Tag Archives: Noise

Interview with Street Sects

Street Sects made a name for themselves in 2014 with a few intense singles, but now with the release of their debut full-length “End Position” the shit of humanity has hit the fan once and for all and the skeletons are marching furiously out of the closets. The band’s incorporation of classic Industrial, Punk Rock and Power Electronics seems to come straight from their suffering hearts, and demands a chat.

Hello! Where are you currently writing this, and how has the day fared you so far? This half of the year has most likely been eventful for you, with the release of your masterpiece “End Position”?

SHAUN: I’m writing the answers to this on a notepad while waiting in a Firestone Auto lobby. Thinking of the eventfulness of End Position, I’m now reflecting mostly on the west coast tour we just finished. However, the best part of all of this, for me, has been the people writing to us to personally say the record resonated with them. That has given me some happiness, as well as some great sadness for all the years I wasted on bullshit.

LEO: I’m in Dallas right now, visiting my girlfriend. The day has just begun. And yeah, things have definitely been busy since the record came out. It’s been exciting, but I’m hoping things will be even busier next year. I’d like to think that our “masterpiece” has still yet to be written.

You are formed in Austin Texas, creating music that hasn’t really been in the minds of wider audiences, besides the nostalgic and retro-obsessed Industrialists and Electro-punks. How is the local scene, or the scenes of the US for that matter, when it comes to stuff like yours?

SHAUN: The local scene is comprised of many genres, from Country Western to Metal to analog Electro to deejay culture–and then everything that goes with three major music festivals per year. There isn’t a scene for the music we’ve written in particular, but there are many talented, experimental Electronic artists in Austin.

LEO: There’s a pretty vibrant dark Electronic music scene here in Austin. Most of it is either Noise or analog synth based stuff, but there’s a small handful of artists who exist somewhere outside of those two camps. We don’t always fit well on most bills around here. That seems to be the case on tour also. Because we don’t fall neatly into a category, we tend to find ourselves on all different kinds of bills, which sometimes works out, and sometimes backfires. For every one person that seems to dig what we’re doing, there’s definitely at least one or two who can’t fucking stand it. That’s great in a way, but it makes finding the right crowds who appreciate what we do a bit more of a challenge. I think a lot of people who frequent dark music shows have a pre-disposition of what they expect certain genre artists to sound like or adhere to, and we don’t really fall in line with that.

Personally, I like to think of genres as being colors on a palette, as tools or resources to be used in service of creating something unique, rather than as established categories to be filed under. Other people came up with these ideas of genre. As singular concepts genres are limiting and repetitive, but if you think of genres as being historical data or raw materials to be explored and exploited, it can be energizing and inspiring. I’ve seen people online arguing about our record, and whether or not it’s Power Electronics, or Industrial Metal, or Gabber-Noise or countless other goofy genre tags… I think some of these people might be disappointed to learn that we seriously couldn’t care less about any of that bullshit. We don’t sit around listening to Industrial music all day. There’s a lot of artists from the genre that we dig, of course, and we certainly respect the legacy and craft of the early innovators, but we aren’t trying to carry a torch for any of that stuff. Industrial music is an inspiration for us, not a blueprint.I probably listen to more seventies Rock than anything, because I like the production from that era. The attention to detail, the three dimensional warmth. The entire year or so we were working on End Position I don’t think I listened to much of anything, regularly, besides Street Sects demos and Roxy Music. Part of that is because I get ear fatigue from working at a venue and listening to the demos Shaun sends me, but part of it is also because I’m not trying to steep my brain in heavy Electronic music constantly. I don’t blast Death Grips and Skinny Puppy on my way to work. Those guys are great, but I don’t find myself in the mood to listen to that kind of stuff very often. For me, Street Sects is very much about creating art for selfish reasons. It feels good to create and perform… It scratches a certain kind of primal itch. It’s not about writing a love letter to our predecessors.


What other styles of music have you been into, besides the obvious influences of your music? Have you been or are you currently active with other bands before Street Sects?

SHAUN: Leo and I have played together in a few bands before. Mostly it was guitar driven music. Guitar was my primary instrument for a long time. I started taking lessons around eleven years of age. Growing up, I listened to a lot of Rap. Kids in my neighborhood would get together to play basketball and play on cassette all the Deathrow Records stuff, and then Wu-Tang. Later on I got into Metal, followed by Jazz.

LEO: I was born in 1980, so as a kid I was obsessed with MTV. During grade school it was everything to me. MTV, comic books, and video games. My dad was an ex air force guy who’d held onto all the records he’d bought while he was in the service, traveling the world, and he played me a lot of great stuff when I was young. Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, those are some of the ones that stuck with me. He wouldn’t let me use his record player when he wasn’t home, so I would just flip through his records and obsess over the album art and lyric sheets when he was at work. I had a cassette player in my room, and my parents would buy me tapes for my birthday and Christmas, but tapes were never as cool to me as my dad’s records. The artwork was so much bigger and he had these really nice old Bose speakers he would play them through. Everything about it made the music seem so much more alive to me. I remember a really definitive moment for me was when I saw the premiere of the music video for Metallica’s “One” on MTV. It blew my fucking mind. My cassette player had a built in microphone in it, and you could put in a blank tape (or a regular tape with scotch tape over the two holes on the bottom) and record audio onto it. I used to put the tape player up to the TV speaker and record songs off MTV that I liked. The next time I saw “One” come on I recorded it. I listened to that tape until it was worn out. When I finally got a proper version of And Justice For All on cassette for my birthday or whatever that year, I was really disappointed with the album version of One because it didn’t have all those badass samples from Johnny Got His Gun that were in the video version. If you listen to that version, especially the ending, with the machine-like drumming and those samples laid over it, it has a very Industrial feel to it.

In terms of other projects, I started off playing in Hardcore bands in the mid-late nineties, the most notable being Failsafe, an off kilter, DC inspired Hardcore band I was in with Terence Hannum (now of Locrian), and Jon Glover (now of Ars Phoenix). Another band I was in with Jon, back in the early 2000’s, was a band called Kilborough. We had sort of an uncategorizable sound that blended of a lot of different elements. The couple of years I spent in that project were instrumental to how I work as a musician today. One of the members in that group, Todd Pendv, was kind of like a mentor to me in some ways during that time. He opened my mind up to a lot of new music, art, film and literature, and really helped me redefine my creative approach. I can be a very stubborn, one track minded person sometimes, and he kind of beat into me the importance of experimentation as exercise, and also to take my time with things. When I was younger I was always in a hurry to finish projects, and that’s obviously not the best approach when you want to make something of lasting value. Todd went on to start Pendv Sound Recordings in NYC, and he released records by Chelsea Wolfe, Sasha Grey’s Atelecine and more before leaving behind the music world entirely for a successful career in the fashion industry.

Street Sects is the only currently active project that I’m involved with right now. We’ve got more than enough on our plate to keep me busy. However, I did contribute vocals to an EP for a project called History, which is a thing I did a few years back with Daisy Caplan (formerly of Foxy Shazam). It’s kind of his solo thing, in a way, and I just sang on it, but it’s significant to me because I did about half of it while I was still an alcoholic/drug addict (when I was literally at my absolute worst), and the other half I did after I got out of rehab and was living in a halfway house in Jacksonville FL. So to me it kind of represents this huge transitional phase in my life. Daisy and his wife Rachelle also played a huge role in me getting sober, but that’s another story. We finally had that record mixed and mastered this past year and it should be coming out on Realicide Youth Records sometime in 2017.


As you work musically mostly with electronics and samples, are you pretty much fed up with so-called organic music, or is this just the way of this particular project? Has Electronic music been something that has interested you since a kid?

SHAUN: Electronic music has allowed me to move outside of expressions I’ve learned over the years with guitar. Also, yeah, I go back and forth on wanting to hear recognizable Rock n Roll sounds in music. I need a combination of things now. A process that isn’t focused on gear but rather an emotional reaction to a particular sound, no matter how that sound gets documented.

LEO: I wouldn’t say that I’m fed up with organic music at all. Electronics are a means to an end. I don’t see Street Sects relying entirely upon the same means indefinitely. For now, it works

I was more into Rock and Heavy Metal as a kid than I was anything Electronic based. The first Wlectronic bands I really got into were definitely Industrial bands. Ministry’s Psalm 69 and NIN’s Downward Spiral were both pretty huge records for me when I was young, but by then I was about 12 or 13.

The themes of the album seem to be coming from personal places of deep disgust, depression, apathy and even self-destruction. The creation of the album has most likely been a purifying experience for you?

LEO: Not really. Speaking for myself, I don’t use music as a way to work through my problems. It’s self reflection, sure, but I don’t see it as therapy. At least not at this point. I mean, say you’re an artist, and you hate your face. So you sit in front of a mirror and draw a self portrait. You draw it as accurately as you possibly can. When you’ve finished the drawing, do you find that you dislike your face any less? I don’t think it’s that easy.

The clear and melodically sung vocal-parts of your music are performed very professionally. Is this approach, besides the more screaming aspects of the vocals, something you had in mind from the start of the band or something you realized could work later on?

LEO: It was something I wanted from the beginning. If you listen to the early 7″ stuff, the singing parts are there, they’re just buried under a lot of effects and poor mixing. Shaun and I have had a few other projects together where clear and melodic singing were a primary focal point of the music. With this project, I wanted it to be glued to the mix in a way where it becomes sort of another texture, but still prominent enough to draw you in, to exist as the emotive, human element amidst the Industrial soundscape.

As you play live as well, how would you compare the performances on the stage to the work at the studio? What is the typical Street Sects song-creation process like in general?

SHAUN: There are times when the workflow is good and strong and I’ll sketch a song all in one go, but often I prefer to make a song piecemeal, sending Leo sketches and asking for detailed impressions, then manipulating texture and tone until something sticks. As for studio compared with live, they’re completely separate experiences. I love studio work and also love listening to records in headphones. I’ve always loved listening to recorded music more than listening to it in a live setting. That being said, we aim for detailed work on the records  and then punishing volume live. Our live show is meant to induce other reactions not necessarily felt in the safe space of the headphones experience, like total bodily immersion, fear, tension, etc.

LEO: The live show is meant it be immersive, and in some ways, interactive. I have a short attention span when it comes to live shows. I get bored very easily, and nine out of ten times I’d rather go see a movie than go see a band. So for me the goal with our live shows has always been to put on a show that I would be entertained by, if i were an audience member. It needs to be more than some rockers up on a stage doing their best Rock and Roller routine, or some fucking haircuts hunched over a table, massaging their overpriced analog gear. No offense to any of our friends out there doing their thing, but I’m just fucking bored of the same old show. I need something that wakes me up and makes me a little uncomfortable. That said, our live show is always a work in progress and it’s nowhere near where we’d like it to be. We are working within our means right now, but it’s going to evolve and improve. The recorded work is an entirely different approach. You can’t bottle up the live experience into an album. So we focus on the songcraft, on writing pieces of music that hopefully engage the listener on both on emotional and an intellectual level.

Picture: @doomsdayjill

Your album was released by an underground label The Flenser, which suits your stuff perfectly I can imagine, but are you personally supporters of the DIY-mentality opposed to being on a major label? How important do you see promotion (and for example touring) when it comes to your music?

SHAUN: All I have to do is look at the amazing roster of artists on The Flenser to know we’re in the right place. As for DIY, it definitely played a part in our live set up, from deliberately booking DIY venues for intimacy and intensity to financing our own multi tiered PA system–which fucked my credit last year–to ensure that every audience would get the exact same punishing experience.

LEO: DIY is everything. It has to be, whether you like it or not. Look around you. The money is gone. It’s been gone. The nineties are over. No one gets a free ride anymore. If you want something to happen you have to get off your ass and do it yourself. You have to tour, you have to self promote, you have to book, manage, everything. We’re very fortunate that a label as hardworking and respected as The Flenser believed in us and gave us an opportunity to be included on their roster, but I don’t think they would have even considered us if they didn’t think we were 100% committed to making this project happen, with or without help.

Thanks for this interview! What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are you already working on a follow-up to your first album, or are you letting it sink in to the audiences first, and see later on which approach to take next?

SHAUN: We’re definitely not waiting. For me the impulse to write is every day, even if I only write out the music idea as a sentence in a notebook. Earlier this year, we started work on an EP, much of which is now finished. Likely that won’t come out until next year. It contains much of what was learned while making End Position but also has instrumentation and textural range that was excluded from writing that album. We feel an Ep is an opportunity to experiment with sound while in between larger ideas, so it’s not indicative of what to expect from the second album.

LEO: Thank you for your interest! We’ve got a lot of things in the steamer right now. Realistically, the proper full length follow up to End Position won’t be coming out until 2018, but we’ve got a few other things in the works, so 2017 definitely won’t be a quiet year for us. We’re also planning on touring again in the spring, so there’s that to look forward to.



Street Sects – End Position

(The Flenser, 2016)

Street Sects (from Austin, Texas) was formed in 2013 by vocalist Leo Ashline and producer Shaun Ringsmuth, and released a few singles in 2014, before creating this their first full-length, a masterpiece which appeared unannounced to many from nowhere, sinking its sharpened claws into minds not disgusted by styles such as Electropunk, Industrial, Noise and Power Electronics.

I gotta admit I wasn’t that convinced about the genius of the band after having heard a couple of songs from this album, but couple of days later, after delving deeper into the violent and chaotic alluring world of the album as a whole, I became an adherent of this shit. This stuff is spiritual.

As already mentioned, what you get here is a fierce and quite original mixture of classic Industrial mentality (think of the more aggressive and faster pieces of older Skinny Puppy or Ministry), Punk Rock (or Electro-Punk if you will), and Noise, chemically (psychedelically) combined into an original and fresh end result.

Most of the music consists of samples which could have been gathered from a steel factory of some sorts, put together in an imaginative way. The clanks, thumps, rattles, fizzes, thuds, hisses, bangs, hums and slams are backed up by vicious electronic bass-lines and pounding snares and kicks, rhythms mostly not related to any certain musical style, except Industrial naturally. The grooves of the beats are sometimes childish even, yet working in an extremely convincing way with all the sample-based madness surrounding them.

There are not many clear melodies to be found on this album, as the music relies mostly on the insane cacophony brought by the various sounds and intense beats, but when you do hear them in the form of synth-lines (mostly), they sound beautiful and strong, yet you realize you wasn’t really missing them in the first place. Such is the power of this music.

The vocals are mostly screams through filters of heavy distortion, and they work perfectly with the music. But what gives this stuff a professional feel to it is the vocalists use of clear and melodic singing in the right places, nodding strongly to their influences, but maintaining the aggressive and original feel of the band.

Besides the distorted chaos and aggression, this album is packed with various emotions of sadness, melancholy, hopelessness, self-destruction, hate, disgust and other cool vibes. In fact, without having read the lyrics, I’m betting my head on them being descriptions of resentment, revenge and suicide, making the cover art (artist) a perfect pick for the album.

There are no weak parts on the album, making it a very solid and powerful totality. In this age, after having heard almost everything music has to offer (when it comes to ideas), it is always a pleasure to find someone taking classic pieces from here and some from there and combining them into something that is truly refreshing and moving. That is something we underground music lovers, grown apathetic after years of first being in love with and then disappointed by many powerful styles of music, are always secretly hoping for.

Give this album a chance, and if you get what I’m talking about above, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. This might very well be your favourite album of the year.

The Flenser



Ad Nauseum – S/T

(Broken Limbs Recordings, 2015)

Ad Nauseum (founded in 2012) from Florida describes their music as “Fast Doom / Slow Grind”, which is indeed true, altho their music also has strong elements from Noise and Power Electronics in equal amounts. The term Sludge also comes of course to my mind. They are certainly not the first band of this nature (mixing Noise with ferocious Crust, Grindcore or Sludge), but they are a band that definitely stands out.

This cassette release features about 20mins of extreme Electronics and violent Metal and Punk oriented music so heavy and crushing, I would dare to say it is best experienced with headphones rather than crappy speakers.

The combination of mostly high-frequency noises and extremely low and crushing guitars and basses works really well, with all the different tracks clearly audible, yet merging into a single storm of malevolence, moving slowly but steadily. As the musical material is at times Doomy slow, and at other times Grinding fast, it must be said the fusion of noises and distorted guitars works better in the slower parts, altho the fast parts spice up the atmosphere nicely.

The riffs and beats are quite simple, but played professionally, both in the slow and fast parts. The vocals are also screamed with clear expertise and experience, equally violent to the overall soundscapes of the music. The Electronics are done with the same amount of abilities as the mixing of the material, a truly professional display of skills, lifting the music to great heights.

If extreme forms of Punk and Metal (in both extremely slow and fast paces), as well as the violent harshness of Noise are your thing, you must check this band out. Hopefully they will keep the quality of the mixing and production of these songs present in the future as well, as I would love to hear this same stuff as a bit longer release. However, 20mins of this sweetness is mos def worth your attention and money, trust me.



Broken Limbs

L.O.T.I.O.N. – Digital Control And Man’s Obsolescence

(La Vida Es Un Mus, 2015)

I came across this band via a recommendation of a friend, which was an extremely welcome gesture, since I had been looking for an “Electronic Punk” band with the genuine aggression of a Crust band, and something fresh to offer. In the case of this album, both the classic sleazy and guttural attitude of Punk Rock (and of course Crust Punk) as well as the low-fi hostility of Noise, Industrial and Power Electronics meet in an surprisingly imaginative way.

I have little knowledge of the New York scenes where this band has spawned, but apparently the group consists of members of bands such as Nomad, Dawn Of Humans, Zatsuon and Survival.

The soundscapes of the album are crafted mainly by putting layers of clanky and exploding Industrial beats and percussions (with a vintage groovy nature, so no “Electronic Grind” going on here) and other effects, waving synthetic basses (such as those of classic Hardcore Techno) and other old-school sounds, and phasing flanging distorted guitars (playing Punk riffs, naturally) on top of each other, with enough space and diversity in their individual sounds to give the whole bizarre mix a unique low-fi kinda three-dimensional feeling, which (especially when finished with the very Punk-oriented screaming vocals) seems to be very much alive and breathing.

The true genius of the album lies in the imaginativeness of the people responsible for this stuff, when it comes to creating eleven cool songs with this specific formula. The music sounds indeed unique and original, which is always a positive thing, and maintains it’s fascination all the way through the album. Altho the end result might be a bit low-fi (as mentioned before) to many, it most likely does not matter to the artists (and most fans of the stuff) themselves, since this work of art comes clearly from the feelings brought forth by the classic styles of Anarcho Punk as well as the more extreme forms of Electronic music, which are pretty low-fi by nature.

I heartily recommend this album to anyone into the rebellious feelings and audial aesthetics of Punk, and the harsh aggression summoned forth by means of Noise, Industrial and Power Electronics. You know what I’m talking about, if you are truly interested. A very inspiring and awesome album indeed.

La Vida Es Un Mus (Bandcamp)

La Vida Es Un Mus (Store)

Gnaw Their Tongues / Dragged Into Sunlight – NV

(Prosthetic Records, 2015)

Dragged Into Sunlight came into my attention with their first full-length of 2009, “Hatred For Mankind”, which seemed like a fresh breath of total and honest aggression and hatred among all the trends going on in the Black and Death Metal undergrounds. Taking elements of indeed Black, Death and Doom Metal, spiced with elements of Grindcore, Noise, Sludge and other extreme styles of Punk, Metal and Electronic music, the band has been continuing along the path started by that particular album. The band has vast amounts of experience from previous musical projects as well as playing live, and this experience and dedication for creating and performing this extreme form of musical art has been present in all their doings. Now, about three years after their last release “Widowmaker”, the time has at last come to unleash yet another chapter in their great work, a chapter passionately anticipated by many.

Gnaw Their Tongues is the main project of Mories (originally from Suriname, now residing in The Netherlands), who has about forty releases under this name, also (like Dragged Into Sunlight) mainly focusing in harsh horrific marriage of Black Metal, Noise and other extreme styles. I have only seldomly touched upon his stuff with time, but have always acknowledged the man’s capabilities of creating truly disturbing audial visions of dread.

This collaboration-album was apparently at first revolving around an idea to create a new version of classic Industrial Metal (as begun by Godflesh’s “Streetcleaner”), which can still be heard in the material, not necessarily in the performance of the music itself, but rather in the production. Justin Broadrick (and another profilic producer Tom Dring) has also given his finishing touches to the production of the material. The three hours of material initially recorded for this released has been stripped down into about 33 mins of polished substance.

With about four years in the works, the material has indeed been most likely refined numerous times into this perfect symbiosis of (quite technical) Black and Death Metal as well as Noise (mainly). Besides the production, there is a certain Industrial feeling in the material considering the usage of electronics in a sampled and looping kid of way. Also some effects used in a percussive way give the Industrialized synthetic atmosphere to the otherwise quite organic stuff.

The amount of different soundscapes (and layers) of noises and samples behind the main tracks of clanky but pounding drums, Metallic guitars and distorted screaming vocals is also vast. In fact the material often feels like moving from a room, chamber or other similar space to another, with each having a unique horrific nature and atmosphere of its own, like different kinds of crime scenes. Spoken samples of different murderous themes spice up the already anxious and disturbing spectacle.

The Metallic parts of the material are again mainly a mixture of Death and Black Metal with elements of Grindcore, familiar from the previous work of Dragged Into Sunlight. The guitars are shredding, damping and howling like crazy most of the time, being usually technical (but not too much) rather than melodic. The basses and drums are played with experienced and “relaxed” hands, besides being performed with great skill and imagination, giving the positively human touch to the otherwise inhumane experience. The riffs and general parts of the songs switch from good idea to the next naturally and with ease. The vocals are screamed through the usual Dragged Into Sunlight amount of distortion. The overall mix, which is quite harsh and sharp but otherwise not by any means without low frequencies, is also put through filters of cool reverb. The quality and attitude of the material on the album stays pretty much the same throughout the five songs, resulting at the first listen in the songs drifting by without any clear changes in music, but being so utterly full of detail and entertaining in their horror, it is clear this album has tremendous re-listening value.

To the unexperienced, I’d say this album serves definitely as a better introduction to the music of Dragged Into Sunlight, rather than Gnaw Their Tongues, but if you are already a fan of both acts, you will not be disappointed by this release, guaranteed. In general, this album is a brilliant display of masterfully performed aggression, frustration, and disturbing soundscapes to anyone into the extreme styles such as Death and Black Metal, Grindcore and Noise. A highly recommended album.

Dragged Into Sunlight (Facebook)

Dragged Into Sunlight (Bandcamp)

Gnaw Their Tongues (Facebook)

Gnaw Their Tongues (Bandcamp)

Prosthetic Records

Natascha Schampus – Café Industrie – A Lucid Dream

(Hau Ruck!, 2015)

Natascha Schampus (a pseudonym inspired by the kidnapped Austrian woman Natascha Kampusch) is an Electronic, Industrial and Ambient (among other styles) musician also active for example in the groups Exploding Mind and Naum. This new album by him and William Lee was introduced to me by Albin Julius (of Der Blutharsch in case you are unfamiliar with him), also released by his Hau Ruck! label.

The theme of the album seems to be a Cafeteria kind of dreamlike atmosphere, and keeping all the more avantgarde and artistic sides of the Industrial genre (throughout the years) in mind, the album indeed feels like sitting in a living museum-like surroundings of some Café, occupied by weird characters as in a dream, with paintings alive on the pulsating walls each showing a different side of this musical style working as a basis for all things truly bizarre.

The first song features weird liquid clicks and drips, like a clock ticking next to your bed while you astrally travel, and church-like male vocals / chants by Gábor Szohr, on top of Ambient soundscapes. A very trancelike and ritualistic start for the album. The second song consists of more vintage electronic synths, basses and bleeps/keys, and vocoder-vocals, while being just as trance-inducing as the first song. A comedic spoken sample of Glenn M. Wallis fits the atmosphere of the song perfectly. The third song continues with the analogue synth-feelings of the second song, with more violent Industrial sounds accompanying the very Tom Waits-like speech of Peter Hope.

The fourth song is a more calm, eighties-reminding and spacy piece with the vocoder vox returning, keeping the vintage synth-theme of the album so far intact. The lyrics (and speech) of Eric Random gives the song a COILy feeling as well. The fifth song is originally recorded live, with additional synths and hammond added later by Albin Julius. Again a very eighties and Tangerine kinda song, also with nineties IDM-vibes in the logic of the song, full of atmosphere. The sixth song starts with a nice piano-part, reminding us of the musical Cafeteria-mileau theme of the album, before going again more harsh and noisy realms with the synths, featuring a very improvised and live-like feeling with spoken parts by Barbie B.

The seventh song is a mixture of very classical Industrial “Gothic” feelings and organic tribal percussions, resulting in a very cool outcome indeed. Once more, the drunken vocals of Peter Hope fit the song splendidly, echoing of the beginnings of the genre in their aesthetics and lyrics. The eighth song is also equally harsh and very eighties and nineties-sounding piece with a slow snare-driven beat and the familiar vocoders. Again, a strong nod to the historical development of the genre in general. The album finishes off with a sibling-version of the first song, featuring the same soundscapes and vocals, leaving a fantastic taste in my mouth from all the drinks served in the Café by this album.

If you are into the not-so-recent currents of the Industrial scene by reasons of nostalgia, or a younger person interested in the more vintage aspects of the genre, or just an Electronic music freak in general, I definitely recommend you to spend a night at the Café summoned in a lucid dreamlike existence by this album. It is totally worth your time.

Hau Ruck!

Natascha Schampus feat. Peter Hope – Bates Motel (Video)

Natascha Schampus feat. Eric Random – Friedhof Der Namenlosen (Video)

Ariadne – Tsalal

(Auris Apothecary, 2015)

Ariadne from Brooklyn consists of Christine Lanx and Benjamin Forest, both graduates of Indiana University’s school of music. The name of this album, “Tsalal”, is a Hebrew term meaning “to grow or become dark”, a very Jungian concept indeed.

There is certainly something very dark in the overall atmosphere of this album, in the dreamy unconscious way, but not by any means in a depressive or anxious way. On the contrary, despite its occasional harsh and violent soundscapes (which I like to picture relating in the meeting of ones Jungian “shadow”), this music brings upon a very calm and positive feeling in general.

Most of the musical material of the six songs consists of glitchy electric synthetic currents and samples of noises, hisses, thuds, clanks, spiced with synth strings, breathing effects (reminding me of COIL’s magnificent “Are You Shivering”), and most of all beautiful female Gregorian chants.

Despite (or because of) its quite minimalistic nature, there is a very strong sense of spirituality and even eroticism in the obscure rhythms and trances of the album. I could picture the songs working as a background of an art exhibition, a long ritual of some kind, or as the soundtrack of a short film (or a long music video, which is actually reality, since the physical release includes videos for the songs).

If you can consider yourself liking for example a more minimalistic and stripped down noisy version of something Dead Can Dance might have done during their “Within the Realm Of A Dying Sun” era, or perhaps a more “Gregorian” version of the more Ambient material by the aforementioned COIL, or if you long for the atmospheres of the nineties cult label Cold Meat Industry, I urge you to check this album out.

Released by the very cool label Auris Apothecary as a 4GB black microSD card inside a miniature plastic case (limited to 100 pieces), this album is very special and rare item indeed.

Video teaser for “Tsalal”

Video for the track “I Thirst”



Auris Apothecary

Anthony Donovan & JOHN 3:16 – Of The Hex And Its Likeness

(Flood Records, 2015)

This project created by the two talented multi-instrumentalists and conjurers of sound namely Anthony Donovan (an England-based artist and musician with experience in working with the likes of John Zorn and Damo Suzuki) and Philippe Gerber (of JOHN 3:16 among other things, a French musician living in the States with similarly vast amount of experience from working with sound especially in live circumstances) is a match made in Psychedelic Ambient heaven.

From the beginning of the first song, I have stepped into an immensely Psychedelic world of various shamanic trance-like sounds (not trance-producing but like being on a trip already). I feel like sitting by an electric fire in a dark jungle surrounded with Ayahuasca-like visions, but with the traditional Amazonian shamanic musical soundscapes replaced by for example the sounds of the saxophone and an eerie Lynchian guitar in my close-eyed consciousness, I feel like observing scenes of Jazz-clubs and ominous motels. From the first minutes of this album I know these guys know splendidly well how to produce inner cinematic scenes of truly trippy qualities.

The other five songs continue along the same lines (while adding more traditional Psychedelic Rock elements to the mix), being made of several unique parts and scenes of sounds. The amount of different sounds (and even perhaps instruments) on this record is really admirably vast, yet all the low and high, damp and clear, low-fi and upscale, swirling and steadily gliding noises, hisses and choirs of buzzes, chimes, clanks, clicks, thuds, bleeps, and especially the distorted and more acoustic guitars and basses and various synth-sounds, as well as different percussion-sounds plus other effects, fit the overall feeling of the album perfectly, producing extremely dreamlike and vivid visions.

The programmed drums and percussions often sound like being performed by a third member (a percussionist) while Phillippe and Anthony work their magic with their trademark heavily filtered guitars, basses, keyboards and the like. There is also a strong live-atmosphere to the songs (reminding of the vast experience both men have from performing around the world), which gets interrupted only by the sudden changes of the scenes contained on this album divided into six parts. The singing, speaking, whispering, preaching and screaming voices performed by Anthony fit the soundscapes really well, sometimes acting as the voice of the shaman guiding you on this trip, but usually transforming into some entity encountered on the many deep journeys these songs consists of.

I’m not even trying to categorize this music due to its vast array of styles and feelings, but if you are into styles such as Ambient, Noise, Experimental, Psychedelic Rock (especially of the Kraut-nature) and in the same time a fan of extremely cinematic and soundtrack-like Jazzy and Lynchian feelings, rest assured you will not be disappointed by this album.

Flood Records



Aymeric De Tapol & Joachim Montessuis / RIPIT – Split

(Ångström Records, 2015)

Noise and Power Electronics are music styles few understand, and even fewer really know how to perform. One might think of ominous dark men in balaclavas shouting in front of a screen showing disturbing video-material, or perhaps some pseudo-militaristic approach to this genre, but fortunately there is so much more to this culture and style than that.

The opening track of this release by Aymeric De Tapol & Joachim Montessuis reminds me of the more modern Noise, such as the recordings of Henrik Nordvargr Björkk, in it’s synthetic and Electronic nature. The sound is extremely sharp yet warm at the same time, like lying in a heated ocean of sharp nails. As the high-pitched screaming distorted vocals enter the scene, I am getting strong nods to Black Metal (because of my background in the style in question), but then again this might not be that uncommon in all kinds of Power Electronics and Noise these days. All in all a very atmospheric and strong track, paving way for the following tracks in it’s intro-like qualities.

The following four tracks by RIPIT are quite different in composition and executions. Although being extremely Noisy (having the same audial aesthetic nature as the first song), they remind me more of Glitchy stuff like Autechre. Lots of bleeps, clicks and thuds, small intense storms of beat-like yet chaotic thumps and basses make up most of the material on these four songs, surrounded by (again) warm and sharp winds and floods of noises. The vocals on the last two tracks are screaming and intense just like the ones on the first track, while having more variation to them.

The overall soundscapes on this release is of high quality, giving multiple mental orgasms to the audiophile most interested in extreme Electronic audio. However, the short length of this release is at the same time cool in the sense the songs are very powerful and strong, giving you satisfaction fast, but at the same time I am left wanting more, since I’d like to make love with these tunes and music like this for a much longer period of time. Then again, considering the nature of split-releases (in the form of 7-inches such as this and so forth), the length is pretty standard and solid. The feeling of the cover-art fits the chaotic yet sophisticated and thoughtfully occult nature of the music perfectly.

If you want to know more about those things called Noise and Power Electronics, or if you are a fan of more modern Noise already (perhaps not the old-school stuff like NON), and Glitchy Electronic stuff (such as the aforementioned Autechre or music styles like Breakcore), you should definitely obtain this release.

Ångström Records



Apócrýphos – The Prisoners Cinema

(Cyclic Law, 2015)

Born from the ashes of Psychomanteum, Apócrýphos (crafted by the solitary member Robert C. Kozletsky) delivers very slow-moving yet elevating intense Ambient music. The music on this album is made mostly of etherial choir-like and orchestral sounds, soft and cold Noise and Drone, various sample-like effects, and extremely high and low frequencies from the synths balancing the misty, high and deep atmospheres.

The inner sceneries on this release range from wandering in some vast forgotten halls and long turning corridors or touching the walls of claustrophobic chambers (perfectly reminiscent of the cover-art of the album), to swimming to the far corners of the known space and beyond. I can see how this album has been intended to be a sensory deprivation tank -like experience, shutting off the outside world and the chatter in ones mind, drifting into more expanded awareness within, like slowly floating out from the Plato’s cave in a sleep-like yet alert state.

The nature of the songs are quite similar to each other, rising and falling like waves of cosmic dust in extremely slow motion, raising spectacles of drama from one’s own subconscious. With a length of over an hour, this album is guaranteed to grant the patient listener moments of release or flashes of horror, working splendidly as a soundtrack to a long cleansing meditation-session or a cathartical ritual, purification through exposure to ones fears and utter solitude. A highly recommended purchase to all fans of Ambient-music.

Apócrýphos (Facebook)

Cyclic Law