Album Review: Dismantled – The Hero EP

Dismantled holds a very special place in my music library. His early work contains three of my favourite tracks of all time by virtue of being my gateway into noise music.

I’ve loved many more artists since those early years, but Dismantled is the one who opened my mind towards this obscure niche of electronica and it changed my life forever.

No two Dismantled albums have been the same.

His self-titled album in 2002 had a grimy, white-label rhythmic noise vibe that was unforgettable. The distorted and compressed vocals, abrasive mechanical grinding samples, and erratic beats in “On Your Knees” made this track the epitome of dystopian music, a ballad commemorating the globally historical moment of agony and fear. The subsequent Post-Nuclear and Standard Issue albums were a clear evolutionary path for Dismantled – Zon’s vocals got cleaner, the song structure more defined, clear patterns so familiar to EBM listeners emerging from the chaos. By 2007, When I Am Dead took a danceable approach, focusing on lyrics and choral effects, while the last full album released in 2011, The War Inside Me, took a detour into fist-pumping rage-spewing Aggrotech territory akin to FGFC820 and prodigious mentors Suicide Commando.

And here we are, after a four year break, with a fresh new sound that is more polished than ever and shows how much Gary has learned in his career.

Read my full review on Spill Magazine.

And stay tuned for The Hero full release!

 

 

 

Conjure One Holoscenic

Album Review: Conjure One – Holoscenic

Conjure One‘s new release came across my feed as an unexpected yet pleasant surprise. Having seen him live just this past summer at Aftermath Festival, I was very excited for the new sound.

No lie, this album almost reduced me to tears.

Miscreant is one of the most wonderfully tragic tracks I have heard in a long time.

Rhys Fulber’s sound is complex and profound, which is to be expected from the Canadian alternative electronic music hero. Holoscenic came out on Armin Van Buuren’s record label and as such it is one of the most accessible works by the Front Line Assembly and Delerium veteran.

With guest vocals from Aruna, Leigh Nash and Christian Burns (anybody remember BBMak? HA!) Holoscenic connects the darkest fringes of esoterica to seminal progressive house vibes, serving as a gateway between the alternative and mainstream electronic music scenes.

Read the full review on The Spill page.

And download Holoscenic from Armada Music:

https://armadamusic.lnk.to/COHoloscenicWA

 

Aftermath dark electronic music festival 2015

Aftermath 2015: Toronto’s dark electronic music festival

If Terminus was Industrial Summer CampAftermath felt like an ultra distance triathlon …through a minefield!

It was so intense.

Over the course of three days, no less than twenty-four amazing acts took to the stage in Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Aftermath was a rapid-fire drill of illustrious acts, spanning many dark electronic music genres: industrial, EBM, futurepop, synthwave, noise, darkwave, aggrotech.

Aftermath Festival c. Darker Side of Light 2015
Aftermath Festival c. Darker Side of Light 2015

Aftermath is the only festival of its kind in Toronto and I’m extremely grateful to Darker Side of Light Promotions for bringing all this amazing talent to our doorstep. The 2015 edition was a mind-bending bombardment of incredible performances.

The afterparty of the festival also marked the end of a long-standing Toronto venue, Velvet Underground, and there was a lot of feeling packed into this farewell.

Continue reading “Aftermath 2015: Toronto’s dark electronic music festival”

Terminus: Velocity, Calgary dark electronic music festival

Terminus: Velocity – Calgary’s dark electronic music festival

We dubbed it Industrial Summer Camp, and it was glorious.

Terminus : Velocity was the third incarnation of Calgary’s exclusive dark electronic music festival. With no less than twenty-four amazing acts, it was a superb opportunity to delight in long time favourites and discover new ones.

I use “dark electronic music” as a hypernym for a whole slew of synthesizer accompanied genres: from the retro stylings of synthwave bands, to stomping noise vibes, Terminus encompassed the full gamut of epic.

I don’t use that word thoughtlessly: Terminus was indeed EPIC!

Here’s the lineup for 2015:

Digital Winter, Animal Bodies, Everything Goes Cold, High-Functioning Flesh, Iris, Ivardensphere, Velvet Acid Christ, Dive, Hello Moth, Glass Apple Bonzai, Statiqbloom, The Body, Perturbator, Ayria, Cocksure, This Morn Omina, Apollyon's Visage, Volt 9000, Seeming, Azar Swan, Decree, V>LH>LL, Aesthetic Perfection, Grendel
Terminus 2015 Lineup

This was my first time attending and I had the pleasure to travel with Glass Apple Bonzai. Amongst the dozens of bands, we also met local artists Spawn of the Dead & Twizted Eye Candy. The good folk of Storming the Base were in attendance with enough wicked pressed tunes to bankrupt me into the next year.

Here is the tale of the three days of Terminus that will leave you saying: What the dickens?

What the Dickens?

Dickens Pub in Calgary has been the gracious host of Terminus for three years running. A huge thank you to Chris, Ambor and all the other staff for their tremendous hospitality, from booking hotels and transport to keeping the whole show on point for the weekend.

Continue reading “Terminus: Velocity – Calgary’s dark electronic music festival”