[20th|21st] December: Lymland & Neugeborene Nachtmusik!

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Two small Islands not too far away from one another—Langeland and Lilleø—might have more in common then you think. Both are geographically not far away from one another. The last-mentioned is closer to a bigger island, the fourth largest island of Denmark, namely: Lolland. If their names were to be transfused and given a totally new one, it would be close to suggest a certain Swedish act that released their debut-album in September of 2012. Since you’re reading this article and have glanced over the headline – you already know what duo we’re writing about.

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Lymland“—an Island full of lemmings? No, it’s not very likely. Rather: an island of wastrels – as “lymmel” is an older Swedish word for “wastrel“. Jerker Kaj and Sonja Perander, currently based in Malmö, released their first album under the name of “Ensamtidsroman” – which sounds terrible if translated directly in English and beautiful – in Swedish. Here’s where the actual thought about their own island came to set root. They created a map to represent their small island. Their reference for the outline of a map perhaps actually was Lilleø—one of the smallest islands in Denmark with an area of meager 0.86 km2. Linguistically the name is constructed of two components: “lille” (little) and “ø” (island), when combined becomes “lilleø” (little island) – with an uppercase “L” transforms into: “Lilleø” (Little Island).

Their artwork for the album outlines the different portions of the island, most of it linguistically interesting, with names on land such as: “Björndalen” (Bearvalley), “Saven” (The Sap), “Molnbyggen” (Cloud-constructions), “Stora Sågen” (Big Saw), “Klingen” (Third Person); from Old High German, etymologically in New Swedish: the blade of a sword. “Notgrund” (Shallow-Note), “Ryggen” (The Back), and “Snårskog” (Brushwood). When it comes to the coast and off the shore, the following names show up: “Gråsjälsgrynnar“, where “grynna” means: underwater shallow. “Silvertoner” – a reference to Sanna Nielsen’s debut in 1996 with the same name? Probably not, but maybe. “Hammar” – their Swedish place of origin? Which could be one of these two places: Hammar, Kungälv or Hammar, Hammarö. The final name, and description of their map is written out as: “Bullerkobban” (Noise-Islet), located in the North-East of their map and island.

Enough with our etymological descriptions and speculations, now it’s time for their actual music. Even though a description they themselves want to put on “Ensamtidsroman” is, and I quote a part of a whole collateral sentence: “Nine tracks that are held together by an honesty and simplicity,” may not be as developed like what we’re about to show you, but with the aesthetics of an island by our own definition, with the exception of their original intent, go well together and bring forth visuals that we ourselves adore. The idyllic setting and the freedom of an eremite, if only for a few moments, are what’s needed when you’d want to take a break and rewind. That’s what their music do on this specific album.

We’ve asked them to contribute for Ljudkalendern, a non-commercial collection where different songs are put up each day to create a nice palette of different kinds of music. For everyone to enjoy now when Christmas is soon upon us. So they worked on a track and got it mastered. Now for the 20th of December which we all missed, it will be our pleasure to bring forth “Fantom Mot Fantom” – a track seemingly inspired by the Finland-Swedish poet Edith Södergran, and specifically her poem: “Stormen (Rosenaltaret)“.

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[14th|15th] December: STURQEN & Zex Model!

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raiaFrom the beginning there was “Raia” – third album STURQEN ever put out, self-released and all. A calmer more abstract release as opposed to “Peste” and “Colera“—two digital Eps discharged into oblivion, a Yin & Yang of total resignation. Also featured as physical editions in Cdr. With their third album they formed a pattern of recognition. They seemed to have wanted to step into paradise for one last time, before heading back from a retro-perspective “Praga” and “Pirahna“—their first and second album. The meaning of “Raia” is ‘Batoidea’ – which is the taxonomical (biological) super-order of rays, more specifically a cartilaginous marine fish which means that they, like sharks, have no bones in their body. These mammals are not the kings of the sea but they’re close to being. We think of manta rays – these huge rays that carelessly patrol the depths of open seas.

When you read the titles, they’re inspired by everything from the native ecosystem of Portugal – to Johannes Kepler, candelabras, mountains, CD’s, and Canary birds – a reference to Canary Islands? Also might be because “Canário sound like a chirping bird. Every song on the album seem to be an interpretation musically, also of linguistical importance title-wise – through genres STURQEN like to be associated with—or by accident. They break from this gateway completely with “NEOPHOBIA“, as they seal their original intentions in a box not to be opened again until it’s time.

neophobiaNeophobia seems to be a complete anti-thesis, full-on rhythmic noise techno experience, higher frequencies and a dystopic vision of the future for Mother Earth. The term ‘neophobia‘ can be summarized as: “a phobia for anything new“, in this case a disintegration musically – disseminating the “post-industrial“—specifically a technologically maddening, freakishly abundant, information society in which nothing has any meaning no more.

The world is entering a state of emergency, alarms sound nearby and everything is organized for resistance. Or might it be Earth rejecting its own organic structure? We hear a militarized sound, a call to war, in “Justo“, a machinated process rebooting and aircrafts lifting in “Ateus” – consisting of minimal analog instrumentation; distorted rhythmic sounds and a harsh beat. Just to mention two contrasting examples from NEOPHOBIA. Same theme – different characteristics and takes on a subject we yet have to uncover—perfect time for a thorough investigation.

What resonated with me the most visually was the edgy and spot on music-video for “Toxinas” – a song clenched from their third album “NEOPHOBIA“, released on the Ukrainian label Kvitnu, in 2013. The sport of fencing was suited perfectly with the experimental rhythmic noise David Arantes and César Rodrigues of STURQEN produce. Though we’re not impressed by how the elegant sport of fencing is portrayed as if it were post-mortem. Though it can be interpreted in different ways as was our first understanding of the music-video accompanying the song as some kind of tribute, but the more we think about it – the less plausible that theory becomes.

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Now when they’ve been accustomed—to such a wide degree of change, they settle in with an unreleased track for Repartiseraren own non-commercial collection Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Pidde” and will remind you more about their debut-album “Piranha” than anything else. At least that’s how we hear it when listening to the song. A diffuse, experimental noise atmosphere that quickly fades in with a thrusting buzz, but stinging poisonous touch which decays – as the machine wheezes out its last steam, the same day the industrial workplace is shut down to pleasure the coming post-industrialists. Listen to the 14th December exclusive premiere of the earlier unreleased song “Pidde“.

 

dark-myth-ankoku-shinwa-takeshi-servant-of-brahman-and-god-of-darkness-susanoah-oh-eight-armed-horse-lotusZex Model is back once again, with a new track for Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Ankoku Shinwa” and is influenced by the Anime-serie with the same name – which is synonymous to: “The Dark Myth,” original title in Japanese: 暗黒神話. In short the series revolve around prehistoric Gods from Japanese mythology, whose presence in the early days of Japan had a task to protect their sworn secrets—hidden in modern society. Since darkness is beckoning, the Kikuchi Clan have seen the warning and are ready to fight the spirits of the mythological creatures. The main character—a boy who tames the powers of the gods, could be the embodiment of the boys’ spirit in this song. A protagonist who does his utmost to defeat those who wish to do harm.

The religious Croatian christian orthodox chanting, might be a direct translation of the Kikuchi Clan warning about impending darkness—as his own voice, heavily distorted, out of the blue descends; to affright the listener. You hear a better, more improved version of the Zex (Model), as he rips up a wind of nostalgia, reminding us about some kind of crossover between Brigade Werther and other such experimental, borderline electronic body music, industrial acts. His inspiration from Anime is not to be taken lightly, as it gives a depth to the influence of this particular track. Not to mention his other discography. It feels like he’s found his spot and continually develop, so it can hopefully bloom out and become something unique.

He delivered a newly produced and unreleased track which everyone should listen to. It’s a step away from his electronic body music with a multitude of samples, focusing on fewer samples and entrenching his own distorted vocals. His contribution to Ljudkalendern may have more inspiration from elsewhere, but it mainly comes from that Japanese anime-serie. For the 15th December you can enjoy everything about a new model, not by any means finished, but a prototype.

[13th] December: Acapulco City Hunters – Chaser

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Acapulco. A Mexican municipality but mainly a city, with as many as 234 communities—the most populous being Acapulco itself—with 673 479 inhabitants as of 2010, 85,25% of the people reside in the city. When counting the most populous cities except the main one, which are: Xaltianguis, Kilómetro 30, Tres Palos, San Pedro las Playas, Amatillo—the population combined account for 3,25% of the whole municipality, making it 25857 inhabitants in total, one starts to wonder where the rest of the 11,5% have gone. Where are the other cities? Are there smaller towns, considering there are so many communities? Questions remained unanswered. Here are when Acapulco City Hunters come in – it seems like they’re looking for an answer to that question. Maybe they’re straying away, in metaphors and synonyms, but they’re probably concerned.

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Or maybe, just maybe – we’ve been tricked by these con-artists. Making us think of Mexico as the main inspiration for their name, specifically related to the aforementioned questions, but it can also mean “Goin’ to Acapulco“—a track from “Dylan Basement Tapes” (1976), and I paraphrase from an outtake from Sid Griffin’s book “Million Dollar Bash” – from the source Shelton, Robert (1986)—music-journalist Clinton Heylin commented on its sexual innuendo: …featuring the usual debauched narrator, rambunctious harmonies, and euphemistic ribaldry according to Wikipedia. We can see how both sexual innuendos are fitted in a musical environment, influenced or not by either Sid Griffin’s book, Basement Tapes, or Mexico’s ‘lost’ cities and/or communities. A lot of the topics seem to suggest a strong influence of either everything – or simply one of the things listed above.

It’s interesting to note how Acapulco City Hunters is in plural, though other things like ‘his’ patchwork blog “Cosmic Beam“—suggests otherwise. Maybe since the Facebook-page is categorized as a “Community“, rather than an Artist-page, could reveal certain other possible theories. Pluralis it is because it suits the influences for ‘his’ project. If you get the reference we’re trying to make here, you’ve got a good sense of detail. The music-making dates back two years, from when he released “Haunted Bombai“—later to have a remix of the song by “DYSWIL“—filmed by Thomas Skrobek. Apparently a collective (now defunct?) named: “Negative Beat“. One of the actors’ names (Juliette Mellard) suggest that it really is a project born and based in France—collecting individual influences elsewhere.

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He’s also done a good rendition of; Marianne Faithfull‘s “Broken English“, originally released on LP in the UK 1979, via Island Records—now a sub-division to Universal Music Group. Though we’re not enthusiasts of Marianne’s intonation – we respect and understand such an immense contribution to England’s—and the world’s—music-life that she, and her discography have revealed throughout the years. With added minimalist synthesizers and a stripped-down not as extravagant atmosphere, Acapulco City Hunters make me like “Broken English“, and take the song for what it is – albeit in a completely new way. We must say that nothing beats an original, not even an original you’re not so delighted to hear in the first place, but they do a perfectly okay effort. We’re sorry to say that the bleep-synthesizer sound is too loud, which takes away part of the experience of listening.

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Now I won’t go any further into his discography, more than note that I have written about the split he did with Luminance, titled “The Cold Rush“. Sure, most of it sounds alike when listening through once in a while, but there are certain characteristics that Acapulco City Hunters had developed—that I heard when I had listened to it for a while. We prefer when he doesn’t overcharge on his ethnic vibes. When he keeps it nice and tidy, melodically ambitious and switches between different modes of electronica – is when he’s at his peak. This was exactly what he did with that release. Ironically enough he sings about evolution in “Magdalena” and evolved he has—at least musically. Recently, he also was featured in a track he did together with Luminance—on the “The Broken Window Theory“—a newly released compilation on Wool-E Records.

For Ljudkalendern he gives us, on the 13th December, unfortunately with a delayed article, a song titled “Chaser” – which might actually be the musical hunt for Acapulco. It seems to be something defining him, at the same time cranking up the tempo to maximum—making way for a spastic and erratic synthesizer-driven track. It’s a newly produced song for the purpose of this non-commercial collection – not compilation. We hope that you’ll take a bit of his musical concept with you in your thoughts after you’ve heard it—as delicate as it is forceful.

[10th|11th] December: Kord & German Army

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Odd coincidences arise when you’ve got so little time to assemble a non-commercial collection like Ljudkalendern. Picking two opposites that in no way resemble the other, then you know that it’s something fate intended. It was by no means planned in complete detail ahead of time. Because I had no time I missed the opportunity to showcase to you a track for the 11th December, I’ve had to combine yesterday’s—with today’s exclusive premiere. You got to stream the first song ahead of time, before an article was to be published. So you already know that Kord (Johan Sturesson) got his time in the limelight prior to this article being written, contributing with a humorous yet ambitious piece of synth-pop venture—leaving no time at all, to impress the author, as well as the listeners.

Since we’re running out of time, before the 12th December is about to be set, we introduce to you: Germany Army—post-Tassili Plateau—stronger and odder than before. Welcomed out of the swamps where they’ve resided for revitalization, before launching a miniature drone, transmitting sound bytes to enthrall, or disperse your mind once again. Still nobody knows if they are for real or just a product of your own self-delusion. Their donation to Ljudkalendern is titled; “Life, Debt” which is a gloomy marshland of sound; where humans go to escape civilization. It’s back to how it once were—in tune with mother nature, in a rather decayed, manner. When interpreted by us, the title of the song becomes a metaphor for how you’re owing German Army your life, and your indebtedness to them. We on the other hand feel like we owe them a proper showcase since their masterful album “Last Language“—one of their best efforts.

Poem(s):

Who’s at your side,
to for you provide
It’s Johnny!
Who’s Johnny?

/

For the army,
do everything
For the army,
don’t be smarmy

This is a special and fated release, due to lack of time. 10th and 11th December in one article. Feel how you move from a spaced out adventurous story, to a draining hazy experience in the midst of a huge prairie pothole—bordering Canada, America’s own North and South Dakota, as well as Minnesota and Iowa—you’re screwed. Take the aforementioned text as a hint, German Army, I might’ve given you a concept for a follow-up to Tassili Plateau.

Review: Destruction Unit – Sandy Sessions

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Ascetic House have been busy pushing out their January program, in full. So while you slept on it, Invisible Guy kept counting. According to the newsletter, they have a rather unique approach when putting out their releases. They planned 31 cassettes for their program, but each individual release was and is only available on the day that it is released. A new release appeared the next day, but since it’s already the 31st, it’s kind of late to write about their program. The releases were not announced in advance, so it was randomized. For those that follow the Asceticism of Ascetic House, these releases will ship out in the end of the month, which would be today.

Some of these releases may also end up in distribution, at selected record stores and distros. Lucky for you, each one of the out-of-print releases (meaning every release), have been put up as a free download. Unfortunately, that means that you’re turning up rather late for the physical edition. Me too. These releases remain up on their website for download until this evening, when I’m writing this, and tomorrow they’ll be gone. For me, it’s not the point to give you anything more then a taste from Ascetic Korp (Soundcloud), and write-ups of these different releases.

Since they made a concept of their own, Invisible Guy will blindly follow their concept, but he will move astray from the set dates. Because he’s out of luck this time. Each day, he will bring you a review and let you listen to a piece of a track from the release which he is reviewing.

First up is Destruction Unit and their recently released (in the January program) session “Sandy Sessions“.

1st of January!

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Destruction Unit have been around since 2004, and probably before that, even. They’ve released albums, singles and E.P.s on labels such as Empty Records, FDH Records, Volar Records, Sacred Bones Records, Jolly Dream Records, Discos Cagados, Disordered Records, Lo-Fi Records, Suicide Squeeze and BIG LOVE Records. One live-record and a session have been reserved for release on Ascetic House. The band consists, and have consisted of Ryan Rousseau, Rusty Rousseau, Nick Nappa, JS Aurelius, Andrew Flores, Justin Keefer – some of whom are a part of Ascetic House. They play a combination of psychedelic garage and noise rock. We’re going to get into their latest release, the session-release “Sandy Sessions“. Four tracks, namely “Time Traveler“, “Desert Snow“, “Poison Breath” and “Do Drugs (Nihilism)” were recorded in Brooklyn, New York at Heaven Street studio by Kyle Keays – a day before the 29th of October, when the Hurricane Sandy reached its epitome. This was when it hit New York and New Jersey, where the severest damage was done. Therefore: “Sandy Sessions“.

The first song “Time Traveler” is a catchy piece of music, which derives the most out of the psychedelia, which just sits there and looms at the beginning – whilst they rev up the noise rock, keeping a steady tempo – just so I can nod to the track and go with the rhythm. It’s constant. When it’s been going for roughly two minutes, the singer’s canned voice is picked up and as he reaches his epitome, all hell breaks loose and the psychedelia sips in like it came from a breach in the hull. The guitars are absolutely wild, gracing you with the reverberant that acts as distortion, clashing with the wildly played drums. Suddenly, it speeds up and reaches into a whirlwind of screeching guitars, gradually speeding it to its utmost limit when everything comes together once again – just to fade out into the blue. It feels like you’re caught with the wind, it feels like you’re experience what had been hitting and should just hit – New York City (amongst other cities). So the name itself is prophetic, as you’re caught in the maelstrom of guitars, drums, vocals and bass – which winds you up until you loose yourself to it. You have a clear sense of where it’s heading in the beginning, but then it picks off from there and leaves you totally clueless. You never know what hit you, until you realize it afterwards. It’s simply stunning, in the literal sense of the word.

Now, “Desert Snow“, the second track – starts off more like a rehearsal. Featuring slowly-paced psychedelic delight, entwined with the ramblings of the vocalist – rather than the up-tempo garage schtick. It’s like a lullaby, if you’d force it into a concoction of noisy rock melodrama. When you’re about to be included into their lullabies, it instead whirls into a mesmerizing feverish dream. There’s even more psychedelia included here, as if you’d be out on a whim and into wonderland. A seemingly nauseating experience when it has drawn you in for a constant rhythmic swaying, sincerely for you by the guitars and the continuous tempo by the drums. We’re at the crescendo, but we can’t get away from there. It’s like you’re dragged into the quicksand, quickly forming around you, as the snow pours down. Therefore; “Desert Snow“. A brutally chilling experience, traveling through time and space with the psychedelic vibes you’d only get from such a setting. Most of it’s predictable, but when they hypnotize you with such a fantastic performance, even though it’s just a session – you’re flabbergasted. There’s certainly no lack of energy, as they pounce away and fade into obscurity, leaving only a deserted mind. Emptied of all significance, fading into the quick-sand – never to be seen again. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I reckon. Effin’ good one at that, but like some other tracks, it’s simply meant to be heard only once. You might disagree, but it is memorable, but I don’t want to ruin it.

Charging at you in a slow-paced motion, moving forwards – is the track “Poison Breath“. Yes, it breathes down your neck. Feels like you’re a part of the chase, but you’re chased, therefore you’re not only the one going to be feasted upon – you’re actually not the predator. When listening to this, I feel active and not passive. I’m slowly starting to think that they’re tricking me into this story of theirs, which has been built up since the last two tracks, only to get more obvious in this one. I don’t give much for the sound, because it feels quite repetitive. But that is probably the point, just to slowly mold into where the vocals come in – as they play their part. Locked into a closet, dampened and psychotic – far away. It’s jam-packed with the most robust, but noisy rock you’ll ever hear. Feeding into the enormous distortion generated by their general atmosphere, but also generated by their manipulation of their instruments – in regards to their setting. Chugging riffs, outdrawn riffs, crazily psychedelic guitars and an abundance of feedback feed into the most psychedelic garage rock. This crossover can be considered to be a success, if you’d ever find it below all the grimy and muddy dung that is shot your way. This track is probably the most flipped out yet, but I’m not hoping for much either. Regarding the track that comes after this, the name of that track spells even more disaster. Disaster in a totally maddening, but positive way – if that even makes sense.

The name of this track is “Do Drugs“, and is credited as “Do Drugs (Nihilism)” when reading Discogs. Well, if I’d ever get surprised by anything so far, it would be the classic rock vibe that it delivers in the beginning. A solo-driven guitar with a gurgling vocalist that spews out his toothpaste with water. In regards to the name of the track, and the music at hand, this is probably how you’d feel if a hurricane had hit you the day after – and you saw it in some kind of psychotic vision. Or maybe it’s simply a call for total decadence, who knows. “A-aa-aa-aahh“, is all I hear, as the vocalists words (that I can decipher) echo round and round, in my brain. Let’s hope they never start a dentistry, because they’d pull out your teeth without any mercy. With nippers. It’s by this time that I frankly get annoyed by listening to this release, but it’s actually the final track, so I sit down and try to endure the enormously boring tempo that has stirred up the total carnage that is in my headphones. By then, the song has already ended in an outdrawn sigh and a bang. But it fades out quietly, into a silent snip that cuts it off. Yes, this release is so sickening and dirty that you’ll have to use something else to clean your ears out. Even though it’s the shortest song on the release, it feels like hours just went by, as if the heat-wave just hit me. I feel totally deserted.

Listen to a track from a release by them of the Ascetic House program, the January program of course. It’s not a track from this release, unfortunately, but it’s from another. So get on with it.

Interview with Női Kabát!

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Photograph by: Cserkúti György

Női Kabát is one of the most interesting acts coming out of Europe in these times. It consists of three people, namely Dee Rüsche (Lungs / Metal), Owen Pratt (Synthesis / Noise) and Jonas Ranssøn (Simmons / Live Drums). One of the unique things that have shaped them is the fact that they’re situated in different cities. Considering the fact of how hard it is to keep something going, when you live so far away from each other. Yet, they’ve managed to strike the public with their immerse first release “Make Room! Make Room 7¨“, which was released by aufnahme + wiedergabe. It sold out very quickly. The music itself is bordering on synth-pop, new beat and cold wave – to name a few genres which have set root with them. Since people began to talk about them, revere them with kind words, they set out upon a Summer-tour in Europe. It’s when I came in to the picture. After reading a few interviews that had been conducted with them, learning a bit more about them, it felt like I missed something. Therefore, I decided to get in touch with them and do an interview with them. This is probably one of the more in-depth interviews out there, so I hope you learn something new and like what you’re reading. Or you might hate it, for all I know. But I did my best. In this interview, we get to know more about them personally, their influences, the origins of “Make Room! Make Room!” and much more. Get in line, read it up.

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Spotlight: Youth Code – Carried Mask

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Photo by: Zed Cutsinger

It’s gone two days since Youth Code premiered their single “Carried Mask” from their forthcoming self-titled release on Noisey. I haven’t really been following them as closely as other people have, because I haven’t been that interested to be honest. But since I read that virtually everybody loved their newly premiered single, I had to take a look, keeping in mind that I had heard their earlier material a while ago. What I heard is miles away from their earlier stuff, which is great indeed, because now I can love them a little bit more. Their Nitzer Ebb-ish early industrialized EBM touch really sticks with me, as their carried steel is smashed against the nearest barrel, paired with the agonizing vocals – shrieked with a raspy voice, turning into a nightmare on wheels. Another thing that suck with me was the sample that they use in the beginning and throughout, which makes it a little bit more militarized than it would’ve been otherwise. This would also remind me a little bit about Manufacture, one of the more shrouded oldschool EBM-acts, blending both the new beat craze with militaristic tenure in their song “Armed Forces” from their most known release “Terrorvision“. If you conclude that this blend is hazardous to you, you’re in the right spot. Even though Youth Code could settle with a little bit more punch for me to like it, they’ve greatly improved since last I heard them. Which is positive indeed, but I’m just another brick in the wall of positive critique that have been typed throughout the internet. I don’t know if they might consider themselves to be part of any wave, but it feels good to at least have some faith in industrial regained, as this track keeps banging in the back of your mind. Firstly, it’s pretty much a nostalgic trip. Secondly, it’s a song that can easily stick to you and stay, instead of just going away in some days or so. It’s been on my mind since it was released and I can’t wait to receive the full ordeal. You can pre-order it over at Dais Records, but it seems like they’re going quick, so hurry up.