Category: industrial electronica

Now, as you may recall, Keep Shelly in Athens is an internationally renowned electronic music production and artist duo that has released dreamy, mid tempo electro pop material through Forest Family Records, Transparent Records, Planet Mu Records, Cascine Records and Friends of Friends Records and others — and building upon a growing internationally recognized profile, the duo have played at some of the world’s largest festivals including — Coachella, Parklife Festival, The Great Escape Festival and Fun Fun Fun Festival. Adding to a steadily growing profile, the act has made official remixes for Tycho, Blood Diamonds and Steve Mason among others.

Philokalia, the Athens, Greece-based electronic music duo’s third full-length album is slated for a Friday, September 29, 2017 release through the duo’s own Athenian Aura Recordings, and the album finds the act featuring their newest vocalist, Aussie Award-winning novelist and poet Jessica Bell. Last month, I wrote about album single “Game Over (Daniel’s Theme),” a track that further cemented their reputation for crafting moody and cinematic, mid-tempeo electro pop as the song featured a production that consisted of shimmering synths, swirling, ambient electronics, a mournful string arrangement and stuttering drum programming paired with Bell’s viscerally earnest and heartfelt vocals — and interestingly enough, the song bristles with the self-flagellation and recrimination of someone who’s been betrayed or lied to in some deeply unforgivable fashion.

“Dark Light” Philokalia‘s latest single is a a bit of decided change in direction for the renowned electronic act as it featured Bell with self-assured and in-your-face vocals paired with what may arguably be their most industrial leaning production featuring wobbling and buzzing synths, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering drum programming and a rousing hook while retaining some elements of the dreamy, ethereal sound that has captured the attention of the blogosphere — namely with the song’s introduction and coda. But interestingly enough, the song possesses a dark, sultry seductive quality reminiscent of Version 2.0-era Garbage and Portishead.

Niko Antonucci is a Prague, Czech Republic-born, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentliast, singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she received piano lessons when she was 6. As teenager, the Prague-born, Los Angeles-based artist began stealing her father’s guitar as a teen — and when she turned 15, she had cut her first demo and began singing and playing in a number of local bands for a number of years. But at a young age, Antonucci recognized that in order to get the exact sound she wanted, she would need to do it herself and she began producing herself.

With her solo, downtempo/industrial electronica project Resin, Antonucci’s sound is inspired by many of the influences that have been a part of her creative life including Nirvana, Portishead, Nine Inch Nails , The Cure, Chelsea Wolfe, as well as ambient electronica and classic music, while thematically focusing on spirituality, dark magic, being an outsider. and so on. And with “Hoarse,” the first single off her self-produced full-length effort Fidget, Antonucci pairs swirling electronics, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, stuttering drum programming and a soaring hook with her sultry yet achingly vulnerable vocals — and while clearly nodding at Nine Inch Nails and Portishead, the single also manages to remind me of Version 2.0-era Garbage.

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Blanck Mass Returns with Surreal and Nightmarish Visuals for Album Track “The Rat”

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’ve come across a handful os post featuring  Blanck Mass, the solo side project of Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power. His 2015 Blanck Mass effort Dumb Flesh was written and recorded over the course of the preceding year in several different locations — Power’s Space Mountain Studios, a windowless attic space in Hatch End, North London and Power’s Edinburgh Scotland home. And reportedly, frequently changing recording spaces influenced the album’s dark and sprawling compositions, which possessed elements of tense and abrasive industrial electronica with sensual, hard-hitting, deep house, complete with punishing, tweeter and rocker beats and shimmering synths seemingly bubbling from a hot, molten iron-like surface. Thematically speaking, the material focused on the inherent frailty of the human body — with the material evoking the painful sensation that our poor, dumb flesh couldn’t do more to protect us from certain catastrophe; however, World Eater, Power’s third Blanck Mass album, released earlier this year through  Sacred Bones Records was inspired by the our current, ongoing sociopolitical climate full of teeming anger, violence, confusion, frustration, hatred and despair — and as Power has publicly mentioned, the material is meant to evoke a wild, untamed beast chewing and gnawing at civilization, compassion, good, progression and the very bonds that hold us together. As Power explains in press notes, “The title is a reference to both the inner beast inside human beings that when grouped en-masse stops us from moving forward towards good.”

Now, as you may recall, album single “Silent Treatment,” built on the concept of human civilization being mercilessly ripped apart and stomped on, and of impending doom as the song featured chopped up choral and vocal samples, abrasive, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering drum programming, twinkling arpeggio synths and enormous, room rocking boom bap-like beats — and although the song managed to possess a subtly atmospheric feel, it retained the murky and punishing feel of the material on Dumb Flesh. The album’s latest single “The Rat” continues on a similar vein as it features punishing, tweeter and woofer rocking beats cascading down on the listener paired with layers of swirling, shimmering and buzzing synths — and while being one of the more ominous songs I’ve come across this year, there’s a strangely haunting beauty at its core. 

Edited by Dan Tombs, the recently released visuals forces the viewer to stare directly into his eyes and take a surreal and nightmarish trip through some of the darker and more foreboding recesses of a fairground, stopping through dancing doll towns, merry-go-rounds and warped flashbacks of maggots and decay. As Power says of the video, “The video itself is a bit of fun and filmed on a family vacation, but somehow I feel it represents discontent within a capitalist regime and a world full of sugar-coated shit.” 

New Video: ADULT.’s Stark and Sensual Collaboration with Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas J McCarthy

Comprised of Detroit-based husband-and-wife multimedia artist duo Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus, ADULT. have received both national and international attention both for their music, which features elements of industrial electronica, house music and punk rock — and for their visual art, which includes sculptures, paintings, photographs, films, videos and installations; in fact, since the act’s founding back in 1998, Miller and Kuperus have strove to blur and intersect the lines between visual art and their music, exhibiting their work at the Austrian Cultural Forum (NY), Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh), Detroit Institute of Arts, MOMAS (Saitama, Japan) and Centre d’ar contemporain de Meymac (France). Their film The Three Grace(s) triptych has been shown at the Anthology Film Archives, Distrital Film Festival, Mexico City and Grey Area for Art and Technology.

The duo’s latest effort Detroit House Guests is largely based on the visual artist residency model, in which Miller and Kuperus invited a varied and impressive array of musicians and artists, including Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas J. McCarthy, Swans’ Michael Gira, Light Aslyum’s Shannon Funchess, Lichens, Austrian thereminist Dorit Chrysler and multidisciplinary artist Lun*na Menoh and others to their studio for a three week period — with the parameter that they all live, work and collaborate together to create an album that also manages to be an anthropological sound experiment.

“We Are a Mirror” is the latest single off Detroit House Guests and it finds Miller and Kuperus collaborating with Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas J. McCarthy. Featuring an glitchy and minimalist yet propulsive production consisting of subtle, industrial clang and clatter, an assortment of bleeps, blips and bloops, stuttering drum programming and club-rocking that manages to seamlessly mesh both artists’ sound while being incredibly brooding and seductive.

Directed by Hazel Hill-McCarthy III, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, whose previous work includes a documentary featuring Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P-Orridge, the recently released video for “We Are a Mirror” was filmed in Miller and Kuperus’ hometown of Detroit between the hours of 6pm and 6am — and it employs a relatively straightforward concept: the trio of Miller, Kuperus and McCarthy in a sparsely arranged mirrored room with a light display, broodingly posing and performing the song. And while evoking a murky nightclub, the video also feels as though it could be an fashion shoot as it possesses a grungy and glamorous quality.

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across several posts on Blanck Mass, the solo side project of Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power. 2015’s Dumb Flesh was written and recorded over the course of a year in several different locations  — Power’s Space Mountain Studios, a windowless attic space in Hatch End, North London and Power’s Edinburgh Scotland home. Reportedly, changing recording spaces influenced the album’s dark and sprawling compositions, which frequently meshed tense and abrasive industrial electronic music with sensual, hard hitting, deep house, along with punishing, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and shimmering synths bubbling from a hot, molten iron-like surface, and as a result it gives the material brief moments of stunning beauty bursting from a murky and uncertain mix. Thematically, the material focused on the inherent flaws and frailty of the human body — in some way, the album evoked the sensation that our flesh couldn’t protect us from what feels like certain catastrophe.

 

World Eater, Power’s third Blanck Mass album is slated for a March 3, 2017 release through renowned indie electronic label Sacred Bones Records and the material on the album was inspired by a year teeming with anger, violence, confusion, frustration and despair — and in some way, it evokes a wild, untamed beast chewing and gnawing at civilization, compassion, good, and progression. As Power explains in press notes, “The title is a reference to both the inner beast inside human beings that when grouped en-masse stops us from moving forward towards good.”

 

World Eater‘s latest single “Silent Treatment” builds on the idea of civilization being chewed apart and of impending doom as sonically the song consist of chopped up chorale and vocal samples, abrasive industrial clang and clatter, stuttering drum programming, twinkling arpeggio synths and enormous boom-bap beats — and although while managing to be a subtly more atmospheric, the song retains the tense and murky feel of Dumb Flesh; in fact, the song manages to emphasize the growing sense of impending doom, confusion, and destruction that many of us have felt over the past 10-15 days. Interestingly, as Power explains of the song “‘Silent Treatment’ is about the problems that arise when we don’t communicate. We often grow apart when we don’t understand each other. Being left int he dark can lead to fear.” May this song be a visceral warning — and may it remind us of all that we have at stake.

 

 

 

Sofia Kourtesis is a Berlin, Germany-based DJ, producer and activist, who as a producer and DJ has developed a reputation for a sound that possesses elements of tech house, dream-pop, new wave and others while frequently using anything at her fingertips to create something unique — and interestingly enough has been described by some as falling somewhere between the minimalism of Aphex Twin and the ambiance of Jai Paul.

Over the holidays, Kourtesis released a sensual and atmospheric remix of Me Succeeds‘ “Cool Kids” in which she uses a chopped and reversed sample of her uncle’s voice, skittering drum programming and layers of shimmering and  gently undulating synths which gives the original a mischievous yet hopeful air — and a result, a completely different air from the slow-burning and industrial-leaning original.

As Kourtesis explains of her remix “The Cool Kids remix is really energetic and playful, I thought about our new generation, these people who are young and cool on their own special unique form. Kids wanna change things and maybe save the world someday.”

 

 

Initially comprised of founding member Al Jourgensen (vocals and guitar), Stephen George (drums), Robert Roberts (keys) and John Davis (keys), the renowned and influential Chicago, IL-based industrial metal/industrial electronic act Ministry began as a New Wave synth pop act that released several 12 inch singles through Wax Trax! Records between 1981-1984. And after a series of lineup changes that included a deeper focus on the band’s founding duo of Jourgensen and George, and a radical change in sonic direction that lead to the aggressive and abrasive sound that later inspired the likes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails ,KMFDM and others.

This Friday will mark the limited release of the long-awaited Trax! Rarities double album featuring rare, early tracks and versions of songs from Wax Trax! Records-era Ministry and unreleased material from Al Jourgensen’s related side projects including Revolting Cocks, PTP, Pailhead and 1000 Homo DJs through Cleopatra Records. And we’ve got three tracks from the Trax! Rarities collection — the A Flock of Seagulls meets Roxy Music-like demo version of “The Game Is Over,” which reveals that even with a completely different sound that Jourgensen, his late bandmate George and company had an uncanny ability to write an incredibly anthemic hook paired with shimmering guitars and a propulsive groove;  the mid 80s New Order and Depeche Mode-nodding “I See Red,” which is not only a dance-floor friendly song but manages to be a more conscious move towards something resembling industrial electronic music; and lastly, “Same Old Madness,” which strangely enough, bears an uncanny resemblance to Freedom of Choice-era DEVO. Of course, while the compilation will be a must have for die-hard fans and completetists, it’s a revealing look into how a band’s sound and aesthetic can morph from making them a mere footnote of a particular time into one of the more influential bands of their generation.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Dark Post-Apocalyptic, Industrial Sounds and Visuals of Toronto’s Odonis Odonis

“Needs,” the latest single off Post Plague has the trio pairing layers of undulating synths, howled and shouted vocals, industrial clang and clatter, rapid fire, staccato drum programming, chopped up vocal samples, a rousing, anthemic hook and a propulsive, hypnotic groove in a tense, anxious song that sonically channels early Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and others — but with a contemporary and stark sense of unease, uncertainty and the realization that we’re on the precipice of our own mutually assured self-destruction.

Directed by Scott Cudmore, the recently released video for “Needs” is the first episode of a series of short films, based around the material of Post Plague that blends virtual reality with traditional video to tell a larger, fictional story. And in the case of “Needs,” the video begins with a person transferring their existence into a barely functional AI robot — and are quickly pulled into a post-apocalyptic future that somewhat resembles our own present. As Cudmore explains in press notes, the video is about “Old, entitled, white men and the system of oppression and exploitation that they’ve created to serve their…well…needs, which are usually money and power. I’m looking at this through the lens of science fiction, but I wanted to depict that power structure breaking down finally. Breaking down internally. There’s no linear narrative and you are free to think of that aspect in any way, but each image is a depiction of this breakdown as well as of repression, exploitation and desperation.”

New Video: The Creepily Uneasy Visuals for Tobacco’s “Human Om”

Sweatbox Dynasty, the long-awaited follow-up to Ultima II Massage is slated for release this summer, and as you may remember I wrote about “Gods In Heat,” the first single off the album. I think that single will further cement his burgeoning reputation for crafting scuzzy, abrasive and anthemic electronic music as he pairs layers of abrasive industrial clang and clatter, skittering drum programming, surface-level analog tape hiss and sizzle, a chanted mantra and an infectious hook; but with a subtle dreamy element that nods towards psych rock. The album’s second and latest single “Human Om” pairs layers of buzzing, whirring synths, industrial clang and clatter, mathematically precise handclap-led drum programming and mantra-like lyrics fed through vocoder. Interestingly, the song displays a dreamy and breezy melodicism just underneath the murky surface and as a result it gives the song a darkly mischievous feel; but while radiating a strange sense of calm.

Directed by the artist himself, the recently released music video employs the use of distorted rubber masks of celebrities, politicians and other characters nodding over the song’s distorted beats and superimposed over a variety of scenes and scenarios — and it gives the video a nightmarish, surreal logic while it lulls the viewer into an uneasy hypnotic state.