Tag Archives: industrial

A Late Delivery of Electronica from Last Year

There haven’t been too many great electronic albums so far this year, but that’s no problem: I’ve been going back to check out some releases from last year that I’d initially missed. Here’s a short selection – a late delivery – of electronica from 2011!


Asura – 360

Asura expertly mix in trance ambient and World Music elements into their sound. Sometimes I find pure ambient music a little too laid-back and uninteresting, but Asura has beats, occasional vocals, and such a diverse palette of sounds that I hear new things every time I listen to this album.

Genre: psybient, ambient
Similar to: Vibrasphere, Galaxy, Solar Fields


Ghost & Writer – Shipwrecks

Seabound and Edge of Dawn vocalist Frank Spinah teamed up with The Weathermen’s Jimmy-Joe Snark III to release an album last year under the name of Ghost & Writer.

Genre: futurepop
Similar to: Seabound, Edge of Dawn, Solar Fake



Detachments – Detachments

I discovered Detachments at the end of 2011, although they’ve been around for a year or two. After the renaissance of “friendly” synthpop, it was refreshing to hear a new synth band more closely aligned to post-punk and the original Mute and Factory Records sound.

Genre: synthpop, post-punk
Similar to: Joy Division, New Order, Fad Gadget


Foretaste – Love On Demand

Arriving too late in 2011 to make in onto my best of year list, Foretastes rounded off a fantastic year of synthpop with this their third – and best – album. Lead single Superstar is a definite highlight, but Love on Demand is packed with great electropop goodies.

Genre: synthpop
Similar to: Parralox, Northern Kind, Thermostatic



Severe Illusion – No More Alive Than You Deserve

I read about Severe Illusion on I Die: You Die, one of my favorite new music blogs. Swedish band Severe Illusion hark back to the electro-industrial sound coming out of North America in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Cold, brutal and cynical, there’s something I find quite intoxicating about this album; I’ve listened to it on repeat obsessively.

Genre: industrial, EBM
Similar to: Skinny Puppy, Mommy Hurt My Head


Eat Lights Become Lights – Autopia

I’m still a relative newcomer to the joys of  krautrock, but I’m learning fast and think I’ve found it at just the right time. Eat Lights Become Lights is my latest discovery and I’m loving the motorik beats and pulsing rhythms on Autopia.

Genre: krautrock
Similar to: Neu!, Can, New Order, Kraftwerk, Warm Digits

Interview with Blackvector Magazine

Blackvector Magazine is a Swedish blog specializing in electro, EBM, futurepop, synthpop, harsh electro, and “clubby industrial” music.  They’ve recently started adding Spotify links to their reviews, so I thought this would be the perfect time to find out a bit more about the blog. Björn Andersson is the man in charge; I got in touch and asked him to tell us a little about his site, how and why he blogs, and his thoughts on the current and future electro music scene. Read on for the interview!


How did your site get its name?

Black Vector is actually the model name of some speakers from the Scandinavian quality brand Audio Pro, and is one of their most successful series. The name was something that captured my attention and I thought it sounded pretty good. So I put the two words together.

How long has your site been running for?

Previously I wrote for the now-closed e-zine Neurozine. It was pretty big on the scene. After a couple of years in hiatus, I decided to start my own zine and thoughts started to grow in Spring of 2009. The site was officially launched on May 18th, 2009, so I guess we have a 2-year anniversary in a week. 🙂

What styles of music do you cover?

There are so many different styles out there and new ones show up all the time. But on a big scale everything is more or less some kind of crossover or mix between the different styles that I grew up with. I try to cover as much as possible in the Electro/Industrial genre like EBM, Futurepop, Synthpop, Industrial, and Electropop.

Why do you blog?

My passion for music is very big. I love it. But in a way I don’t see it as blogging, even though that is pretty much what everything is nowadays. I think I’m stuck with the old mentality of running a website.

Do you have other blog contributors?

No, not at the moment. I do everything myself.

How do you decide what to write about? Do you plan out your posts in advance?

A lot of the news and such I get through email, but I also use Twitter and Facebook to get updates from bands and labels. I try to get out as much as I can that I feel is of importance and that the readers want to know.

How do you approach reviewing an album?

The feeling you get of listening to an album is different every time. Some are very easy to understand and others can be very difficult. Some albums require you to listen to them a couple of extra times compared with others. I guess it’s a matter of what you like and what you don’t. But only because you don’t like an album you can’t give it a bad rating, or write that you don’t like it. You have to dig in deeper and really listen to what the sounds are telling you.

What do you think of the current synthpop and electro scene?

It’s a mixed combination. I’ve been listening to this kind of music since 1999 and in some areas a lot of things have happened. Some albums released back then still sound the same with a modern sound. Then you evolve in what kind of music you like all the time. There are some bands and music styles I couldn’t listen to back then but that I have grown into and really like today. But I think that some bands seem to have stopped evolving and still sound the same as they were ten years ago. They kind of repeat what they have been doing from the beginning. Even if they keep their die-hard fans that want them to sound like they always have, it tends to get pretty boring for the music scene.

Nowadays, in the time of computers, anyone can create music and the internet is a great way to show what you have done. Something that just wasn’t possible 15 years ago. Now you can get it out to the public in seconds.

What changes have you seen in recent synth music and where do you see it going?

The main changes I think is in the quality of the music. I can listen to music that was created 5-10 years ago and really hear the difference from the same bands and artists releasing an album today.

Who are some of your favourite bands and artists?

There are so many great bands and artists out there and the styles I listen to differs. One day I feel like listening to soft synthpop and another day I want some harsher stuff. The list would be very long if I were to write them all down! I just want to give good cred to all artists and bands who keep creating great music.

Name a band you love that no-one else seems to have heard of.

Actually I got to hear a new exciting band a couple of weeks ago: UK duo cYbEr.dYnE. They recently released a great free track.

Which review, interview or feature are you most proud of?

I must say my interview with Ronan Harris of VNV Nation. It was the first ever interview I made face to face and I think it turned out great. Ronan is a great guy and we had a great talk.

Which other music websites and blogs do you rate?

I check out Brutal Resonance frequently as one of the founding members is a good friend and was also the founding member of Neurozine. So we have some history together and it’s great to read each other’s reviews of the same records as I think we have similar taste in music.

Thanks very much for your time Björn!


Spotify for Electro-Heads

Rounding off our trilogy of hard-electro features, here’s a quick post to let you know that an article I wrote for Side-Line Magazine is now online: Spotify for Electro-Heads! Side-Line is a music magazine devoted to electronic music, in particular electro-goth, synthpop and industrial. It’s my top go-to site for electro news so I was especially honored to be invited to write for them. Thanks Bernard!

New Dark-Electro on Spotify

If you like your electronica a bit darker, a bit more twisted and industrialized from the norm, then there’s plenty to choose from on Spotify. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite new dark-electro releases to chill your bones and get you dancing like a zombie.


First Aid 4 Souls – Deathstep

The second full-length release from Hungary’s First Aid 4 Souls sees them taking a step towards a faster, darker sound. Released on Germany’s Electro Arc label, Deathstep is full of pounding synth lines and distorted vocals, taking industrial and EBM into new territory by twisting the sound with techno, trance and Neue Deutsche Härte. It shouldn’t really work but it does so gloriously: First Aid 4 Souls have mined the world’s electro-nightmares and come up with an unforgettable album. Highly recommended!


Huminoida – Whiter Album

Kimmo Karjalainen from new Finnish band Huminoida very kindly sent me his new CD to check out. As the former vocalist in synthpop band Neuroactive, you’d expect electropop and there is a little of this, but it’s a lot darker, a lot more experimental than your average synthpop album. It took me a few listens to get into, but the more I hear Whiter Album the more I like it. Kimmo’s vocals have a bit of a Bauhaus edge to them which particularly suits the electro-goth minimalism of the music. The CD packaging itself deserves a special mention: it’s a beautiful piece of work, lavishly wrapped and opening up like some kind of electric starfish.


Gatekeeper – Giza

Much like Mommy Hurt My Head, Gatekeeper resurrect the oldschool electro-industrial sound, taking their cues from early Front Line Assembly and adding an extra dark twist of italo-disco. Giza is perfect Halloween music, with horror film samples liberally scattered throughout to compensate for the lack of vocals. The late-80s aesthetic is carried through from the music to the cover art, and there’s even an accompanying video collection released on VHS.


The Crystalline Effect – Industrial Re-Evolution

The Crystalline Effect are an Australian band who’ve been making music for a few years now. Combining elements of electro, EBM and trip-hop, Elenor Rayner delivers seductive vocals while Pete Crane (SHIV-R) drips blood on the synths. Released via Deathwatch Asia (the Japanese electro-industrial label), Industrial Re-Evolution is a maxed-out EP of 14 tracks, including remixes from the likes of Soman and Fractured. It’s probably the most dance-oriented album in this selection, but there’s enough of an edge to warrant its inclusion here.


//TENSE// – Escape EP

Houston duo //TENSE// opened for Nitzer Ebb when they toured America and it’s easy to see why. Minimal EBM with a sinister dance vibe, Escape features five tracks that could easily have come from Wax Trax Records back in the day.



If you like your electronia dark and twisted, here’s some other recent releases on Spotify you might like:

And for more on this type of music, here are three excellent resources to bookmark:

  • Side-Line Magazine – The biggest and best, Side-Line is updated daily with news, reviews, and opinions on the latest electro and industrial music.
  • Blackvector – One of my favourite music blogs, Blackvector.se covers electro-industrial, synthpop, and everything in between.
  • Eine Tasse Jäger – The best blog on the net if you’re into EBM, especially old-school and anhalt. The list of bands in the sidebar is a goldmine of great underground music.

New Electro-Industrial on Spotify

It’s been a good year for fans of industrial, aggrotech, and EBM music with some of the biggest and most respected names in the scene releasing new albums. Starting with the return of Nitzer Ebb with Industrial Complex and Signal Aout 42’s Vae Victis, we then saw Leæther Strip release the superb Voluntary Confinement: a re-recorded, remixed version of their seminal 1992 album Solitary Confinement.  The loss of Metropolis Records from Spotify’s catalogue was a blow (as was the non-appearance Autodafeh’s latest album), but while we wait for the return of Funker Vogt here are five more excellent new industrial releases on Spotify!

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Three Brilliant Industrial Albums on Spotify

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, my synthpop sensibilities clashed with a healthy sense of dread as I finally discovered industrial music. Bands like Front 242 and Frontline Assembly were my favourites, being at the more electro-end of the genre. EBM (a sub-genre of industrial) has had quite a revival of late and oldschool industrial is now making a comeback too. Here then are three relativley new industrial albums on Spotify that all have that oldschool flavour.

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Spotify Playlists: Psytrance and Industrial

Here are a couple of new Spotify playlists, featuring some of the latest releases in electro-industrial and progressive and psychedelic trance. If you like either genres you can use these playlists as jump-off points to explore full albums from each artist. I use them as a quick and easy way to have per-genre playlists for Spotify mobile, without cluttering up my list of playlists and without having to remember what to search for.

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Labels on Spotify: Out of Line

Out of Line is a German record label who specialize in EBM, Industrial, and Synthpop. Their line-up includes Combichrist, Blutengel, And One, UK synthpop femmes Client, and Mexican aggrotechers Hocico. Browsing through their list of new and recent releases, I’ve noticed much of this is now on Spotify. Here’s a brief run-down of new Out of Line releases (with direct Spotify URIs):

Aggrotech / EBM

Synthpop / Futurepop


In a Genre All of Their Own