M & E AUDIOZINE 9
Another sampler of ‘the global underground’ from this prolific label which features artists with releases on Music and Elsewhere.
Artists include: INTO THE ABYSS (Greek Gothic/ Psyche metallurgists from their recent album ‘Cosmognia’) IDIOM (Dark Electronics), STINKING BADGER OF JAVA (Acoustic meets Zappa strangeness), LORD LITTER (German long-time supporter of underground music, does his 90’s version of Arlo Guthrie), BIONICS (Brit- Pop meets the Fall), ORIGINAL MIND (Sci-Fi Funk with a not to the 70’s), BODY FULL OF STARS (More retro rock via Hendrix), GROVER
(Split mind between gentle acoustic and raucous rock – see Sub Pop meets Pink Floyd), SPACE-HOPPER (Drunken anthemic rock out), GOTHICA (Etheral female vocal set against dark brooding electronics reminiscent of Inkubus Sukkubus), MIMETIC BIRTH (Classically inspired electronics), CRIMSON REVELATION (More electronics but in uplifting mode), RASAL GHUL (Ambient/Trance), X ZEN TRICKS (Kraftwerky spaced out trance), THX (Minimal other-worldly ambiences), SONIC ARCANA (Enoesque mutterings), ARTEMIY ARTEMIEV (Russian composer who’s produced many sound track albums) and ALTAIR (Progressive rock).
Contact: MUSIC AND ELSEWHERE, 6 FARM COURT ROAD, FRIMLEY, SURREY, GU16 5TJ
MUGWUMP – Echoes of the Future
Fifth release from Midlands based band with lots of experience between them, via the likes of the Fall, Damned, Fish, Enid, Ten Years After and the Groundhogs.
With such a varied background along with their own influences, which include Joy Division, Doors and Velvet Underground, you expect that they will deliver something out of the ordinary.
Their brand of alternative rock does owe something to the above bands, but also has tinges of Gothic via the Sisters/Mission. Albeit not overt, but they certainly go for the more emotional end of the musical spectrum. Subtle guitar lines that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cure album.
An interesting piece of work that seduces rather than bludgeons the listener into submission.
Contact: DBM, 126 Rocky Lane, Perry Barr, Birmingham, B42 1QF
HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR - Hiroshima Mon Amour (Cassette)
Self-confessed lovers of Post-Punk Music from the likes of Joy Division, Cure and Ultravox, where they got their name from.
This Italian group are carrying on where these bands left off and have received much critical praise in their region, culminating in a TV appearance and contributions to various compilations, including one put out by the well regarded Energeia label.
Musically they lean towards the morbid uplifting catchiness of the Cure, who always had an eye on being accepted into the mainstream, but always maintaining their more adventurous material to be found on their various albums. A clever trick if you can pull it off … we’ll just have to see what else they have up their sleeves.
Contact: HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR, Franz. Castagneto 1, 64010 TERAMO, ITALY. e-mail email@example.com
ANGEL SELF DESTRUCT – Kitsch & Chaos (Cassette)
French duo featuring Alex (Vocals/Guitars) and Laurence (Vocals/Synth/Percussion) they also share programming duties.
Their brand of lo-fi gothic electronics is reminiscent of some 80’s bands but mixed with say the likes of Curve.
Spooky insistent guitar lines bore away at your skull whilst the mantric synth lines hypnotise.
The dual vocals put me in mind of the March Violets, but this also gives the songs greater variety in atmospherics.
Contact: ANGEL SELF DESTRUCK, 22 Bis Rue De L’Yveline, 78790 SEPTEVIL, FRANCE
KRANKHEIT DER JUGEND – Tod Der Tagtraumer Eins/Zwei, Drei (Cassette – Krankekunstrverlag)
A collection of tracks taken from various live performances from this agit-art rock band from Germany.
Mixing experimental elements along with post-punk with a dash of fellow countrymen DAT and Neubauten.
Spoken word ambiences are counterbalanced with full on pieces, which gives this band such depth. Live, they have great control and power retaining subtleties that most bands lose.
The words are all important. This band has a message to accompany their thought provoking music.
Contact: KRANKHEIT DER JUGEND, Haupstr.75, 74206 BAD WIMPFEN, GERMANY
DAY RELEASE RECORDS
After being disillusioned with major labels the band DELICATE AWOL logically decided to set up their own – a lot’s happened in a year.
The aim of the label is to release the best alternative music, but not relying on a house style, so artists on this label are eclectic in style but have a common uniqueness of vision. The artist in control? Quite an idealistic manifesto …
DAY RELEASE SAMPLER
Features the current roster of artists including DELICATE AWOL (up-beat Curve/Massive Attack meets quirky jazz), DAVID HURN (Singer/ songwriter with mellow acoustic guitar number), FAIRYS (Offbeat psychedelic tinged band), 40 SHADES OF BLACK (Instrumental progressive/ experimental rock)
NAZGUL – Habitually/Plujectories (Single-Day Release)
German experimental ensembles who first recorded their improvised music back in 1975. They recorded two albums for the legendary Pyramid label and remained unnoticed until Virgin compiled ‘Unknown Dautschland’ – Krautrock Archive, recently.
Since then, a full album has been released via Psi-Fi and of course this single.
Think of bands like Faust and that whole scene and you’ll get close to their minimal ambient experimentation’s. The even used similar recording techniques to re-create their original sound.
Contact: DAY RELEASE, 8 Moat Place, LONDON, SW9 OTA,
IDIOM – Who Stole The Sun?
Second release from this Huddersfield based band who’ve been influenced by psychedelia, rock and blues.
Their first album ‘Waterglass’ is available via the omnipresent Mick Magic’s label ‘Music and Elsewhere’.
Fusing acoustic and electric instruments alongside modern technology, this band is trying to go beyond one genre.
Certainly I can see progressive elements whether it’s in the more rockier numbers or ambient pieces. Somewhere between Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd and even Spear of Destiny.
ONE – Receive The Word
New project from former vocalist of now defunct Goth band ‘Meridian’ who released material via Music for Nations.
This is the first recorded output from David Wilkinson, and he is taking his music in a more electronic direction.
Mixing 80’s electronics via Depeche Mode with touches of Gothic ambiences all overlaid with deep dark vocals.
Catchy songs that still have menace aimed at capturing a wider audience in the wake of people like Marilyn Manson/Sisters of Mercy.
Contact: ONE, PO BOX 464, BRIGHTON LE SANDS, NWS 2216, AUSTRALIA
INTER NOS – Futuro Calpestato
Italian duo consisting of brothers Claudio and Paolo Faggion who’ve had previous experience in prog and hard rock bands.
You’ve got pounding drums and metallic riffs overlaid with melodic vocals. We’re not talking death metal, more akin to progressive rock, closer to bands that were around in the early 70’s
The music is always adjusting as it goes along which gives an almost jazz feel.
Contact: INTERNOS, Via Colvera 2,33170 PORDENONE, ITALY
HARDMAN, DIAZ-INFANTE TRIO-Ukiyo-e
Three-piece from California who’ve produced many albums of improvised music. This album is inspired by the Japanese term Ukiyo-e meaning ‘pictures of the floating world’.
Improvisations flow into each other, evolving organically, immersing the listener in this mindstream.
Picked acoustic guitar merge with cyclic noises and ambiences to produce uncertain tensions.
Difficult to find comparisons … not for the faint-hearted.
Contact: PAX, PO BOX 697, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
BLACK OCTOBER – Oktober Black
Debut release from this minimalist obscure group who keep the band’s details hidden.
The tracks axis is driven by grungy bass or neo-folky guitar with gothic ambiences. Interspersed with the occasional militaristic drum punctuation’s a la In The Nursery, but overall the whole concept puts me in mind of bands like Death in June and their ilk.
Contact: …ALEX… NO CONTACT
WINGS OF DESTINY – Forwards, Cursed Desire (Cassette)
Follow-up to the well received debut album ‘Where Darkness Falls’ from this German Gothic band.
Another chapter in this band’s obsession with neo-romantic epic visions of love and desire. A mix of Cure-ish meets metal guitars overlain with soft female vocals, which give the tracks light and shade.
This material is a bit heavier than previous outings with its metal meets gothic touches, but there is variety. It’s not at all dark doom. They walk the line between rock and gothic reminiscent of All About Eve and the Mission.
Contact: WINGS OF DESTINY, Stemmer StraBe 2, 32689 Kalletal, GERMANY
REMORA – Anadia
American artists follow-up to ‘Amerse’, where he continues to wrench as many different noises from his instrument (the guitar) as possible.
You would have thought that would be limiting, but Brian Mitchell seems to have no problems. Cyclic ambient laid back, then riffy and distorted somewhere between the Stooges and the Swans.
Structured experiments in lo-fi that is closer to the likes of Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins stranger moments.
Contact: : …ALEX… NO CONTACT
VLOR – Luxate
Features Brian Mitchell from Remora, along with fellow guitarist Russell Halasz, and this is the second release from this duo.
All the recording was captured onto a hand held tape recorder – you can’t get more lo-fi than that!
Minimal haunting guitar sketches, a stripped-down-bare Durutti Column comes to mind.
Primitive evocative pieces that pierce the ether; songs from under the floor-boards.
Contact: AMERSE, PO BOX 1802, Raleigh, NC27619, USA
LLUVIA ACIDA – Efectos Secundarios
Follow-up to the album ‘Simulcian’ from this dark electronic band, also available via Harijan.
Features the duo Hector Aguilar on synths/ sequencers and Rafael Cheuquelaf on guitars/synths.
Mechanical bleeps and pulses with rigid beats puts me in mind of a harder Kraftwerk. Instrumental EBM that’s not quite for the dance floor but verges on the experimental in Esplendor Geometrico mode.
More akin to the early industrial/electronic scene via the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, Test Dept and their ilk.
Contact: : …ALEX… NO CONTACT
MANTIZA – Final Del Juego (Cassette – Harijan)
Features Cheuquelaf who is also involved with the above band and ‘Nebula’. This is more of a band affair and doesn’t involve any electronics.
I guess alternative rock with metal edges kind of sums up what they do, but they have more facets than that – they also delve into neo-classical gothic rock like All About Eve/ Mission.
Emotive atmospheric uplifting songs that stir the imagination.
Contact: HARIJAN, Mario Toledo Viola 326, Panta Arenas, CHILE.
ENSOPH – Les Confessions du Mat
Debut release from a new gothic – dark metal band from Italy.
They also draw influences from folk, classical and ambient sources.
The mix of dark male and ethereal female vocals gives light and shade and puts me in mind of Dead Can Dance.
Mystical melancholic atmospheres under-pinned with more progressive rock backing, perhaps a harder Death in June.
The music is shifting like the proverbial sands from ethereal to neo-folk to dark metal and you can’t see the seams.
Emotional romantic versions of mortality and nature in epic proportions.
Contact: ENSOPH, Via Altinia 123/g, 30030 Favaro V to (VE), ITALY.
DIPARTIMENTO SCUOLA EDUCAZIONE – D.S.E. (Cassette)
Debut release from this electronically inspired Italian band lead by vocalist Anita Lanniello. Soaring melodic vocals set against militaristic beats and sub-New Order bass lines.
Melancholic songs that owe a lot to the likes of Joy Division/Cure, mixed with buzzy synth lines and distorted guitar.
The voice is dominant throughout, obviously a band caught in the early stages of their development.
Will have to see what happens when they graduate.
Contact: D.S.E., Via Giovanni 23, BONATE SOTTO, ITALY.
Non-profit organisation that was set up in 1983 to promote and distribute underground music and culture.
Involved in compiling and filing artworks, also releasing tapes of various musicians and creating an archive.
They have also promoted five festivals with various musical styles represented, bands include: X-Ray Pop, No Unauthorised and Neutral Project.
Musician, composer, author and painter with a varied musical history going back to 1975. Including Stern Eyes Noises and Teeth (Rock), Alcis (Progressive) and Dhisma (Indian).
Founder M.Nomized in 1979 along with other multimedia interests which culminated in the setting up of Fraction.
His activities within multimedia are so varied and the output from M.Nomized including many collaborations, is colossal.
(Cassette – Fraction)
(Cassette – Fraction)
Creating sound textures build around loops using synths, computer, tapes and samples.
Organic ambient music that flows reminiscent of the likes of Eno, Mike Oldfield and perhaps the Orb.
Another sound track looking for a film - move over Tangerine Dream.
Contact: FRACTION, 7 Clos Des Sources, 77000 Melun, FRANCE
LOCKJAW 9 MAGAZINE & CD COMPILATION
The aim of the ‘zine is to promote the underground electronic and extreme metal scenes, only on CD and vinyl though.
Covering these genres dark ambient, atmospheric, industrial, power electronics, noise, trance, gabba experimental … and extreme metal in its various forms.
This issue features interviews with BAND OF PAIN, CYCLOBE, ULCER, EXPOSE YOUR EYES, JESUS FIX and NARGOTHROND, along with a healthy ‘reviews’ section.
Along with this, we have a compilation of tracks from bands featured which include: EXPOSE YOUR EYES (ambient noise mixed with cut-ups distortion), ARACHE HURLANT (harsh industrial electronics), THE MAGICIAN (harsh techno/gabba at breakneck speed), BAND OF PAIN (Dark Ambient), NARGOTHROND (Angelic voices drowned in fierce Death Metal), JESUS FIX (Classic Gothic Rock) and ULCER (Doom metal).
Contact: LOCKJAW, Basement Flat, 154 Minnis Road, Birchington, KENT CT7 9QF.
INCH – Inch
(Single – Regal)
Originally put together by the talents of producers Simon Spencer and Keir Stewart, featuring the vocals of Fall frontman Mark E. Smith.
This was sent to John Peel as a white label via the NME as a birthday present and became one of his favourite tracks.
Carried by the inimitable Northern drawl of Mark E Smith along with pounding distorted rhythm section.
Lo-fi sub-Fall rambling meets Fat Boy Slim, that etches its way into your brain.
Contact: REGAL, 43 Brook Green, LONDON W6 7EF
BUFFALO TOM – Knot In It
(Single – Beggars Banquet)
Following on from the album ‘Smitten’ and tours of America, Australia and Europe, this American band gives us another slice of classic rock’n’roll as emotional as any Huston movie.
Not urban as Springsteen, more wide open spaces, similar to the likes of the Byrds et al.
Melodic, catchy songs that you warm to, like the rising of the morning sun.
Contact: BEGGARS BANQUET.
BADLY DRAWN BOY – It Came From the Ground (Single – XL)
The fourth EP from this Maverick Mancunian musician Damon Gaigh in this particular incarnation.
This release is a lot slicker than previous Lo-fi excursions and delves less into the obscure.
There is a tune that is not hidden away under over-the-top production. Obviously an eye on receiving more daytime radio play and garnering new devotees.
Contact: XL/Beggars Banquet
NEW ELECTRICS – Beautiful Mind
Debut release from this Brummie based band who have a penchant for sharp suits and avenging tunes.
Their brand of perverse power pop owes a lot to the likes of Placebo, Suede and Radiohead.
Quirky edges that Sparks would be proud of, not to the detriment of a killer tune, but will the fickle public taste pick this particular flavour? We’ll have to wait and see!
Contact: ZOOT Promotions, PO BOX 3932, Birmingham B30 2EQ
ATTRITION – Kissing a Virtual Angel
Limited Edition five track release including reinterpreted tracks from ‘3 Arms and dead cert’ and ‘The Jeopardy Maze’, along with three previously unreleased tracks produced by Frank Demmatteis and Martin Bowes.
Demmatteis appeared on the ‘Etude’ album where he reinterpreted Attrition tracks in a classical style.
This release pretty much carries on from where ‘Etude’ left off, using Demmatteis viola to full effect.
ATTRITION – Jeopardy Maze
Bringing together various contributors to help widen Martin’s production palette, which includes long time vocal sparrer Julia Waller and more recently, Frank Demmatteis.
Both give more dimensions to ‘Attrition’s sound operatic vocals and classical instrumentation, underpinned by Bowes dark vox and ominous electronics, that still pack a punch and a tune.
This band is on the verge of a break-through and this new album is the gateway.
A consistent set of tracks that are fully focussed, current and ready to garner them a new following in the wake of the likes of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails.
From ambient via the Orb to classical and electronic dance, they have virtually all the corners covered. Even down to a sub-Clockwork Orange version of ‘God Save the Queen’ anthem, show they have a wry sense of humour.
Contact: ATTRITION, 143 Moat Avenue, Coventry CV3 6BW
KISMET – North Atlantic Balkan Express
Second release via this label following on from ‘Wake Up Gods’, from this duo of Macedonians who are now based in Australia, but their history goes back to 1987 when they were involved with cult band ‘Mizar’, the first ‘Kismet’ release appeared in 1994.
Since then, they’ve produced three albums, appeared in numerous compilations and contributed music to a film ‘Redball’, also programmes on MTV.
Drawing on the turbulent Balkans for their influences, using ethnic instruments as a basis for various samples and effects.
All driven by hard-electronics that are reminiscent of the Young Gods, Nine Inch Nails and Laibach.
Mood and emotion are paramount and I can see why their music has been used along with visual imagery, whether it’s film or theatre. They even do an interesting cover of ‘Love will tear us apart’, by Joy Division and make it their own … ooh, I spotted the ‘Magazine’ sample on one track!
Contact: TONE CASUALTIES, 6353 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA90028, USA
THE LAST FALL – Flood in Light
Belgian Gothic Band, debuted in ’94 under the leadership of Alain Posset, who has guided the band since.
This, their debut release, features contributions from vocalists from the band’s ‘Swan Death’, ‘Absynthe’, ‘Cyclamen Valley’ and ‘Astray’.
Musically, it’s mostly atmospheric electronic which the various vocals complement, in a ‘This Mortal Coil’, kind of way.
Alain Posset creates lush gothic sound-scapes that puts me in mind of some of the more esoteric ‘Projekt’ label bands.
Contact: THE LAST FALL, Rue A. Mignolet 13/B2, 6061 Charleroi, BELGIUM
WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW – November
(LP – MOS)
Second release from this Austrian band, following up the well-received ‘Laudanum’ album, having survived the first album, which was a melancholic affair, this is more uplifting but still had those ‘Cure’ overtones.
Atmospheric gothic ambiences mixed with more rockier moments in post-punk mode, Think Sisters, Psychedelic Furs and The Mission.
This is a far more focussed album, probably due to the fact that they’ve been consistently playing live.
They’ve added more electronics to give a wider depth in emotions, but they still are on the darker side.
An album that will consolidate their position, but the next one will be interesting to see where they take things next.
Contact: M.O.S., Altenbach 24a, 9490 Vaduz, LIECHTENSTEIN
OLEG KISTROW – The Great Flashing Tracks from Iwona
(LP – Storage Secret Sounds)
One half of well known Russian duo ‘Messer Fur Frau Muller’ who received ‘best band of ‘98’ award from a famous Moscow Magazine ‘Ptjutsch’. Kostrow also has been involved in theatre and performance projects and the music from one of these has been used for this album.
A great use of familiar samples used with a warped sense of humour, like an up-beat Laurie Anderson.
Using Kitsch, exotica and easy listening as a basis then reconstructed, that owes a lot to the likes of ‘Pierre Henry’ and the ‘Barbarella’ soundtrack.
But in current terms, think of ‘Stereolab’, ‘Fat Boy Slim’ and even the ‘Chemical Brothers’, but even that doesn’t cover what he does. Should be huge.
NOVA HUTA – A bambij robots non-stop datscha
(LP – Storage Secret Sounds)
Following on the bizarre theme which features Reznicek, a sound explorer from Hamburg, in which he received a package from his uncle in Poland, with his compositions, he worked as a musician for the steel works. Only recently did Reznicek decide to fulfil his uncle’s will, after releasing solo material along with contributions to Gronland Orchester.
Imagine casio versions of slavanic folk songs, mixed with 70’s kitsch via the likes of Hot Butter. Primitive electronics that exude tackiness and belong with the exotica category.
There is some sound manipulation and effects added along with a large does of humour and helium.
Contact: STORAGE SECRET SOUNDS, Stora Obendeich 65, 25379 HERZHORN, GERMANY
TREES – Harmonizer
Follow up to their debut album, which came out in ’97, also on Energeia, from this Italian band.
They have a self-confessed influence from dark wave music from the eighties. Their brand of creative melodic ethereal music draws on the same areas as the likes of ‘Cocteau Twins’, ‘This Mortal Coil’ and the ‘Cure’.
You get swept along by the harmonic waves with the vocals floating in and out of earshot. It’s not all calmness – we do have stormy periods that are reminiscent of ‘My Bloody Valentine’. Music to feed the soul and emotions that only some of the current Projekt bands get close to.
MYSTERY PLAYS – Sentinella
Immersed in the themes connected with war and love, especially it seems, via the images on the album, the ‘Second World War’. Their music three years in the making is as stark as the black and white photographs on view.
You can hear the post-punk reference points in their music from the ‘Cure’, ‘Joy Division’ and ‘Section 25’.
Atmospheric minimal haunting songs that are filled with ice cold emotions of alienation. As sombre as graveyard statues.
Contact: ENERGEIA, Via Manzoni 9, 80019 Qualiano (NA), ITALY.
MANUSKRIPT – Devils Advocate
Long awaited follow-up to their debut album ‘Diversity of Life’, from this unconventional alternative act. They’ve garnered the reputation as one of the best live bands in the scene, playing all the major gothic/ alternative festivals.
Musically they take from both the 80’s and the current gothic/dark wave movements, without falling into the predictable clichés both musically and in presentation, they have the desire to be current.
Coming on like a mix of Placebo and Marilyn Manson, there’s the dark side but with great hooklines – think ‘Depeche Mode’. Mixed in with the Halloween masks, is a wry sense of humour, which doesn’t take itself too seriously.
MANTRA – Every Defect
Another second album this time from this isolationist band from Manchester. Inspiration comes from the likes of ‘The Swans’, ‘Neubauten’ and ‘Nick Cave’, all unique artists. But I think they are closer to ‘Sinead O’Connor’, and the vocals are uncannily similar with a touch of P J Harvey thrown in. Chilling minimal tales of despair and heartache, you get trapped in this claustrophobia. ‘Joy Division’ trawled the same path and this band follow in their wake, heading towards ‘Portishead’.
INKUBUS SUKKUBUS – Wild
After garnering much international critical acclaim and following on from the limited edition album ‘Away with the Faeries’, which featured a tantalising selection of new tracks, plus a live set in their home town Cheltenham.
This pretty much carries on from ‘Vampyre Erotica’ left off and puts me more in mind of the ‘March Violets’.
A mix of pagan/gothic imagery hitched to electronic backing in ‘Sisters’ mode, all overlaid with ‘Candias’ plaintive vocals, but they have taken on board more European influences via medieval, neo-folk and classical.
An album to confirm their status within the pagan/gothic scene and maybe press and radio allowing, beyond.
Contact: RESURRECTION, 228 Camden High Street, LONDON NW1
SEMSAS TRAUM – Die Liebe Gottes
Debut release from this German Black Metal/Gothic band and the label’s first foray into this genre. Much touted by various Metal Magazines as ‘The Discovery of 1999’, culminating in this getting into the German alternative charts within a few days of being released.
We have dark metal elements, chugging guitars and gravely vox that is the trademark of the genre, but along with this, we have gothic ambiences, angelic female vocals and classical symphonic pieces.
Spoken word passages act as a guide through this metal opera that sounds like an updated version of Wagner or Orf mixed with the likes of ‘Cradle of Filth’ et al.
SOPOR AETERNUS – Dead Lovers Sarabande
I & II
The first two chapters of this harrowing tale unleashed by Germany’s premier neo-folk/ gothic band.
Drawing on dark goth influences, the death cult, medieval, this is what drives Varney deep into the heart of darkness.
Funeral dirges from a dark age that are reminiscent of ‘In The Nursery’ at their most epic. In contract, we have minimal melancholic songs that draw on neo-folk a la ‘Death in June’ and their like, but the inspiration comes from a more personal exploration of these themes. Varney uses the music as a kind of mirror for his own experiences, but it is not all impenetrable gloom; we have touches of light that puts me in mind of neo-romantic bands like ‘Christian Death’ and more recently, ‘London After Midnight’.
Sopor Aeternus occupy a realm of individual contemplation away from urban life and closer to nature.
SANGUIS ET CINIS – Madrigal
Controversial Austrian band who’s last album was banned for being too offensive. This didn’t stop the track ‘Isabelle’ being a hit in all the German Gothic clubs (what a surprise!).
Their mix of sexual imagery is employed to the full effect, both lyrically and visually, as best seen on this richly packed album. Provocative electronics and erotic gothic ambiences seduce the listener into dream-like mantras. Pulsing rhythms, dark male vocals, complemented by floaty exotic female vocals, all add to this effect.
Dark romantic dance music for those cold Teutonic ‘nachts’ at some subterranean haunt or other suitable venues.
Unpredictable and explicit music that envelopes and provokes, pushing all the right buttons.
L’AME IMMORTELLE – Wenn der Letze…
Third release from this successful electro/ industrial band who’ve managed this without huge media coverage. Primal tribal electronics that pound the senses like Kraftwerk on overload, pumping EBM that batters the body.
Again, a mix of dark male vocals and more ethereal female, which gives variances in their attack. Along with this, is minimal imagery to complement the stark techno, the twisted dark brother of ‘Depache Mode’.
To cast a little light, we have melancholic melodic respites, fragile accounts of the human condition.
This band probe and search to find what links us all, we are all naked on this judgement day.
YENDRI – Inhaliere Meine Seele …
Debut release from this solo electronic artiste from Germany.
Immediate catchy dark electronic dance that follows on from the likes of ‘Nitzer Ebb’ and ‘Nine Inch Nails’, from melodic ‘Depeche Mode’ like to more extreme industrial beats, Yendri encompasses all these genres into one. Then there are ambient pieces, a bit like ‘Bladerunner’ that give you a chance to catch your breath.
Musically, they fall nicely between ‘Sopor Aeternus’ and ‘L’Ame Immortelle’ and provide a bridge between them.
PILORI – Feuilles Tombantes
Another debut release, again from a German ensemble, featuring Marion Urbach and Gernot Musch, ploughing the same neo-folk furrows along with the likes of ‘Death in June’, ‘Sol Invictus’ and ‘Ordo Equitum Solis’. Plaintive vocals intone of nature and human frailties, moving tales of mystery and magic.
Acoustic guitar, minimal drumming and ethereal keyboards, puts me in mind of a less electronic ‘In The Nursery’. Put this alongside other ‘Heavenly Voices’ type artists from the ‘Projekt’ label, particularly ‘Black Tape for a Blue Girl’.
KRANKHEIT DER JUGEND – GIFT SUCHT
More emanations from this German post- krautrock meddlers who’ve always got a surprise or two up their sleeves.
Organic almost improvised songs that ebb and flow, conducted by singer/poet Andy Weh. This collection is caught live in the studio, leaving all the rawness and spontaneity intact.
To counteract this, we have an electronic number, which hurtles along like DAF out of control. This band encompasses the past experimental movements from Germany and brings them to the present.
Contact: KRANKE KUNST, Haupstr.75, 74206 Bad Wimpen, GERMANY.
SHROUD OF CYANHIDE – EARLY PROJECTS
Features material originally put out as cassettes and now gathered together on this compilation. This French Gothic/Industrial band have been in existence since ’96 and plan a new album to be out shortly.
The material on show here covers much the same ground as the likes of ‘The Sisters’ and ‘Fields of the Nephilim’. We have the insistent guitar lines, pounding drum machine and deep, dark vocals.
Unsurprisingly, they wear their influences on their sleeves, but this is a band caught in embryo. We’ll have to see how they develop once they get beyond the ‘gothic’ womb.
Contact SHROUD OF CYANHIDE, 45 Rue Danton, 94270 Le Kremlin Bicetre, FRANCE.
TEDIUM VITAE – Fleisch und Blut
Follow-up to the dancefloor inferno of ‘Tanz und Schrei’ which is also featured on this album. We enter into this dark nightmare realm via ‘Exorcist’ inspired intro, even down to the backwards speech.
Lots of gothic ambiences mixed with classical inspired keyboards, along with the traditional church organ.
The soundtrack to some grisly burial with vocals that are calling from beyond the grave. To counterbalance this, we have a couple of guitar driven tracks in ‘Sisters’ mode, but leaning towards a more metal sound.
Double-edged vocals, female and male, give this band a wider range in atmospheres. All they have to do is to decide in which direction they want to take their sound.
Contact: TMVE, 94 Rue des Hauts Pavees, 44000 Nantes, FRANCE.
SPIRITUAL BATS – Sacrament
Formed from the core of the ‘Alchemisti Painters Group’, this is the second release from this Italian band.
They received a lot of critical acclaim for their first album ‘Confession’, which high- lighted in a concert in New Your.
Imbued with all things connected with Gothic Imagery and the dark arts, their brand of death rock owes much to the likes of ‘Christian Death’, ‘Bauhaus’ and ‘Sisters of Mercy’. Not always necessarily in musical terms, but in the presentation, there is a strong sense of style.
Musically, we have tribally gothic rhythms, a la ‘Sex Gang Children’, drenched in epic distorted guitars and reverby keyboards.
For current context, think of bands like ‘Mors Syphilitica’, ‘Love Like Blood’ and ‘Judith’.
Contact: ALCHIMISTI, via Firenze 35, 05100 Frosinone, ITALY.
STROKE – Internal Call
Collects three tracks from previous extremely limited two 10" singles for their debut for this label.
They sound like a mix of indie via ‘Shoegazing’ and distorted ‘Madchester’, layered over ‘Prodigy’ driven backing.
With the Melody Maker describing them as a missing link between indie and dance (Where have I heard that before?), but that aside, the ‘Soup Dragons’, ‘EMF’, ‘Jesus Jones and Primal Scream’ have managed varying degrees of success with the same formula.
MEDUSA MUSIK – Floss Der
A collection of various musicians from Germany involved in the improvised/ambient realm. Imagine a minimal version of ‘Future Sound of London’s’ Lifefarms compressed out of recognition. Then add various Iofi enhanced sci-fi vibes that wouldn’t sound out of place in some warped industrial flick.
These guys are working at the very edge of sound/music – call it what you will.
The soundtrack to post-industrial urban landscape and possibly appearing at an installion gallery in your area.
Contact: K.VH, Bahnhofsplatz 10, 65428 Russelsheim, GERMANY
LLAMA FARMERS – Dead Letter Chorus
Received piles of critical praise from the likes of NME and Melody Maker. Also high profile slots with the ‘Foo Fighters’, ‘Green Day’ and ‘3 Colours Red’.
Moving from ‘Fierce Panda’ who released two singles, this is their debut album for this label.
Featuring the catchy punchy singles ‘Big Wheels’ and ‘Get the Keys and Go’, we will see if they have the stamina for a full album.
Their brand of melodic punk owes a lot to the grunginess of say, ‘Nirvana’ and the hooks of ‘Placebo’.
They are perfectly placed to garner praise both sides of the Atlantic, but I think they have their eye on the States.
Yes, they did have the stamina, they have the intelligence to know how to pace themselves!
Contact: BEGGARS BANQUET.annadockrell@
NOXIOUS EMOTION – Symbols
Debut release from this American electronic trio featuring Michael Wimer, Godboy and Fritter.
Following on in the traditions of the likes of ‘Front Line Assembly’ and ‘Nine Inch Nails’, pounding insistent EBM that’s meant to get bodies sweating on the dancefloor.
Hard electronic tanz that’s marshalled by gruff vocals all angst ridden in ‘Front 242’ mode.
Nothing new, but they do it with great conviction and this album will go down well with the electronic/industrial scene.
Contact: ADSR, 1106 E.Republican, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
SPACECRAFT – Hummel
Captured live at the Hummell Planetarium in Kentucky, this ambient space band take organic electronic music for those who boldly go etc… cue ‘Star Trek’.
They’ve combined man and machine to produce a unique performance of spontaneous soundscapes. Drifting slabs of sonic ambiences collide with dramatic effect that conjures images from the film ‘2001’.
The soundtrack to ‘The Hidden Universe’, the constant chatter of far-off stars and galaxies.
Contact: LEKTRNIC, PO BOX 6y2043, Durham, NC 27715, USA
ARTEMIV ARTEMIEV – Mysticism of Sound
Another release from this prolific Russian Composer with another foray into electronic/ ambient territory.
Dark uneasy murmurs emanate from some dark hole that propels the listener into a sinister void.
The soundtrack to some shadowy sci-fi file (think Alien) or a psychological horror, not for the squeamish.
Artemiev is a past master at creating sound-scapes for differing moods and places and this adds another shade to his collection.
ELECTROACOUSIC MUSIC VOLUME 3
Features an international collection of artists that are involved with electronic/ambient/acoustic music. This compilation features RICHARD BOND (From the UK, produced electronic music since the early 80’s), JOHN PALMER (also from the UK, classical acoustic violin improvisations), MARTIN ALEJANDRO (Argentinean abstract/ ‘Tangerine Dream’ electronics), PETE STOLLERY (post-industrial noise-scapes from the UK), RUDIGER GLEISBERT (German ambient/soundscapes inspired by Africa), A. IGLESIAS-ROSSI (another Argentinean dealing in other-worldly soundscapes) and HANS JOACHIM ROEDELIUS (from Austria, idyllic soundscape in mellow mood).
ELECTROACOUSTIC MUSIC VOLUME 4
This compilation is dedicated to the first Russian synthesiser invented by the Scientist EVGENIY MURZIN, who spent twenty years (1937-57) developing it.
This unique synthesiser called ANS is in a Moscow University now, and is possibly the first in the world?
All the compositions were made on this device by various Russian Musicians between 1964 and 1971. Artists featured include OLEG BULOSHKIN, SOFIA GUBAIDULINA, EDWARD ARTEMIEV (includes an extract from the film ‘Cosmos’), EDISON DENISOV, ALFRED SCHNITTKE, ALEXANDER NEMTIN, SCHANDOR KALLOSH and STANISLAV KREITCHI.
Most of the music has an ‘other-worldly’ feel to it that’s reminiscent of films like ‘Forbidden Planet’.
EDWARD ARTEMIEV – Solaris/Mirror/Stalker
Features tracks from three Russian films, including the cult Science Fiction Classic ‘SOLARIS’ (1972) by ANDREI TARKOVSKIY.
Artemiev captures very different moods on this collection from other-worldy ‘Tangerine Dream/ Vancelis’ like ‘Solaris’, to soundscape mood pieces that take in the likes of ‘Morricone’ and ‘Eno’ and beyond.
Contact: ELECTROSHOCK, Box 183, 1/20 Petrovskie Linnii, Moscow 103051, RUSSIA
WOMB – Unclean
Debut album release following on from four solo tapes which gained favourable exposure in the Gothic Press.
Now a due featuring founder Greg Ferrai and new member Joanne Owen, from ‘Leisure Hire’, who appears when they play live.
Their brand of electronic/gothic hurtles along in the same lines of ‘The Sisters’ and ‘Nine Inch Nails’.
Pounding strict drum machine, ‘Curish’ guitar lines and dark vox, create seamy gothic atmospheres.
Perhaps urban dark wave would be a good moniker for this 21st century blues. Add to this grandiose keyboard nuances that stretch the sound into more classical neo-romantic arena a la ‘London After Midnight’.
Contact: WOMB, 11 Pine Crescent, Brentwood, CM13 1JE
M’LUMBO VS KOLBALT 6 – Spinning Tourists
In a City of Ghosts)
Following on from an album of covers of TV Theme Songs, done in avant-jazz style, comes this ‘Eno’/’Talking Heads’ sounding album title, which has taken on board electronica, ambient and world beats.
They are a shifting collective of New York Musicians who are difficult to label. Melding tribal rhythms and break beats, cut-ups and electronic ambiences, they sound like a polished earlier – ‘Cabaret Voltaire’.
Shifting from dance orientated to soundscape mixing in Kitsch and exotica along the way, producing a dream like travelogue.
Restless like the planet and the modern cosmopolitan urban environment.
Contact: UNIT CIRCLE, PO Box 20352, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
GROENLAND ORCHESTER – Trigger Happiness
Features members who have released or been involved with various projects, including: REZNICEK, NOVA HUTA, GUNTER ADLER, KLANGKRIEG and ANUBIS, they debuted with a 12" EP last year, along with high profile appearances at the Popkomm/Cologne and in Berlin.
Fusing differing elements of electronic music from dance via 80’s synth-pop along with ‘Kraftwerk’ and more experimental electronics.
Throw in strong sense of Kitsch and exotica – think ‘Hot Butter’, then you’re getting close to where this band are at.
Perverse instrumental electronics that have lo-fi retro-primitive feel.
Contact: STAUBGOLD, Zulpicher Str. 251, 50937 Koln, GERMANY.
ON THE FLOOR – Waiting For the Summer
This German gothic rock band have been in existence since ’95, have produced two tapes, this is their debut release.
Drum machine driven dark and doomy reminiscent of ‘The Sisters’ and ‘Bauhaus’ more stark moments.
Feedbacked incisive guitar lines with a metallic edge gives the songs added power. Add to that, mournful vocals and epic atmospherics in the vein of ‘Marilyn Manson’. A first dip for this band. It’ll be interesting when they take the plunge.
Contact: ON THE FLOOR, Sebaldkoppel 14, 21509 Glinde, GERMANY.
SERPENT BEAT – Serpent Beat
Debut release from this Polish band that were involved with cult native group ‘Los Loveros’. Creative inspiration comes from the likes of the ‘Doors’, ‘Birthday Party’ and ‘Nick Cave’.
This dark swamp rock has it’s roots in the blues via the ‘Cramps’ and newer outfits like ’Sixteen Horsepower’.
They’ve taken American influences and given them a European art-rock slant with a healthy dose of ‘Cabaret’.
Noisy dirges that wouldn’t sound out of place in some ‘Curt Vile’ opera.
Contact: CROSS, Vl.Kasztorna 22, Warsaw, POLAND.
CHIRON – Eve
Australian outfit that features carrodus and Molinaro from cult ‘dark wave’ band ‘Ikon’.
Imbued with connections to the past, their name comes from a figure in Greek mythology, along with an image of a stone circle on the cover and the names of the first woman as an album title.
Led by ‘Curish’ guitar lines the songs have an epic quality that early ‘Psychedelic Furs’ and ‘U2’ were capable of.
The vocals are so reminiscent of ‘Butler’, it’s uncanny, along with the strong 80’s musical influences.
Together with the above bands, I can hear reference points from post-punk outfits such as: ‘The Sound’ and ‘Comsat Angels’.
Contact: ENERGEIA, Via Manzoni 9, 80019 Qualiano (NA), ITALY.
LA FUNCION DE REPULSA – Homo Chip
This Mexican electronic band mix various elements of genre into a heady brew. Industrial via ‘Ministry’ distorted guitars and pounding beats that are on the verge of collapse, Angst ridden vocals in the vein of ‘Front 242’ and those other EBM hard electronic bands.
Add a penchant for the bizarre with excursions into more avant-garde territory that gives this band an edge.
A must for all who are into ‘Front Line Assembly’, ‘Skinny Puppy’ and ‘Download’ – be prepared to be surprised.
Contact: GENITAL, 10 Y 11 Anaya YO. Ramirez 736 CD.Victoria, Tamaulipas 8705, MEXICO
SOUNDSCAPE GALLERY 3 – Compilation
The title kinda gives it away, a collection of original new compositions within the atmospheric, minimalist electronic and electro-acoustic music scene.
This features RON BOOTS (Dutch electronic musician influenced by ‘Stephen King’ and ‘Tolkein’.), ROEDELIUS and TIM STORY (Roedelins long time experimenter via ‘Krautrock’, teams up with an old friend), TEMPS PERDU (French/German duo who combine synths and world music), LOREN NERELL (American composer and performer), DEAN DE BENEDICTS (Atmospheric and Ethereal Electronics from California), TIM STORY and DWIGHT ASHLEY (this time with soundscape electronic artist ASHLEY), and STRATOSPHERE (Laid back experimental environmental electronica)
Contact: LEKTRNIC, PO BOX 62043, Durham, NC27715, USA
FEAR OF DOLLS – When The Organ Played At
Debut release from this American band who avoid genres, but claim an affinity to the likes of ‘The Swans’ and ‘The Velvet Underground’.
Their sonic minimal assaults us with melodic distortions in the vein of early ‘Swans’, ‘Sonic Youth’ and even ‘Lydia Lunch’. Spaced out feedback and aural ambiences overlaid with fragile vox, puts me in mind of ‘My Bloody Valentine’, or even a darker ‘Cocteau Twins’ in places, but overlaid with grungier guitars and more attitude.
Contact: FEAR OF DOLLS, PO BOX 20151, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
NEXUS – Nexus
Features ex-members of cult Greek Gothic band ‘The Flowers of Romance’, who received international critical acclaim.
This project is a lot more electronic in nature than it’s predecessor, think: ‘Nine Inch Nails’, or ‘Fear Factory’.
Pounding beats, insistent sequence lines and metally guitars are certainly the trademark of the above bands, but they have broadened their sound, incorporating ambient and Moroder influenced electro.
Contact: FM, 7 Knossou Str. 11146 Galatsi, Athens, GREECE.
DANIELE BRUSASCHETTO – Mamma Fottimi
One-man dynamo who’s work within experimental underground music is legendary.
This is the follow-up to ‘Bellies/Pance’ album, plus countless other releases and contributions to international compilations.
Musically, unpredictable from neo-folk, lo-fi, to industrial via Neubauten pounding. Urban ambient murmurs of post-industrial decline that reflects many western countries recent history.
Harsh minimal electronics, with distortion on overload guitar to meld everything together.
Disturbing, unnerving, emotional probes into the psyche, touching on hidden taboos. The mythical ice cream is on us next time.
Contact: D. BRUSASCHETTO, Via Scotellaro 71, 10155 Torino, ITALY.
TORTURE GARDEN – Compilation
Put together by renowned ‘Fetish’, ‘Body Art’ and ‘Sub-Culture Club’ showcasing it’s musical side.
This collection features an electric showcase of bizarre and eccentric bands/musicians, from the performance stage to the circus side-show, burlesque lounge and virtual dungeon, all who have graced the Torture Garden with their various performances, which includes: TIGER LILLIES (Kitsch via ‘Tango’ and Curt Vile’), VON MAGNET (Industrial – ethnic band with international releases), MINTY (Dave Ball produced ‘Sheep on Drugs’ meets ‘Foetus’), COIL (Industrial pioneers with a track from ‘Black Light District’ album), NAKED GOAT (Tribal electronics), BOYD RICE & TIFFANY ANDERS (Experimental artist goes Kitsch via ‘Twin Peaks’), DEATH IN JUNE (Epic neo-folk from the album ‘Take Care and Control’), MEE (Exotic ambiences), TEST DEPT (original industrial band ventures into ‘Celtic’ territory), NAKED RUBY (polished version of ‘The Cramps’), FLESH FETISH (Tribal-techno in ‘Crash Worship’ mode), BLACKFOOT AND THE VOOLA (Voodoo Blues), D.A.JONES (Seedy electronics) and DAVID HARROW (Long time experimenter in all things electronic).
Contact: TORTURE GARDEN, BM: TG PROMOTIONS, LONDON WC1N 3XX.