Before The Internet There Was The Label Compilation.

I am not a baby bat, nor am I the most eldest goth in the crypt. I started discovering myself musically at the end of the 80’s. It was a glorious time to find dark music. However we didn’t have all the tools we have today. The internet was around (I’m not that old) but the BBS/AOL world was not the endless ocean of bands we have at our finger tips today. You really had three main options for discovering your next favorite band. 1) Have a cool older relative/friend. 2) Go to the club and ask annoying questions to the DJ (Hard when you are a teenager) 3) Buy the latest compilation from your favorite label and hope for the best. For me this meant A LOT of Cleopatra samplers.

I started wondering in this world of Spotify and ITunes hitting you with a fire hose of what you need to listen to next, where does the label sampler fit? Most of you that read this page know I recently put out a compilation myself called “Tiny Gods Who Walk Beside Us“. It really gave me an appreciation for both the power and effort it takes to put one together. So I thought I would share some of my favorite new compilations for a new generation of dark music fans.

Blood and Dust – Released on Venus Aeon 5/1/20 goth rock label of TG Mondalf. They do quite a few compilation as they seem to be one of those glorious outfits that really cares about sharing new music with the world above their bottom line. This compilation has a really special concept and drew in some of the hottest names in next wave gothic. I had a discussion with Brandon Pybus (Sonsombre) on our podcast about the close connection between southern outlaw county and Traditional goth. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, had a darkness, a mystery, a danger to their sound and aesthetic which carried into early goth lords like Fields of the Nephilim. Here at the crossroads of those genres where devil deals are stuck this huge assortment of talent pays homage.

1.October Burns Black – Arrowhead 03:50info
2.Sonsombre – Slow Kill (Fields of the Nephilim Cover) ◊ 03:44
3.Black Angel – She (Deluxe Version) 05:24
4.Amautica – Estos Abismos (Silas J. Dirge Mix) ◊ 03:34
5.Raven Said – Shadows On The Ceiling, Shadows On The Floor 04:00
6.Dark Side Cowboys – Signs of Life 12:54
7.Cliff and Ivy – EightStar * 04:14
8.Caligulust – Drifter Δ 03:29
9.The Dust Ryde – Gunslinger 03:32
10.Guillotine Dream – Code 04:13
11.Silas J. Dirge – Ghost Town * 04:12
12.Tidal Baby – The Visitor * 04:56

https://venusaeon.bandcamp.com/album/blood-dust-a-gothic-western

Some Favorite Tracks:

October Burns Black – Ed Shorrock and company have stayed tried and true to purist gothic rock and bring that sizzle and lariat spinning overlapping guitar riffs. Organic snap and haunted vocal lines. This is the opening track for a reason, it grabs you and holds you in awe.

Sonsombre – (Slow Kill) Probably the hottest new name in Gothic Rock on Cleopatra records absolutely unloads on the scorched earth cover of Fields of the Nephilim. This track is so full of reverence for the source material, you can really hear they are true fans. It still manages to burn it’s own trail and have that unmistakable Sonsombre sound.

Raven Said – (Shadows on the Ceiling Shadows on the Floor) This Russian goth duo has a true wild sound. That ever present sense of a starving wolf just outside the view of your fire. I love the menace and venom.

Cliff and Ivy – (Eightstar) Alaska’s favorite goth couple brings the fury to this lawless land. I love the whip snaps and border war ferocity. The distorted guitar gallop at full tilt like a run away stallion.

Rainbow Goth Volume II – So lately compilations often come in the form of charity releases. This one which Amaranth took part in the last two years is put together by Cliff and Ivy for  Identity Inc, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization which provides vital services to LGBTQ+ youth, elders, families and the community in Alaska. A great cause which has always been intricately laced with the goth community. 31 tracks that cover a lot of genre ground and highlights new talent.

https://rainbowgoth.bandcamp.com/album/rainbowgoth-2

1.Sky Lee Vague – Vampire Winter 05:28
2.New Zero God – Hell Bet On Me To Lose 03:34 video
3.Ravens Moreland – Comes The Bite 04:41
4.The Dirty Horror – Twenty Three 05:10
5.Scarlet Fever – Sea of Mercury 04:42 video
6.Amaranth – Deliverance (A Covenant of Thorns Remix) 04:52
7.Burn The Earth – Resurrection 05:37
8.Sombre – Linsay 04:23
9.Count Vaseline – Texas Band 01:26
10.Lisafer’s Screech of Death – Candy Necklace 03:07
11.Swansect – Kaldt Kappell 03:46
12.Fudge Bubble – A Prayer to Fudge Bubble (Confessional Mix) 04:16
13.Frozen Charlottes – Residue 06:22
14.Burn The Earth – Lockdown 02:45
15.Das Funus – My Dark Shadows 04:11
16.Count Vaseline – What’s Your Name, Where Are You From, What Are You On? 01:42
17.Burn The Earth – This Broken Land Will Rise 05:33
18.Full Of Grace – If God Should Ask 04:53
19.Prague Dead Souls – Terminal Souls 04:58
20.Jexx Livzin – Petrified 03:13
21.Fatigue – Heresy 05:18
22.Vanessa Rowan – Voce Di Strega 03:49
23.Jay Draper and the Subterraneans – Land of Anxiety 04:32
24.Ascent – Starlet 03:57 video
25.Planet Glee – Prayer of The Elementals 03:48
26.Rob Byrd – Whisper Lake 05:19
27.The Gay Sportscasters – Cleo’s Gone 02:29
28.TUNNELMENTAL – Falling Up 03:22 video
29.Stardust Heroes – Bloodguilt 06:56
30.Caligulust – Depressor 04:01infobuy track
31.Cliff and Ivy – Velocity Drift 04:35

Some Favorite Tracks:

The Dirty Horror – (23) LA death punk full of gnashed teeth and inky darkness. Danna Marie is a seething powerhouse of intensity and expression. Chunky machine gun guitar riffs firing out in circles.

Sombre(Lindsey) – French ShadowWave with this beautiful melodic duet really breaks up the batcave intensity of the rest of the compilation. Flowing and warm the melting watercolor sound is lovely to the eye, heavy to the heart.

https://thebandsombre.bandcamp.com/album/linsay

Burn The Earth(Lockdown) – This LA/Melbourne team up has two tracks on the compilation. Really cool slushy delayed guitar sounds set the stage for Jeremy Bornstein clear ringing spoken word style melodies. Beautifully crafted songs which flow together in perfect measure to build towers of sound.

Look I hate to do this, but A Covenant of Thorns did an amazing remix of Amaranth‘s Deliverance and you really need to hear it. Scott David Allen absolutely killed it.

Electronic Saviors VI – So when it comes to compilations that give back to charity, this is the gold standard. Jim Semonik of Distortion Productions started this compilation several years ago while battling cancer to raise money and awareness for research. This 68 song Goliath of the biggest names in Goth/Industrial is the final addition of the project and a must have for anyone with an ounce of rivethead in your heart. The artist list is downright staggering. I wouldn’t begin to know how to choose favorite tracks. Other than Steven Archer who assures me always has the best tracks. Honestly I probably need a separate review just for this compilation and it would take me 6 hours to do it justice. In the meantime just trust me, go to the link, pick a random name, and leap into the chasm.

https://metropolisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/electronic-saviors-electronic-music-to-cure-cancer-vol-vi-reflection

Cold Transmission (Spotlight) – Ok I might be jumping the gun here. This release is not available until 6/25/20. However the amount of talent, diversity, and creative freedom that CTM has built into their stable has made them one of the most respected voices in darkwave/post punk/cold wave. They have earned a level of trust from me like those old Cleopatra compilations of the 90’s. When they tell me I need to hear a new band, I need to hear that new band. You need to hear that new band.

https://coldtransmissionmusic.bandcamp.com/merch/spotlight-a-cold-transmission-label-compilation-double-cd?fbclid=IwAR0JSsmZ4_8tj9ZhMKeFUb39f9uDZR_HkvKHop8ouq76S1enBAIkfpPc94Y

CD 1:
1. S Y Z Y G Y X – Kill the Pain
2. ELZ and the CULT – HORRIFIED
3. Kiss of the Whip – Put You In The Past (exclusive)
4. HALLOWS – Subtle
5. Bedless Bones – Split
6. La Mécanique – Dernier Voyage
7. DILK – Pluto
8. iamnoone – Stranger (exclusive)
9. ICY MEN – Полупустые автобусы (Uninhabited Buses)
10. White Mansion – Clear Your Head
11. Iamtheshadow – Off My Hands (exclusive)
12. Clone Culture – You Are The One
13. Control Room – Are We All Alone (exclusive)

CD 2:
1. The Gathering – Trying To Call (Colibri Mix)
2. Palais Ideal – Erase (Original Mix)
3. Mark E Moon – Dancing (With The Lights On) (exclusive)
4. MARY – Frantic
5. The Bluebeard’s Castle – Plunge
6. The Secret French Postcards – Out Of You
7. Vestron Vulture – Hair On Fire
8. Silent Runners – Forgotten
9. Push Button Press – Mire And The Sea
10. Carlo Onda – Kopf oder Zahl
11. ROSI – Tanzen
12. Monographic – Addicted
13. Paradise Cove – Lost
14. Reconverb – Hem 

Who are the compilations you are currently trusting to bring you that next band you are in love with that you didn’t know about yet? Comment below

Stumble through the brooding miasma with Swansect on their debut album

https://swansect.bandcamp.com/album/concrete-doves?fbclid=IwAR1TrwEv31tSsZD2tNQUy4rJAtG_8UKPTlsKzwsRl–BB_DLOAZYZmU8mCU

Buy here on bandcamp

Concrete Doves opens with a relentless deathrock bass riff and then militant flash bang drums that trigger my panic response. Feels like getting followed into a dark alleyway and getting the shit kicked out of you by a malevolent spirit. Guitar and undead vocals devoid of any feelings fill out the mix and make for a very disorienting and visceral start to Swansect’s debut.

What follows the musical equivalent of running the gauntlet but the aggressors have razor blades, chunks of concrete, and live power lines. The album utilizes multiple “styles” (industrial, deathrock, sound collage, drone) but is held together by the thematic anxiety of the whole work. There is an overwhelming sense of impending tragedy only buffeted by small bursts of apathy in reference to the destiny of the human race.

The last track to me seems like a meditation on the futility of it all, a sort of peace despite all the destruction and devastation that we’re exposed to everyday, in real life and on the news. Peace stemming from the acknowledgment that some things are just out of our control.

Listen to Concrete Doves here:

Other Social media links:

Facebook.com/swansect

Instagram.com/swansect

Review of Electronic Substance Abuse : BURIAL 10

ESA – are an English dark industrial / electroclash project by Jamie Blacker, which started in 2002. This new album is called Burial 10 and features vocals from Jo Hysetria (Massenhysteria), Caitlin Stokes (Corlyx), and Lecture.

https://esangp.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ElectronicSubstanceAbuse/

So right out the door this album is coming at you like a speeding train through a tunnel. It’s driving pistons and screeching metal furiously charging down your throat with reckless abandon. It would be easy to feel like that was chaotic because that is the emotional response it summons. This is a focused and precise weight of speed and power with intent and form. I feel like i am describing a high end automobile not a record, but this is the feeling of Burial 10.

ESA has been around a good while and gone through different styles. I feel like this album ran a bit of that spectrum on it’s own. It twists, writhes, and thrashes like a cornered animal. Unpredictable and fierce. Great use of guest vocalist like Jo Hystaria and Caitlyn to add more surprise twists to this story. The pulsating beats are a relentless onslaught which attack from so many directions. Gentle synth tones carefully placed expose the belly of the beast and add style and craft to this fierce creature.

Upcoming tour schedule

Favorite Tracks :

You are Safe Here (Feat: Caitlyn Corlyx) – I, of course, had to choose this one because it features the angelic, sensual voice of the amazing Caitlyn. This has the intense EDM drive but is tempered by her striking laser-fire voice. This is a club hit made to shake floors supporting giant speakers.

Caitlyn Corlyx

Burial 10 – The title track is a driving march. I really like the bizarre off-kilter chanting sample vocals. Part of the fun of ESA is they never seem to take the foot off the pedal. Even when breaking down with the spoken word vocal sections. Lots of high energy, never-let-up Prodigy feelings.

Blessed With Bruises – A nice change up here, bringing the tempo down and the trip hop feeling up while keeping the same steady crashing waves of sound. Instead of a high-speed chase, this is a slow, smooth roll, sliding around corners, channeling Massive Attack’s effortless cool.

Jamie Blacker

Overall this is a fury of intensity sure to make your club walls shake. Find the biggest speakers you can and crank this until the neighbors cry.

Review of Dogtablet: Feathers and Skin

Dogtablet is: Martin King (Test Dept), Roberto Soave , Jared Louche (Chemlab), Jenny Bellestar, Sapphira Vee and A-Rex {Yes, pause a moment and just take all of that in}

https://dogtablet.bandcamp.com/album/feathers-skin

Look I might not be in the best head space to try and write a review right now. It’s been a tough week. This album has been my constant companion holding me up when it felt like things were a bit too much. So I feel like it is important to share the power of what these songs have meant. My trauma has been animal related (worry for a pet). This record is so full of the intimate and animal nature. It’s energy conjures totem aspects of primal creatures which I have needed to focus on. The credentials of the artists collaborating here are too many to count. It’s real power lies in how different it sounds from it’s individual parts. Every piece is a perfect blend of the talents without ego or pretense lifting each other on dark flapping wings of intimate raw energy.

The drums are perfectly crafted and have an organic feel for such electronic elements. They remain subtle to allow the poetry and power of the vocals shine through. The motion of the synths and triplet world beat toms feel like stalking, slithering, gliding beasts. It gives a unique texture to every song. Jared Louche in particular has a distinctive vocal style and really steps outside their comfort zone with the intimacy of this delivery. These tracks are so full of blood, claw, scale, fur, and tooth.

Hawtness

Lets talk favorite tracks:

Shadowlands – The album opens strong. Beautiful distant piano coming to you from across the distance. I will probably lose goth street cred for this but one of my all time guilty pleasure albums is Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” This song holds that same stripped down lay bare spiritual power. The winding blues riff guitar leads are smoky and flowing. Jared’s vocals are so exposed and powerful.

Collapsing Lives – I love the contrast here. Almost like two songs overlapping. A sinister smoke rising from the sand. While mono synth effects and trip hop drums slash back and forth to create a swaying beauty. Sapphira Vee lends a delicate breathy beauty like the wind holding a bird gliding.

Things Said and Done (Snake Lies) – This track really encapsulates that feeling of an animal in music form. I feel it slither with those drum beats falling just behind where your mind wants to hear the tempo. This song is never where you expect it to be. It slithers and strikes. Jared Louche chants like a vision driven prophet whispering secrets of a forgotten time.

Martin King

Overall I found this to be a remarkable and powerful offering from several industry legends combining their abilities to create something primal and resonant in a world barely scratching the surface. Get it now, listen to it often, dream of wolves and ravens.

Review of Klack 2400bps 8-N-1

Members: Matt Fanale (Caustic) and Eric Oehler (Null Device)

Hometown: Madison WI

Label: Self Release

https://www.facebook.com/pg/klackmusik/photos/?ref=page_internal

https://klack.bandcamp.com/album/2400bps-8-n-1

Industrial super band Klack have done it again. This time shining a light on 80s BBS modem culture with their new release 2400bps 8-N-1. A further step forward from previously reviewed Introducing The 1984 Renault LeCar (2019). A bit cleaner, a bit meaner Klack is putting the ass shaking chanting cadence back into industrial music. This EP again brings that 80’s old school sample heavy drive. I think what struck me right away is how accessible it is. Sometimes Industrial can get lost in metal roots and grinding crunch. Klack has focused on energetic dance beats and crystal clear emphasis on the back and forth vocals of Matt’s guttural ferocity and Eric’s beautiful melody lines. It’s inspiring and affirming making you focus on the energy of light dancing around you while the world crashes down around you.

Currently shooting to the top of the band camp charts as a self release Klack is firing out hits to a world hungry for nostalgic industrial played through a modern thinking persons lens. The lyrics are clever and thought provoking. Sometimes art really reflects the personal relationship of it’s artists and Matt/Eric have a friendship that bleeds through into their music. The elements flow together seamlessly into a powerful construction which stands out in the landscape. Their live stage show is crowd charging. If you get the chance to witness it I highly recommend.

Top tracks include:

Discipline – The heavy sample ridden opener has a ferocious chant that brings Industrial intensity into a Jane Fonda 80s workout video. The synth pads strike with precision to ramp up the energy.

The Games We Play – I love the War Games reference. The vocals are softer and have a gentle whispered melodic aspect. The song has a political and philosophic edge. I think this one really captured me the most and left me playing it over and over. I true bomb track.

Check the Spreadsheet – Beep Boop Bop dance until you drop. A mid tempo dance hall driver. I love the distorted slash synths with the early Microsoft sampled commercials. It’s clever, it’s dancy, it puts you on the floor from cell A1 – ZZ and makes you want to create a pivot table.

There is a reason this album got off to such a strong start. It’s fun, it’s intelligent, and it’s relevant in it’s focus on the past in the modern era. Klack yourself today !