It is 10:30pm on a Saturday and I am 3am drunk. Let us stumble through bandcamp and seek out what is sparking joy on this fine October night.
COMPACTOR – Tension Crucible – Brand new album from New York City artist. They have a unique creativity to both his music and the formats he releases it in. I am always astounded by his out of the box thinking for the delivery system of his tracks. People use the term Industrial music, but I feel like Compactor really embraces the blue collar concept of found machinery recorded, converted, and repurposed into true Electronic music meant to infuse with the human body. There are no words. This is not poetry. This is working music. Rhythmic, grinding, sparks flying from sheet metal destroyed with power tools. This is grease and grime with clean streaks of sweat. It’s music of inspiration to drive yourself until you can’t do more. To complete the task. Seldom do I review an album with such a clear purpose.
Favorite Track: War of 1312 – I’m not sure what the reference is to. The marching beat, the syncopation, the metal on metal tension building in aggression and machine precision is unnerving as it is powerful. A perfect summary of the tightening of the muscles this album creates. (I learned later this was a reference to the Code 1=A 3 = C 1 = A 2 = B in regards to the street clashes between BLM protesters and police) Added a whole new layer.
unitcode:machine – Themes for a Collapsing Empire – Dallas TX Industrial artist has been on my radar for a while. This new album hits a whole new gear. I remember being at Cold Waves this year and hearing person after person in the know say “Holy shit have you heard this album”. This is a masterclass in marble statue precision craftsmanship in electronic music. The vocals are melodic and driven in a way that haunts your head. I love how clearly the poetry of the lyrics rings out beyond music that fills every wall of a dance club. It follows the template of classical industrial while finding a tone distinctly it’s own. People need to know about this, it needs to be appreciated.
Favorite Track: Falling Down/Drift Away – It’s so hard to choose, because while Falling down is the zenith of everything i just described that makes me love this album. So Eric. Drift away brings in Emileigh Rohn of CHIASM with her fusion reactor bright burn voice over a slower deeper musical concept to break up the runaway freight train of the other tracks.
Slighter – Void – LA electronic songsmith producer with another powerful release. Colin Cameron is an absolute maestro of riding the razors edge between drifting spaceship on the edge of the known galaxy and that hook that gets stuck in your mind for days. The true modern day composer commanding a symphony of expression at the tips of his keyboard. The aptly named Void is a lost soundtrack of space horror like Event Horizon. Cameron has a sexy whisper voice that leads you like a siren into the unexplored darkness. Brilliant use of guest talent like Vocals on “Spill Blood” by R.A. Desilets. Proving again to be at the top of the game while drawing far outside the lines.
Tigersquawk vs. COP International – I love Compilations, I love Tigersquawk, I love COP International. One low price for 36 badass tracks to put you in the know of some of the best EDM Industrial in the world. This is wide in it’s scope. It is mixed and mastered by Slam, with wicked art by Greg Rolfes. So much value in one place where I guarantee you will find 7+ bands that you will immediately follow. The level of quality and diversity here is staggering.
Favorite Track: Ok normally this would be near impossible because there is so much good here. The Batavia is a undisputable jam. In fact everything i hear from them is pure gold. However one track did absolutely destroy me. Gasoline Invertebrate feat: Chris Connelly remixed by Ivardensphere “Scarlet Slip” was a dream team too powerful to overcome. It had Brian’s leg day industrial with Connelly spitting highspeed pew pew poetry and buzzing bass beats. It’s absolutely captivating. One of those tracks you didn’t know you needed until you couldn’t live without it.
Industrial music wasn’t a thing that happened in the 90’s. There is still so much ground to break. Still so much to be excited about.