Posts Tagged ‘Industrial’

Cool Thing Records – 14th January 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Asylums offshoot band Bait mark their return in blistering style with the ball-busting, ballistic blast of tension that is ‘Drama Drama Drama Drama’. Having dropped – or perhaps more accurately detonated – their explosive eponymous debut in 2018, showcasing a post-punk industrial crossover that crash-landed somewhere between PiL and Killing Joke, they reminded us of their existence in the spring of 2019 with the gritty grind of the single ‘DLP’ before falling silent.

In fairness, a global pandemic and a succession of lockdowns and limitations was never going to be conducive to the creation of new output, especially when core members Michael Webster and Luke Branch have been busy beavering away on a new Asylums album.

But, inter alia, they’ve also been working on the new Bait album, Sea Change, which is set for release in April, and ‘Drama Drama Drama Drama’ is one hell of a way of announcing it, distilling all of the pent-up frustration, fury, and anxiety of two years kept on edge into just under two minutes of eye-popping, adrenaline-fuelled sonic catharsis.

If the sneering edge of the vocal delivery sounds like it’s a put-down to those who’ve been panic stricken by the pandemic, it’s likely more a swipe at those who’ve chronically mismanaged the public’s expectations, left them separated, isolated, financially insecure, and unable to seek solace with friends or family while keeping them apart while quaffing drinks and generally having a jolly old time as well as getting minted off slipping multi-million pound contracts for unusable PPE and all the rest at the taxpayers’ expense. The reason the parties have particularly tipped people is because they missed the final moments of loved ones and suffered the immeasurable torture of enforced isolation.

The ‘drama drama drama drama’ in question here isn’t some lame Eastenders shit, this is life. The swirling turmoil and endless uncertainty of everything… On a personal level, when lockdown hit, I was inundated with messages at first, from friends, from family and especially work as WhatsApp groups were set up while we got sent home to work, and the channels of communication were beyond buzzing as everyone flipped out and I witnessed – and participated – in their panics in real-time. It was hectic, a blizzard, a blur… but it was when it went quiet I lost it. You get thrown into something so hard you have to swim. But when the armbands deflate…You text with no reply – that anguish is real and it’s intense. The minutes feel like hours. The tension rises, the panic rises, the palpitations flutter and the perspiration flows and in no time you’re a dishevelled, disoriented mess. You know it’s irrational, but panic is irrational. You struggle to steady your breathing. You can’t face the supermarket because it’s full of people. You can’t face meeting anyone. You can’t breathe. This is the drama, and it piles up and piles up and increases in intensity until it’s unbearable.

‘Drama Drama Drama Drama’ steps up the gritty edge of previous outings, and this time arrives somewhere between Killing Joke and Black Flag, which means it’s absolutely furious and relentlessly raging. It’s a killer tune with all the intensity, and the soundtrack to the now.

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17th December 2021

James Wells

Pieces is the second in a projected series of five EPs, and on the face of it, it’s an immense undertaking: this release contains five tracks, and its predecessor four. Across the project, that’s a full two albums worth of material… until you clock that half of the tracks are remixes. Not that that’s a criticism per se, and I won’t revisit my eternal remix peeve yet again here, because no doubt readers are as sick of that as I am of remixes as a thing.

So ‘Pieces’ is in effect a single, comprising of ‘Disease of Kings’ and ‘Failure Principle’, bolstered by a brace of remixes of the former and one of the latter. ‘Disease of Kings’ is a in some respects a surprising choice of lead song, in that it’s a slow, brooding cut with expansive, cinematic synths casting an arena-wide vista over the reflective mood. It’s well-executed and emotionally charged, but the vocal treatment – namely a fuckload of autotune on the verses – is perhaps a little overdone and reduces the impact of the song’s kick-to-the-chest sincerity. It’s a fine choon, but maybe a fraction too produced and polished and even a little bit Emo, where a slightly rawer edge would have bitten harder.

‘Failure Principle’ is geared toward the mid-tempo, with quintessential dance tropes in full effect, with nagging synth loops rippling over and over an insistent dancefloor-friendly beat. While still featuring the core elements of techoindustrial, it carries a keenly commercial style.

The Assemblage 23 Remix of ‘Failure Principle’ is a standout by virtue of the way in which is accentuates the track’s danciness and general catchiness, bordering on euphoric dance which seems somewhat at odds with the lyrical content. But then, the medium is not necessarily the message, and there’s something to be said for slipping darkness in under the cover of light. In that sense, it works, although the extent to which suggesting any song by an industrial act has mainstream crossover potential and a broad appeal is questionable.

Rounding off the EP, the KALCYFR Remix of ‘Disease of Kings’ beings some fuck-off dirty great guitars and grinding bass to the party and comes on way more Nine Inch Nails, and tempers the vaguely emo leanings of the original and GenCAB remix.

The ‘limited-edition PANIC LIFT FACE MASK to accompany you on your journeys through the current post-apocalyptic landscape’ is a nice touch, too – because we need some nice things to help us navigate living through the reality of all of the dystopian fictional futures becoming reality all at once.

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Unique in the modern industrial-electro scene, iVardensphere began as the ambition of Canadian musician Scott Fox to fuse heavy electronics with his love of percussion from all over the world. Since releasing his debut album in 2009, his group has at times been a solo endeavour and at others a fully fledged collaborative effort, but it has always been about his desire to combine sound design with crushing rhythms while utilising his ever-evolving production skills.

Over the course of four further records, Fox and his cohorts have built a diverse and fluid catalogue on which monolithic sounding analogue synths and industrial groove-based instrumental experiments have shared space with exotic tribal drum rhythms and deep, textured ambience.

Fox now presents ‘Ragemaker’, the first single and title track of a brand new album that will be released in early February 2022. A stunning extended video for the track also incorporates his next single, ‘The Shattering Queen’ (out in mid-January), which brings the total duration of the clip to almost ten minutes.

Complex and layered, the ‘Ragemaker’ album weaves electronics with haunting vocals, orchestral crescendos and often complex rhythms, creating hymns to totemic gods of war and rebirth and to ancient goddesses of harvest and hunt, including the tragic mythos of the aforementioned Shattering Queen.
Traditional percussion from all corners of the globe, including Taiko, Surdo, djembe, timpani and more are deftly interwoven with all manner of sourced sounds. Hammers, anvils, slamming doors and even the sound of a waste bin being kicked are sampled and folded into the overall sonic mélange. The result is an immersive and cinematic masterpiece that is the latest evolutionary step for iVardensphere, although it is equally suited to be the score to a post-apocalyptic movie.

‘Ragemaker’ may invite comparison to soundtracks such as ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ by Junkie XL, ‘Midsommar’ by Bobby Krlic (The Haxan Cloak), or even the dramatic escalations of Hans Zimmer, but it can also be seen as a more driven and rhythmic slant on the wave of Nordic artists currently exploring ancient ancestral music, including Einar Selvik of Wardruna, ambient-folk musician Danheim and experimental folk outfit Heilung.

Watch the epic video here:

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1st December 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Do you ever feel that the problems facing humanity right now are of our own making? That the phrase ‘scum of the earth’ applies to humanity as a whole, because we as a species have simply fucked everything up beyond all repair? Because the simple fact is, we have. What other creature destroy its own habitat as well as those of nearly all others? Parasites seek to achieve symbiosis with their host; viruses mutate to become more transmissible but less fatal; the aim is not to kill its host but to thrive and expand. Mankind is worse than parasitic, the most brutal virus that evolves slowly and in ways which are counterintuitive, namely to exhaust its host. Where do we actually go from here? The prospect of inhabiting Mars with colonies because we’ve fucked up the world we were born to seems beyond insane.

The shock-factor-monikered Skat Injector are – as you’d likely expect – upfront in their positioning, pitched as serving up ‘Grindcore-inspired speedcore and a diatribe of anti-human propaganda because that’s what we deserve for what we’ve become.’ They have a deep sense of self-loathing and misanthropy, and it’s abundantly cleat on this dehumanised, inhuman blasting racket that’s dark, deep, glitchy, subterranean, demonic, wrecked on every level.

They rail against ‘Willful [sic] ignorance, habitat loss, animal abuse, global ecocide, global warming, environmental pollution, overpopulation and many other attributes of a leeching narcissistic race which needs to live within its bounds’. They shouldn’t have to; this is how life should work.

On Bled Under A Burning Sky, Skat Injector pound and rage and rage and pound, as grating, raw-threated vocals spit, snarl, and grind against a backdrop of frenzies percussion. The lyrics aren’t always – or often – decipherable, but the sentiment is clear.

‘All Tomorrow’s Genocides’ is like a grindcore Prurient, with soft, spindly synths slowly spinning misty swirls of fear chords around pulverizing drill-like beats. Explosive doesn’t come close to a fitting description.

‘An Earth Cleansed with Flame’ goes full harsh electro and is straight up Chis and Cosey trance backing, at least at first, manifesting as aggressive dance with harsh vocals, while the six-minute ‘The Future Sound of Suffering’ brings the suffering and it’s painful in its crunching brutality. ‘Vanishes Rapidly’ is constructed around explosive dynamics, and flips from near ambience to the firing of an AK-47 directly into the ear. It’s brutal and it’s savage, but also very much the ultimate expression of the industrial era, and ‘Obsidian Dawn’ only amplifies and intensifies. It fucking hurts.

The album is dominated by beats so hard and fast they sound like drills and nail guns, this is industrial and its hardest and most industrial, the sonic equivalent of applying a power drill on hammer setting to the eyeball.

At almost fifty-two minutes, it packs a lot of firepower, a lot of punch – so much so that it leases you panting and pounded – in a good way, of course, assuming you have at least a faintly masochistic streak and appreciate music that’s as much about testing your endurance as it is coaxing and massaging the pleasure zones with a battering ram and a taser simultaneously.

The second CD – another fifty-three minutes – of instrumental and extended versions of the album’s tracks is certainly not one for the passing listener or casual fan, and it’s perhaps not essential even for moderate fans, although the nine-minute extended version of the title track is certainly a nice pain-inflicting bonus.

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Canadian industrial act, DI AUGER has just unleashed their new video, a commentary on world-wide geopolitical issues called ‘Brave New World’. The concept for the ‘Brave New World’ video was designed to capture the literal content of the song.

The  message in the song is this: We are one people, one race and we exist to perpetually destroy ourselves and erase our existence from this planet. The song closes with the sarcastic view of our new collective mindfulness. Prove me and the next generation wrong.
Fighting racism, climate change, pollution, overpopulation, human rights. Where has it gotten us?  We are reliving the past here and now. The ideology is the same as are the reactions and the emotions.

Now we live in this brave new world; one with its promises for salvation under a unified umbrella as long as YOU stay in line and do what the government tells you. OBEY and don’t criticize, or comment, make a fuss or subjectively analyze. 
‘Brave New World’ appears on the album, Under The Skin Of The World and is available digitally NOW.

Watch the video here:

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Industrial bass act SINthetik Messiah has just unveiled their new single, ‘Religious Soldier’.

‘Religious Soldier’ is about exposing religious leaders for brainwashing, abusing their followers and specifically, how they want their flock to be ‘good soldiers’ in their own twisted version of what it means to serve God. Setting the tone of the new single, SINthetik Messiah’s ‘Religious Soldier’ features a recording of a fake priest performing a fake exorcism on a brainwashed woman.

The sonic hammer of sound behind ‘Religious Soldier’ draws musical inspiration from the hardcore drum and bass, power noise, EBM, and old school industrial music scenes. The main vocalist, Bug Gigabyte takes his vocals from a punk rock type scream to a full on male choir. Lyrically, he begs the audience to wake up and not fall into a cult.

This two-track EP precedes a full length album due out in 2022.

Check it here:

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31st October 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

The liner notes for this new outing from Vexillary proffer a rhetorical question that sounds like the start of a semi-intellectual joke: ‘What do you get when you mix a long winter with a pandemic of a lifetime and a bunch of synths lying around? The cabin fever stemming from an endless lockdown and the resulting mental demise? According to Vexillary, the perfect backdrop for a sonic self-portrait documenting one’s brush with madness.’

It’s probably fair to say that many of us have lost the plot top varying extents and in differing ways over the last couple of years, and we’ve all struggled in various ways, be it from lockdown isolation, bereavement, monetary worries, the pressure of confinement, being physically vulnerable, or scared for the future, or returning to ‘normality’ – and while anything resembling the normality we knew back in 2019 feels like a lifetime away if ever, simply resuming social interaction brings with it for many a tidal wave of anxiety.

No doubt the cabin fever that prompted the evolution of Full Frontal Lunacy will be relatable for many, myself included. Despite the comparative luxury of a back yard bit enough so sit out in and even to accommodate a paddling pool for a family of three to manage working from home and home schooling, things felt a bit claustrophobic at times, and there were many living in inner city environments and high-rise accommodation with many more people and considerably less space.

But what of the title? Full frontal carries the connotations of exposure, more in a movie / porn context than anything. That is precisely where Vexillary is coming from, of course. Social media has provided the platform where everyone airs all their grievances and let it all hang out, for better or for worse, and for many, among the food porn and actual porn, misery porn and trauma porn has been a source of entertainment since the world lost the plot and spiralled into pandemic psychosis. Full Frontal Lunacy is effectively the musical equivalent of getting your cock out on a global platform, with all things mental health and more out there on display for all to see. Trouble is, for many, it’s probably less embarrassing to get your cock out than to discuss your feeling, and so it’s a bold move, but one that sets an example and sends a message that it’s not only ok to confront these things, but vital that we share them.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the album is dominated by themes of confinement, torture, and mania, manifesting in various forms, and compressed concisely into eight slabs of dense dark, industrial-strength disco. Driven by big beats and booming bass, this is a banger in the obvious sense, although those basslines snake and grind , and the vocals are submerged in reverb or otherwise heavily treated. The ‘Scorched Mix’ of ‘Burnt Leather’ is dark and stark, sleazy and tense. The title track sounds like an outtake from Ministry’s Twitch; agitated electro cranked up and gnarly, with pulverising percussion all the way.

‘The Descent’ is dark, deep, hypnotic and follows the signature styling of repetitive motifs; ‘Absinthe Minded’ speaks – albeit not entirely coherently, conveying a mood more than a message – of self-medication, addlement and struggling through, pushing onwards toward the spacey dance of closer ‘Exit the Void’, which brings hints of Depeche Mode to the dark dance party.

Full Frontal Lunacy has a coherence and stylistic unity, but also feel like a work that’s both exploratory and urgent. It’s not an easy album, but it’s a good one.

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Today, Danny Elfman has debuted a brand new Xiu Xiu remix of ‘Serious Ground,’ one of the songs initially featured on Elfman’s acclaimed new double album Big Mess [ANTI- / Epitaph Records]. The track serves as an experimental reinterpretation, pairing Xiu Xiu’s signature industrial noise sensibilities with chopped samples of Elfman’s original vocals and instrumentation.

Listen to the remix here:

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Independent – 1st October 2021

James Wells

If emerging from lockdown seems to suggest that the pandemic and all the darkness associated with it is over, you’d be mistaken. People have suffered deep psychological trauma as a result of isolation, of anxiety, of division, of loss.

The new single from dark electronic duo MAN1K1N is a testament to all of this, as we learn that it was ‘conceived as a reaction to a personal loss and a year and a half of solitude. It’s a time capsule of several isolating moments’. Such time capsules are important as a reminder that there is always something else, something more.

Speaking about the track, they say, “The heavy solitude of this past year during quarantine was a poignant influence in the moment this song exists in. Too often, suicidal ideation is regarded as a trope. But the anguish felt in those private moments is threatening and devastatingly lonely… We wanted this song to speak to that without glorifying an end, or without being overly direct. It is a trope mired in heavy familiarity that we wanted to capture. We invite the listener to draw their own conclusions and inspire conversation.”

It’s well-realised, a dark mid-paced industrial stomper with an insistent beat, but with deep layers of atmosphere through which pour all the pain, all the anguish, the torment, and the turmoil. Channelling and finding a release for those dark moments is always the better outcome, and this also stands as a message of hope to others, that there is something on the other side: in time it will pass. In the meantime, trying is its own reward.

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In the wake of the release of their critically acclaimed physical debut full-length I Was Never Really There, Belgian dark electro trailblazers MILDREDA are now unveiling the illuminating video clip ‘Inner Judgement’. The single had scored #4 in the German Alternative Charts.

MILDREDA comment: "The ‘poisonous muse’, who casts her dark shadow across I was Never Really There and who made her first visible appearance in the ‘Liaisons Dangereuses’ video, now returns to full view in the ‘Inner Judgement’ clip", explains mastermind Jan Dewulf. "This enigmatic being remains cool and impassive in the face of all the anger and biting frustration that push this song forward."

Watch the single here:

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