Interview: Colin C of Slighter

Wether he`s composing ambient pieces, industrial onslaughts or engaging in sound design and production work, Colin Cameron is truly a man of many talents with various aspects of it seemingly being constantly conjured up from within the walls of The Cell Studio.

My first exposure to Colin was through the release of the Slighter album ” V O I D ” , from there I began digging into more of his work and eventually as my own musical journey lead me to sound design we naturally came into conversation about everything and nothing.

An S&S interview with Colin is long overdue given his experience and the different facets to his work, we`ve featured him in other articles before such as the recent promotonal guide written by our grand overlord, The Duchess.

Colin Cameron

 You have several one man projects operating in different areas of the electronic music scene, Heatsync and Slighter to mention a few.Why did you feel the need to establish separate projects and is there any deeper reasoning or meaning behind each projects name and perhaps how it relates to the music?

Well I think it’s sort of part of being in electronic music. A lot of artists in it know that genre’s are very much something you can get ‘stuck’ in. So to have a alias to go off and do something different is a nice thing to have. However I originally approached Slighter as a project for my post-dance floor work, and to which I will explore a lot of different styles with, this can some days feel like the reason I don’t resonate with a core scene… So with Heatsync, I wanted to give myself a more laser focus on what Slighter is doing lately and move the experimental beats and Drum and Bass ideas over there to Heatsync

As far as a deeper meaning, not really. Heatsync is just a play on the heatsink on your computer’s mother board. I liked the sound of it, and flipped it a bit to make it unique. Slighter is sort of the same, I just liked the way it looked in typography, and that I was flipping an adjective into a proper noun, again unique.

You have many years of experience in the field of production, how did you get started with this and what is it about it that keeps you going for as long as you have?

 I’ve just always been interested in technology and music, so I sort of naturally gravitated to the combination of the two. I remember reading liner notes on CDs and wanting to know what a ‘mix eningeer’and a ‘producer’ are… So when I started making songs myself as a kid, I was very aware of the production side of it being important. I learned a lot by trial and error early on, and then while working for Appleas a Logic Pro trainer I got a lot of on the job knowledge from there, and being in Los Angeles the pros there who via Apple I was in contact with. I soaked a lot of knowledge up whenever possible.
Well it’s not been 20 years yet! So I think I’m still getting the hang of it! Haha. I just genuinely love being involved in audio and sound projects. Writing songs is one thing, but doing productionand sound design is a real fun challenge now too. So it’s just keeping myself challenged that keeps me going.

 Some of your music can be found in popular mainstream TV shows such as CBS Elementary & HBO True Blood, how did that happen and was there any major difference or difficulties with composing for TV as opposed to your own albums?

Well firstly the music that gets used on shows is from my albums. TV shows, like films, have composers for the series. They handle all the cues you hear that resemble a modern soundtrack you’re used to.I’m not involved in that, the actual score of it. But the other side of TV soundtracks is the music that music supervisors pick from artists like me, that they want to use to emphasize a scene, or make a scene or montage relatable to an audience on the musical level. So they will license music, as a placement. For example with Elementary, they had a scene in the final season where the main character has to find a clue inside a video game. The music in the game, is Cyanotic and I’s “Turmoil”. The ‘Blank Mix’ I made.
How it happens really, is like anything else in the music business, luck and being at the right place and time. So for me, being in LA I was working with people who knew the music supervisors at True Blood.They heard a song we had just reworked and asked to put it in a Fangtasia scene. Once I had that placement, I got to hook up with a music placement manager who took over pitching my albums to music supervisors there in LA.

Confusion Inc.

All your music is released through your own label Confusion Inc. What do you feel are the benefits and possibly downsides to releasing in this manner?

Well, I started Confusion Inc. after a string of bad luck with labels I had been working with. I felt like, at this late stage of the remaining music business world why do I even need a label?I’m publishing my own work now, it’s going off to LA for placement pitching. I have those connections, I have a few fans… And I like having a place I can throw all my side projects and not have to worry. The benefits obviously are full creative control, and the downsides is there’s no one ‘pumping you up’ to DJs and magazines and doing all that PR stuff. Or the clout of being signed to say, Metropolis would get you in more physical unit, merch sales and such.

Your most recent endevour is the Abstrakted “Ambient Confessions” series that ended with the song “Dripping”, what exactly are you confessing through these pieces?

Ah, my love for hardware synths! Haha! As sort of a coping mechanism for getting through the pandemic, I just started doing these live hardware synth jams at the studio when I had some free time.They turned out to be sort of meditative for me, and I thought they were cool so I started recording them into Logic. Just using Logic like a tape machine really. Everything in the Ambient Confessions is just long takes of me Having a go with the TB-03, Moog Phatty, Blofeld, Prophet 12, MicroFreak. I relied on the Earthquaker Afterneath pedal for a lot of the big washes too, very expressive pedal to ‘play’ as an instrument.

Ambient Confessions

Two weeks into 2022 you’ve already managed to put out two releases, the aforementioned “Dripping” and a collaboration with Moris Blak on “The Hunt”. Are there any plans for the year that you’re able to share?

 I really want to make this year about collaboration with Slighter, so starting off with the remake of Brian and I’s The Hunt, I’m also working with James at Static Logic on a split 2-track EP.Tara at Morgue Witch and I plan on doing a 4 track split EP as well, and if we can get it together I, Craig and Chris up in Ohmelectronic should be doing something as well.

Beyond several musical projects and your role as a producer you engage in quite a bit of sound design related work, creating sample packs and the like, what would you say to someone thinking about getting started in this field? Any advice or recommended methods, gear and so on?

 I would say, have a good healthy love of technology. And a ear and eye for the methodical. It’s a lot of fun to create sounds from scratch, but your time at work isn’t just doing that aspect. So if you’re looking at sample pack work, that’s upwards of a 100 or more files you’re responsible for making sure they are engineered correctly so the end user experience is 100%. And that’s tedious, and not glamorous at all!

Gear wise, you can do a lot with less these days, and really a portfolio shines more than a CV. Do a lot of projects yourself and use that as your resume. Networking is paramount, connect with people and be a niceperson to be around, no one wants to hire an ego centric show off. Be nice and position yourself well, things will happen!

Sligher/Moris Blak – The Hunt [Retcon]

As Slighter you employ a more industrial sound palette, are you a big fan of the genre and might you have some favourites be them older or newer artists?

 You know, as we’ve talked about this, I’m not the biggest fan of the ‘industrial’ label, as I’m not even sure what it means in whole big picture of what’s going on now. But for sure there are correlations to elements of my style that are there in my music because when I was young and impressionable I listened to KMFDM albums as well as Underworld albums – Thanks to WaxTrax! – so I embrace the subversion of mainstream that sort of comes with what ‘Industrial’ is or was...

So when I think about Industrial that I dig these days, it’s the Author and Punisher shit, or Ho99o9 shit, it’s raw and pushes things creatively, and that to me is the ethos I felt made the genre originally what it is. Youth Code is great too, oh and loved those Cocksure records.

Given that you’re the sole member of Heatsync, Sligher, Abtrakted, and princepal song writer at GR^VE do you ever have issues deciding which songs goes where? How do you differentiate it to yourself? Do you approach the creative stage with the idea of writing a Slighter song perhaps

If you would have asked me this question say, a few years or so ago I would have answered it very differently! Because then, Slighter was just a place where everything went. If I was feeling upset and wanted to write something hard, I would. Or if I was introspective and wanted to do some Ambient I would. Now I’m very much placing things into compartments in my creativity. As alluded to briefly before, I feel that possibly my ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach to Slighter alienated people looking for a bit of continuity with Slighter. And also as a growth perspective, I think Slighter has really grown into a style of its own now. I do have sort of a ‘work ethic’ now with it, I know what I want to get out of it when I sit down to do a Slighter session.
So yes, methodical here with creative sessions now. I don’t find myself much needing to just ‘noodle’ and go wherever in a session when I’m working on Slighter material. I think the dedication over the years of doing my own music pushed out all that sort of desire. I like knowing what I want, and how I will get there. It also gets more work done! If you know where you need to end up, it’s easier to know when you’ve arrived at the end.
So partly with Heatsync it was – if I feel like making weird shit, Drum and Bass, etc. where can I go and do that when I’m not focused on Slighter? And it’s not that Slighter is stagnating in exploration, it’s just exploring things in a less-is-more challenging aspect for me personally. Give me less to work with, and I’m finding more interesting things happening creatively. 
GR^VE is a different mindset as well, it’s not rooted in anything that Slighter is influenced by. I grew up playing guitar as a kid, doing bands with friends, so my first real musical experiences were that. When I did the track as Slighter called “Over”I explored returning to a guitar based track, playing all the guitar and bass parts, and doing all the drums acoustically. Was really rewarding, a different experience than the years of programming synths you know? So I love that tune. But, releasing it, was sort of a ‘flop’. Not a lot of people were keen on a Post Punk song just stuck between some heavy electronic beats on that EP! Haha. So when I started talking with Christy about vocals and she’s doing “Walls” on my Automata record, I just said fuck it and asked if She wanted to start a band with me! Haha. Thus now I have yet another project to divide my attention under my umbrella of Confusion Incorporated.

Lastly, as you know Sounds & Shadows is all about supporting smaller and newer artists, with that in mind do you have any reccomandations you`d like for people to check out?

There’s so much good stuff happening, it’s truly hard to keep up – esp when you are off making your own music. I’ve heard a lot of great stuff in passing through the S&S group, I met you for example and really enjoyed the Carrion stuff, Mike Nolen makes cool music, Adrian Halo has come into his own with his new band too. Ian Staer’s Ambient is a treat. Ghost Youth is also something unique I dig. I’m sure I’m missing some, truly no shortage of good stuff out there.

Keep up with all of Colin`s endevours via the links below

https://confusioninc.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/confusioninc

https://www.instagram.com/slighterofficial/

Ask And You Shall Receive: A Taste Of Things To Come

Throughout 2021 I was busy writing/recording the Carrion album, working on sound design jobs and so on, unfortunatly there wasn`t much time for reviews/interviews but now that things are out and done with I requested upcoming releases in the Sounds & Shadows Facebook group and you all delivered great and varied stuff!

Ephemeral Form – Light Wth Shallow Disguise

Ephemeral FormLight With Shallow Disguise

First one out is Ephemeral Form with the single ” Light With Shallow Disguise” for which they have also published a music video in late December 2021. I was immediatly mesmerized by this, both the song itself and the accompanying video. Theres a strong urge to compare the song to the Reptile House EP by you-know-who to give you an idea of what to expect. Its a slow paced, atmosphere heavy track, barritone vocals and sparse guitars that crawl and slither like serpents throughout the four minutes of run time that ends up feeling too short. You may wanna loop this song and just let it devour you as if you`re the tail of ouroboros.

The black and white video conjures experimental avant garde noir films, a great fit for the song really.

The song is taken off their first EP, produced by Jim Walker of Push Button Press, released January 7th indepently via Bandcamp with a sister EP to come during the summertime.

https://ephemeralform.bandcamp.com/track/lights-with-shallow-disguise

The Neuro FarmConfession

The Neuro Farm – Vampyre

Released in October of 2021 “Vampyre” is the latest offering from Washingtons The Neuro Farm. A concept album pulling its inspiration from vampires through the ages going back to biblical times.

A plot summary written by the band follows:

Vampyrism is a curse dating back to biblical times. Our titular heroine, lured by the promise of immortality, is given this curse by the egomaniacal leader of a vampyric cult. But within the cult there is a growing sense of disillusion, and she builds her own following. Eventually, she spurns her maker, rebelling against him and his decaying institution. She says a final farewell to her mortal husband, turning away from humanity and embracing her new nature. She slays her former master in the “midnight massacre” and declares herself queen.

Concept albums can go either way and vampires are certainly not a new theme within our scene so it`s easy to go into this with certain preconceived ideas. Luckily, The Neuro Farm seems to rise ot the occasion. Confession is track number five so we find ourselves right in the middle of our tale. Reversed vocals layered over tribal drum patterns and bass that give off a a near middle eastern vibe immediatly grabs you and pulls you in. Highly melodic vocals with a dark allure and almost operatic sections make for an interesting listening experience as gutiars make themselves known in short bursts throughout.

A full album review may follow at a later date but for now I`ll just urge you to click below and hear for yourself.

https://theneurofarm.bandcamp.com/album/vampyre

Sea Lungs – Piss Up A Rope

Sea Lungs Piss Up A Rope

Following their debut in March 2021, Australias Sea Lungs brings us the single "Piss Up A Rope" with vocals that immediatly makes one wonder if Rozz Williams is alive after all. While it could be seen as a quite standard deathrock track that`s too easy and too lazy. The guitar work is interesting and varied, each section flows together seemlessly as the slow paced drums drive ever on underneath. Their Bandcamp page has this statement along with the single “Sea Lungs are sending a strongly worded suggestion to the narcissistic billionaires who are strangling the joy out of this world…..” given the connections between goth/punk/deathrock whatever name you prefer it is certainly nice to see music in this vein managing to be more than just fantasy horror stories. Towards the end we even get an almost industrial section where it seems the machinery is about to come to a full halt before pulling itself back out and wrapping up.

https://sealungs.bandcamp.com/track/piss-up-a-rope

Luscious Apparatus – Infiltrate

Luscious ApparatusInfiltrate

Luscious Apparatus is a four-piece act from Portland, Oregon with a self-described tendency for cimeatic soundscapes and textured synth work. Infiltrate is the debut single released January 6th 2022 along with a fittingly atmospheric artwork that alone should be enough to intrigue you and pull you in.

Described as the bastard child of Garbage and Nine Inch Nails, the moment you hit play this becomes clear however at the same time Im not sure if I want to give anyone any ideas on what to expect, go into this with a blank slate and simply let it be what it is; and it is good.

Infiltrate perfeclty balances the twilight areas of gentle atmospheres and lush guitars that punch you in slow motion like an iron fist in a velvet glove. I can only speak for myself but I cant wait to see what else this group will come up with as time goes on, definetly up to a fantastic start, its is truly a sin and a shame that this is all we have at the moment but hopefully something will follow soon to sate our ever hungry maws.

https://lusciousapparatus.bandcamp.com/

Anti-Social Club – Death To The Fight

Anti-Social Club Death To The Fight

Anti-Social Club reimagines their 2008 song ” Fight To The Death” with their latest single released December 20th 2021 and the result is a synth and guitar driven “bop” as the kids may call it. Catchy vocal lines acccompanying funky synth lines and intermissions of spoken word makes for a mixed bag that throughout the 4 minute run never feels boring or as if too much is going on at once, a reimagination well done and the quote abrupt end grabs you by the neck and pulls yo back out leaving you no choice bu to play it all over again.

https://anti-socialclub.bandcamp.com/track/death-to-the-fight

System 6 – Epic

System 6Epic

Industrial act System 6 kicks off the year with a cover of the Faith No More song “Epic”, while never a big fan of Faith No More myself System 6 has put together a quite enjoyable rendition of the song that if nothing else checks all the points for what youd want in industrial music without accusing them of pandering or sounding too alike anything else. Stomping drums, fuzzy distorted guitars and affected vocals run rampant throughout the 4 minutes and 37 seconds with a chorus section that is catchy enough to warrant a replay or two for sure however seen as this is a cover one cant fully credit the band with this I suppose. Nevertheless its worth checking out wether youre a fan of the original or you`re a fan of industrial music. Speaking for myself, having heard the original I believe I prefer System 6 take on it.

Modal Citizan – Balls

Modal CitizanBalls

Hot on the heels of their 2021 EP Idolatry, Modal Citizan is back with the single ” Balls ” and I feel as if Ive entered a time machine and landed in a NIne Inch Nails rehearsal room sometime in the 90s. While alot of industrial music these days seem to consist of a far more club oriented style with harsh synth work, distorted vocals via the Boss SE-50/70 and Ministry styled chugging guitars Modal Citizan is capturing a different aspect to the genre and its quite refreshing despite the above NIN comment which could really only be a compliment. Throughout the song you`ll be met with a few interesting tempo changes and the last few seconds sound like a cassette player getting stuck, all compositional choices that prevent the song from feeling too repetetive and shows that Modal Citizan is an act to keep your eyes, or rather ears, on this year to see where they take things next.

https://modalcitizan.bandcamp.com/track/balls

Dragon & Jettenbach – Serenity Of The Meatgrinder

Dragon & JettenbachSerenity Of The Meatgrinder

Taken from their just released album ” Tales From The Algorithm”, Serenity Of The Meatgrinder is an over eight miute long atmospheric dirge full of ambiance, cinematic texture and industrial styled sound design that creeps, crawls and evolves , the title is indeed a perfect description of what you`ll get here but at the same time given the tropes of certain words and machinery related terms within industrials more experimental corners one could just as easily be mistaken and expect something much harsher and leaning more towards noise. The avant garde and experimental sides of industrial , or the roots of the genre rather is what originally intrigued me about it and pulled me in so I for one am quite happy with being sent new music that manages to capture that essence without simply being 10 minutes of distorted microwave sounds. This is a clearly well crafted piece of music and piques my interest enough to leave myself a mental note to check out the full release and add it to the list of album reviews to get done this year.

https://dragonandjettenbach.bandcamp.com/track/serenity-of-the-meatgrinder

The End Is Here : Final Bandcamp Day Of The Year [2021]

Dear friends, foes, living and dead, we have arrived at the final Bandcamp Day of the year 2021 and the Holidays are approaching. Ken and I, hope you will consider perhaps purchasing some of the many great releases we will recommend below or perhaps a piece of merchandise, either for yourself, as a gift or simply to support some of your favorite artists.

For this article you will receive recommendation from both myself (Hide) and Ken, I`m sure the result will be a great and varied one that explores several of the many corners within the broader alternative music scene.

Confession from Ken: Hide had his portion ready to go, and I was late on completion. So my part was written after Bandcamp Day, but these are all artists I picked up and loved. I hope you find something that speaks to you.

LONG AFTER MIDNIGHT – FALLING AWAY

The latest single from Long After Midnight is a wonderful piece of melodic industrial rock chock full of interesting and intriguing sections throughout the 4 minutes and 10 second run that at one point even features a saxophone. LAM previously released theirPainkillerEP in April and this single is the perfect follow-up.

https://longaftermidnight.bandcamp.com/album/falling-away

SOFTCULT – PERFECT BLUE

Those who know me may be a bit surprised at this one but if you were under the assumption of that Im only capable of enjoying some sort of avant garde noise music you are gravely mistaken. Softcult came to life during the 2020 lockdown and has produced an EP as well as several singles that are all worth checking out since then. Perfect Blue is the latest offering and quite honestly , at least for me, their best one yet. This one has been on endless repeat all day long and each time it ends Im left wishing it went on for just a little longer. The instrumentation is addictive and beautiful and melancholic all at once, the lyrics contain feelings Im sure we can all relate to at various points in life in different ways. Im not sure how to sell you on this or what to say here, just hit the goddamn play button.

https://softcult.bandcamp.com/track/perfect-blue

-ii- – EXTINCTION

[ Pronounced as “Two Eyes” ]

Extinction is the debut album from -ii- and it is wonderful. Following an EP and handful of single releases this album is a perfect continuation and progression that builds on the strengths of the previous outputs. Each song flowing beautifully while retaining their identities as individual compositions with haunting dark electronics and fantastic post-punk esque guitar moments such as the intro to second track “The Rings Of Saturn”. If you listen to only one of my reccomendations I hope it`s this one.

https://iitwoeyes.bandcamp.com/album/extinction

DHI – THE IDIOT PARADE

DHI came out of hibernation, breaking 22 years of silence to bring out this politically aware, dirty, gritty little EP. Absoloutely the right decision if you ask me. The EP features three songs with an additonal three offering alternate versions and mixes. This one is definetly right up the alley of anyone pining for grinding industrial beats with something to say.

https://deathandhorrorinc.bandcamp.com/album/the-idiot-parade-ep?from=hp

DIVINE SHADE – IN THE DUST

Divine Shade crafts a seamless blend of industrial and post punk, ethereal synth sections clashing with hard and distorted sound design with big booming vocals is the first thing to greet you here, the final track offering a nice contrast n the form of an almost americana sounding duet featuring Scampi. Beyond the EP I`d also want to point out the recent double single release featuring two remixes by Chris Vrenna [NIN, Manson etc].

https://divineshade.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-dust

ODDKO – SIREN SONG

Released on Black Friday, Siren Song offers social commentary regarding our material world where our obsession with purchasing endlessly is likened to being lured to certain death by a siren taking the shape of sale signs and discounts. On top of that it`s also a great piece of industrial rock with a well executed aesthetic identity overall, though I suppose that should come as no surprise given that band leader Giovanni Bucci is an award-winning visual director.

https://oddko.bandcamp.com/album/siren-song

CROWN – THE END OF ALL THINGS

Taking their cues from the likes of Killing Joke, Ministry and Godflesh, the French industrial duo known as Crown brings a bit of a surprise with their second album The End Of All Things, presenting a much more melodic side than the heavier, screamed vocals of 2016s Natron. Now, misunderstand me correctly, Im not saying this is not a heavy or atmospheric album. It`s more so a different shade of black if you will.

https://crownritual.bandcamp.com/album/the-end-of-all-things

DECENT NEWS – TELEVISUAL

For my final entry I present to you the latest EP from friends of S&S : Decent News – Televisual. Consisting of two new tracks and three covers, the title track being one such cover originally by Танцы На’s ‘Телевизионный Снег the EP brings all the weirdness and humor and heavy guitars we`ve come to love about this ridiculous group of guys, they are indeed my favorite boyband.

https://decentnews.bandcamp.com/album/televisual

Before I let Ken take over I d just like to add one little thing for you to consider: While the concept of Bandcamp Day is great and all intent of the audience as well as Bandcamp itself seems good willed, artists will not be upset with you for purchasing their music and/or merchandise on other days, artists require all the same things that you do everyday be that support or extra cash. A great amount of releases are available as “Pay What You Want” or feature the option to pay more than the initial asking price, if you`re able to throw a few extra dollars in there regardless of the day and date it will always be appreciated and will always help out immensely.

Hide Tepes

AngelspitDiesel Priest – Well this new Angelspit album is not pulling any punches sonically or politically. Zoog Von Rock has returned with an army of cyborg technicians of revolutionary destruction. Stomping machines of punk rock anti establishment zealots rolling on tank tread speed. It always leaves me stunned how something so fueled by chaos can fit in such a tight refined space. With every building track you never know where the creature will go next or who will be brought down in the explosion. I think the greatest power here is how the lyrics effect 16 year old me as long as 44 year old me with both the passion and intelligence. This album is an experience that hits on so many levels.

https://angelspit-official.bandcamp.com/album/diesel-priest

Composition, Production, Lyrics and Vocals: Zoog Von Rock; Additional Vocals: Brian Graupner (Gasoline Invertebrate), Imogen (Miss Ballistic), May May Graves; Melody Lynn (Queen of the Static Opera); Additional Vocals: Roxy Von Rock and Tiger Kitty Hell (Miss Ballistic); Queen of the Static Opera’s vocal engineer: Disraeli Davis; Mastering: David Walker @ Stepford Audio Mastering; Guitars: George Bikos and Graeme Charles Kent; Computer Construction: Brett Welsh, Sean Moriarty and Michael Stults; E-MU TRAINERS: Trevor Brown, Thomas Horst, Geoff Raye, Larry Kleinke; Additional Samples and Loops: Adam Newman (lab4), Paul Segovich, L. McDonald of Worgor, Cassie Owens.

Favorite Track: Stand In Line – So smooth and sharp the cutting drums and furious cadence. Spinning Zamboni blades of death sliding across the ice. Throwing barbs at the interest elite system holding down any chance of equality. There are songs that musically hit harder, but something about the lyrical delivery and clean angles absolutely captured me.

SlighterThe Void – I continue to be impressed by LA song crafter Colin Cameron. He takes an approach to music akin to graphic design. Every weighted aspect seems to bring contrast and focus to both the positive and negative space within a sound wave. This track is the perfect journey track to travel the stars on an extended tour of the universe. A hit of peace, a hint of madness, drifting into the beyond behind the hum of subspace engines.

https://confusioninc.bandcamp.com/track/the-void-edit

SØLVEthe negative – Reissue of Brant Showers amazing 1st album on Re:Mission Entertainment. An introspective internal electronic prayer of slow creeping thought puzzle twisting through the miasma of the ether. A sensory impression of journey and calibration with textured vocals and emotional discourse.

Favorite Track: For Worse – A crackling transmission floating through times with ringing bell chimes, dissonant dark tones. Great use of rise and fall to pave your way through an artists mind.

the negative | SØLVE | Re:Mission Entertainment (bandcamp.com)

HAEXAethyr Abyss Void – Pre Order release due out 12/18/2021 this is one of the meanest chaos cannon grimy warehouse fireballs I have heard in a long time. A forceful ritual of madness and terror pop sensuality. This is the soundtrack to your next Hellrazer Barker themed dance party. Inspired wall smashing guitar work and apocalypse chant vocals. I want more and want it now.

https://haex.bandcamp.com/album/aethyr-abyss-void

Immune SystemI Predict – Our friend in South Dakota Todd Ruzicka brings this blazing cover of the Sparks classic. It has that same electropunk disco feel but with sharper edges, harder hits, and dance floor ready morningstar swing. I love when a cover is a great homage while making it their own.

https://immunesystem.bandcamp.com/track/i-predict

Interview with a Komrad

Komrads: The one man industrial crusade led by Zachary Burnett hailing from Rochester,NY recently signed to Negative Gain Productions and is not wasting any time. August 20th will see the release of the album “The Wolf”, the follow-up to 2018`s self-released “Resistor”.

I`ve trudged through the debris of broken analog synthesizers, drum machines and ash to find front-man/leader of the revolution, Zachary Burnett and interrogate him about his latest collection of machine-driven hymns and the Komrads agenda.

Let`s start off with something fairly simple, what is the origin of the name Komrads

I picked the name for a couple reasons.  The main inspiration was Waynes World 2 when Wayne holds a fundraiser at a Soviet Union themed club called Comrades to raise money for Waynestock.  I changed the spelling because if Korn could do it then why can’t I?  Also it’s a gender neutral pronoun, an all inclusive term.  When you’re at a Komrads show, we’re all comrades.

You started out as a full band and eventually ended up as a solo project which seems to be the opposite of how things go in this scene with bands often started as a solo thing and evolving into a full band later on, how do you think you`ve benefited from this move?

The main reason I went solo was because of the relentless touring schedule I was working up toMy previous band members, Jesse Halstead and Joe Sexton, we’re great sports and I couldn’t have gotten this project rolling without them.  But life happens and spending months on the road with an unsteady income is less than appealing to most sane people understandably.  The biggest benefit of being solo is I have little to no overhead cost and if I wanna pull over and go to Starbucks for the third time that day there’s no one to argue with.

Your new album “The Wolf” shows great musical range, opening track “Crossfire” setting the tone with it`s doomsday sound design, “Exile” showcasing the rock/metal influence and “The Cure” seemingly living in between post punk and industrial. To what do you attribute this seamless slithering between the worlds?

It’s mostly to keep things interesting for myself.  I’m a fan of all genres within the “Goth” realm and I love to pick elements of each and mash them together.  Sometimes it turns out great, other times not so much.  I started this project without really picking a direction to point myself fully at.  It’s definitely been an experimental journey trying to figure out exactly what Komrads is to me.  With this album I’ve found a lot more confidence in what I want this project to sound like.

This is your first time operating within the industrial borders [or lack-thereof] what made you wanna go this route? What about the industrial concept so to speak was it that attracted you to it?

What really pushed me into this territory was the fun factor.  Maybe not a whole lot of people think of the word “fun” when they hear industrial.  I’ve been drifting back and forth between the post punk/darkwave and industrial realms for a few years.  After touring with Skold and opening for Pigface, Suicide Commando, and Psyclon Nine I found myself enjoying the energy output at those shows more and more.  It seems more fitting for me to pursue that route given I already instinctively have an angsty, aggressive approach when I produce electronic music.  So diving deeper into Industrial just seemed like the next logical step for me.

Komrads – The Wolf

The wolf as a symbol is found throughout time in nearly every culture, which interpretation, if any, influenced the album to the point of choosing it as its title?

I chose to name the album after the track I had titled The Wolf.  It was the last song I had written for the album and it’s deeply personal about my resentment and outright hatred for someone close to my immediate family.  I won’t go into details about this specific person but due to a series of events over the course of many years, this persons involvement within my family has left me sort of cast out, a lone wolf you might say.  

Who is responseable for the albums artwork and what was the idea behind it?

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed as I often do and I came across this outrageously badass drawing of my favorite Pokémon (Haunter). I immediately followed Keith West/HangxFang after checking out the rest of their work. I asked if they could draw up something for me with a Wolf as the focal point in a cemetery of sorts and barely a week later I’m looking at what would become my album cover. I’m planning on working with this artist again and I highly recommend them. Very friendly and fast turnaround for quality work.

The music of Komrads is largely built on hardware equipment and heavy use of sampling, was this a conscious decision? Why not simply open Fruity Loops and program up a beat or two?

I guess you could say it was a conscious decision to use hardware instruments as opposed to software.  I played guitar in punk and metal bands for years, some drums too so having a hands on approach just made more sense to me.  I want to physically feel the instruments I’m playing, twist the knobs and push the pads myself.  Maybe my performance will be less precise and limited but that brings me back to the fun factor.  Physically hammering on MPC pads and dialing in the synths and drums as they’re looping brings me a lot of joy that I don’t feel when just sitting in front of a computer screen.  My DAW is largely just a means to record the outputs of my gear.

On the topic of equipment, which piece of gear would you say was essential to the creation of this album and why?

I couldn’t have made this record without my Akai MPC 2500.  That is the key to all of my operations for this project.  I’ve compiled tons of samples on it and I love the workflow.  Aside from that I heavily used a Roland SE-02 and Korg Minilogue and often ran them through an Industrialectric Incinerator silicon fuzz pedal.  I practically made those synths scream and chug like guitars.

You`ve played a fair amount of shows and tours, opened for several well known acts within the scene and have a tour of your own coming up in October. Being a solo act how do you go about translating the music for the stage? Do you have a live line-up with you and if so, who does it consist of currently?

As of right now I perform solo live as well.  I used to bring all of my gear with me and that became a massive headache.  Now I have a minimalist rig put together so I can get on and off of stage in less than five minutes to make way for the other acts.  I run backing tracks, several pedals I process my vocals through, and a synth or two for some extra flair and performance.  I also supply and operate my own lighting rig.  I’ve spent countless hours dialing in lights that bring a lot of movement and life to my stage performance.

Having a consistent flow of releases whether it be stand alone singles, EP`s or whatever else, what do you have planned after the album drops?

I have a couple things in the early stages of planning but nothing set in stone.  I am planning on releasing remixes off of this album in one form or another.  I also have plans to collaborate with a few other artists but I won’t be divulging any further information on that at this time.  I’m lending my vocals for a few features that will be out late this year or early next year as well.

Blind [Single from The Wolf]

As you know, Sounds & Shadows is all about supporting smaller artists/bands from around the globe. Who are some of the current underground acts you`re into these days that you`d want our readers to check out?

STCLVR (pronounced Street Cleaver) is easily one of my favorite underground acts in the scene right now.  They’re a solo industrial artist based out of Jamestown, NY.  They slam out releases quickly one after another lately and each one blows me away.  I highly recommend checking them out if you’re into harsh industrial.  Some other favorites I highly recommend are 6th Circle, Bustie‘, and The Russian White.  All three of those acts vastly differ from each other but they’re all among my favorites that I think deserve a little more credit

When industrial was but a foetus [pun intended ; ) ] there was various political as well as spiritual and occult ideologies tied in to the music whether that be in terms of the creators outlook or the methods and equipment used to record said music, while this seems to have taken the back-seat in the modern era in favour of the more club-friendly interpretations of the genre I`d wanna know if the ways of old has any influence on how you create, think about and execute your art?

I think a lot of the original and older acts in the Industrial genre had no intentions of receiving club play.  I don’t set out to write music with a political agenda but sometimes, and more so especially on this record, that’s exactly what happens.  When I’m not yelling about my personal feelings my anger/grief usually finds itself pointed at political issues.  I do appreciate when my music is played in clubs and I do strive to write hooks now and then but I’m writing this music to build a connection with an audience.  I’m of course influenced by the likes of Skinny Puppy, NIN and Ministry, but I want to take that influence and combine it with everything else that makes me who I am, and put it out there as something new and fresh.

Find Komrads on the following pages

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/komradsofficial

Bandcamp: https://komrads.bandcamp.com/

Negative Gain Productions: https://negativegain.com/

New album ” The Wolf ” out August 20th 2021

Nekromantheon – The Visions Of Trismegistos

Since 2005 my fellow Norwegians in Nekromantheon have made frentic metal that grabs you by the neck and pulls you right back to the 80s and the hey-day of thrash/death metal.

Nine years after their last album theyre back with The Visions Of Trismgistos, described as "bringing forth the spirit of old metal again" and its most certainly an accurate statement.

Throughout the half hour consisting of 8 tracks Nekromantheon shows that the spirit is alive and well with manic lead guitars soaring through bringing legends like Trey Azagthoth to mind immediatly along with classic albums by both early Sepultura and Morbid Angel. Are they reinventing the wheel? No, do they need to? Not really. While theres no shortage of self-proclaimed old school death/thrash bands out there it`s easier said than done to achieve not only the sound but also the atmosphere and vibe such a proclamation might suggest.

From the opening title track to the relentlessness of Faustian Rites and highly atmospheric Scorched Death, the pure mania of Thanatos Nekromantheon has definetly hit the nail on the head with this one. Recorded with mostly analog equipment at Chaka Khan Studio as well as other locations around Oslo this album feels like a lost classic from back in the day resurfacing, being rediscovered to finally achieve the well deserced praise.

Throughout the album we find references to Gnosticism in the lyrics, something that will only ever please me, while much of the lyrical content in this genre can too often be fairly copy/paste nonsense and the usual bad zombie movie description Nekromantheon delivers a touch of substance for those who wish to dig a little deeper and find out what theyre talking about. How serious the trio is about the contents of their lyrics I cant comment on but I do hope it`s more than just a show as that would check each point on my proverbial list.

Overall this is a gritty, pounding and fervent collection of songs. Short, sweet and to the point, as it should be without any meandering going on. Production wise Id say its perfectly balanced and hits the right spot for anyone looking for fresh metal in the vein of those ancient Gods of the 80s.

https://nekromantheon.bandcamp.com/