Interview: Die Krupps

"Berlin was cool when the wall was up, it had a special flare, I really liked the atmosphere, it was like whoever did not want to get the draft went to Berlin, and so it was very artistic. Nowadays it is just a big city without a centre."

Interview: Quasimodo

“The funny thing is that although in objective terms the 'scene' is in a worse state than ever, personally speaking I'm actually having more fun with it now than I had before. The scene will survive and we do what we can either as band or as individuals to facilitate that.”

Interview: Sean von Helvete (Ritual Aesthetic)

“I spent a long time trying to capture that of what we see in films and music videos that depict cinematic horrific, religious and downright weird "ceremonies" that human beings partake in. That in itself is something very odd and fascinating alone.”

Review: Three Winters – 'Chroma'


Review: Blush Response – 'Desire Machines'


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Attrition releases 'Narcissist vs One Horse Rider'

Veteran industrial pioneer Attrition, AKA Martin Bowes, has announced the release of a new remix album 'Narcissist vs One Horse Rider'. The album, available through A Two Gods Production, features 26 Remixes of the songs 'Narcissist' and 'One Horse Rider', which are both taken from the studio album 'The Unraveller of Angels'. The album encompasses every genre from dance floor electronics to dark ambient piano and strings, and features contributions from the likes of Angst Pop, Technomancer, Fearpassage, and Zero Corporation.

Track List:
1.Narcissist (ID Mix by Angst Pop feat. Technomancer)
2.Narcissist [Void Prototype remix]
3.One Horse Rider (Man Woman Machine mix)
4.Narcissist (Id Before Ego Mix by ANKST)
5.One Horse Rider (Technomancer mix)
6.Narcissist (Analog Angel remix)
7.Narcissist (Egoist Anarchism mix by Fearpassage)
8.One Horse Rider (do.service mix)
9.Narcissist (Remixed by Pete Every)
10.Narcissist (Ego RMX by DJ Darkside)
11.One Horse Rider (Johnathan|Christian Mix 1)
12.Narcissist (Lagowski mix)
13.Narcissist (Contaminated Intelligence mix)
14.Narcissist (Piano Improvisation By iNsCissorS)
15.One Horse Rider (Soft Riot remix)
16.Narcissist (Zero Corporation remix)
17.Narcissist (Dust Orchestra remix)
18.One Horse Rider (Viy Remix)
19.Narcissist (BBCom Remix)
20.One Horse Rider (Empire State Human mix)
21.One Horse Rider (Acclimate Darda'il mix)
22.One Horse Rider (The Pain Machinery Remix)
23.One Horse, Reprise (the attrition remix)
24.Narcissist (Lagowski deep chamber mix)
25.One Horse Rider (Synthetic Terrorist mix)
26.Narcissist (Noir Magnetik Remix) 

'Narcissist vs One Horse Rider' is available as a free/pay what you want download for 26 days, as well as a double CDr version through the Attrition bandcamp page. For more information on the band, including live dates and future releases, please visit the official Attrition website.  

Meinhard return with 'Alchemusic I – Solve'

Flamboyant German electro-rocker Meinhard returns from wonderland with a new slice of conceptual creativity in the form of 'Alchemusic I – Solve'. Set for release on CD and digital download via Out Of Line on 31st October 2014; Meinhard sets out to prove his mastery of sonic alchemy with an album combining Folk- and Medieval music, New Wave, Gothic Rock, Prog, Gipsy-Swing, Synth Pop, plus Baroque- and Neo-Classical.

Track list:
1. Blood+Love
2. humunculus:automaton
2. Knight of Gold
3. 667 - The Neighbor of the Beast
4. eXpelled
5. The Sun Sign
6. YSAYKTW (You Save And You Kill The World)
7. Holy Sun
8. Why Do I...?
9. AtTheRiteSite
11. Rhapsody

'Alchemusic I – Solve' is available to pre-order now via the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.  

Interview: Yves Schelpe (Psy'Aviah)

The parts you can't see...

“It ['The Xenogamous Endeavour'] describes in words what I want to band to stand for, a marriage of styles, genres and people one wouldn’t expect at first, but does work out well.”

Psy'Aviah has been a name synonymous with progressive dance-orientated music for over a decade now. Formed by Belgian songwriter and producer Yves Schelpe, the band has released a number of critically acclaimed albums including 'Entertainment Industries' (2008), and 'Introspection / Extrospection' (2011), incorporating genres such as ebm, electroclash, house, techno, industrial, rock and synthpop along the way.
Existing for a long time as a duo alongside vocalist Emélie Nicolaï, the latest album, 'The Xenogamous Endeavour', sees Schelpe return to the original vision he had for Psy'Aviah and calls upon an impressive line-up of guest vocalists to complete the album. Intravenous Magazine caught up with Schelpe to discuss the new album, working with so many guests and what the future holds for Psy'Aviah as a live band.

Intravenous Magazine: The new Psy'Aviah album, 'The Xenogamous Endeavour', is due to be released soon. What has the reaction been like to it so far?

Yves Schelpe: With every release it’s always difficult to know what to expect, even though you might have a good gut feeling or be satisfied with the record, you never know how people will react. This time even more so, because I drastically changed the way I work. So when the first reactions from DJs, fans and magazines came in I was very happy to say the least!

IVM: This album sees a return to the original blueprint of Psy'Aviah of yourself and guest collaborators rather than working with a stable line-up. What led to the decision to approach the new album in this way?

YS: I never really stopped doing the collaborations of course, I always kept it alive as it’s a vital thing for me to find the right vocalist on the right place. I realized though, even before the EP “Future Past” that I wanted to return to the essence and have a lot more freedom in my song writing without making compromises.

IVM: How has the writing and recording of the new album compared to previous ones as a result of this change? 

The very essence of writing the tracks hasn’t changed a lot. I still wrote all the lyrics and music. Recorded vocal demos of them, and then went to a vocalist to work on the track together. In some cases the vocalists do write their own lyrics. The biggest change is that all collaboration work went over the internet, even with guitarist Ben. Everyone has his/her own studio setup, so it’s much easier working that way – they can record on their time and in their comfortable place. It’s just a lot of files that are going over the wire, and a lot of emails.

IVM: Psy'Aviah has always displayed a broad range of musical styles. What and who were your primary influences when going into the new album?

YS: I listen to so much different music. I look up to bands or projects that blend genres as well, such as Moby, Faithless, Delerium, Praga Khan etc.. Those bands taught me that it’s totally OK to mix it up, flip genres upside down and totally make it your own. Of course they inspire me as well, but most of my inspiration for genres come from what I listen during the period of recording. It has been a mix of tracks from the likes of Tove Lo, Röyksopp, Robyn (my god all Swedish pop…), Novastar, Prodigy and so much more... I’m always on Spotify or to discover new things to listen to.

IVM: You've worked with a number of guest vocalist on the new album. Which collaboration has been your favourite thus far?

YS: Picking a favourite is nearly impossible because of two very good reasons I think. One being that if I’d choose one or two favourites I’d have to choose a song I like most, which is something I can’t because I picked all thirteen tracks to end up on there in the end. Secondly, all people are different to work with and all have their fun sides, choosing is losing, and I don’t want to lose either experience. Maybe I can answer the question differently, the song I am most surprised by is 'In Uthenera' – it’s a bit of an outsider, an ode to the game “Dragon Age” and I’m glad I could finally get that cover version recorded.

IVM: Were there any potential collaborations that you wanted for the album but didn't come about for whatever reason?

YS: I never start out with someone in mind. I just write the track and then see which voice would suit it best actually, and if they’re available then yay, otherwise the song stays in the shelf until they have time and energy for it :). But to give some names, there’s some people on the 'Eclectric' album I worked with I’m working with again at the moment…

IVM: In an ideal world, who would be on your list of artists to work with on the next album?

YS: It depends on the songs I have at the moment… But I’m always looking for people to work with, so if you’re reading this – feel free to drop a message to me! Most of all I do like discovering new people and getting in people that normally wouldn’t get in touch with the genres I’m tackling.

IVM: The title, 'The Xenogamous Endevour', is quite an evocative one coming from the Greek xenos (strange) and gamos (marriage). How does that link in to the themes expressed on the album? 

YS: It’s a bit like the album title 'Eclectric' from a few years ago. It describes in words what I want to band to stand for, a marriage of styles, genres and people one wouldn’t expect at first, but does work out well.

IVM: The album's cover is also particularly striking. Where did that concept come from?
YS: It came from the album title. It visualises 'The Xenogamous Endeavour', blending worlds into one. The tree has a “natural” side to it, and a “technical” side. The theme comes back a lot in the other artwork as well, the backgrounds are curvy on one side and more edged on the other, but they blend in without you noticing at first. And that’s the concept of the music as well.

IVM: The album was once again released through Alfa Matrix. What is the working relationship like with the label and have you been approached by any others?

YS: They’ve given me the chance to release my first album, and I’ve always been treated well – so I saw no reason to continue working with them.

IVM: You released a music video for the track 'Our Common Future' which features Kyoko Baertsoen. Where did the concept for that come from and are you happy with the results?

YS: I wanted to show the beauty of 'Our Common World' – and what better way than to show it through the eyes of an astronaut. I did include Kyoko as well in the video, portrayed on the monitors of NASA & other TV screens to make her part of it as well.

IVM: Your music videos have always been memorable and often try to connect with a message. How important is this medium to you?

YS: Very much. I like images and photography, it has always interested me. It’s not something I claim to be very good at, but it does interest me a lot. I see it as an extension to the message of a song, so for me it’s important that the music video always has a link with the song. Be it a small one or a big story – it will always make sense when you read the lyrics.

IVM: Can we expect any more videos in support of the new album?
YS: Working with a lot of guests comes with a challenge, and one of them is that they live quite far away and recording them isn’t as easy as when you live in the same city or country. So whilst I’m working on music videos, it will take some time, but they will come for sure. Currently working on clips for Long Way (ft. Lis van den Akker), Before I Die (ft. Diana S), On My Mind (ft. Lisa Nascimento) and Our Common End (ft. Mari Kattman).

IVM: Are there any tour plans, and how would you approach playing live given the number of guest vocalists featured on the new album?

YS: No concrete plans to play live, but I do accept live requests. We, being me on keys and Ben on guitars are be the main live members. As vocalists it will depend on the availability on the moment, but I’ve done concerts before with Lis van den Akker on live vocals, so we have experience with that and can make sure the Psy’Aviah songs will be as strong live as they used to be!

IVM: A few years ago you started the Urban Sharing Experiment, where you would leave packages containing CDs in public places. How successful do you feel that was and is it something you're likely to repeat in the future?

YS: It was an extension to the idea behind the music actually. Main idea was to surprise people and get them excited about something that was not in their normal “daily routine”. It was successful in the sense people reacted to it and we ended up having interesting pictures, videos and photos of people finding and unpacking the packages. Exciting to see it, and to read reactions in emails or letters from over the world. Media and “urban / city” blogs picked it up as well, so it did create a discussion – but it was essentially a one off “experiment”. If someone would like to repeat it, I’d highly encourage them to do so, it’s fun to give something to people and to colour the city.

IVM: Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2014 and going into 2015?

YS: The main focus now is working on the music videos, which will take some time and effort. Meanwhile though I’m actively working on new music and looking for new vocalists, both male or female (feel free to drop me a message). And when a live request comes in, we’ll see whether that will be possible – but that’s not the main priority at the moment.

'The Xenogamous Endeavour' is available to purchase now via Alfa Matrix. For more information on Psy'Aviah, including future releases and tour dates, please visit their official website.  

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Review: Lovelorn Dolls – 'Japanese Robot Invasion'

'Japanese Robot Invasion'

Belgian gothic/industrial rock duo Lovelorn Dolls return with their sophomore outing, 'Japanese Robot Invasion'. Featuring a stronger leaning towards their electronic side, the album is just as dark and twisted as their début albeit in a more focussed and atmospheric way. The dynamic of the songs is stronger, and the duo of Ladyhell and Corpus Christi look to solidify their presence.

The album opens with 'Happy Valentine', with it's simple music box melody counterpointed by the hard guitars and mix of dark and light vocals it evokes a grittier take on The Birthday Massacre with a little Jack Off Jill thrown in for good measure. Songs such as 'The Thrill', 'Japanese Robot Invasion', 'Miss Friday Night', 'Blood Moon' and 'Wolf Inside' follow the formula set out in the opening track mixing the guitars against dance orientated synths to create something semi-dance friendly but nonetheless very infectious.

It doesn't always work though as the lack lustre cover of The Cure's 'Just Like Heaven' goes to show. Lovelorn Dolls are at their best when they don't pull their punches and really push themselves to expand their core sound, such as on the sumptuous 'Jasmina'. Luckily though at ten tracks in total, there are plenty more hits than misses.

The production for the most part is pretty solid. It has an air of the late 90s / early 00s industrial rock sound more readily identified with Kidney Thieves and Orgy, which isn't a bad thing. In fact it gives the album an air of comforting familiarity.

'Japanese Robot Invasion' is a definite step in the right direction for Lovlorn Dolls. When they get that high octane mix of hard guitars, haunting vocals and dance synths going they sound great. There are still a few points that could have used a little more work, but at the end of the day this is a good album that will have plenty of appeal.  

XP8 announce 'Two Of Three: Albedo'

The second instalment in the Italian ex-pat electro duo's “Alchemy Series” - 'Two Of Three: Albedo' - has been announced for 31st October 2014 via 2393 Records.

The series conceptually follows the three are the phases of the Alchemical process, said to transform the lower metals such as lead into gold, an allegory of the initiatory path from man to Godhead.
“Following the chaos or 'massa confusa' of the Nigredo stage, the alchemist undertakes a purification in Albedo, which is literally referred to as 'ablutio' – the washing away of impurities. In this process, the subject is divided into two opposing principles to be later coagulated to form a unity of opposites or 'coincidentia oppositorum' during Rubedo.”
Track List:
1. We Felt Nothing
2. The Gift
3. Heatwave
4. A Greater Goal
5. Inside Their Heads (Avarice In Audio Dub)

'Two Of Three: Albedo' will be available to pre-order via the band's bandcamp page. For more information on XP8, please visit their official website.  

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Review: Citizen 16 - 'Temptation'


Harsh ebm / futurepop crossover act Citizen 16 mark their début on Juggernaut Music Group with the 'Temptation' EP. It may sound like an obvious juxtaposition, but the duo of Wolf Neve and NeutrenoP have worked hard to put their own spin on these sounds. Featuring both harsh and theatrical vocals, accompanied by big synth backings and strong dance beats, it makes for interesting, but rewarding listening.

Songs such as 'Temptation', 'Can't Stop Time', 'Angelificatum', and 'Fashion Boy' blend the harsh vocals of terror-ebm, the synth melodies of futurepop, the melancholic clean vocals of electro-goth, and the rhythms of ebm to create tracks that would hold up well both on the dance floor as well as on the stage. While the likes of 'My Friend', 'That Night' and 'Lies Within Beauty' see the clean vocals more dominant to give the songs a straighter futurepop style that will appeal to purists.

Two of the strongest songs on the album though, are the sublime pop-orientated 'M80' (featuring IIOIOIOII) and 'Leaving', which both feature different but more traditional pop vocal contributions to compliment Wolf Neve's theatrical style.

In terms of production, this is ultimately quite a solid offering that has a strong punchy attack and nice bass-heavy core to it. The only criticism is that occasionally the vocals don't seem to quite fit in the mix as well as they should.

'Temptation' is an interesting EP that plays with genre conventions in a subtle but effective way in order to offer something recognisable, but still a bit different. It may note be to everyone's taste, but there is no denying that if Citizen 16 can keep pulling the tricks from up their sleeves they could carve a big niche for themselves. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, and what they will bring to the table for a full-length outing.  

Review: Surgyn – 'Envy'


Determined to exorcise the seven deadly sins, Sottish electronic duo Surgyn return with their sophomore full-length album, 'Envy'. Building on the success of their début 'Vanity', which quickly established the band as one of the most exciting electro acts in the UK, Sovereign and Veil have added a lot more to their sonic arsenal for their second outing. There are still the big club-friendly dance tracks that 'Vanity' focussed on, but this time round atmospheres and ambience add more engrossing textures to the fabric of the album, while harsher elements sharpen the attack.

The sinister near half-ebm, half-witch house opener 'Artifice' effectively sets the mood with its spoken vocals and brief beat-heavy interludes. The first song proper, 'Limousine', is Surgyn at their finest mixing strong synth leads and a harsher vocal approach for a strong lead track that will undoubtedly become a highlight of their live sets. 'Green Heart' on the other hand is just as an infectious club anthem, albeit in a way that favours a melancholic synthpop style.

The balance of harsh and melodic elements is a constant theme running through the spine of the album on tracks such as 'Stiletto', 'King Of Crows', 'Insidious', and 'Hollywood Death Scene'. The album has just as much dance potential as its predecessor, but that hasn't stopped the duo from getting nice and experimental in places, particularity on the witch house influenced 'Martyr' which provides an unexpected but very welcome centrepiece to the album and really shows how the band are continuing to push themselves.

This is a wonderfully polished and well executed album. The songs have eclipsed the bands origins and are really beginning to set them apart. The production reflects this in a crisp and modern sound that brings out each of the new elements to the bands sound.

'Envy' is a strong follow-up to the bands exciting début. A diversification in their sound while keeping one foot in club-friendly territory has paid off in a big way. If album number three shows a jump in calibre like 'Envy' has, then Surgyn's future looks set in stone.  

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Review: Red Sun Revival – 'Embers'


Marking the band's first release on Echozone, and the follow-up to their impressive début album 'Running From The Dawn', London-based gothic quartet Red Sun Revival unleash 'Embers'. This slick and punchy four-track EP covers all the bases for what a modern gothic rock band should be. It's dark, dreamy, bass-heavy and memorable, displaying great song writing and musicianship to boot.

The EP opens with the catchy lead-single, 'Mistakes', which fuses Eden House style violins with classic gothic guitars and bass underpinning Rob Leydon's gravely, Nephilim-esque vocal style. 'Broken' follows on with a more sinister atmosphere courtesy of some nice keyboards which counterpoint the jangling guitars nicely and gives the whole song a slight prog-rock slant. 'Surrender' opens up with some lovely piano for a near power-ballad effect for Leydon to channel his inner Leonard Cohen into for perhaps his finest vocal performance on the EP. The track list is the rounded off with the title track, which layers up the keyboard atmospheres and guitars for a slow and dream-like serenade of gothic opulence.

This is a wonderfully crafted album that is produced to a high standard befitting the strong songwriting it displays. It has a fresh and modern feel to it with a dreamy quality, not unlike the recent works of The Eden House, but maintaining the odd nod to classic bands such as Fields Of The Nephilim and The Mission.

'Embers' is a strong EP, but it is a shame that it is only four-tracks long and doesn't feature any remixes or alternative edits. This isn't a major issue really as the four songs are strong enough on their own to sell the EP, it's just that they're so good you can't help but want a little more.

If 'Embers' is a sign of things to come from Red Sun Revival, Echozone better be ready to push the band hard. Fans of guitar-driven gothic rock will want to keep tabs on this band, because if this is what they offer on an EP, it's safe to say their next full-length album will put them on the map.  

Review: Project Pitchfork – 'Blood'


One year on from the band's sixteenth studio, and German ebm pioneers Project Pitchfork unleash album number seventeen, 'Blood'. The album continues to see the band play with aggrotech and futurepop influences within the framework of their classic ebm sound. Hard beats, catchy melodies and sing-a-long vocals are at the fore of the album, showing that the trio are not in any danger of slowing down any time soon.

Kicking off with the imposing slab of dark dance-fodder that is 'Blood-Line (Never)', the band set the pace early on. Songs such as 'Blood-Stained (Give Me Your Body)', 'Blood-Pressure (Just For My Pleasure)', 'Blood-Game (For You)', and 'Blood-Thirst' follow-on in a similar vein, blending the hard dance beats with some sublime synth work to get the audience hooked. While songs such as 'Blood-Moon (Romance)', 'Blood-Shed (Dark River)', 'Blood-Lust (Mental Island)' and 'Blood Night' delve a little deeper exploring dark electro territory and throwing in some glitchy moments for good measure.

At thirteen tracks, 'Blood' is a good length album, and the band definitely vary things up to hold the listener's interest. Though the three remixes included of 'Blood-Stained', 'Blood-Lust', and 'Blood-Line' feel somewhat superfluous to proceedings as they are at best more club-orientated edits of what are pretty strong dance tracks already.

As you'd come to expect from a veteran act such as Project Pitchfork, the production on this album is excellent. The beats are big and hard, the vocals cut through the mix with great effect and the synths have that big, room-filling quality that makes you want to see them live.

After twenty-odd years in the game, Project Pitchfork are still a band with a lot to offer, and are indeed still at the top of their game. They know their audience well and still continue to push themselves to keep the hits coming. 'Blood' definitely stands up with the classics in their discography.  

Monday, 22 September 2014

Live: Velvet Acid Christ - Elektrowerkz, London

"We shall return" Bryan announced last week, as the frontman and helmsman of legendary Industrial band Velvet Acid Christ came down after a mixed tour in Europe. The penultimate date set in London's alternative hub 'Electrowerkz' and the crew were scepticalof the gigs turnout.
"We picked the wrong time of year; mused Bryan, it's the latter part of festival season and no one will want to come see us. We were in Berlin a few nights ago and they told us not to come across the water, that it wouldn't be worth the effort." 

Boy were they wrong. 

The sold out gig was packed with 300 fans, some from other bands, some from labels, all of whom have had their lives touched by this patriarch of menace. "What's not to like, Giles of Industrial label Armalyte Industries said, it's full of sex, drugs and is full of soul. It's dance music for Serial killers." 

The gig was opened by in-house band D.K.A.G. They were what you'd expect for a warm up band at an industrial gig, monotonous, repetitive and predictable, but just what the crowd needed to get them pumped for the main event. D.K.A.G. will always end up being one of those M.O.R. bands of it genre, offering nothing new to the scene apart from a mindless electro beat to keep the club nights full.

Slimelights' DJ Gass Man provided a much more thrilling set, popping in between acts. Playing Industrial classics across the board in a more appropriate fashion.

By the time VAC entered centre stage the room was alive with fans all waiting to see what Bryan and the gang had in store. "This is the only date on our tour where we shall be playing a 'greatest hits' of a set. We felt it only fair as the fans from the UK have been waiting so long."

Opening with classics like 'Fun with Drugs' and 'Caustic Disco', VAC had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. Although on a tight time frame, Bryan admitted he does like to chat a lot on stage. What came next was a theatre of hate where he attacked many things in the world he could not abide. Included were other musicians, religion and record label owners who have since retired. All was taken in great jest though, as he bombarded us with other fan favourites like 'Pretty Toy', 'Slut' and an incredible version of 'Futile'. New songs and covers were also added into the mix, which he promised would be released soon after the tour.

It was announced soon after the gig that Bryan planned to return to the UK next year. Here's hoping the fans who couldn't make it this time around get a second chance to see this tour de force on stage. All we shall say is that we welcome Velvet Acid Christ back any time.

Photography by Crestfall Photography

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