Electro Arc is an independant German label specializing in industrial dance and oldschool EBM (Electronic Body Music). They currently have several exceptional compilation albums on Spotify. Label boss Michael aka Intrendent kindly spared some time to answer a few questions.
One of the best concerts I’ve ever been at was way back in 1989: Edinburgh’s The Venue played host to a new twisted breed of synthesised music from a band called Nitzer Ebb. The raw power of the pounding 4/4 beats (provided by a pair of musclebound topless drummers), the syncopated rhythms and the downright twisted electro sound blew me away. I joined in the chant and was soon listening to bands like DAF, Front 242, and Front Line Assembly.
I was a bit late to the party though, as Intrendent explains:
“As you know the time pendula goes forward and backward, but EBM started about 1982. Analogue synthesizers are a must for real EBM (oldschool), and some of the pioneering bands were Front 242, The Klinik, Vomito Negro, Click Click, The Krupps, and SA42.”
EBM grew out of West Germany, Belgium, and England and soon spread across the atlantic. But by the early 90s, EBM had all but died out. In Belgium it had warped and softened into New Beat and the American bands who’d copied oldschool EBM had all moved on to an electro-industrial sound. Even Nizter Ebb themselves had mutated into a mediocre industrial rock band before splitting up. Meanwhile, a revolutionary wave was sweeping across the Eastern Bloc. Says Intrendent:
“After the wall fell in Germany in 1989, the people of East Germany finally got to hear some EBM, 20 years late. Many EBM fan groups were established as East (or Middle) Germans finally had a chance to hear how brilliant this music was. Concert organisers Electric Tremor were established to promote the “old school” EBM sound, and the resurgence soon spread back westwards.”
Today the EBM scene is stronger than ever, thanks to the latest wave of bands from Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Poland and Russia. In North America, Sigsaly Media and Rant Radio promote the style, while back in Germany Out of Line (who last year released the brilliant Container 90 album World ChampionShit) and Intrendent’s own Electro Arc label release oldschool EBM and industrial music.
On the current scene, Intrendent explains:
“EBM or post-experienced EBM is now called “Anhalt EBM” after the founder of this style (Electric Tremor, who originate from the German county of Anhalt). A lot of the new bands uses analoque synthesizers, and so the old school EBM sound is still alive.”
Intrendent has certainly been keeping busy: as well as DJing for a web radio station and managing an EBM video archive, his record label Electro Arc has now released over a dozen compilation albums, most of which are available on Spotify. My favourite is the gloriously named EBM-heavy compilation Electro Bosom.buddies Music.
Next up for Electro Arc is an album from Hungary’s First Aid 4 Souls. Intrendent calls their new album “finest Hungarian music” and it’s already received some glowing reviews from Neurobeat Radio.
I am also delighted to hear that Nitzer Ebb have reformed and are working on a new back-to-oldschool album. They are also scheduled to support Depeche Mode on tour next year.