This May saw the release of Manchester’s, Rhys Bloodjoy‘s album, Human. Pattern. Repeat. In hiatus, ensconced in Spain during the height of COVID-19, Rhys found himself in a position to find inspiration to create.
Bloodjoy’s style is described as shoegaze, sophisticated electro loops with melody. With that in mind, let’s delve into this noise monster.
Instantly you are taken by the electro beat and the almost Joy Division guitar with “Death By Succubus“. The vocals are distorted and the guitar starts to wail as the song picks up speed, becoming more frenetic. And then nothing…….
“Suck” has a middle eastern feel, threading it’s way though this rhythm driven piece. Like a psychedelic trip in a demented hippie van of free love and sexually driven tension.
Single, “Run From The Hunter“, draws on an almost American native rhythm and texture. Feed back upon feed back, as the guitar fuels the claustrophobic feel that you can’t get away from.
An interesting title in “Birth Canal Contemplations Blues” and like a Jim Morrison messiah from under the sheets, Bloodjoy wants to make love with that waggling tongue.
“Celebration” is down and dirty rock and roll that is relentless and pulsating. Not everything is worth celebrating because life can be difficult and painful without being constantly reminded as well that you can do better.
An intense build up to “Infernal Regions” that winds around your senses. Reminiscent of The Cramps‘, Lux Interior, both vocally and suggestively in a lurid wanton manner. This lascivious and dark.
Final number is the title track, “Human. Pattern. Repeat.” It is a short explosion of screaming noise and reverb that rings out, then suddenly fades to nothing.
Death and sex are often thought of as two sides of the same coin, just like genius and madness. Bloodjoy likes to use the references of one for another or double entendre to evoke those feelings and ideas through both the lyrics and the tone of the music.
It is a clever use of off kilter psychedelic with raw guitar mixed with that industrial sensibility, which makes it a tad unusual and extremely interesting.
It’s got a little bit of everything for those that love experimental, noise and shoegaze styles. Check out Rhys Bloodjoy’s album as it is name your price for the download or you can buy the vinyl LP and remember Human.Pattern.Repeat.
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.
This year, the band, Amaranth, in conjunction with SoundsAndShadows, released the epic goth/EBM/industrial compilation, Tiny Gods Who Walk Beside Us. All songs were donated by the bands for a rather wonderful cause.
Most dark alternative types will tell you they are very fond of animals and especially cats. When band member of Amaranth, KenMagerman found out his young cat, Freya, had cancer in her leg, Ken was devastated and desperately wanted to save his feline companion’s life. This is an expensive procedure, so musician friends from around the world offered songs to help pay for this treatment, so began this complilation.
The classical undertones of LoreleiDreaming bring us “Edge Of The World” (I.X.XI Remix), which is grand beginning with beautiful choral touches that give this great depth and a glittering beauty.
“For Freya” is a very raw piece from Amaranth, but then this is understandable knowing where this song is coming from. With bluesy overtones that expand to anguished gothic rock.
A quieter synth lead piece from US act, Covenant Of Thorns in “Dahlia” (The Joy Thieves remix). A sweet number that is both darkness and light at the same.
Got to say, Corlyx‘s “Deform” (ESA remix) is a really a great song and remix. A mixture of trap syncopation and lazy beats keeps this very entertaining.
Antipole and their sexy song, “1983” featuring the completely sexy Eirene (PeopleTheater remix) show you their brilliance. Danceable, pop electro synth number which you can’t help but enjoy the airy joy it exudes.
Like silk, Ego Likeness “Darkness” (Dracos Deep Mix) will grace your ears. This is smooth, electro beats and oh so catchy to boot with this remix.
Machinery Of Desire drip with gothic honey in the form of “Forever Remain“. I would not be surprised in the least of they were influenced by Wayne Hussey’s The Mission. That similar winding flowery style.
The synth musing of Adoration Destroyed in “Both of Me” (Authentic Impulse Remix) as they try to reconcile the two sides of their personally. Those that like Third Realm will really enjoy this number.
CryingVessel “Illusions” (remix DeadAgent) is a throw back to the early 80s electronic period. A simple, clean track with a light touch in the remix, making this a really danceable track.
The haunting number of “CodeBlue” by I Ya Toyah (remix Arcontas Blank) rings out with that wonderful heavy organ based synth filling it out. A song close to singer AniaTarnowska’s heart, about the loss that comes with suicide.
Really digging TwinTribes the more I hear them and “DarkCrystal” is a great example of their post punk, goth electro sound. Really fabulous tune that chimes away and gets into your head.
Radiograph is in essence JohnEdwards from PalaisIdeal and he has contributed “Catnipped“, an instrumental piece centred on an electro beat/ synths with guitar accompliment. Edwards is well known musician in the scene and a deft hand at penning a tune.
SilverWalks has remixed “FuckThatFascistBeat” by Caustic. This already a good song which now is even more urgent in the remix. The song is probably more poignant than ever before and is old school style industrial done well.
Straight from the beginning, you hear that this is going to be a bit special. Seven Federations gives you “Syzygy” or a celestial alignment. It is reminiscent of Attrition’s classic “Into The Waves“, with its simple beauty.
Vlimmer “Schnittstelle” is ethereal and unearthly as they try to interface. Even though ethereal, it feels so organic at the same time, natural.
Dogtablet are kind of a mini super group. “Showtime” (Melodywhore Slave Remix) is a rhythmic groove piece with piano as the standout instrument amongst the electronica.
If you like pure instrumentals with some sublime synths and an interesting configuration, then Kiss Of The Whip has “This Pain Is Ours” for you.
Welcome to Steven Archer’s “The Showroom“. It’s s little dirty and has a bassy chorus which is never a bad thing. Archer who is also Stoneburner, is all class.
This isn’t even mixed and Cliff and Ivy have a tremendous earworm in “Will To The Power“. I have to say, Christian Death. It smacks of many the great things about Rozz Williams and company in the 80’s.
The off kilter start by Orcus Nullify, launches “March Of The Lost“. Very much in the vein of the Bauhaus vibe with a experimental edge. A dirge to the those forever destined to wander without end.
The sombre tones of Ritchual‘s “You Lied” lilt with a plaintiff anguish. This is clean, delightful synth wave with a European flavour even though they are based in Austin.
Sister Sarin is the project for Hemlock and she gives to you “Split“. This is a percussion heavy piece with all the keyboards rounding out the beat heavy sounds.
Get ready for the nightmarish spokenword performance of Swansect with “Clovermouth“. This is claustrophobic and sinister in the modern era electro.
RobEarly and SimeonFritzpatrick are 11Grams and you are going to feel them in your “DNA“. This is a blend of old school industrial with a clever reinvention, which they are well known for. Slow and menacing, as it gets under your skin.
Ego Likeness is the last track on the album for the digital download with “Breedless” (Sombre Remix). The lyrics are truly interesting to listen to, with ‘maybe my mother was a hydra‘ as well fae folk and other such creatures making EgoLikeness the crooning sexy beasts they are.
This is a great showing of gothic, synthwave, EBM, darkwave and industrial being represented and definitely worthy of many listens. The best part of this story is that Freya may have lost a limb but she is still with Ken and a truly loved being.
My last cat passed away at 20 years of age and I mourned her death for many years until l adopted a rescue cat and to be honest, fell in love all over again.
Once cats were revered as celestial beings in Egypt and one can understand why. We love their arrogance, sass and let’s face it, they can be completely selfish pricks yet if you do love them, they will give you so much in return.
So show some love for Freya and her kind as well as all the wonderful bands that have been so generous.
Last year, Matt Hart brought out the concept album Terra 3808, based on a post apocalyptic Earth where humanity scratches away, trying to just survive.
So in March, came the release of his new EP, Tales Of Terra: Triolith, which is a continuation of this storyline, as the last stragglers called The Outlaws in their struggle with the Machines, find a large three tower structure coined Triolith.
“Chaos Rising” throught to “Mechanical Dominion” are off previous releases, most now remixed by various artists and given a new lease of life.
The first number is the title track, “Triolith” and an alien voice rumbles forth to be accompanied by a beat as it rolls across the futuristic landscape. This is the single off the EP and it instantly gets your attention.
The song, “Requiem” has a wonderfully off kilter sense to it. Though not an overly fast number, it gives the impression of being relentless and constant. Xavier Swafford from 3Teeth is no stranger to the remix and you can tell.
“Chaos Rising” is the Nitronoiseremix which is about the survivors of apocalypse. Gritty and angry with power guitars in the chorus that builds this up. This isn’t a new remix but what the hell… it’s still bloody good and fits in well.
The dub of a club DJ is strong in “MechanicalDominion” (MXD_BLD remix). This power noise inspired piece just oozes with static as the machine rule and destroy all that does not fit the new world order.
There is a spooky remix of “Mercury Flow” by Witch Of The Vale and it’s low and smooth like quick silver and similar to the poison, it’s going to get under your skin.
Unlock the level “Chaos Achieved” (metalogueremix). Like repetitive fire comes the rhythm, thick and fast as if a massive metal colossus is whirring away with purpose and intent.
The remix by monomorte, is a lovely drone sludge in the second retelling of “Mechanical Dominion” and it sounds so completely different yet so perfect, finishes off this EP.
I am starting to wonder if Matt is, or ever has been a player of Warhammer 40K. It’s that style of enthusiastically enjoying putting together a story of light versus dark and humanity hanging on by a thread, becoming less human due to circumstance.
So far, it seems to be that the machines are going to extinguish the light of man and if a collapsing futuristic world of trauma with fabulous remixes is your bag, then you need to listen to Tales of Terra: Triolith and support Matt Hart so we can see how this all ends.
Biomechanimal are a EDM/aggrotech/industrial group from London who released in February a new single, along side fellow London drum & bass musicians, Mechanical Vein, called “Waves“.
There are three versions of this song, so hold onto your hats because this is not a carousel ride.
The original single version is fabulously raw and angry. The bass line is turned right up and it’s an instant assault on your hearing. You can almost feel the hardstyle techno within.
Second version has been remixed by the Netherlands drum & bass duo, SinisterSouls. This is hard and fast aggrotech pure and simple with a mad EDM beat ripping it up. This is a great remix to hear on a dance floor and never lets up for a second until the fading end.
Third remix had been done by industrial master, Grendel. This is slower and starts off more like a rap number then the growled vocals, heavy guitars and almost metal blast beats kick it hard in the balls. And so, in an almost bipolar fashion, this track goes from one to the other but the industrial synths always remain true.
So three versions of “Waves” with the imput of four different artists definitely shows in how influences can vary the sound of each track. When all is said and done, it’s a banging number. “Waves” is about the ebb and flow of creativity but this song is a force of nature.
Previously we heard recently remixes from Australian and Russian duo of SiK aka CraigSaunders and Dima Ilyin, who make up Nova State Machine. We just had to let you know that on March the 24th, there was a third EP released called TCM RMXS-003 Drugs and Drums.
If you weren’t awake before you started listening you soon will be as SiK(Saunders) growls into your ear with a barrage of rhythm with “War Is A Drug– Ephedrine mix” by SEXGUN. This definitely reminds me of Ministry/RevoltingCocks both vocally and the melody syncopation.
For the rest of this EP you will be graced with the scintelating deep vocals of Dima. “Do or Die– BZP remix” by SEXGUN has a techno vibe and this feels like old style Front242/Nitzer Ebb, which is never a bad thing with that fast feverish pace.
Back to a previously remixed number, however it’s easy to see why someone would want to do another version of “Harsh Reality” as it is such a strong song. SiK brings RxSingular Obsession remix to bear down on your ears. He had made “HarshReality” sleek and clean while Dima’s distorted vocals rip through.
I get images of Judge Dredd, listening to “Total Control – MKUltra Mix” by FILTHmachine. It screams science fiction war games to me. Brutal vocals bellowing ‘total control, total control‘ and bouncy synths chirping in.
No Pain – Codeine Mix by nOvAsLuG who are the artists ToMsLuG from Vancouver and CraigSaunders, starts like a sound scape as it builds and swells. This becomes an industrial cacophony of noise. Dima sounds like he’s trying to convince himself he’s alright and yet it all reflects body or mind wounds.
Electronic burbles bring in “Destroy All Hope – krocodil mix” by Evil Against Evil. This starts off slow and dirty whilst it creaks and groans along. The minimalistic nature conveys the drudgery of a world bereft of all love, hope or joy.. just grey.
Most of this is not so much danceable but definitely more experimenting with the music at hand to see where it can be taken. Which is exactly what you need from a third part of a trilogy.
When all is said and done, this is another solid remix and there is everything to gain as this is pay what you want on Bandcamp. So be where the cool kids are before Nova State Machine unleash the next new album but for now lock and load some TCM RMXS-003 Drugs and Drums.
Konqistador released at the end of last year, the album Nafada. The band started back in 2005 and is a collaboration of Detroit musicians, ReginaldTiessen and ElizabethGraham as well as Sydney artist INfest8.
This latest album has a theme, in which Konqistador invited female hip hop artists to perform on their tracks, although they are more known for their industrial, gothic and electronic music. These women are as diverse in nationalities as they are in sound.
Kicking off is MedusaTn also known as Boutheina El Alouadi, from Tunisia with the single “Eden,Woman’sWar“, a powerful start. Not only does MedusaTn rap but her singing voice is beautiful and provocative, woven with the middle eastern traditional music and an industrial beat.
“Adrestia” by Moroccan artist, Soultana starts as a staccato monologue with backing synths that you feel building up and then the beats kick in and it becomes a whirlwind of sound. This is a great mixture of electro and vocals. A Greek warrior goddess, Adrestia punishes those who cause injustice.
Solemn beats bring in “Hamazam” and if I didn’t know any better, I would say MeryemSaci has a cheeky little smile on her face. Meryem is from Algeria singing in French and English. She is bold and sexy and makes the intricacy of this song work for her. It is about strong women that use their power, not for war but rather strengthening bonds of love and peace.
Fourth track is “Karitha” by Iranian, SalomeMC and featuring from Detroit, DJLos, a heavy weight in the hip hop/rap/beatboxing world, who does all the scratching on this song. Salome’s voice soars to the heights and yet will hold your attention even when at a whisper. This is why SalomeMC has been recognized not only as the first Iranian female rapper but perhaps one of the best in the world. For a song about the evil residing even in the best of intentions, it is such a gorgeous blend of industrial background with female sass.
Traditions can be safe and easy to follow but sometimes they are also meant to be broken and this is “Safiyya” by Moroccan songstress Soultana aka YoussraOukaf, who has been rapping since she was thirteen and a strong voice in advocating women’s rights. The music with her voice at the beginning reminds me of vast deserts and then unleashes the storm.
“Nafada” is the title track and the call rise up and rebel. Nafada means in Arabic tremor. MeryemSaci returns and is accompanied by Sultana who hails from Turkey and is yet another progressive female that championed hip hop in her country. It begins low and dark and the ladies voices are like a light, drawing you up. It feels ancient and yet it most definitely isn’t. Saci and Sultana compliment each other so well, whether they are rapping or singing.
“Sahar” literally means awakening in Arabic. This piece is based on an Iranian folk tune, Morq-e sahar and performed by MissUndastood of New York aka TavashaShannon. ‘My talent a gift and a curse’, when the eyes are opened to all possibility there is the realization of the double knife edge of going two ways… rising above or falling down. You can hear the influence of being brought up in America in Shannon’s style of rapping but this just brings a new facet to this story of traditional verses modern.
“Kahina” by MedusaTn is just epic. Such a big voice. Passionate hip hop bringing to life Kahlina, a queen and warrior of the Berber people. She is remembered with great fondness and kept alive in spirit as the invocation of the power women hold and that females should never be kept down or silenced because of their gender.
This could be a song SkinnyPuppy created when you hear the start. HanHan brings her native Filipino languages to “Visaya“. This is fresh and dynamic with synths chiming in. The Visaya are a people in a region of the Philippines but more so the song is about how we are far more similar than we are different.
I have to use the word powerful again because that is what this album is. I’m not in any way into hip hop and yet these women are inspirational in every way. They bring a beauty to the art of rapping and yet they are so much more than that.
They are mostly the voices of a female minority of the countries they represent and this makes them pioneers and bravely throwing light on the music they love. They are most worthy of being looked up to with much respect. Not just because they are originators of an art form in their homelands but rather for their conviction to never give up or give in.
INfest8, ReginaldTiessen and ElizabethGraham are the trio of writers that carefully crafted all the songs presented and you can hear the devotion to this project through the beautiful lyrics, as well as the fact each hip hop artist was able to inject their own influence into their track/s.
It’s an amazing cross cultural exploration and recorded mostly on two different continents, utilizing many different musical genre, mixed by INfest8 in Australia and mastered in the United States.
This is exotic and the Arabic/ middle eastern/ Filipino influences just push this into a different realm of wow. Social order, peace, solidarity and the support of women who can be the centre of change because music is the voice of change. This is Nafada by Konqistador….. hear the call.
PeteCrane might be a familiar name to some, as half of Australian band Shiv-r. March heralds the album that will be the premier solo release for Crane, called ThatAnnihilatedPlace, on German label, InfactedRecordings.
But before that, he has released a taster to tease our palates before the album in the form of (pre) single, “YouAreNotYourBody“.
There is an instantly a bass synth heavy start to “YouAreNotYourBody” and you find yourself starting to move in time to the rhythm… It combines a techno savvy rhythm with precision synth and electronics, that is delivered with industrial sledgehammer.
The second track, “Norilsk” is just full on joy. Bouncy and heavy all at the same time. If this doesn’t make you want to dance, then not even the devil could tempt you.
The Xotox remix of “YouAreNotYourBody” is a heavy industrial rhythmic version that starts to drill into your brain almost literally as well as figuratively.
MorisBlak does remixes that smack you up the side of the head and his interpretation is also of title track. It winds up to the spoken word and it is a sexy beast indeed.
Dkag remix off the album a track called “MessedUp” which has an awesome amount of high energy, which you kind of expect from guys who are club DJs, because they just want people to hit the floor.
Crane has on board some impressive talent so far to remix his music and the statement is “ThatAnnihilatedPlace” is a club album. So far this offering doesn’t disappoint and currently the way this music for “YouAreNotYourBody” is definitely having an effect on mine. Get your groove on and wiggle to this in anticipation of more to come.
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.