles but also garner more interest in the electronic scene. There is an inclusiveness in this compilation with synthwave along side darkwave, chip tune, ambient and even industrial, all sharing a deep passion for experimental electronica. So plug in and become one with the interface with some Music For Hacking.

Music for Hacking | Info Sec Recs (bandcamp.com)

https://neondroid.bandcamp.com/

https://rap2h.bandcamp.com/

https://intergritty.bandcamp.com/

https://psidrive.bandcamp.com/

https://twinklemariamusic.bandcamp.com/track/it-s-out-of-this-flaesh-world

https://touzimsky.bandcamp.com/album/rhythm-of-the-night

https://thyharvesting.bandcamp.com/

https://m73dk.bandcamp.com/

https://netnomad.bandcamp.com/

What do you get when you cross Australian with German avant-garde music, on a UK label? Possible insanity, Concentration and the label Avon Terror Corps. What the actual fucking fuck have I gotten myself into? Just reading the Bandcamp bio is leaving me feeling slightly unhinged. Well played as that just increases my curiosity of the latest release, Aren’t You Gonna Introduce Me To Your Friend?.

Oh well yes, of course there is a starting track called “Who Wants To Fuck Me“, with no question mark. The creeping electronic and deluded sax make for a cathartic oddity. The party goers get their demonic funk on while the sax mournfully lusts.

Grün Im Gesicht” is your sexy wake up call in a gutter of that strip club you visited last night and still can’t think straight enough to find your keys but you did still dream you were in a bordello song and dance routine.

Fancy a walk on the electric sidewalk of life? “Sailin” rolls on a swell of hip, semi enthusiasm, so put on your boating shoes and get on down to the psychedelic cruise ship. We seem to be idyllically lost at sea, drenched in the washed up dreams of a mariner.

A supreme mellow vibe starts”Gehäutete Bräute“, with disembodied vocals that start off angelic, but soon show the angel might have been getting into the spirits a bit too much. It builds into both something painful and calamitous simultaneously, with the drunken angel having a grand time.

One might feel a little seedy and blue on a “Diet Of Worms” with that angry voice buzzing in your ear, his dissatisfaction with the general world like a bee in constant motion. The sax warbles in and out of dimensions and eventually gets to drink a pina colada in the rays of a dying bogan sun.

Five songs would normally denote an EP but with the length (and girth) of such sizeable tracks, they are able to give you a full payload. They are wacky and wild plus the questionable bird on the front…. judging you. Everyone needs a judgemental bird eyeing them off, while listening to an album covering genres such as avant-garde, experimental and smut. Concentration, an aural enema for your ears, you lucky bastards.

https://concentrationconcentration.bandcamp.com/album/arent-you-gonna-introduce-me-to-your-friend

https://m.facebook.com/concentrationconcentration