Here is an interesting curve ball. UK industrial musician MATT HART has released the single “TO THE CORE” in a remixed version by Daniel Graves of Aesthetic Perfection fame. The original single hails from the BELOW THE TERRA PT. 1 album, which is part of an epic opus about humans forced to flee underground by alien machine foes, intent on their demise.
Graves has a very distinctive voice and you cannot miss his dulcet industrial pop tones. You might think this is an easy breezy, pop til you drop dance number…..but you are only right to a point and have been lulled into a false sense of security, when it all drops the down for a bass beat heavy chorus. So you are on a roller-coaster between succulent sweet crooning and grating chanting as the big push goes on, to dig down to the hot core of the planet, with with a charged up dance track.
Will the humans survive the onslaught? That is for another release but I would be a fairly happy little human bean (being) hearing more collaborations between HART and Graves. The Aesthetic Perfection remix featuring Daniel Graves, has polished MATT HART’s gem, “TO THE CORE“, into a diamond.
Woohoo and the year kicked off with a bang. German industrial meisters, ROTERSAND hit the ground running with a new single, “Higher Ground” as of New Years Day 2023, on the label MetropolisRecords. It is has been exactly a year since the release of the previous single “Grey“, and though we have been able to hear the guys performing remix magic last year, the exciting news is that “Higher Ground” is heralding the countdown to a new album!
From the beginning, already, the skin is goose fleshing in anticipation with the build-up. Nikov’s vocals really are just silken and ever smooth, an observation that some people will always be a beacon of hope and sanctuary, even at their own discomfort. I even detect the strumming of an acoustic guitar. That is before it all just takes flight with that fabulous synthie pop beat and surging electronics coming at you in waves.
The Evendorff remix is fresh and intense, like a blast of concentrated ROTERSAND,which makes it pretty electric. Beautifully recorded and mastered. Also, there is the radio edit version, but that is neither here nor there as “Higher Ground” is a little piece of EBM magic
Phobos Reactor are a two person electronic group from Germany while HCH and TFG are from the Finnish band TONTTU. TONTTU normally perform songs about the evils of gnomes roaming around in the wild plotting against the human race but they have teamed up with Phobos Reactor to create an EP that is not about gnomes. It dropped on the 22nd of February on PANICMACHINE.
The clinical female voice over the electronic beats of “Subject” is broken up with the demonic grows below questioning. “Shadow” has the TONTTU vocals all over it, like Davros, the leader of the dalek from Dr Who, pondering existence and the futility of life, all to a serpentine dance rhythm and synths. The darkness and loathing within causes “Hatred” but it is good to hate to these sublime beats. “Confusion (Part 2: Nice Things)” is an interesting soliloquy about how they can’t have nice things because other people are just plain annoying. The last track is “Square” which has that rhythm that actually feels like it is doing right turns, needing to be constantly in motion with the vocal angst consuming the light. Though don’t take that too seriously.
This is a pretty fun EP. Phobos Reactor bringing the serious EBM mixed with the gutteral rantings of the Fins and the sleek female vocals. Apparently the lyrics were originally written in Finnish for another project, Dødsrige, but I think it suits this very well, translated into English. This is not the first time these two acts have teamed up and hopefully not the last either. Might not be about gnomes but remember there are other dark things that are waiting just for you…. like humans.
Gravity Corps is a new project from Denver, Colorado but the man behind it is no stranger to the industrial music scene. Mark Sousa is best known for Voicecoil, though currently, on November the 5th, he has launched an EP, Zero Grav, under the Gravity Corps name.
There is definitely a science fiction feel to Gravity Corps and this is evident from the first track “Scared ToDeath” from the whispers and echos to futuristic synths. The single off the EP, “Another Day“, is very danceable, because, and may I dare say it, there might be a little bit of disco hiding within. It is a bloody good track!
What would happen if you lived the high life for long enough? One would guess parts of your fragile human body would stop working which is the premise of the rolling track, “Decadence Is Dangerous” while “Cold And Elegant” seems the perfect song to follow up. The chorus is so catchy and I would have to say my favourite track. Oh, wait, “Selling Sorrow“with it’s future pop soul, that drags you along with it, is great as well. So, the moral of the story is, the longer you listen to this EP, the more it sucks you in and converts you. Well played Gravity Corps, well played. You got me hooked with you bag of rather good tunes. In space, no one can hear you scream but in Zero Grav you can have a jolly good time.
Unitcode:machine is the very talented Eric Kristoffer from Dallas, Texas and earlier this year he released the album, Themes For A Collapsing Empire, on which you could find the single “Falling Down“. In November, an EP of remixes has been released of this single, re imagined by other acts.
The first remix goes to Stabbing Westward and it so clean, polished and so utterly likeable. It almost is like listening to Depeche Mode in the way it grabs you. Next is the wonderful Batávia’s groovier version. Oddly sounds like Tom Shear from Assemblage 21, which is not a bad thing but how did they manage that and it really is a thoughtful remix that gets under your skin. Who doesn’t like a bit of electronic funk that descends into into brilliant synth lines?! Steven Olaf brings hints of the 80’s and it bops along very nicely…. I totally adore that synth line and trust me you will know what I mean when you hear it. The Gravitation remix by Antonym starts slow but this is a ruse and soon beats happen and it all becomes a whole lot of epic. There is something so spine tingling and satisfyingly about the Glass Apple Bonzai remix in all it’s synth wave, juicy goodness. It is rhythmic zen and beautiful, dutifully followed up with the solid club edit. The final re working featuring fellow Texan, Dwayne Dassing, ex-Mentallo and the Fixer, and the flavour is near futuristic in this purely instrumental version.
No matter how you look, or is that listen to “Falling Down“, it is a stonking number that can be remixed to reflect the style of each contributor and of course each remix is unique, basically there isn’t a bad track on this release. Not bad for a revisited single and I rather think this would be fabulous to hear on the dance floor..
What do you get when a radio anchorman, a neurosurgeon and a philosopher create a band? ¡-PAHL-! Based in Leipzig, Germany, Peter Hardlab (vocals), Leo von Leibnitz (lyrics & production) and Olaf Parusel (composition), came together in 2016 to ruminate over the questions of life, the universe and industrial pop.
The crunchy, bleak electronics and synths build a soundscape, of what feels like a vast area of encroaching darkness, with Hardlab’s vocals breaking that vastness, accompanied by the lonely playing of a piano with one finger. That is until the music builds in emotion, swelling before the inevitable end.
Telos is a term coined by Greek philosopher, Aristotle, in regards to the full potential or purpose of a person. With this in mind, Hardlab asks Who am I? Am I who? Why am I?. This is the thinking man’s electro/industrial. Thoughtfully written and beautifully executed with those deep, smooth vocals that suit this so well. If you are searching for Mein Telos(my Telos), then look no longer and immerse yourself in ¡-PAHL-!
So do you enjoy pop influenced industrial music? Once slightly maligned by industrial purists, this hard edged and yet very melodic form has become a genuinely enjoyable style. Eric K is Unitcode:Machine from Dallas and he has been around since 2004 with several albums under his belt. There is a new album in the works, but for now you can enjoy the newly released single, “Fight“.
Yeah this is a song going to war. The start is militant in its tone and leads into the lyrics of someone pushed to their very limits, with no other option than to battle for the right to live. Such a catchy chorus and danceable beat.
In some ways this reminds me of VNV Nation with their more gutsy, emotion filled numbers, if Ronan Harris was to be a bit more industrial. Yes it’s going to be thought provoking but damn, you will want to have a bit of a dance at the same time with “Fight” from Unitcode:Machine.