IVM's Top 40 Releases of 2017

With 2017 a now a fading memory of political turmoil, social upheaval and high-profile perverts, we can at least look back at the year's musical output and say that it was a great one. As is the custom, we've put together a list of 40 notable releases from the previous twelve months that we think are worthy of praise.

Blood Pack Vol. 5 Released!

To download it all you have to do is go to our bandcamp page here: https://intravenousmagazine.bandcamp.com/album/blood-pack-vol-5

Interview: Angelspit

“I get the feeling we are moving through a period of despair. Perhaps this is due to the state of the environment, politics, or dealing with being "social" in the electronic age. We are so frustrated, so exhausted...we don't have the energy or money to plan for the future.I wanted to write lyrics that people can related to, and music that would energize that to forge ahead.”

Review: Psy'Aviah – 'Lightflare'

PSY'AVIAH 'Lightflare' ALFA MATRIX

Review: Caustic – 'American Carrion';

CAUSTIC 'American Carrion' NEGATIVE GAIN PRODUCTIONS

Saturday, 28 July 2018

HELIX, NEW PROJECT FROM ASSEMBLAGE 23's TOM SHEAR!




HELIX is the long awaited collaboration between Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) and vocalist Mari Kattman (Day Twelve, Mari & The Ghost) and offers a genre-defying sonic tapestry of electronics, organic elements and haunting vocal harmonies. Trip-hop, dub, dream pop, synth-pop, and lo-fi collide with a blend of seductive beats, found sounds, eerie textures and distant melodies. Entitled 'Twin,' this debut album by HELIX will be released on August 24, 2018 by Metropolis Records.






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Yazoo announce 'Four Pieces'



YAZOO (Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke) have announced details of ‘Four Pieces’, a remastered, four-piece box set, out on 26 October 2018. ‘Four Pieces’ will see four vinyl discs, packaged in a premium hardback-book format, alongside four art prints, six pocket-sized photos and a reproduction double-sided poster.

The new box set features both of the band’s remarkable album releases – 1982’s Upstairs at Eric’s and 1983’s You and Me Both – alongside a disc of remixes and a fourth disc featuring both of the band’s highly sought-after BBC Sessions in their entirety. Both recorded in 1982, courtesy of John Peel and David Jensen, these two outstanding sessions are collected here for the first time on vinyl.



Remixes featured on the 38-track box set include an unreleased remix of ‘Winter Kills’ by Minute Taker and rare reworkings of tracks from Richard X and Todd Terry, alongside extended versions and the orchestral mix of ‘Only You’ which featured on a recent Boots television advert. 

Yazoo formed in 1982 and, over an intense 18-month period, released two albums, four iconic hit singles and toured only once before they stopped creating music together. In that time, Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet created a sonic legacy and style which sent shock waves through the charts that still resonates. Their boundary-breaking music merged cutting-edge electronica with heartfelt, impassioned vocals. Yazoo are often name-checked by artists worldwide, including LCD Soundsystem and Antony and the Johnsons, as musical inspirations.

Disbanding 35 years ago, on the eve of the release of You and Me Both, which reached Number 1 in the UK chart, Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet continued to have successful careers in their own right, Vince with Erasure and Alison as a solo performer. Both artists have recently released Top 20 albums, Moyet with her 2017 album, Other, and Clarke with 2017’s World Be Gone.

36 years after they first presented Mute’s Daniel Miller with their first track, the heart-stopping electronic ballad, 'Only You', the impact of Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet’s unique songwriting is as it was in 1982 and, in the words of Record Mirror at the time, “Whoever said synthesiser music has no feeling can start eating their hearts out now”.

FOUR PIECES TRACKLISTING 
LP1 – Upstairs At Eric’s
Side A
1. Don't Go
2. Too Pieces
3. Bad Connection
4. I Before E Except After C
5. Midnight
6. In My Room

Side B
1. Only You
2. Goodbye 70's
3. Tuesday
4. Winter Kills
5. Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)

LP2 - You And Me Both
Side A
1. Nobody's Diary
2. Softly Over
3. Sweet Thing
4. Mr Blue
5. Good Times

Side B
1. Walk Away from Love
2. Ode to Boy
3. Unmarked
4. Anyone
5. Happy People
6. And On

LP3 - Eight Remixes
Side A
1. Nobody's Diary - Extended Version
2. Situation - Richard X Remix
3. Don't Go - Remix
4. Only You - Orchestral Mix

Side B
1. Situation - The Aggressive Attitude Mix
2. Don't Go - Tee's TNT Radio Mix
3. State Farm - Madhouse Mix Edit
4. Winter Kills - Minute Taker Remix*

LP4 - Two BBC Sessions
Side A – John Peel, June 1982
1. Don't Go*
2. Midnight*
3. In My Room*
4. Winter Kills*

Side B – David Jensen, September 1982
1. Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)
2. In My Room
3. Situation*
4. Too Pieces*

* Previously unreleased.


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VANCOUVER-BASED SYNTH-PUNK ACT FREAK DREAM SIGNS TO ARTOFFACT




Toronto-based Artoffact Records has announced the signing of Vancouver synth-punk act Freak Dream. The band's debut full-length, Into the Sun, will be released worldwide on September 21st.

The first track leak from the album, the title track "Into the Sun," is now streaming on Bandcamp.
Founded in Vancouver by musician Elliot Langford (SSRIs, The Rebel Spell, Sprïng, Big EviL, Togetherness), Freak Dream is a new project with one EP under its belt and a relentless, energetic live show. Inspired by the work of solo producer artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Prince, and Grimes, Freak Dream takes the cathartic energy of punk (Converge, Blood Brothers), and the textures of noise-rock (HEALTH, Melt Banana), combined with post-hardcore influenced vocals.

The project’s first full-length album, Into the Sun, will be released on Toronto-based Artoffact Records on September 21st

Described by Overblown as "an unrelenting blast of swirling feedback, tense synths, saturated vocals, and tightly wound songwriting," Freak Dream is bending genres and creating a wild, techno-punk admixture of sonic assaults guaranteed to get the dopamine flowing.






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NEW PSYCLON NINE ALBUM COMING ON 8/24 FROM METROPOLIS!




Metropolis presents the long-awaited new album by PSYCLON NINE called 'Icon of the Adversary.' Blending concussive, machine-precise drums, hammering guitars, scathing vocals and evil electronics, PSYCLON NINE is truly the epitome of dark metal industrial. The band's creative force, Nero Bellum, says he had to travel to a very dark place to make this album and it shows. Stunning and unrelentingly evil, this is Psyclon Nine's finest album to date and will be released on August 24, 2018 by Metropolis Records.



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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

THE GOTHIC IDEOLOGY



Anyway, enough ersatz commentary. Let's have some more ersatz commentary!

It's easy, amongst the blood feuds and boycotts and the wall-to-wall saturation of 'alt.chixxxx', to forget where the pulse of the gothic movement is. Often it seems we are trapped in a perpetual cycle of self-deprecation, flatulence and failure. For every great record or triumphant piece of art there are many more slices of casual sexism, cheap sensationalism, and an Alt-Fest. But surely, beneath the velvet coat of the gothic facade, there is something else going on?

Beginning with the roots of the gothic revival with 'The Castle of Otranto' and the explosion of gothic literature it inspired, the gothic has always wrestled with the legacy of the enlightenment and its position in a confusing, newly industrialised world. Its origins were confused, combining a contrived classicism with an extravagantly aristocratic bearing. But what was it trying to get at?

First, what was at the heart of gothic culture was an opposition to the tyranny of irrationality and unaccountable power. From the hooded torturers of the inquisition to the living death of the nunnery, to the despots of remote castles or even the uncontrollable forces of science itself, the gothic pitches the forces of reason against the 'old' forces of dictatorial, patriarchal power. The protagonists in gothic fiction find themselves as the force of a liberal, modern mentality in a world that is archaic, barbaric and medieval in its mentality. Crucially, it is the democratic rights of women, children, and the poor which the gothic advances as they struggle against these (literal) 'dark forces'.

Second, what is evident from the application of gothic principles into reality is the extent to which these principles were put in practice. From Bryon's speech in the Lords in favour of the Luddites and his activism in Greece, to de Sade's role as a section head in the French Republic who refuse to sign a single death warrant, to the socialism of the Shellys, these principles of social radicalism and political progress were the leitmotif of a movement which described a terrible monstrosity in theory, but expounded a principled enlightenment in practice. The horrors of the gothic were not the expression of a morbid, nihilistic irrationality, but quite the reverse.

And the third, lastly, was the breaking of social taboos in areas around liberties in sexual behaviour and political rights. The libertines of gothic fiction, whether exotic princes or villainous Byronic nobles or even undead Transylvanian aristocrats, practice a philosophical and liberating nihilism which rises above (or at least rails against) the established social behaviours of bourgeois society. However, and crucially, the gothic doesn't use this to propose the kind of irrational horrors that we subsequently witnessed in the twentieth century but is instead an expression of the sexual rights and political ideas that we fought to win, and are still fighting to defend, today.

So this is the ideological framework that the gothic movement works within: modern, liberal, progressive, but invoking the irrational as an expression of our personal and political horrors. It is this which we need to move to maintain, and to build upon. It won't do to fall down the same trap door of conspiracy theories, intolerance, prejudice and oppression which were the very conditions which the gothic rebelled against. It won't suffice to allow our own feelings of elitism to separate us from the impulses which the gothic movement represents.

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Sunday, 22 July 2018

Review: Guillotine Dream – 'A War On The Passage Of Time'


'A War On The Passage Of Time'
GOTHIC MUSIC RECORDS

Out of a dense fog of dry ice emerges the mysterious trio known as Guillotine Dream dragging with them a monolithic slab of old school gothic rock in the form of their full-length debut album 'A War On The Passage Of Time'. Taking their cues from early Fields Of The Nephilim, 13 Candles and the heyday of 80s gothic rock in general there is a familiarity to their haunting style, yet the band are accomplished and unique in their execution.

Atmospheric and bass-driven the band counterpoint the gravelly McCoy-esque vocal delivery with violins in the style of The Eden House to add a haunting melodramatic tone above they jangling guitars. Songs such as 'Primitive', 'Succubus Sigh', 'A War On The Passage Of Time', 'Darkling Rooms', and 'Number Sixteen' Give the album it's most classic anthemic gothic rock cuts 'Lemuria'. Whereas the likes of 'Signs' and 'Lemuria' add a more metallic edge that recalls early Anathema to an extent, whereas the sumptuous 'Dead Genius' features a slow doomy pace that heightens the album's melancholic atmosphere to its zenith.

In terms of production, as with their debut EP, 'A War On The Passage Of Time' has a very unashamed retro feel that owes a lot to 'The Nephilim' era FOTN. But that doesn't harm it in anyway. Instead this doesn't fell like an album trying to replicate a certain sound, but instead a band that are of that sound to start with.

This is a charming and addictive debut album overflowing with old school goth appeal. The strong bass lines and Nephilim-esque vocals would be enough to please most casual fans of gothic rock. But the atmospheres and drama from the violin at work make this a compelling listen.

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Review: Berlyn Trilogy – 'Flowers Fall'




'Flowers Fall'

Wakefield's Berlyn Trilogy return with a new EP of dark synthpop meets gritty post-punk. Evoking the likes of Ultravox, Editors, Ladytron and Wolfsheim the band's dark dance sensibilities create compelling and stylish tunes that combine icy cold synths and steady dance beats.

Their new EP features three new tracks and three remixes, and considering the strength of talent that was on display on their debut it's a bit of a puzzle as to why this isn't on a label, when it should be. But such peculiarities aside, the three new tracks 'Domus Aurea', 'Rain', and 'Simone (Nicole) are heavy with 'Vienna' era Ultravox atmosphere, dark and romantic but permeated with Depeche Mode style dance beats and basslines recalling Editors.

The remixes add a little more dance appeal to the tracks but the dark cinematic atmospheres of the originals always remain quite prominent. That being said the tracks from Natures Of Wires, Destination, and Parralox are particularly strong in their reworking of the source tracks.

In terms of production the band balance the dark romance of the songs with an accessible and dance-friendly core. As with their debut, it is richly layered, and methodical in letting every synth line and the bass have as much room as possible in the mix to give it a cinematic quality.

This is another strong release from Berlyn Trilogy that blend beats, melodies and atmospheres with great effect. Hopefully another full-length outing is not too far away, and hopefully they'll be picked up by a suitable label in the meantime.

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Review: Hanzel Und Gretyl – 'Satanik Germanik'




'Satanik Germanik'
METROPOLIS RECORDS

Four years after the darkest and heaviest album in the band's back catalogue, pseudo-teutonic metal duo Hanzel Und Gretyl return with another black and death metal-tinged release in the form of 'Satanik Germanik'. With 2014's 'Black Forest Metal' the band's trademark tongue-in-cheek themes and industrial elements take a back seat to relentless riffs and a more Satanic theme. And this is where their latest offering picks up.

Opening with the Wagnerian pomp of 'Golden Dämmerung' as a nice nod to their long-running Germanic obsession, the band soon drop a heavy riff and half-growled vocal with the head-banging 'We Rise As Demons' to open up a ferocious track list. Hard riffs, symphonic elements, snarling vocals and bludgeoning drums recall the likes of 'Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia' by Dimmu Borgir and 'Volcano' by Satyricon with a hint of their previous NDH style occasionally sticking it's head above the parapet.

Tracks such as 'We Rise As Demons', 'Black Six Order', 'Weisseswald', 'Hellfire Und Grimmstone', 'Sonnenkreuz', 'Unter Alles, '13 Moons', and 'Kinamreg Kinatas' give the album it's solid back-bone of symphonic/industrial edged black metal tracks. Characterised by slow sludgy riffs, and thunderous drums it's as focussed and serious as the band have ever sounded.

There are a couple of respites from the grim and gritty nature of the album with 'I Am Bad Luck' providing a slow, bass-heavy relief that strips the album's sound back a little. There's also 'Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell)', the most overtly tongue-in-cheek title of the album and the one track where they most cut loose and get a little crazy.

In terms of production the album feels sharp and focussed. The symphonic and industrial embellishments are still there but there is a more guitar-centred approach which gives the album a much heavier sound than before.

'Satanik Germanik' is a solid statement from Hanzel Und Gretyl. Heavy, strong and captivating from start to finish the album is a standout in their back catalogue, while long-time fans may lament the silliness of older material and the minimising of the electronic elements, this album still has enough to appeal to them. And while black metal may be a predominant influence the band's Germanic obsession still means that a good pun is still never too far away.

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NEW PANIC LIFT ALBUM AND UPCOMING TOUR!




Panic Lift has carved quite a niche in the dark electronic music scene by blending elements of hard industrial with synth-pop, dance friendly beats and touches of rock. Panic Lift's latest album entitled 'End Process,' will be released  on August 24, 2018 by Metropolis Records  Panic Lift will be touring the U.S. in late summer with labelmates FIRES in support.






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METROPOLIS TO RELEASE EGO LIKENESS 2 CD SET OF RARE EARLY DEMOS




On August 24, 2018, Metropolis Records is releasing 'Songs From A Dead City,' a 2 CD collection of the earliest works of Ego Likeness that date from 1999. These previously unreleased demo recordings (that predate their debut album 'Dragonfly' in the year 2000) were remastered for this special collection. These early colorful recordings are indeed diverse, running the gamut from trip-hop flavored songs to some that offer a raw, sensual side of this beloved band. Full of the fearless experimentation of youth, these songs, in the words of Ego Likeness themselves, "were written in the magical land of Once Upon A Time...before we were monsters." Ego Likeness will be touring all of North America from October through November with Abbey Death in support - west coast dates will also include a special acoustic set by Caroline Blind (of Sunshine Blind).



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THE INK BATS RELEASE NEW VIDEO!



The Ink Bats, part of the exploding Post-Punk scene in Oakland, CA, have just posted a video for the song "Caves," which was originally released on the East Bay-based quintet’s highly original, dark-yet-punchy 2017 debut album entitled Loss. It’s hard to put your finger on their sound, but their impeccable quality and dark energy has cultivated quite a fast-growing fan base. In support of their new video, The Ink Bats will be doing some road dates highlighted by a stop in Arcata, CA at The Alibi on Friday, July 27th and in Portland, OR where they will be performing at Lovecraft on Saturday, July 28th.


'The Loss' album can be heard here: https://theinkbats.bandcamp.com/album/loss-2


The "Caves" video can be seen here:

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More DJs announced for Infest 2018




This year's Infest is already shaping up to be the must see UK festival of the year with a knock-out line-up of bands already announced. Joining the band's are some of the scene's top DJ talents with these latest announcements.

DJ MATT C – UK – !!INFEST PARTNERS IN CRIME SET!!
A long history of keeping dancefloors moving from indie student nights to breaks parties in disused warehouses to a Slimelight residency in the early noughties. Now guests across the London progressive scene, including regular appearances at the amazing Dance:Love:Hub, he’s played Infest a few times too… Welcome back Mr Matt C!


DJ JuDas – UK / SE – !!INFEST PARTNERS IN CRIME SET!!
Now based in Sweden and working both as DJ and promoter, including
ElectriXmas in Malmö, he has played the world metropolises of New York, Los Angeles, Athens, Zurich, Rotterdam and Berlin. A resident DJ at London’s legendary Slimelight for 6 years, he’s back at Infest! This time with a partner in crime…


DJ RICHARD & DJ M – UK – !DUE TO LIMITED POPULAR DEMAND!
After 15 years The Underworld duo came back for one night at Infest 2016. Some people seemed to enjoy it, so bowing to pressure and against all better judgement they are back for another night. Mixing the old and new, the guitar and the electro, the obvious and the obscure… Welcome back to the Underworld DJs!


DJ STEFAN HERWIG – DE – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
The A&R man for the seminal OFFBEAT records (Front Line Assembly, haujobb, Project Pitchfork…) Founder of DEPENDENT (breaking Covenant, VNV Nation, Suicide Commando, Seabound, Mind.In.A.Box). If you don’t know the name now you soon will! Stefan is coming to Infest to spin cool electronic music you’re going to LOVE!


DJ DANIEL MYER – DE – !!INFEST DJ DEBUT!!
This man is so prolific and significant in our music genres that it beggars belief. Haujobb, Architect, Destroid, a regular appearance with the Elektro All Stars. Oh and he happens to get up on stage with a band called Covenant, and this year his latest techno project Liebknecht. Now Daniel is also taking on the Infest dance floor as a DJ!


This years festival will take place from Thursday 23rd until Sunday 26th August at University of Bradford's Student Union and marks its 20th Anniversary. More line-up details and tickets will be available from the festival's official website: https://infestuk.com

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Editorial, July 2018




It has been a while since that last editorial update and for that I apologise I could do the classic British thing and blame the weather, but with no end to this heatwave in sight it would feel like a bit of a cop-out to be honest. Outside of IVM life has got pretty busy so we've been falling behind with things a bit. But we're endeavouring to get caught up and get all of the reviews on the site as soon as possible.

Once again I'd like to start by thanking everyone who has so far downloaded our latest compilation album, 'Blood Pack Vol. 5' – the tail end of last year saw me frantically putting this together and getting it ready for new years day. It features som exclusive and unreleased tracks from international gothic, industrial and electronic bands. It also comes with an A4 PDF booklet containing bios and links for all the bands who have kindly donated a track.

To download it all you have to do is go to our bandcamp page here:

What I'd like to do now though is announce that we will soon be opening the submissions for the next 'Blood Pack' compilation album 'Vol. 6.66' which I regret to inform you all will also be our final release. Putting the compilation's together has been the highlight of my year since I came up with the idea – the artwork, the layout and most importantly the receptive and giving nature of the artists and bands in the scene who donate their tracks. But it has been becoming harder and harder to get it sorted in good time as other projects and a day job begin to fill up my spare time. As such a big project like this has become too difficult to keep up with. Every year I blink and it's December. So unfortunately this next one will be the last.

I am immensely proud of these releases especially with the feedback from readers and artists alike having always been so overwhelmingly positive. And while I hope that these will continue to raise a modest amount of money for our chosen charity DKMS UK to help fight blood cancer, the time it takes to put them together is too much to have them continue further.

However I'd like this final one to be our biggest yet! So if you'd like your band/project featured on our LAST compilation album to be released on our 6th Birthday, email intravenousmagazine@gmail.com and we'll send you details of what we require. If you or your band have previously been featured, that's great too, we love to see acts we've previously featured make a return so feel free to send us another one.

If you're sitting on the fence thinking “why should I?” check out our previous five instalments that include artists such as Aeon Sable, Attrition, Be My Enemy, Ultraviolence, Machinista, Noir, Grypt, Devil-M, Human Traffic, Double Eyelid, Apollyon's Visage, Cathedra, Bestial Mouths, Near Earth Orbit, Cease2Xist, Ego Likeness, Veil Of Thorns, Angelspit, The Gothsicles, Deadfilmstar, Cynical Existence and many many more.

Hopefully the artwork will be shot and done before the end of August and I will be able to unveil it then.

In the meantime,
make sure you have these links in your favourites:


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Monday, 9 July 2018

Throbbing Gristle announce more reissues




Throbbing Gristle announce the second phase of their ongoing reissues with Mute. 14 September 2018 will see remastered editions of Journey Through a Body (on silver vinyl and CD) and Mission of Dead Souls (on white vinyl and CD) available, while Heathen Earth will be re-released on blue vinyl and as a 2CD set.

The releases follow the 40th anniversary release of The Second Annual Report, as well as new editions of 20 Jazz Funk Greats and The Taste Of TG: A Beginner’s Guide to Throbbing Gristle – all out now http://smarturl.it/THROBBING-GRISTLE

JOURNEY THROUGH A BODY (1982, Industrial Records), widely referred to as Throbbing Gristle’s most haunting work, was recorded as a piece of radio art for Italian National Radio RAI, Rome in March 1981. Following Robert Wyatt’s recommendation, RAI originally commissioned Cosey Fanni Tutti to create a sound work based on the theme of ‘A Journey Through the Body’. This went on to become a Throbbing Gristle project – first broadcast by the RAI, Journey Through a Body was the band’s final studio recording prior to 2004’s reactivation of the band. 

Recorded in five days, a day per body section, the tracks were not pre-planned and nothing was re-recorded or added to after the track’s initial recording, instead each track was mixed immediately. “What’s most noticeable about the album, as a sonic experience is the openness to acoustic instrumentation on display.” (The Vinyl Factory) and Journey Through a Body stands as a perfect testament to Throbbing Gristle’s artistic ethos. Unavailable on vinyl since 1983, Journey Through a Body will be released on silver vinyl with a foil-blocked cover featuring photos from the session. The album is also available on all digital platforms for the first time, and on CD after being long out of print.


MISSION OF DEAD SOULS (1981, Industrial Records) documents the final performance, before Throbbing Gristle’s original disbanding (the band reactivated in 2004 before their final performance in 2010). Recorded at the Kezar Pavillion, San Francisco on 29 May 1981, the album “proves that TG’s assault never lacked talent or skill.”  - AllMusic. The album has been unavailable on vinyl since the early 1990s, and is here presented on limited edition white vinyl, recreating the original sleeve with the addition of silver ink, with a new inner sleeve including photographs and a passage by Jon Savage. 

A public statement by Throbbing Gristle stating ‘This Mission Is Terminated’ was released following Mission of Dead Souls, and the legacy of the band began to solidify with its influence on generations of artists to come. The album is also available on all digital platforms for the first time, and on CD after being long out of print.

HEATHEN EARTH, originally released in 1980 (Industrial Records), is a live document of a performance by Throbbing Gristle to a small and invited audience on 16 February 1980.
Described by The Quietus as “more cohesive and marshaled” than any of their other live recordings, the album is a testament to a band at the height of their creative powers, recorded just over a year before Throbbing Gristle disbanded and terminated the mission. 

Heathen Earth will be released on 2CD and as a limited edition blue vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, echoing, for the first time since its original release, the first pressing of the album (the initial blue pressing was an edition of only 750 copies, before the album was repressed on black vinyl). The vinyl also contains an eight-page 12” booklet entitled ‘Industrial News’ dedicated to the Heathen Earth and includes an unseen photographic print from the performance. The album comes with a digital copy of 11 bonus tracks, including live recordings from 1980 and 7” versions of ‘Subhuman’ and ‘Adrenalin’.

Throbbing Gristle are Chris Carter, Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson (who sadly passed away on 25 November 2010), Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, their impact on music, culture and the arts is immeasurable and still felt today.






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Sunday, 8 July 2018

Review: Mortiis – 'Perfectly Defect'




'Perfectly Defect'
OMNIPRESENCE PRODUCTIONS 

With Mortiis' scathing last outing 'The Great Deceiver' having run it's promotional course the man behind the troll, Håvard Ellefsen, has been in a nostalgic mood it seems with a big re-evaluation and revisiting of the 'Era I' section of his discography, but also in the re-release of the download-only album 'Perfectly Defect' that was released before the band's short hiatus.

Unlike the 'Era I' material which has been receiving a lot of well-overdue praise and attention especially for it's influence in what has come to be known as Dungeon Synth music, 'Perfectly Defect' at the time of it's release received a mixed reception. Stylistically it's a continuation of the 'Era III' sound that included 'The Grudge', but many viewed it as a purely stop-gap effort. However in this revised and expanded version, the album becomes a more rounded affair that warrants another listen.

Tracks such as 'Closer To The End', 'Perfectly Defect', 'Sensation Of Guilt', 'Thieving Bastards', and 'This Absolution' from the original release power the track list along, and see the industrial rock of 'Era III' reach a mournful and downbeat conclusion. The vocals more pained and twisted, and the atmospheres more claustrophobic, and the menacing yet ambient industrial sounds are pushed to the fore.

The new additions to the track list 'The Sphere', 'The Punished', 'Hermaphro Superior', and 'Contrition' are primarily instrumentals (with 'The Punished' featuring vocals towards the end) and while many criticisms levelled at the album in the past were that there were too many instrumental and remix sounding tracks, the inclusion of these four shifts the balance and gives the album a more soundtrack-like feel. This may not be to everyone's taste and while initially sceptical of 'This Absolution' no longer rounding off the album, the light airy strains of 'Contrition' is arguably more effective.

There are some great tracks in the original release of 'Perfectly Defect' and the new inclusions sit well within the original framework. It's hard to understand why all of these tracks weren't used on the original release, but thankfully they're included now. Still a bit of an oddity in the Mortiis back catalogue, especially considering 'The Grudge' and 'The Great Deceiver' sit alongside it, but definitely one worthy of listening too again.

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Review: AlterRed – 'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement'





'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement'

The curtain rises once again on the electro-creepshow as London's AlterRed unveil their fifth full-length studio album 'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement'. Picking up where 2015's 'In The Land Of The Blind' Left off, the band continue to evolve a heavier and darker sound that leaves the cabaret-tinged electro rock style of their first three albums behind.

A dark mournful piano intro opens the album providing a stylistic link back to their earlier material, but the inclusion of the sample over the top hints at the darker more industrial material which is subsequently revealed by the first track proper the frantic and grinding 'Speed Test'. The guitars are louder and nastier, the beats are harder and faster, the synths more scathing and sharp and Mikey's vocals take or a distinctive snarl.

The album maintains a hard rocking angsty backbone with tracks such as 'Wait For The Recoil', 'Mad Dogs', 'Breaking News', 'PS Fuck You', 'You Get Nothing', and 'Bohemian Class' providing plenty of opportunities to wreck your neck. But there is also playfully disturbed edge that incorporates the dramatic flair of their previous work with tracks such as 'Dead & Cold', 'Only Way Is Down', and the inspired cover of 'Wild Boys' bringing some variety to the fast tempo rage.

This is the band's heaviest work too date and while there are still nods to the sound pioneered on their early work, this is a much darker and grittier production. More raucous and punk rock in it's spirit and industrial in it's outlook. Not quite electro-punk and nor quite industrial rock, but rather an intelligent take on both. They've nicely balanced their melodic avant-garde charms with with violent incorporation of heavier elements well. It continues to show that AlterRed have a lot more versatility to their sound than they have previously shown.

'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement' is a strong, pissed-off album that grabs you by the ears and forces you to follow it to the end. AlterRed have hit their stride with this album and it is sure to attract fans of the heavier end of the electro rock/industrial rock scene but it still does enough to keep the interest of long-term fans. The band's continued musical evolution sees them stronger than ever.

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More DJs announced for Infest plus Charity Tea Party!




This year's Infest is already shaping up to be the must see UK festival of the year with a knock-out line-up of bands already announced. Joining the band's are some of the scene's top DJ talents with these latest announcements.

DJ GLITTERHAWK – UK – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
Glitterhawk is a Drag Queen, DJ and promoter based in Nottingham. Founder of Dark Waters Alternative Festival and a co-founder of Batronic and Nottingham’s Queer Alternative DirtyFilthySexy. Born with a love of electronic music from Witch House to Synthpop, EBM, Electro and much much more.

DJ DIMETHOXY – UK – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
Helping keep the dark electronic scene alive and kicking in S Wales! The mind behind Cardiff’s experimental electronic club MK Ultra and a DJ at long running night Dead Of Night. With a taste for twists on classic hits, dark, hard and gritty beats, you can expect the unexpected.

DJ WILDHONEY – BE – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
DJ, reviewer, photographer, webmaster who grew up as a teenager in the 80’s with New-Wave, EBM and Punk music and has broadened his musical spectrum with influences of Metal (Thrash, Hardcore, Doom, Death, Black, Grunge, …), Alternative Rock, Crossover, New-Beat, Acid, Techno, etc… Expect an interesting mix!

DJ FRANKIE D – UK – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
One of the scenes most enduring figures as head of Flag Promotionssince 1991 and bringing many of your favourite Industrial and EBM acts to the UK over the last 25+ years! A regular DJ at the Slimelight and various Glasgow nights, Stigmata, Asylum, Shadowplay and Club Tron, he continues to spread his eclectic web!

DJ UDO – DE – !!INFEST DJ DEBUT!!
Founder of HANDS, one of the most important labels for electronic music, and Winterkälte, the pioneers of rhythm’n’noise. An Udo Wiessmann DJ set offers pure energy from the wide ranging rhythm’n’noise to techno universe, mashed up with Industrial Music, EBM and more.


Also back by popular demand is the charity tea party and cake sale on Infest Sunday. Please join us for a tasty cake, a cuppa and a natter.

IN THE ESCAPE BAR BETWEEN 2PM AND 4PM ON SUNDAY 26TH AUGUST

All proceeds will go to charity. You decide which one when you buy your tea and cake! Choose from any of our chosen charities for this year: Bradford Samaritans, Yorkshire Cancer Research or Guide Dogs.

CAKE DONATION

The festival is asking for cake donations on the Sunday from 12noon please, or drop them off when the box office is open during the event on prior days.
If you are donating a cake please download and print, then fill in a “cake ingredients slip” per cake. This is to ensure everyone can make an informed decision about which cakes to enjoy, with regard to any allergies or intolerances they may have. Download the cake ingredients slips on the website.


This years festival will take place from Thursday 23rd until Sunday 26th August at University of Bradford's Student Union and marks its 20th Anniversary. More line-up details and tickets will be available from the festival's official website: https://infestuk.com

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