Issue 10

Features DEATH IN JUNE (interview), ALIEN SEX FIEND, FAUST, BLACK ROSE, A MUSIK plus tons of reviews/info.


Available via mail order 3 (UK) 5 (EUROPE) 6 (WORLD), cheques/ PO's etc to A.NOVAK, PO BOX 210, NORTHAMPTON, NN2 6AU, U.K.

CATHEDRA - Until the End of the World (Cassette) Minimal piano and picked violin introduce you to a world of neo-classical nuances like Satie on maudlin. Deft light touches that float in the ether, the background music to some lost paradise. So layed back that it doesn't interrupt our thought patterns, just reinforces them. Nearest places of reference would be an ethno Eno or Peter Gabriel's World Music label. Cathedra draw on so many genres and eras of music from medieval to modern, western and ethnic, all merge into one.

ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS - Quartz - (Cassette)
Features two long pieces, the first is improvised guitar experimentations that build as the track develops. Wrenching sub-sonic and strange sounds from this instrument in noisy main mode. The second is more 'out there' with bongo drums as a backbone to the sub space ambiences that sweep back and forth. Oddity.

MLEHST - Dancing Pricks - (Cassette)
A contrast to the previous two releases of more restrained experimentation, this is 'full on' searing sonic attacks. Interspersed with calmer moments before another onslaught of distortion that is in earthquake proportions. All is levelled by Mlehst's crushing tidal waves of noise - the trick is to ride with them.

BRB - Disinterpretioned - (LP) Mimamul - (Cassette)
Formerly known as 'Big Road Breaker' follow ups to the well received 'Don't Fuck With the Angels' album that came out last year. More sub-space transmissions from out of the void, other worldly murmurs and ambiences that shimmer like phantoms then fade into oblivion. Clicks, static and rumbles are allused as devices to convey abstractions of space and time. Layer upon layer of sound, treated to bring out new textures; the musical splitting of an atom.

Like all of Muzamuza releases the packaging enhances the music from Dada like collages to minimal 'art concrete' images, but still giving all the releases a 'label identity'. I digress ... this release again lies within the experimental realm, controlled, distorted-ambient soundscapes. The sonic attacks are used to punctuate the floaty keyboards and streams of swirling drones. Looped sounds hypnotise and draw you into a world of processed and dissected ambiences.

New tape only label called SATURATED which will be releasing material by:
  • VENETIANS - Qawwalies 97-97 Debut release of cymbals, clatter, gadgets and sleep inducing drones.
  • CULVER - Recurrent themes for consumer society, pure loaded noise in full on mode.
Other Releases:
  • THE JAZZ FINGER album ONOMATOPOEA / BRB split album, in conjunction with CHEESES INTERNATIONAL label.
  • APHASIA / BRB split album in conjunction with ATOMOJECT label.
Contact: MUZAMUZA, 3 Soulby Court, Kingston Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 2TQ. Tel. 0191 286 3515 Fax. 0191 222 1837

Everybody must have come across the 'Op Art 50p album' that the fledgling Virgin put out by Faust, its been twenty five years since then. Now they are back with the help of new interest in 'Krautrock' via Julian Cope's book and various dabblings in that area, notably Stereolab. I don't think they've changed much in the intervening years, still unconventional - the musical version of the Baader-Meinhof gang. Live there's something primal about their performance, mono-psychouts that cycle and entrance the audience. Then all a sudden Jean Hevve explodes expressing sound as action - painting, then destroying what he has created with a chainsaw that's creating sound. Its an exorcism of the soul thats brought to an abrupt end by tear gas being let off and we all have to flee the building. I can't imagine them doing an encore, the concert is the performance; there is no more - the artist is in control.

  • 1971 - LP - Faust (Polydor)
  • 1972 - LP - So Far (Polydor)
  • 1973 - LP - Faust Tapes (Virgin)
  • 1973 - LP - IV (Virgin)
  • 1986 - LP - Music & Elsewhere/Return of a legend (Recommended)
  • 1989 - LP - The last (Recommended)
  • 1989 - CD - 71Minutes of (Recommended)
  • 1994 - CD - Faust Concerts - Vol. 1 (Table of Elements)
  • 1995/6 - CD/LP - Rien (Table of Elements)
  • 1996/7 - CD/LP - You Know Faust (Klangbad)
  • 1972/95 - LP/CD - with Tony Conrad, Outside the Dream Syndicate (Caroline / Table of Elements)
  • 1972 - LP - Slapp Happy - Sort Of (Polydor)
  • 1980 - LP - Slapp Happy - Slapp Happy or Slapp Happy (Recommended)

Covers in depth Industrial, Electronic and Gothic music this issue features HYBRYDS, VAGINA DENTATA ORGAN, GOETHES ERBEN, PUISSANCE, DEATH IN JUNE, RAISON D'ETRE, MORTIIS and DISASTROUS DIN. A healthy reviews section which covers not only music but books, comics and fanzines.
Contact: DIE PEST, Gibitzenhofstr. 50, 90443, Nurnberg, GERMANY.

A round up of matters concerning M.M.A.T.T. they've finally got their CD out and settled with Mark Jenkins. This also contains many useful underground contacts and a guide to new releases that are available via the prolific M & E label.
Contact: M & E, 6 Farm Court, Farm Road, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey, GU16 5TJ.

Packed with reviews of underground music and fanzines an essential guide to whats going on. Also has interviews with DAVE-ID BUSARAS (X Virgin Prunes), FLOWERS OF ROMANCE, ARTICA and information on INTO THE ABYSS.
Contact: INTO THE ABYSS, Heinheimer Str. 4a, 64289 Darmstadt, GERMANY.

Another zine that covers alternative music in depth leaning more towards the Dark Wave/Gothic scene. This issue features ALIEN SEX FIEND, BEBORN BETON, DEATHLINE INTERNATIONAL, CYAN, and THE VENUS FLY TRAP.
Contact: DER HOFKURIER, Kanalweg 10, 53859 Niederkassel, GERMANY.

Free monthly tabloid music paper covering the extreme end of metal from death to doom and everything in between.
Contact: UNDERGROUND, 3 Sanfield Crescent, Camborne, Cornwall, TR14 7DX.

Covers a wide range of music from Gothic, Prog Rock to Electronic and Avant Garde with lots of reviews and news. Features JEFF WAYNE, FILM MUSIC, DARK SIDE OF METAL, ICEKALT and FORMA TADRE.

The last issue of this respected Dark Wave/Gothic zine, the eitor has now gone on to work with the 'GOTHIC GRIMOIRE' magazine. This issue features FUNHOUSE, HOME OF THE HITMAN, GARDEN OF DELIGHT and SIELA.
Contact: WOLFGANG SCHOLZ, Romerstrasse 94, 56073 Koblenz, GERMANY.

X-CESS, 6/97
Glossy free zine that includes a wide selection of independent music, with a healthy reviews section. This issue features MACHINE HEAD, MOON SEVEN TIMES, FEAR FACTORY and WUMPSCUT.
Contact: X-CESS, Am Hang 18A, 41836 Baal, GERMANY.

Another free glossy zine and also a last issue, but will start a new magazine called SUB this year. This issue features SIXTEEN VOLT, XORCIST, VENUS FLY TRAP and a healthy mainly electronic based review section.
Contact: SUB, 5 Place Vielle Montagne, 4000 Liege, BELGIUM.

Centred around Dark Wave / Electronic area this issue features DOWNLOAD, CALVA Y NADA, BLACK TAPE FOR A BLUE GIRL, HAVJOBB, SYRIA, FADING COLOURS, PROPHETESS plus loads of reviews.
Contact: SUR-FACE, Sonnenhugel 55, 66113 Saarbrucken, GERMANY.

Another excellent zine from Germany covering all shades of dark music this issue features STIGMA, MALAISE, DEATH IN JUNE, AURORA SUTRA, TYPE O NEGATIVE, PROJEKT RECORDS, TERMINAL CHOICE and COLDMEAT INDUSTRY.
Contact: BLACK, Elfeicher Weg 242, 64289 Darmstadt, GERMANY.

ENTRY, April / May '97
Magazine for Dark Music, Culture and the Avant Garde, more of the usual high standard in layout and coverage. This issue features SPOCK, AMORPHIS, MANUSKRIPT, MACHINE HEAD, AGE OF HEAVEN, and DEATHLINE INTERNATIONAL.
Contact: ENTRY, Am Pastors Busch 19, 46244 Bottrop, GERMANY.

What can I say more of the same with a leaning towards Gothic fom the USA, this issue features FAHRENHEIT 451, LIBITINA, CRUXSHADOWS, ATROCITIES FASHION and DEEP EYNDE.
Contact: BLOODSTAINED TEARS, Postfach 120124, 27515 Bremerhaven, GERMANY

Yet another professional zine that concentrates more on the electronic scene, with a big reviews section and a wicked illustrator who caricatures the bands.
Contact: BODYSTYLER, Postfach, 800207, 14428 Potsdam, GERMANY.

DLK, 3
Covers an international selection of artists within the 'grey area' of music. This issue features PANKOW, IN THE NURSERY, VENUS FLY TRAP, DOGMEAT, COP INTERNATIONAL, DRONE RECORDS, SKINFLICK PROD, SISTERS OF MERCY, KIRLIAN CAMERA and ITALIAN ELECTRONIC MUSIC SCENE. They have also started their own mail order called DELIRIUM TREMENS,this is a key contact for Italy.
Contact: DLK, Via Gorki 5, 74023, Grottaglie (TA), ITALY.

Consistently good zine which covers the dark wave scene in depth. This issue features MORBUS KITAHARA, ROSA CRUX, SLEEP CHAMBER and a huge review section.
Contact: BACK AGAIN, Wittmannstr. 28, 64285 Darmstadt, GERMANY.

Visually stunning Dark Wave magazine that shows the general standard of publications in Germany is extremely high. This issue features MARILYN MANSON, DAS ICH, DIE KRUPPS, LOVE LIKE BLOOD, PROJECT PITCHFORK, MERRY THOUGHTS, WAKE, HYBRYDS and SENSORIUM.
Contact: SONIC SEDUCER, Postfach 101465, 46014 Oberhausen, GERMANY.

From the home of DARKSIDE label and distribution this features EARACHE RECORDS, ATTRITION and SOUNDBUSTER PROD.
Contact: DARKSIDE, A.P. 21-460, C.P. 04000, MEX, D.F. MEXICO.

A magazine that covers the bizarre and eccentric with some music features. This issue includes DWEEZIL ZAPPA, MY DYING BRIDE also short fiction stories from REED, BEECHCROFT and LEWIS. Art and illustrations along with book and video reviews and a piece on holy rats from India.
Contact: IMPLOSION, PO Box 533653, Orlando, FL 32853, USA.

Admittedly mostly metal bands covered but looking for new contacts. This issue features DARKSYLE, BESEECH, VADER, ANCIENT RITES, THE VENUS FLY TRAP amongst others.
Contact: K.O.D., Slowackiego 182/47, 97300 Piotrkow Tryb, POLAND.

Promising newcomer thats improving in leaps and bounds, covers Alternative, Industrial, Goth, Electro and Techno with loads of news, features and reviews.
Contact: INTERFERENCE, 14 Stanley Road, Broadstairs, Kent T10 1DA.

Again another metal based zine thats looking to broaden its musical outlook. This issue has DIABOLI, NIGHT IN GALES, IGNITE, VACUUM, LAND OF PASSION, VENUS FLY TRAP, FEAR OF DOLLS amongst many others.
Contact: C.O.T., Ass. Moradores 17 Junho; B1.E-19, Ferreiras, 8200 Albufeira, PORTUGAL.

Another UK zine with great potential, covering underground culture and music. This issue has features on the TORTURE GARDEN, DEATH IN JUNE, SOL INVICTUS, BLOOD AXIS, IN THE NURSERY, ENGELSSTAUB, ATTRITION, VENUS FLY TRAP, MORTIIS, DANE FETISH FASHION along with music reviews, artwork and more. Recommended.
Contact: JUDAS KISS, PO Box 154, Gateshead, NE8 4WL.

Things are certainly looking up in the UK with these quality zines around. Good to see the return of 'Lowlife' it was missed, and is an example of what zines should be like. This issue is packed with great layout, news, reviews and features on ATTRITION, story by ANDY DARLINGTON, OSTIA, VENDEMMIAN, DR. WHO, GOTHIC REQUIEM and a healthy live reviews section.
Contact: LOWLIFE, 11 Parkwood Road, Hastings, TN34 2RN.

Which features mostly native bands but looking to expand its horizons. The reviews section has more healthy international stance, but bands featured include MAO MORTA, CAIS DOROCK, MAN OR ASTROMAN, NOY AGHEM amongst others.
Contact: MEHR LICHT, RUA Dos Bombeiros Vikybtaruis 58m 4489 Oivia de Varzim, PORTUGAL.

ORKUS, 7/8 '97
Visually stunning glossy magazine from where? - - - Germany again, with this kind of support for the scene, no wonder its so healthy. This issue features PRODIGY, RAMMSTEIN, UMBRA ET IMAGO, LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT, LEAETHER STRIP, DEPECHE MODE, CREMATORY, FRONT 242 and loads of reviews, news, adverts and some great photography.
Contact: ORKUS, Jagerhalde 57, 70327 Stuttgart, GERMANY.

Again a more metal based zine but with a view to get a wider selection of music for future issues. This features LOVE IN REVERSE, NIGHT IN GALES, plus packed with reviews of demos, fanzines and music.
Contact: CALMANT, Jaunimo 60-9, 4580 Alytus, LITHUANIA.

Covers Gothic, Pagan, Underground scenes with a leaning towards Pagan organisations and music. This issue features CHATEAU ROYALE, ENDURA, VENUS FLY TRAP, MOONDRAGON, CENTRE FOR PAGAN STUDY, plus book and music reviews, poetry, short stories.
Contact: CYRKEL SPYNN, Flat 14, 105 Burngreave Road, Sheffield, S3 9DF.

Monthly glossy magazine covering all kinds of independent music, with style and verve. This issue has CRANES, DAFT PUNK, BABY BIRD, LABRADFORD, SNEAKER PIMPS, BASTARD, LAIKA, NUMB, DEATH IN JUNE amongst others,.
Contact: PREMONITION, 28 Villa des Paroseaux, 92320 Chatillon, FRANCE.

More underground emanations this time fromEastern Europe, showing that there is a burgeoning scene beginning there. This issue has TRANCE, CHARNEL HOUSE, MUSSORGSKI, TURKISH SCENE, ETERNE, ELEND, KONICA TANIEC, GREEK SCENE, SZEKI KURVA, plus loads of reviews of zines and music. Good access point for Poland and beyond.
Contact: KRZYSZTOF SADZA, Napoleonska 25A, 06500 Mlawa, POLAND.

A compilation with a conscience, all profits will be donated to the APMA. Whatever your thoughts on the subject you must agree that any unnecessary suffering that is inflicted on animals is unacceptable. The bands who have donated tracks to this cause have provided material on the theme of animals.

An international selection of artists some who are known in the underground scene, they include RENAISSANCE NOIRE (France - gothy atmospherics), AND CHRIST WEPT (USA - growly EBM), PP? (Germany - harsh electro), INTO THE ABYSS (Germany - gothic meets metal), HOMICIDE (Italy - tribal thrash metal), LAND OF PASSION (Belgium - collaboration with T.F.T.T. to produce tribal gothic electronics, includes Mister H who made this project possible) , VENUS FLY TRAP (UK - post acidic dark wave), SWAN DEATH (Belgium - Joy Division inspired gothic) and BLIND PASSENGERS (Germany - pounding dance floor EBM). Other artists include CYCLAMEN VALLEY, ORPHAN, ORPHOBIA, NIGHOG, DISORDER, SHA 261, ORICALQUE, NEUTRAL PROJECT, RED FLOWER and PSYCHO SURGERY.
Contact: L.A.D 24, BP 111, 59563 La Madeleine, Cedex, France or APMA, 4 De Burtetlaan, 2650 Edegem, Belgium.

AUTOREVERSE 4 (Fanzine & Cassette)
Staunch supporter of all things underground & especially produced on cassette, EMI don't bother. A unique journal chronicling home recording artists in the main but still open minded to all sorts of independent music.

This issue has interviews with the likes of BACCHUS JIHAD, COSMONAUTS, HAIL SATAN, MICK MAGIC, SCUM label and a healthy sized review section. Down to the cassette, entitled TURBOGROOVES, which contains music from some of the above artists. Its a broad selection of musical styles, I think the main criteria is that it is produced on home recording equipment. Artists include STAR PILLOW, 890 E10, D.PRENDVILLE, EVOLUTION CONTROL COMMITTEE, BIG CITY ORCHESTRA, IRRELIGION, CORPSE VOMIT, BACCHUS JIHAD, COSMONAUTS, HAIL SATAN, M.M.A.T.T and KIRCHENKAMPF.
Contact: Autoreverse, PO Box 15579, Coloumbus, Ohio 43215, USA

DOWN UNDERGROUND - The TOAN Compilation (Cassette).
Put together by the OZ fanzine TOAN, This features a current crop of artists from 'down under'.

They include TROLL (harder more agressive All About Eve), PLANTAGANET (guitar rock with touches of Grunge), STEALTH (a cross between Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine), SULKUS (Death Metal) THE ALTAR (a mix of gothic meets the Doors), SANCTUARY (rockier version of Incubus Succubus), EVOL LOVE (concept rock), THE MACHINE (Led Zepplin meets Spandex), CRAWL SPACE (grungy INXS), SPINE OF GOD (NIN on full distortion), SCREAMWORLD (hey! another Incubus Succubus type band!), IGNITE (Prog Rock), HIDDEN AGENDA (politically motivated pop rock), CLICK (angst metal), CLOSED WORLD ASSUMPTION (death metal) and JIGSAW (metal in Fear Factory mode). A wide selection of artists, albeit within the rock genre.

Production standards are uniformly high throughout. Certainly a must for anyone who's interested in what's going on in that scene and is partial to the amber nectar.

COURTIS - Poliestreno Expandido (Cassette - Matching Head)
Argentinian solo artist who dabbles with music more in the experimental/ improvised genre. From sonic guitar distortions favoured by some Japanese noise artists to more atmospheric soundscape pieces, all using the guitar. Although treated and manipulated out of all recognition, using distortion and sound treatments. Nearest reference points would be artists on the ARTWARE label (like Schloss Tegal). File under ambient/industrial.
Contact: Courtis, Virrey Cevallos 592, 10 -2 1077 Bueno Aires, Argentina or Matching Head, 12 Caonwood Way, Sunniside, Tyne & Wear, NE16 5XR

UBU SWIRL - Cunt (Cassette - Hunterhof)
Probably one of the hardest working bands I know - they don't just talk about music(in which case they'd be saddo music journalists rather than musicians!), they live it as an everyday experience. This has taken them from their native Northampton via Hamburg - where they started as buskers and finshed being able to play prestigious venues just like the Beatles (probably) - and have now conquered the rest of Germany and beyond.

Like their attitude, their music is challenging, confronting you with uncomfortable situations and emotions. A heady mixture of the Velvets minimalism, very English humour (take a bow Jazz Butcher and Monty Python fans everywhere) and Sinead O'Connor. They make and sell their own cassettes, records and underpants (the crusty variety of course!). No middle men. Not even any 'a bit to the left' or 'just around the corner' men. This is what independent really means.
Contact: Hinterhof, c/o Boeters, Keiber Str.57, Altonaer Nord, 22769 Hamburg, GERMANY.

MOTHBURNER - Autumns Embrace (Cassette)
Features two lost souls who live in a remote part of these Isles; namely Shirin (vocals) and Nothing (guitar) and a 'temperamental' beat box called Shiprah. This tape was suprisingly recorded all in one take in a bedroom on a decrepit tape recorder yet still the material shines. Sweet mournful vocals over distorted guitar and regimented drum machine along with a mix of gothic atmosphere washing over catchy songs a la Curve.
Encourage these people as this tape gives only a hint of what Mothburner are capable of. Now if only they'd buy themselves a new tape recorder...
Contact: Mothburner, Flat 3, Tresillian House, West End, Marazion, Cornwall TR17 0EG.

LADY MORPHIA - Ideaology and Emotion (Cassette)
Second release from in the main Nick Nedzynski and follow up to the critically acclaimed debut Tales from a Surgical Ward (see Bz9). Theres a greater variety of influences on this tape from Killing Joke, Death in June and a lot of 80's bands. Which brings me to the vocals, which soulnd very close to David Sylvian (ex Japan), reaffirming the 80's feel to some songs. On the acoustic numbers there is more neo folk atmospherics that call to mind Sopor Aeternus's recent releases. Overall the sound has improved and the songwriting is far more confident and assured. It will be interesting to see what they can attain when the line up is expanded.
Contact: Lady Morphia, North Park Cottage, Paddock Wood, Little Walden, Essex CB10 1XE.

BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP - Dust (Cassette - EBU's Music)
Gothic Rock band from Germany return withe another new singer called J and a new label after departing from No Control Torture. Their profile has certainly been raised since their second demo 'Psychic Burnout' (see Bz8) which came out in 1995. Appearances on other well regarded compilations include 'Gothic Grimwoire 2', Gothic Enigma 1 and Mick Mercers Hex Files have certainly got them to a wider audience.

Down to the music. Well the compilations have given it all away, they are most definately a classic Goth band. They come from the same mould as the Sisters of Mercy, Merry Thoughts and Garden of Delights. That aside, they've got some dark catchy tunes that seem to linger in your brain.
Contact: Beyond The Wall Of Sleep, Auf Der Haag 36, 52134 Herzogrenrath, Germany.

THE TORTURED - Possibly Could Be... (Cassette) Glamour in Pink (Cassette).
Hailing from North of the border, they formed in '94 and have extensively toured the UK supporting the likes of London After Midnight, Rosetta Stone and Suspira.

Their roots are Gothic but with lots of humour and a huge amount of pop sensibilities. I can hear touches of Danielle Dax or March Violets, especially in the vocals suplied by Sarah Emslie & Marie. Add to that the melodic guitars a la Incubus Succubus or Sisters and they have the appeal to go beyond cult status.
Contact: The Tortured, 18/3 Westfield Road, Edinburgh E11 2QR SCOTLAND.

FEAR OF DOLLS- All Monsters Eat Children (Cassette)
Hailing from the grunge capital, suprisingly FOD don't follow that particular genre of music. Their influences come from post punks stark cold minimalism, achingly depressive guitar along with maudlin vocals A mix of Bauhaus atmospherics underpinned by tribal rythms a la Sex Gang Children or X Mal Deutchland.

A touch more experimental than traditional gothic rock, like Scream period Siouxsie or early Lydia Lunch, the potential is here for this band to develop into something monstrous.
Contact: Fear of Dolls, 1414 East Denny Way 4, Seattle, WA 98122 USA

PATTERNCLEAR/ALTER MATER - Ascent to Hell (Cassette - B/B)
Split tape featuring UK's Patternclear, who released the impressive debut CD 'Beat Supremacy' on Subtronic last year, and Italy's Alter Mater (see Bz9). Phil Clarke (ex Stress) the mastermind behind Patternclear has ditched the more 80's synth pop sound of previous releases and gone for more textured soundscape electronics, whilst retaining a wide appeal. Lush evocative pieces that suggest far off places and are reminiscent of the best of early Human League and Jarre.

Alter Mater are also electronic based, but opt for a more grandiose vision in the mould of In The Nursery or Will mixed with dark nuances and some spoken word sections. Highly recommended.
Contact: Patternclear, 92 Edward Street, Nuneaton, Warks, CV11 5RE B/B, Via Mozart 13, 20092 Cinisello (M1), Italy

CYAN - HIDE - Early Projects Part One (Cassette)
A collection of tracks from 93-96 from this French gothic band.New material should be available soon. The duo consists of Pascal (vox, synth and guitar) and Stephanie (guitar) along with the obligatory drum machine. Theres plenty of dynamics on these tracks. The quieter, more plaintive monents sound like early Cure. This is then shattered by uptempo sections which employ distorted guitar and harder beats.

It'll be interesting to see if they have moved away from the Cure/Sisters scheme of things when they look back at this material.
Contact: Cyan - Hide, 45 Rue Danton, 94270 Le Kremlin -Bicentre, France.

DIE TRAKTOR - Fat Girl (Cassette - EBU's Music)
German guitar band that sound as though they should have come from the States. A mixture of punk/rock with the groove of the likes of the Chilli Peppers. Angst ridden vocals in English and German over driving beats and searing guitars, all done with the self confidence that comes from playing in front of an audience. They mix various 'rocky' styles together with lots of melodic touches. Not for people into hardcore.
Contact: EBU's Music, Bottenhorner Weg 37, 60489 Frankfurt/M, Germany

MUGWUMP - Mugwump (Cassette)
Formed from the ashes of various midlands bands and claiming to be influenced by the likes of The Damned, Doors and Joy Division. Vocally, there are strong comparisons to the Doors and instrumentally to Joy Division. An interesting mix of angst and melancholy. Mugwump don't really fit within the gothic genre easily. They have wider influences which are reminiscent of Echo and the Bunnymen. This three piece pride themselves on originality. Once they shake off the more obvious influences, they could be on to something.
Contact: Mugwump, 126 Rocky Lane, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 1QF.

THE SHITHEAD DISMANTLED - The Corporation (Cassette).
Produced by solo artist Nuno Map, who also puts out the electronic/ alternative magazine DNA. we're taken into the Lo-Fi world of drones and rumbles, interspersed with machine noises. A nightmarish landscape to some factory gone mad and there is no escape. A bleak view indeed and a reminder that not all technology is 'good'. A stark warning.
Contact: DNA, Avenida D Joao I n 14 5 Direito, 2830 Barreiro, Portugal.

WORKMAN - Suffering Reaction (Cassette - Supporto Italiano)
New label that puts out material and promotes mainly Italian bandas including WYVERN, BLACKLISTED, BENDERS, HAVOC amongst others. Also Workman's debut cassette which features Piero Seghetti who plays all of the instruments on this recording. The music seems to be influenced by Metal in one form or another. Chugging guitar riffs and double bass drum work dominate. Production work is good and the playing is tight throughout. It ends up sounding not unlike bands like Fear Factory or Biohazard.
Contact: Supporto Italiano, Via Funtana Buddia C-8, 08100 Nuoro (Sardegna), Italy.

WOMB - Babies for Sale (Cassette)
Semi-concept band and album from this London based duo. Fuzzed guitar, overdriven drum machine and vocals that come from the crypt out them firmly in the gothic area. Minimal in feel, similar to the likes of Alien Sex Fiend or Bauhaus, you can see the strobe light's starkness suiting this band. Considering the lo-fi recording technology used on these tracks, the songs do stand up to repeated listening. Again, another band that it will be interesting to see what they can do with better production and recording.
Contact: Womb, 90 High Road, London N15 6JU.

JIM STUDNICKI - The Second Day (Cassette)
Singer/songwriter with a penchant for the Civil War, this is his debut offering from across the pond. A well produced and packaged product that is crafted confidently, memorable songs with strong hooks. This cassette is aimed at more of a 'rock' audience perhaps. A cleaner version of someone like Soundgarden or Led Zepplin.
Contact: J.Studnicki, 13808 Lazy Oak Drive, Tampa, Florida 33613, USA.

SENSORIUM - Jahazaralah (LP - Resurrection)
Features Paul Miles and Simon Rippin, who played on the NEFILIM album 'Zoon' and toured with the band in the UK and Europe. Paul was also involved with cult punk/hardcore band THE VARUKERS between 1984 and '87. Growly dark vox intones doom and destruction over sub-rock riffs not unlike the Nefilim (which is not that suprising). This crosses over more into metal with some gothic touches to give the album more dimensions. References to the occult in the lyrics and artwork reaffirm the metal associations, but more in the way Fields of the Nephilim would present themselves.
Contact: Resurrection, 228 Camden High Street, London NW1 8QS

MAIN - Deliquescence )LP - Beggars Banquet)
Recorded live at the third 'Musiques Ultimes' festival in Nevers, France earlier this year. Main man Robert Hampson delivers a set of bare to the bone minimal ambiences. It's very difficult to tell whether the sounds are produced organically or electronically. Other worldly murmurs and subterranean sounds pulse through the ether, then dissolve and dissapear. Eerie mantras beam cosmic shards of sound direct to the subconscious, an alternative version of Holst's Planets Suite comes to mind, as each track tries to describe abstract concepts like space and time.
Contact: Beggars Banquet, 17-19 Alma Road, London SW18 1AA.

CLAIR OBSCUR - Sans Titre, 1992 (LP - Apocolyptic Vision)
Re-release of the album first available on French label Visa, this provides the missing link between the albums 'Play' and 'In Out'. A mix of rockier elements and classical nuances that have kept this band at the forefront of contemporary music. Art Rock politics drive this rythmic Avant Garde group beyond normal conventions and into living theatre. They draw on so may influences that they flit through time at will, bet end up still sounding like themselves.

Defying categorisation, they've managed to create their own, independent and individual style.

SOPOR AETERNUS - The inexperienced Spiral Traveller (LP Apocolyptic Vision)
One of the most successful international bands within the Dark Wave genre and set to reach new heights. Suprising when you know that they refuse to play live, keeping the mystique surrounding the band intact. We're only allowed in via lush imagery to take part in the festival of dead souls with the help of this albums music, which takes us on a magical journey to discover a world of wonder via the use of medieval and neo-classical influences, all underpinned by gothic ambiences that permeate our very being. A monumental piece of work.
Contact: Apocolyptic Vision, Ahornweg 19, 64807 Dieburg, Germany.

OBERON - Oberon (LP Prophecy Productions)
Features the talents of Bard Titlestad from the 'land of long winters' and Bergmann, Norway. Meloncholic tunes that pull at your heart strings, stirring deep felt emotions of loss and regret. Powerful stuff, all done with neo-classical piano taking the lead and bolstered by progressive guitar ambiences. Reminiscent of fellow scandanavian romantics Dark Side Cowboys, both have a real feel for the epic. Inspiration not only comes from his emotions, but his native landscapes, which are full of dark, desolate places.

Plaintive vocals reinforce the feelings of pain and isolation. Indeed, we are all islands.
Contact: Prophecy Productions, PF 1469, 54504 Wittlich, Germany.

AVERNUS - ...Of The Fallen (LP - Mia Records)
Debut album from this Americam band who have played with the likes of Type O Negative, Korn and Sunshine Blind. Received much critical praise for their two demo's which culminated in an appearance on the Metal Massacre album. Since then they have incorporated more elements into their hard edged music from Gothic to Arabic. The dual pronged attack of growly male vox and ethereal female works well. They end up sounding more like a strange mixture of Black Sabbath and Inccubus Succubus. Another hybrid band that has moved more into the gothic arena with the likes of Into The Abyss.
Contact: Mia Records, Highland Village, 3935 Westheimer State 224, Houston, TX 77027, USA

SPLINTERED/RLW - (LP - Black Rose)
A collaboration between the UK's Splintered, whose rock experimentations are well known, and Germany's manipulators of sound, RLW. Bare-to-the-bone rythms, searing guitar on full distortion drive this minima rock. Mixed with various residual sonics to form a collage of sound on the verge of a breakdown, this 'Art Concrete' draws from the likes of Scorn, Faust and PIL and puts them all in the blender. Bleak, uncompromising soundscapes to some urban nightmare, their vision is cold, grey and unemotional.

CONTRASTATE - A Thousand Badgers in Labour (LP - Black Rose)
Re-issue of deleted second album from the UK's 'strange sound manipulators', it also contains a previously unreleased track from the same sessions. Malignant, dreamy ambiences draws us into a world of eno-esque wonder, then we get poignant neo-folk as a contrast. These are dual features of this evocative band, everything is suggestions and shadows that flit across the horizon.

Spoken word passages tell of some tale of madness that wouldn't be out of place in Eraserhead or Twin Peaks. This band have tapped into our dark psyches and given these spectres a voice.

Other Releases:

CONTRASTATE/TIGER LILLIES - Goodbye Great Nation (Single - Black Rose)
An unclassifiable and curious collorative project in which abstract expressionist soundscapes mix with castrato like blues experiments to produce a classic release commenting on the state of the nation.
  • CONSTRASTATE- Throwing Out The Baby With The Bathwater (LP-Black Rose)
  • CONSTRASTATE- i (LP-Black Rose)
  • CONSTRASTATE- Mort Aux Vaches (LP-Black Rose)
Three releases of mesmerising electro-acoustics and electronic textures mixed with hounting atmospherics and thought provoking lyrics. Mort Aux Vaches is a live studio session for VPRO (Dutch national radio).

CONSTRASTATE- Under The Line Laying North (Single - Fourth Dimension)
A mix of atmospheric and harsh soundscapes recorede live in a railway tunnel and in the studio. Features full colour cover and eight page booklet with artwork by Stone.

BAND OF PAIN/STEPHEN MEIXNER - Rattle/Mannequin (Single - Black Rose)
A collaboration using an exchange of sound sources which were then reworked by each of the artists.

SPLINTERED/ASP (Single - Fourth Dimension)

Rythmic other worldly manipulated loops and sub space sonics detach the listener from Terra Firma. We are drawn into a series of ambient mantras that hypnotise and hold the mind for as long as the disc plays. These tracks mutate and transform into different forms, a constant flux of sound.

HIJOKAIDAN - Ferocity Of Practical Life (Single - Fourth Dimension)
Japanese noise merchants let loose on an unsuspecting world. Extreme in the vein of the likes of Merzbow and their ilk. Extreme noise terror that levels everything in its path, a one megaton sonic attack thsat takes no prisoners. Distortion overload sears the ether and provides the perfect weapon for annoying neigbours.
Contact: Fourth Dimension, PO Box 63, Herne Bay, KENT CT6 6YU.

SOIL AND ECLIPSE - Necromancy (LP - COP International)
Features American duo Jayne Tye (Vocals) and GW Childs (Songwriter & Arranger). Also, they've GOT to be the first electro-gothic band to come out of Hawaii that I've ever heard of! Repetetive electro rythms a la Alien Sex Fiend with elthereal melodic synths and vocals somewhere between Depeche Mode and Dead Can Dance. They've got one foot in the atmospheric gothic arena, but the other is firmly placed within a more commercial area. Obviously, this band have set their sights on mass appeal and have loaded their sings with plenty of hook lines.

Certainly a lot of this album is both radio and club friendly, but then you know how fickle the pop world is!

PULSE LEGION - Evolve (LP -Cop International)
Another American band spawned from the same area as the likes of Wumpscut and Hanjobb. A bit harder than Soil And Eclipse, but still employing some of the same melodic synths, but moving more towards the Front Line Assembly scheme of things. The vocals belong more to the distorted growly school of gutteral mutters that have graced the likes of Front 242 in the past. This album is for the more EBM/Industrial inclined of you. I can hear it pounding away at some club full of sweaty, heaving bodies.

ELECTRONIC CHALLENGE 2 - Compilation (LP - Cop International)
A collection spanning fourteen years of electronic music, featuring the creme de la creme of bands from that scene. A mix of old classics from the likes of NITSER EBB, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, SKINNY PUPPY, A SPLIT SECOND, ALIEN SEX FIEND and DIE KRUPPS. Along with these stalwarts we have relative newcomers HAUJOBB, WUMPSCUT, BATTERY, and APOPTYGMA BERERK to show that the scene has never been healthier.

A great compiliation that gives you a hint of how richly diverse this genre can be.
Contact: Cop International, Burgstrasse 14, 61440 Oberusel, GERMANY

ESCAPE THE FURNACE 1 + 2 - Compilation (LP Blacklight)
An unusual concept, a Christian label that is very upfront about it's philosophy and intent, even down to quotes from the Bible on the sleeve warning us sinners of our impending doom! So all the bands on this compilation are, I assume, Christian (whatever that means) and thus their lyrical content covers the same subject area. Which brings me to the question, are the bands on this compilation only there because they are Christians? Hmmmm! They don't make it easy for a reviewer, as my thoughts are already coloured by the labels philosophy.

Musically, the area covered is the whole spectrum of electronic/industrial music, from Industrial Metal to Synth Pop. Much of the material is pretty average, but stand out tracks come from WAY SECT BLOOM, COLOSSAL SPIN, THYMIKON, NEW SOCIETY, WELT WASHER, CULT OF JESTER, BLACKHOUSE, INCORPORATED and PIVOT CLOWNS.

Well, this compilation will be appreciated by the converted, but beyond that, I'm afraid the Devil still has the best tunes.
Contact: Blacklight, 1608 State Street, Kokomo IN 46902 USA.


SUBSTANZT - Intersolar (LP - Liberation & Ectatcy)
Substanzt managed to sell 5000 copies of their debut release just through DJ play and without a distributor. A major achievement without a doubt, but then this label ia all about excellence, not only in choice of releases, but in what they want to achieve in the way of gaining new audiences. Obviously, this is helped by the blurring of the genres between Ambient/ Techno and Industrial. So to cater for this new hybrid, Apocolyptic Vision have set up this sub-label to specifically promote this music.

Thats the manifesto out of the way, now lets get down to the music, which has been inspired by the likes of Philip K Dick (Bladerunner) and Aleister Crowley. Techno soundscapes from ambient via trance to full on sub rave, they incorporate all of these elements into their music. I guess intelligent techno would say much, but SubstanzT are innovative music that incorporates much of current trends, but points they way to futuristic sounds.

MSB - Electrons at Work )LP - Liberation and Ectacy)
Side project of Spanish industrial pioneers Esplendor Geometrico and a soundlogue of various influences from Kraftwerk, Throbbing Gristle and Aphex Twin. Again, another project drawing on different traditions of electronic music and incorporating these elements to produce something new. Minimal trance dance electronics that cycle matra like, burrowing deep into your subconscious. A futuristic chill out zone to deep freeze your thoughs frame by frame in this inner cinema.

DOSEZERO - Promise Ov Superior Oxygene (LP-Liberation & Ectacy)
Another release that includes the ever present Esplendor Geometrico, this time in collaboration with dark ritual industrial band Ain Soph. Atmospheric dark frequencies emanate from deep out of the void, intoned quasi ceremonial chants take us out of ourselves. African based tribal rythms pound, then put us in a trance to let the spirits speak using us a link into another world, putting us into touch with ancient primal forces that exist beneath the veneer of society.
Contact: Liberation & Ectacy, Ahornweg 19, 64807 Dieburg, GERMANY

CYBER TEC- CyberTec (LP - Cyber Tec)
Features the Front 242 vocalist Jean-Luc De Meyer on this collection of remixed tracks which come courtesy of electronic luminaries Birmingham 6, Cubanate and Television Overdose amongst others. Pounding Techno beats and driving EBM sequencers put this collection firmly intp the Dance or Club arena. This is not material to chill out to, Cybertec wants you up and moving an getting into a sweat. The various mixes work well together and don't sound samey at all, which is down to a good choice of re-mixers.

If you know the pedigree of various elements involved in this project you will not be disapointed by the infectious EBM on show here.

CRISIS N.T.I - The Alien Conspiracy (LP - Cyber Tec)
This is for people into UFO's and the X files and the paranoid amongst you. Produced with the help of fellow converts New Mind, even down to their vocalist appearing on a track! Well, it doesn't matter if you are a sceptic or not, they've produced some very catchy sub melodic EBM abducted from the likes of Depeche Mode and Cubanate. From uptempo trance dance with a gritty edge intermixed with sub space soundscapes that sound like out takes from Blade Runner, this band shows it's musical dark side. Well, you have been warned.

ELECTRO ASSASIN - The Divine Invasion (LP-Cyber Tec)
Another band that wants to feed our paranoia (imaginary or not) with warnings of universal evil. Seem to be influenced by Sci Fi writer Philip K Dick (Blade Runner) and this album is the first release from a trilogy entitled 'Demon Seed', which in itself was film about the dangers of technology. Not quite man/machine, but more woman/machine. Musically, this band are more in the traditional EBM mode, with the likes of Front Line Assembly anf Front 242, et al. Which will find them a ready made audience, but to reach beyond that you have to be more than just another clone.
Contact: Cyber Tec, PO Box 108, South District Office, Manchester. M20 0AU

ARCANA - Dark Age of Reason (LP - Cold Meat Industry)
Features Steve Pettersson and Ida Bengsson from Sweden, who have so far released the album 'Wolves' and the 'Hearts of Shadow Gods' single. Mournful epic neo classical music that soars then plumbs the depths of human emotion.

Dual female and male vocals povide light and shade reminscent of Dead Can Dance, whist almost militaristic backing with neo Folk atmospherics put me in mind of In The Nursery and Death In June. This is truly stirring material that moves the spirit with its fragile beauty. Neo romantic songs for a dark heart.

PROSCRIPTOR - Venus Bellona (LP- Cruel Moon International)
Again we're drawn into a spiritual world via occult atmospheric used to express ancestral bloodlines. Off kilter chronicles and folklore superstitions drawn directly from Scottish mythology With this kind of backdrop, unsurprisingly the music has strong neo-folk tinges in the vien of Death in June. Along with this we have an appreciation of the epic via dark medieval and ambient elements that draw on deep emotions. This music can carve landscapes into the hardest granite, creating wonder.
Contact: Cold Meat Industry, Box 1881. 58117 Linkoping, Sweden.

BLINK TWICE - Other Locations (LP - Broken Seal)
Electronic project of Californian Robert Salchak, following on from many critically acclaimed cassette releases. Inspiration comes from the likes of In The Nursery, Delerium, Dead Can Dance ans Raison D'etre.

This is a collection of old and new material all previously unavailable on CD before, which features material in instrumental soundscape mode. They explore tribal and ambient territories, taking us into the dark interior via african rythmns and nervous electronics. We're looking into a world of primordial creation where the forces of nature mould the landscape.
Contact: Broken Seal, Morgenstr.40, 76137 Karlstruhe, Germany.

NLC - Le Sang de la Licorne (LP - Edit)
Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites aka Julien Ash who also runs the label on which NLC has a sizeable back catalogue. Childlike fragile melodies that give you a feeling of something sinister, mixed with natural sounds that stir your memories.

Neo-classical nuances with tin pan rythmic sounds coming from unusual sound sources. Voice cut ups that suggest and hint at events and then reinforced by almost Morricone soundscapes. Melding avant garde, ambient and neo-classical elements to conjour up the past, present and future. Reflective.
Contact: EDT, BP7,57420 Verny, France.

DAEONIA - Morphic Lands (Single - Candlelight)
After surviving various trials and tribulations including changes in name and more line up changes than Venus Fly Trap, they've managed to put out their debut release. Admitting to admiring Gothic/New Wave music, which they've melded with melancholic 90's metal in a neo-classical alchemy. Growly vox in Nefilim mode intones over Twisted Sister's guitar, all propelled along by primal metal rythmns. Add to that a smattering of mysticism via the Mission, and you'll get close to their uplifting brand of Gothic/Metal.
Contact: Candlelight, PO Box 328, High Wycombe HP15 6TY.

PECADILOES - Initial Transmission (Single - Fine Art)
Bedford based bands third single that comes after heaps of critical praise from the likes of 10, Melody Maker and NME. They are maturing fast after touring with the likes of Subcircus, Lo Fidelity All Stars and appearing at the Phoenix festival. A heady mix of guitary new wave with a nod to 80's cult band Magazine. Then a shot of new electronica just to make them stand out from the current trend for retro guitar bands, Add to that an odd quirk or two of psyche meets the anthemic in US mode and theres certainly the potential for something unique to develop.
Contact: Fine Art/A&M

GENERATION X-EO Protest & Survive (LP-Trinity)
Hip Hop beats distorted out of all recognition. Techno thats been put through the blender. They are pushing the boundaries of the above genres along with delving into Industrial and Noise. Pounding rythmns with the odd ambient segment just for relief, Aimed at the dance floor action via the rave and techno scenes. Imagine the missing link between Esplendor Geometrico and Prodigy, all seen through a cocktail of techno/rave and that just about covers it. This band doesn't need to protest to survive.
Contact: Trinity, Ahornweg 19 64807 Dieburg, Germany

MUSICA FOLK ANTIPOP - Compilation (LP - Genital Productions)
A mexicompilation of underground artists covering a broad selection of independent music from lo-fi to EBM. It also serves as an introduction to the labels material, as it features many of it's artists.

Artists featured include SWASTIKA GIRLS (Lo-fi extreme noise), SONAMBULO (Artrock meets the Residents), LAS ANIMAS (reminiscent of early cure), EXPERIMENTAL STUFF (self descriptive), WOODEN SPIRIT (New Order-ish sounding instrumental rock fusion, released 'Spirits Singing Through The Wood' album through Genital), Alberto Aguirre (Gothic melancholy meets Joy Division), OXOMAXOMA (experimental wierdness), ARTEFAKTO (EBM in the mould of Front 242/Nitzer Ebb), TRITON (Rock Fusion with Progressive overtones), EL EXPERIMENTO DE CUCA (Avnt Garde improvisationists who use a wide variety of styles from Jazz to Electronic. Released two albums via Genital, the latest being 'Via Tamaulipas'), FORD PROCO (Industrial/Ambient), LA FUNCTION DE REPULSA (DaDa influenced no style electro-experimental. Released a lot of material via various labels including Genital) LEFT CROSS (Dark Electronics and ambient tribal improvisations. Released 'By The Light' album via Genital), SUPERDROGAS (Lo Fi Garage/Punk) and L.A.P.M (Techno beats and electronic atmospherics. Released material via Genital)

DETRIUS - El Vaiven de los Ciclos (LP - Genital Productions)
Formerly known as Humus, who released the album 'The Beauty of Wood' via Genital in '91, features two brothers, Manuel and Alberto. This album was inspired by the cycle of nature and new life from death. They have used natural samples in contrast to the electronically produced sounds.

Contrast seems to be an important aspect to the bands philiosophy. Without light you cannot have dark and vice versa. Rythmic samples and dark atmospheric electronics draw you inside an almost ritualistic ceremony. Tribal pounding on one hand and then classical restrained atmospherics reaffirm the feeling of duality.
Contact: Genital Productions, 10y11 Anayay O.Rmz 736, Cd Victoria, Tamaulipas 87050, MEXICO

Also available is the first foreign release, VENUS FLY TRAP/NOVA STATE CONSPIRACY/NOVA GALAXIE ROBITNIK best of split cassette and to be released, a compilation about DaDa put together by EUGENE CHADBOURNE.

NEUROACTIVE- Phonic Trace (LP - Cyberware)
Long awaited second album from the renegade Finnis electronic band and follow uo to the 'Neuron' single. They've recieved much critical acclaim from places as far apart as Germany and Brazil, a sure sign that electronic music is a worldwide phenomena

Musically they absorb various elements of the electronic scene, the commercial nuances of the likes of Depeche Mode. Traditional teutonic beats and growly vox of EBM and the dancefloor sensibilitis of New Electronica. So they don't fit comfortably within any one area, but have the possibility of appealing to a wider electronic music audience.

TERMINAL CHOICE - Khaosgott (LP - Cyberware)
With an unexpected line up lead by Christian Pohl, voted best newcomer, featured on the Zillo magazine tour and supported Front Lone Assembly, its been a busy time since their debut album 'In The Shadow Of Death' and they are set to launch their dark electronic onslaught onto an unsuspecting world.

We're plunged into an apocolyptic vision of biblical proportions. No light escapes this musical black hole. Stark, dark and mean driving beats are kept in line by a voice from the grave. A vision of hell where demons taunt and torture mortal flesh. A stark reminder of human failings. They even cover 'Hate is a 4 letter word' by the legendary Shock Therapy, just to make you get the message.

CHAINGUN OPERATE - Binary Idol (LP Cyberware)
Certainly Finland's most active touring band, so much so that this debut release has been much delayed. They set their eyes to the future, which comes across as very bleak, a vision of the world not unlike 1984, Blade Runner and Thx 1138. Harsh vox dictates over pulsing dark electro melodies, which pound away demanding your attention. Technology takes over in this scenario, the new religion of Cyber Punk rules the metropolis. Uncompromising EBM which has been conmpared with the likes of Cat Rapes Dog and Leather Strip (who remix a track).
Contact: Cyberware Productions, PO Box 623, 33101 Tampere, Finland.

END OF ORGY - Caramel Amer (LP - Weisser Herbst)
The brainchild of French composer/musician Stephane Duault, this is their second album following on from the debut 'Nature Morte'. With this album he's collaborated with artist Yvan Moreau to create metaphorical images to complement the music.

Drawing on a wider range of musical influences from trip hop to jungle, these have been absorbed into their melancholic melodies. Tranquil ethereal grooves entice the listener into a world of contemplation, rather like Future Sound Of London. The soundscape to inner worlds of our imagination, just close your eyes and let yourself go. Spiritually uplifting.
Contact: Weisser Herbst, Rotlinstrae 94, 60389 Frankfurt, Germany

DREAMSIDE - Apakia (LP - Nuclear Blast)
Dutch band led by female vocalist Vita who produce ethereal music somewhere inbetween All About Eve and Sinhead O'Connor We have gothic elements more in the uptempo numbers which are led by Sisters inspired guitar lines. Vita's voice soars like an angel and has the power and range of the above mentioned vocalists. Also we have neo folk musics, but done in a Dead Can Dance way. This band seem to cover a wide spectrum of feels from rockier moments to ethereal with ease. Perhaps an updated version of Jefferson Airplane would fit, but even that wouldn't do this band justice.
Contact: Nuclear Blast, Haupstrae. 109, 73072 Donzdorf, Germany

DOC WOR MIRRAN - Slower (LP - EBU's Music)
A drawn out 'slow' fade in leads us into a sub Blade Runner type sci fi soundscape, all anbient and otherworldliness. Very spacey. They do sonic abstract paintings, floating out there in the ether, formless shapes float by. Everything shifts and moves forming a new pattern, reminiscent of Eno/Bowie collaborations on 'Low'. Another soundscape looking for a film.

SCHMERTZ DER WELTEN - PostNDWpophardcoreschlager (LP - EBU's Music)
The title attempts to describe what they do and I guess there are elements of truth in that. Yes, they are extremely 'poppy', in an early Depeche Mode kind of way. But thery bring along Art Rock influences as a balance to the synth pop sweetness. Imagine a softer version of someone like DAF and then you'll be near. Seeing as there is a revival in 80's music, this German duo could have a suprise hit.
Contact: EBU's music, Botterhorn Weg 37, 60489 Frankfurt/M, Germany.

WANDA CHROME AND THE LEATHER PHAROHS - Eleven The Hard Way - Live (LP - Subway)
Re-issue album from the American band which orignally came out on the Milwalkee label Splunge. They pride themselves on being a 'live' experience, hence the fact that they shun studio recordings. Live, its raw no nonsense Rawk n' Roll, driving beats that keep the pace, enough to tire the fittest pogoer. Influences are drawn from Punk via bands like the Ramones, Stooges and MC5. This is classic, timeless music that still has a lot of influence on current bands.

To enhance the music there is some excellent sleeve artwork by John Hill, a treat to both the eye & ear.

PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF ROCK 'N ROLL - Compilation (LP - Subway)
A sampler of the various shades of 'punk' influenced bands that include MEANIES (in Green Day mode), EVEN (American sounding mix of Dinosaur Jnr/Soundgarden), LEGAL WEAPON (female singers in melodic Hole style), SPLATTERHEADS, who lead the bands with more of a metal edge which include: BORED, MEDFIELD.MA. and SPONGEHEAD, SHOTGUN RATIONALE (traditional Hardcore), EXPLODING WHITE MICE (poppy Punk version of the Cars), UNCLE HO (Hip Hop a la Rage Against The Machine), SLAGS (female band with melody on Punk instrumentation), MOUTH (interesting track that sounds like Lydia Lunch's early band Teenage Jesus) and SLICK (Stooges Rawk n' Roll).
Contact: Subway Records, Vonwinkeler Str.154, 42329 Wuppertal, Germany.

NETT WERK EIN:5 - Compliation (LP - Cat Killer).
Nice packaging, a CD sandwiched between two etched 7" discs, featuring a diverse number of artists and musical genres, mostly from Germany. Featured artists include DIGITAL SLAUGHTER (cut up experimental hard electronics), HUNDKATZ PFERD (Industrial meets Metal in Die Krupps area), NOBDRUN (Industrial Soundscapes), CALL *Sleep Chamber meets Oomph in S&M), SAKT (distorted Industrial noise), BAR & CO (Rythmic Electronics), WESTLAND (Twin Peaks meets Electro) DER MINOTAURUS (unnerving searing noise), RAUSCHUNTERDRUCKING (more extreme noise terror), SCHMERTZ DER WELTEN (Sci Fi ambient Trance), RABENHIRN (noise!), GARBO - EX (More whipping EBM), SIX AND MORE (improvised strangeness), NEUZEITSYNDROM (light Electro), INFECTED WOUND (experimental), T.E.V.O (Test Dept meets Techno), ARS MORIENDI (distorted pulsing noise in Esplendor Geometrico style), CULT GOES CULTURE (uptemp EBM), TOAN AN MEN (Ambient oundscape), SUBSTANTZ T (kitsch distorted disco), WHY DID SHE HANG? (beat me EBM), DAS FROHLICHE WOHNZIMMER (vocal based rythmics), MR MOTO (robotic emanations) and THE CONSPIRACY (an oasis of pop guitar nuances).
Contact: CAT KILLER, Krayerstr.31, 45276 Essen, Germany.

Second album from the 'bastard' sons of Avante Garde Country Blues and follow up to the critically acclaimed 'Sackcloth and Ashes'. They've got hold of twisted Cajun, melded it with voodoo Blues via Tom Waits, Mudlin ditties that make you want to drown your sorrows in a bottle or two of bourbon.

This is a musical journey from Hillbilly down to the Missisippi Delta Blues incorporating various native cultures: Indian, French and Negro, with a huge dose of the spiritual from all, White trash music that wallows in misery. Decay pervades everything, you can feel the swamp beckoning.
Contact: A&M, 136-144 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LZ.

ATTRITION - Etude (LP - Projeckt)
- Eternity (EP - Projekt)
A re-working of their material using acoustic instruments in the main, namely Viola, Violin, Cello and percussion, etc. Played and arranged in collaboration with French composer Franck Dematteis, makes this a unique peice of work.

This continues Attritions flirtation with classical themes, which was most noticeable on their last album 'Three Arms and a Dead Cert', even down to Julia Waller's neo Operatic vocals, although she has since departed the live line up of the band.

The material here has a fragile beauty, light touches of uplifting minimalism that touch the darkest of hearts. There's even a classical cover version (it's usually the other way round) of Purcells 'Cold Genius'. Attrition on at 'Last Night of The Proms', now that I'd like to see. As a contrast, the 'Eternity' EP has more of an electronic and dance feel, even embracing elements of trip hop. Classical meets Disco, a darker version of Malcolm McClaren's dalliance in this genre.

Born survivors, the band managed to avoid being in a serious accident on a recent tour in Germany, the perpetrator being an unknown member of the German government! The paranoid might suspect a 'Hidden Agenda'. As if that wasn't enough, the band Attrition were touring with, Forthcoming Fire, were accused of being fascists. Attrition managed to finish their set and escape before the stage was invaded by demonstrating anti fascists!

Hopefully their forthcoming second tour of America will be less eventful!
Contact: Attrition, 7 Radcliffe Road, Coventry, CV5 6AA
Involved in various areas, primarily the magazine, which covers the Experimental, Electronic and Ambient areas of music. The latest issue (21) features LAIKA, HYBRYDS, LAIBACH, KARL BLAKE, BAJTARD and has an in depth review section.

Recently they promoted a concert by ILLUSION OF SAFETY (American Ambient /noise manipulators), CONTRASTE (UK sub Residents improvisations) and KLANGKRIEG (German noise terrorists).

An exclusive collection of dark atmospheric music from an impressive international selection of artists which include BEEQUEEN (Dutch ambient/ryhthmic outfit), DROME (from Germany in early Cabaret Voltaire mode), CHRIS & COSEY (Industrial pioneers from Throbbing Gristle in a more ethereal guise), SCHLOSS TEGAL (Horror noise merchants from the States who've released material via German extreme label ARTWARE), O YUKIO CONJUGATE (English Soundscape meets Severed Heads), RLW (German sound manipulators, SKRANK (submerged Techno), COIL (well known industrial band - experimental doodling), BARBED (mutant Dance), STEWART HOME (English spoken word from writer, musician, art critic and member of Neoist Alliance - a man of many facets!), HALCAM (Tuetonic Ambient Trance dreamscape), LEGION (features Andrew Lagowski in more threatening Soundscape terrorism), UTRAMARINE (off kilter Dance) and ASMUS TIECHENS (sub Space murmurs and emanations)
Contact: AUF ABWEGEN, Konigsberger Strae 148, 48157 Mnster, Germany.

COMPOSITE (LP - ITN Corporation)
Specially imported compilation of material from the band's back catalogue for release via cult Brazillian label Cri Du Chat. From neo classical crossover underpinned by militaristic rythmns and overlayed by sensuous French female vocals, this is ITN's trademark. Emotional upbeat epic via avante garde, much copied, this compilation features two unreleased tracks.

THE CABINET OF DOCTOR CALIGARI (LP - Soundtrack - ITN Corporation)
They provide the score in place of the traditional organist for this silent classic German expressionist film, made in 1919. Imbued with all things dark and mesmerising, flickering mantra like, ITN have managed to equal musically the intensity of the celluloid imagery. Crude weird angled scenery, directed by Robert Wienes's eye for the dramatic, are given fresh life by this soundtrack. I'd like to see ITN have a go at Pabst's Pandora's Box feauring the enigmatic Louise Brookes.

LES JUMEAUX - Cobalt (LP - ITN Corporation)
Side project of ITN and follow up to the debut album 'Feathercut'. Inspired by diverse sounds and digital experimentation, this again extends the bounds of sonic manipulation. Guest artists featured include: Beaumont Hannant, The Protagonist and Lunatic Eclipse.

ASHPALT (LP - ITN Corporation)
Another soundtrack to the German expressionist film 'Ashphalt' from 1929, directed by Joe May, which will be presented 'live' at regional Film Theatres in the UK. ITN also have two tracks featured in the TV production 'La Femme Nikita' and the independent American movie 'The Sweet Hereafter'. Available also is the first 'official' live release from ITN, recorded in Prague in 1994, which features live interpretations of their favourite compositions.
Contact: ITN Corporation, 52 Roebuck Road, Sheffield S6 3GQ.

ALIEN SEX FIEND - Nocturnal Emissions (LP - 13th Moon)
They return after a period of stasis to bring us more wacked out sci-fi tunes, but they always were closer to the likes of the Prodigy than Gothic. Mesmerising futuristic electro freak outs that will go down well with the EBM/Industrial scene.

The tracks evolve as they go along, hypnotising the listener into a trance like state, which wouldn't be out of place in any Techno club. Genre busting has been a trademark of this band over the years and now everyone else is just about catching up. Live they wrench every possible juxtaposition out of each song, so they sometimes span who knows how long. You're just taken in and you have to go along with the flow Nik just rants and raves. This man has got to get rid of his emotional rubbish somewhere! On a mission to explore the outer reaches - to boldly go where......

APRAXIA - Cyberchrist - (LP Redeye)
Detroit white trash that has overloaded on politics, religion and a multitude of musical influences from rap,industrial and punk. Lo-fi sub-Ministry pounding mixed with punk electronics with angst ridden vox, all overlaid with buckets full of attitude. They want to blow the lid off regional politics with proto-rants that bring to mind the likes of Crass or Poison Girls. Industrial with a conscience there's a novelty, in your face rants a la Consolidated.

You got nowhere to hide it's time you heard a different view. Not for the MTV Generation.
Contact: APRAXIA, PO Box 6601,East Lansing,MI 48826, USA.

AMOEBA - Watchful - (LP Lectronic Soundscapes)
Features previous collaborators Rick Davies and Robert Rich, who has worked with the likes of Steve Roach and Lustmard.

This is a personal journey of self discovery looking inwards at our own trials and tribulations. Using post ambient psychedelia to explore the human condition, putting ourselves under the microscope. A soundscape document to reminisce about distant emotionsand to remember who you were and who you are now. Transcendental musical passages that shift and flux like shifting sands, forget about the world and look at what you are.
Contact: LECTRONIC SOUNDSCAPES,PO Box 15867, Durham,NC 27704, USA.

COFFINSHAKERS - Dracula has Risen from the Grave - (Single Primitive Art)
Discovered by the label in darkest Eastern Europe and the home of the vampire legend, Transylvania. So no surprise when these horrorpunks do a tribute to the Prince of Darkness, this is getting too spooky. A mix of weird country via Johnny Cash and schlock horror from the likes of the Cramps and Misfits. Initial quantities come with vinyl with blood mixed in, an unusual marketing ploy. Make sure when you go to the record shop to have your garlic and crucifix on the ready.

Other Releases:

  • Horror Freakshow (LP Primitive Art)
  • Specismen Sex Fiend (Single Primitive Art)
  • Raving Dead (Single Primitive Art)
The worlds coolest dungeon rock band sound like a blend of Christian Death, Misfits and Sisters of Mercy.

GEHENNAH - Hardrocker - (LP Primitive Art)
The dirtiest underground metal.
Contact: PRIMITIVE ART, PO Box 4049, 30004 Halmstad, SWEDEN.

BLEEDING LIKE MINE - In the Eyes of Lovelost - (LP Palace of Worms)
American duo's debut that wouldn't sound out of place on the 'ethereal' Projekt label. Yes, they do have much in common with bands like Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Soul Whirling Somewhere. But equally a lot of their inspiration comes from the likes of Dead Can Dance and the Cocteau Twins.

The aura is dark and melancholic all washed by swirling melodies and exotic rhythms. Dual male and female vocals adds shadow and shade, and reaffirms connections with the above bands. Emotional pleas from the heart which strike a chord in the depths of the psyche, mournful and harrowing.

STAY FRIGHTENED - Still - (LP Palace of Worms)
It seems that this label are the 'Italian' version of Projekt, which is meant as a compliment. Again another American project, featuring Conrad L. Dickey whose vocals are reminiscent of Dead Can Dance and some This Mortal Coil. But generally the music is in more soundscape or in dreamy ambient territory which touches on Eno's more esoteric moments. Floaty keyboards drift in the ether and twinkle like distant stars, relax and float with this meditative stream. Music to expand the imagination, to explore the inner universe of light and wonder.

Also available:

HEILIGE TOD - Compilation - (LP Palace of Worms)
A tribute to Death in June featuring mostly Italian bands with the proceeds going to Bosnia. Bands featured include SULPHUROUS CHURCH, DEUTSCH NEPAL, SWIRLING SWASTIKAS, THIRD EYE, RUNES ORDER, KIRLIAN CAMERA amongst others.

PALACE OF WORMS - Compilation - (LP Palace of Worms)
Features not only label acts but an international selection of artists which includes the likes of RAISON D'ETRE, LUCIE CRIES, ATARAXIA, MONUMENTUM, BLEEDING LIKE MINE, ENDRAUM, etc.
Contact: PALACE OF WORMS, Via Bronzettie 19, 22053 Lecco, ITALY

KLANGWART - Inkiek - (Single - Klangstelle)
Features Markus Detmer of the now defunct Progressive Entertainment label and shows his penchant for interesting packaging (as this is a 3" disc) and music.

The soundscapes on offer here draw you into an unearthly eerie universe of uneasy expectations that wouldn't seem out of place in some psychological horror or science fiction film. There's always the sense of something lurking in the shadows. Reference points that guide rather than draw comparisons, include Main, Eno and other isolationist ambient artists.
Contact: KLANGSTELLE / STAUBGOLD, Zulpicher Str. 251, 50937 Koln, GERMANY.

He also runs the mail order 'Staubgold' which deals with experimental, electronic, avant garde, jazz and modern classical music.

Italian musician's debut album, but has put out lots of material both as a solo artist and in the bands MUDCAKE and WHIP. His form of industrial art rock owes more to manipulating guitars than using electronics. But there are the usual metallic clangs and militaristic beats that wouldn't sound out of place with Neubauten, Coil or Test Department. There's also the rage of the above bands mostly let loose in the angst ridden vocals.

This is post-modernist music, a requiem to a manufacturing culture thats in decay, all there is left is the ghosts of production and silent machinery.
Contact: HHETHH, Via Scotellaro 71, 10155 Torino, ITALY.

SWAN DEATH - Black Wolf - (LP MBS/Equinox) - Endless - (Single MBS/Explosion)
Mournful melancholy occupies the psyche of this Belgian band in the vein of Joy Division or early Cure. Grandiose visions that drip with gothic atmospherics, they are deeply imbued with things that occupy the dark recesses.

These creatures of night have the same theatrical feel as say Bauhaus or Sisters of Mercy. Plaintive songs that hang in the memory like spectres, only appearing when the sun goes down. Summoning animalistic spirits to join in the ceremony, a return to more ancient traditions that still exist in the psyche.
Contact: SWAN DEATH, Av. 9 Provinces 36, Box 17/1, 1080 Brussels, BELGIUM.


NOISEX - Over and Out - (LP Ant Zen)
Features the productive Raoul R. whose work has spanned nearly eight years, projects include The Unbelievable TV Preacher, DKF, ZZ and ANDXESION. His work has been heavily influenced by the pioneers of industrial music SPK, Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle,Nurse With Wound and especially Esplendor Geometrico.

There are a lot of similarities with the last band mentioned, the overloaded sub-dance rhythms, the use of distortion to the extreme. But that is not all, the production is crystal clear even with the waves of noise searing the air. The dynamics of the tracks remind me of Downloads cut-up production techniques. An exercise in power and control in equal quantities, the balance between yin and yang.

MONDBLUT - Angsterfulltes Morgen - (LP Ant Zen)
A journey of achingly dark romance that draws on epic neo-classical visions from Dead Can Dance to Death In June. Stand at the portals of this Arcadia where the world is full of myth and legend. This band resurrect these heroic tales of gods and mortals, to show what the human imagination is capable of.

Militaristic rhythms and soaring trumpets and keyboards call to us, reminiscent of In The Nursery at their peak. Climb this musical monument and you won't be disappointed by the view.

Other Releases:

IMMINENT STARVATION - Human Dislocation - (LP Ant Zen)
Industrial strength gabber style techno with barbaric schitzophrenia like Download on dust. They construct impenetrable walls of distorted horrific soundscapes.

SYNAPSCAPE - Rage - (LP Ant Zen)
Relentless dance tracks intermingle with unnerving experimentation, waxing layer upon layer of gritty texture and spacey effects.

PINEAL GLAND ZIRBELDRUESE - Dawn, Rise, Death - (LP Ant Zen)
Harsh and abusive rhythms and even harsher screams are coupled with feedback textures, punchy percussion collide in symphony of disruption.
Contact: ANT ZEN c/o S.ALT, Lessingstr. 7A, 93049 Regensbury, GERMANY.

INFINISYNTH - Shadow and Shade - (LP Dark World)
Mournful guitar orientated atmospheric rock that touches on gothic ambiences via the UK's early 80's groups. This American band's vision is bleak there isn't much light to penetrate this all encompassing gloom. Incisive guitar work reinforces these feelings in the mould of the likes of Joy Division and the Cure. Shadow and shade there is in abundance here but things are not totally black. We have female vocals which lift proceedings, and act as a contrast to the darker male voice. Promising.
Contact: DARK WORLD, 603 Washington Ave., S.E.504, Minneapolis, MN55414, USA.

BASTARD - Useless Brilliant Nothing - (LP - Plattenmeister)
Featuring Marcus Giltjes whose pedigree includes stints with a plethora of respected bands, including Pink Turns Blue, Girls Under Glass, Sleeping Dogs Wake and Project Pitchfork. This man is one hell of a busy person and somehow managed to fit in this, his third Bastard album, along with film soundtracks and other musical projects.

He draws from many sources for this album from trip hop to industrial, all these influences are melted down to produce new forms. Uncompromising sounds that defy genres, the harshness of industrial mixed with fragile passages that provide the listener with solace. Expect the unexpected from this musical schizo, he thrives on extremes.
Contact: DERVERLAG, Hochmoor 9, 24887 Silberstedt, GERMANY.

NECROMANCE - White Gothic - (LP Necromance)
Self produced debut album from this gothic-metal band fromGermany, who have a penchant in using biblical texts. Lots of atmospherics via church organ in true gothic style, and a mix of dark male and ethereal female vocals. Grinding guitars, militaristic drums, suggest a darker version of the Mission's more rockier moments. Definitely spiriitual elements are present that seem to be influenced by neo-folks grandiose visions.
Contact: NECROMANCE, Geschw.-Scholl Str. 14, 03130 Spremberg, GERMANY.

HYRO - Sizen Sineido - (LP Tone Casualties)
Features Hungarian eccentric musicians Laszlo Hortobagyi, composer and mixer who has released material via various labels including EMI, Polymedia, Staalplaat and Hungaroton. Also Ferenc Broder and Mihaly Racz both from the noise-ambient group 'Hideg Roncs'. The credentials out of the way perhaps some of these terms might give you an insight into what kind of planet these guys inhabit. Try 'Dept of the Intergalactic Musicology' or 'The Astral Propelling Sound Laboratories' these people are seriously warped. Psychedelics of one form or another have been mixed with dub, trance and ambient to provide shimmering dreamscapes. That encompass both whirling galaxies and neural networks.
Contact: TONE CASUALTIES, 1258 North Highland Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038, USA.

BOWERY ELECTRIC - Beat - (LP Kranky / Beggars Banquet)
Their second album via independent and idiosyncratic Chicago label 'Kranky', also the home of the post-ambient band Labradford. In fact if you take some of the above's and Main's sub-sonic spaced out ambiences added to minimalist beats you're getting close to where they are at. That is post-modernist neo-trip hop with floaty female vocals that put me in mind of a mix of Portishead and the Cocteaus. Between Eno-esque ambiences and spaced out sub-dance they drift from one area to another with ease.
Contact: KRANKY / BEGGARS BANQUET, 17-19 Alma Road, London, SW18 1AA.

BIS - The New Transistor Heroes - (LP Wiija)
They've had a hell of a time in the last year or so, being the first unsigned band on Top of the Pops and surviving the subsequent mad scramble to be signed. A good choice in labels though, and I sense a certain kinship musically and attitude wise with the underated Cornershop. They've managed to mix 70's punk / new wave flirtations with lo-fi and 80's synth sounds and end up sounding like fellow Scots Rezillos/Revillos. Bubble gum pop with edge for the 90's, with a certain naive charm that cannot be manufactured.
Contact: WIIJA, 17-19 Alma Road, London, SW18 1AA.

BIOHAZARD - No Holds Barred - (LP Roadrunner)
A live recording of a set performed in Germany earlier this year, covering material from their four albums. Which includes many hardcore / metal anthems and even a cover of a Black Sabbath song. This is full on power and rage as the band throw themselves headlong into non-stop moshing set. You can feel the heat produced and see the sweat dripping from both band and audience. One for the fans as a document to what this band are like live, close your eyes and you can be there.

FEAR FACTORY - Remanufacture - (LP Roadrunner)
Along with the likes of Die Krupps, Cubanate and Front Line Assembly this band are blurring the line between techno and metal. This is their second re-mix album, the first being 'Fear is the Mindkiller' in '93, and production help comes from Rhys Fulber, DJ Dano, Kingsize and Junkie XL. Reinforcing the links between dance and rock, albeit at the harder end of the spectrum. Again another band influenced by science fiction, in this case the near future scenario of cloning and all moral issues that arise from that subject.

We're pounded into submission with hard beats from techno to jungle, overlaid with rapid fire metal guitars and spacey synths. The vocals growl and grunt in a gravelly way, just to let you know the lineage of this band is more, 'Kerrang' than 'Eternity'.
Contact: ROADRUNNER, Tech West House, 10 Warple Way, London, W3 0UL.

WABI SABI - Wabi Sabi (LP - a-MUSIK)
Features Kln based musician Marcus Schmickler who has released material under many different guises including POL, KONTACKTA, PLURAMON and has worked with the hotly tipped MOUSE ON MARS. Bleeps, whirrs and various other machine noises fill the air like orb`ting satellites. Ambient sub space frequencies drifting in and out of earshot as we drift along with the electronic tide. Imagine all of the different digital communication that is going on, a melee of faxes, mobile phons, computers, etc, Wabi Sabi catch all this in flux.

L@N - L@N ( LP - a MUSIK)
This Dusseldorf duo comprising Rupert Huber and Otto Muller, deal with more structured areas of improvised electronic music. Looped rythms hypnotise, whilst sequencers flit from one frequency to another, transforming as the tracks develop. Nearest areas of reference are the likes of Esplendor Geometrico's more accessible moments or a warmer Spooky.
  • A2 SCLAMMPEITZIGER Freundlichbaracudamelodieliewdgut LP
  • A3 WABI SABI Wabi Sabi LP
  • A4 L@N L@n LP
  • A5 L@N L@n CD
  • A6 SCLAMMPEITZIGER Freundlichbaracuderemix 10"
  • A7 L@N L@n 2 MLP
  • A8 HOLOSUD Holosud 12"
Contact: a-MUSIK, Brusseler Platz 10A, Kln, Germany