Cloak & Dagger
Spawned in Paris, France on February 29, 1984, Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid (which loosely translates into “no pity for the majority”) was initially an industrial-audio concept accompanying art-installations by Erste Hilfe, a group of painters and sculptors, enfant terrible of the mid-80’s German underground art-scene. In the following years, KMFDM began to pioneer the crossover between techno/dance and heavy metal with their signature sound. Relocating to Chicago in 1990, KMFDM was the pride of Wax Trax Records during the label’s peak.
Under the leadership of German-born music founder Sascha K. a/k/a Käpt’n K, the only permanent member throughout the band’s history, KMFDM is still going strong after over three decades of conceptual continuity, regularly recording and releasing albums and frequently touring the world over.
Despite the fact that KMFDM consumed the majority of his time and efforts over the years, Käpt’n K still got involved in several side-projects (MDFMK, Excessive Force, Schwein, KGC, OK•ZTEIN•OK) and made a name for himself as a music producer as well as a remixer (Metallica, White Zombie, Front 242 and many more).
Between 1990 and 2007, KMFDM’s headquarters shifted between Chicago, New York and Seattle, since 2008 KMFDM operates out of Hamburg, Germany, again. To quote themselves, “The future belongs to those of us still willing to get our hands dirty”. Living by their D.I.Y. philosophy, KMFDM not only started their own music-publishing entity KMFDM Ent. US (BMI) but was also one of the first bands to ever launch an online merchandise-store, (KMFDM Store) and finally consequently, their own record label, (KMFDM Records).
Though once feared dead after the release of the album ADIOS in 1999, KMFDM re-emerged quickly, harder, faster, and better than ever. After the permanent departure of most of the former collaborators due to internal strife and irreconcilable differences it was time for tabula rasa, a clearing of the deck. New York native Lucia Cifarelli, previously the singer of the band Drill, made her first appearance in the KMFDM-camp during the project MDFMK, later she joined the re-formed KMFDM as front- woman and female lead-singer. As a powerful vocalist and expressionistic songwriter she has redefined KMFDM, as female vocals are no longer relegated to the background.
The Metropolis Records debut ATTAK , recorded in 2001, showed that this newly reinvigorated KMFDM could not be stopped. Since 2002 the lineup has been rounded out with the impressive talents of Andy Selway (the YoYo’s, Pig, Schwein, The Dwarves, Spittin’ Cobras) on drums and guitarists Jules Hodgson (Lodestar, Pig, Schwein, Spittin’ Cobras) & Steve White (Pig, 16
Volt, Deathbed Repentance). What these boys, lovingly known as “the pigs”, brought to the table was made unmistakably clear on the new line-up’s first album WWIII, a brutal thrashing and a sound that once again re-defined KMFDM for years to come.
In the fall of 2014 KMFDM released their latest album OUR TIME WILL COME and in 2015 the remix EP SALVATION. Since their 2015 US Tour, KMFDM recorded their brand new upcoming studio album HELL YEAH, to be released this summer. Supported by Ohgr, Skinny Puppy’s front-man and Hamburg’s own Lord Of The Lost, KMFDM will hit the road again to begin yet another massive round of concert dates in the US this fall.
She Wants Revenge
The Soft Moon
Cold Cave are an experimental electronic pop group from Philadelphia and New York City who make melodic synthscapes with jackhammer beats. They acknowledge the dark roots of synthesizer music as well as its potential for making the brightest pop with their hard songs celebrating the contradictory beauty of the human condition.
As with their ancestors, for Cold Cave the synthesizer is as much about mayhem as it is melody. It is a means of conveying, via dissonance, ideas about disturbance and decay as effectively as the harshest guitar rock. It comes as no surprise to learn that mainman Wesley Eisold is a writer with a past in hardcore punk and noise bands. Caralee McElroy has spent the past few years performing and recording with the acclaimed Xiu Xiu. Manhattan-based Dominick Fernow is known for for performing as the noise group Prurient, and as the owner of the NYC record store and label Hospital Productions.
Cold Cave strive for balance, between the ugly and the beautiful, between rupture and rapture. The songs on Cold Cave’s debut album Love Comes Close have an immediacy that belies thought-provoking titles like “The Laurels of Erotomania” and “The Trees Grew Emotions And Died”. In this way they mark that transitional moment when synthesizer music went from a subversive device for sound collagists to a serious commercial force. They are cerebral and savage, yet sweet and seductive.
And their mainman Wesley Eisold is an absolute new young god of nihilism and despair. He says things such as, “I couldn’t understand why people were wearing watches, because they seemed like hourglasses of death, keeping track of how much time was running out”. He talks of his “absolute fixation with nostalgia and the idea of people and loves that never happened, so much that I can’t function properly with the people in my actual life”. And in two pithy sentences – “I dread clubs but I love the music they play in them,” and “I find it all so disheartening, what we hope to find when we leave our homes,” – he brilliantly captures Cold Cave’s aesthetic: the Morrissey of “How Soon Is Now” wailing over Nitzer Ebb beats.
According to Eisold, if anything, their music reflects what it feels like to live in the present. Eisold, whose baritone is as rich and resonating as that of Phil Oakey, Nick Cave or Iggy Pop, says “Of course we love the lineage of the genre, early experiments with machines to convey human emotion; the marriage between pop and industrial music. At the time it was documenting the early stages of a new world, and we are recording what it feels like to be alive in that world.”
When asked whether there is a set of guiding principles at work here, a Cold Cave aesthetic that runs from the artwork to the music, he answers: “We spend a lot of thought choosing what we do. The artwork is as imperative as the music. It is the only imagery attached to the recording. We judge books by covers everyday and it is my hope to have the sleeves represent the emotion, or lack of, in the music.”
He concedes that even though there are few explicit references to the heart of darkness on Love Comes Close, there are hints in the language used in the song titles at depravity and desolation. And he agrees that this makes Cold Cave heirs to the synthpop noir of New Order, Throbbing Gristle, Soft Cell and Muslimgauze.
ohGr is a band formed by Nivek Ogre, of Skinny Puppy, and musician/engineer Mark Walk. Although the pedigree of the group's members might suggest otherwise, ohGr is not strictly an industrial group, as it draws heavily from elements of electro-pop, metal, and even hip hop. The sound diverges heavily from that of Ogre's earlier Skinny Puppy work, incorporating a more conventional structure as well as a lighter tone, lyrically and musically.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Lust For Youth
“Movement and gesture is natural. The flâneur has an iPhone, and their heart is embroidered into a microfiber sleeve in gold.
Lust for Youth are a three-piece from Copenhagen made up of Hannes Norrvide, Malthe Fischer & Loke Rahbek. 2014’s acclaimed album, International, took the melancholic insomnia of their former releases out into the street and away from the domestic frustrations of a life in headphones. Suddenly, surrounded by bodies, and with a staccato heart, Balearic infatuations and capricious nights in crowded clubs set the mood for Norrvide’s pining sighs. International marked Lust For Youth’s new-found decadence with fully resolved charm and enhanced self-deprecation.
This was swiftly channeled into their recent hit, “Better Looking Brother.” Compassion’s first single was streamed over 50k times in its first month, capping off a highly successful 2015 of worldwide tours and critical social media updates.
Compassion restates beauty for a time of crisis and clickbait. Judgement, design, form, and opinion: to what end will we refine our world if we can’t also make an anthem of our lives? This is the tender conspiracy: I’m on twitter; I have an anthem. Do we have an anthem? We have lust. Let’s meet irl.
Lust for Youth are affectionately vicious, and vulnerably sharp. They are the anticipation of the comedown as you come up on the best you’ve ever been of- fered from a bathroom stall. This is the spectrum: a low you know, and a dizzy new height.
Hearts blind lights and finance desire. Is it the fate of the cunning to look good, or is it just cunning to look this good? Compassion is dexterity: we all look this good. An impulse is an appetite, and you’re entitled to everything. Multitask collapse and revolution because you’re a beautiful mess.
Compassion is deliverance. Anticipate compassion.” —Patrick Quick
The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time they were privy to the act. Moon Duo's third full-length LP, 'Shadow of the Sun,' was written entirely during one of these evolving phases -- a rare and uneasy rest period, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless moving landscapes. This offered Moon Duo a new space to reflect on all of these previous experiences and cradle them while cultivating the album in the unfamiliar environment of a new dwelling; a dark Portland basement. It was from this stir-crazy fire that 'Shadow of the Sun' was forged.
Evolving the sound of their first two full-length records, 'Mazes' (2011) and 'Circles' (2012), Moon Duo -- Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada -- have developed their ideas with the help of their newly acquired steam engine, Canadian drummer John Jeffrey (present on the band's last release, 'Live in Ravenna'). The unchartered rhythms and tones present on this record are reflective of Moon Duo's strive for equilibrium in this aforementioned new environment. You can hear it is the result of months of wrangling with a profound feeling of being unsettled -- there are off-kilter dance rhythms, repetitive, grinding riffs, cosmic trucker boogies and even an ecstatically pretty moment. Mixing with Jonas Verwijnen in Berlin, allowed for a creative catharsis and dissolved the album's formal technique into a cool and paradoxically sane sound of confusion.
Uniform formed in New York City in late 2013 when old friends Ben Greenberg (Hubble, The Men, Pygymy Shrews) and Michael Berdan (York Factory Complaint, Drunkdriver, Believer/Law) realized they lived on the same street. Their impulsive collaboration quickly yielded Our Blood / Of Sound Mind and Body single. The six tracks that comprise the equally abrasive but more refined Perfect World have been coming together between tours and work ever since.
The music that Greenberg and Berdan conjure up under the Uniform moniker is immediate, aggressive, and even primal in form, but it plumbs untold depths. Berdan’s venomous voice mines deeply personal themes of resentment, regret, reflection and addiction over the hum of Greenberg’s almost impossibly disciplined guitar, bass synth, and drum machine lines. Greenberg uses the word “templatized” to describe their approach to writing songs for Uniform.
“There’s this set bunch of gear to create sounds, and it only creates sound through a certain process, or within its own limitations,” Greenberg said. “The goal of songwriting is to see how many different kinds of sounds you can get from the same basic process and machine.”
On Perfect World, that machine is firing on all cylinders. The guitar is run through a cheap ’80s preamp marketed to metal kids. The drum machine is equally no-frills, an Akai XR20 that Greenberg says “most people wouldn’t want to keep around.” These humble components are combined with noisy synth and Berdan’s profound howling to form something much greater. Post-punk, synthpunk, and industrial traditions are borrowed from as needed, but the constraints placed on the process mean the result is unique to Uniform. Berdan describes his lyrics as the consequence of feeling “so full of pain, confusion, deep selfishness, and general animosity that you make some horrible mistakes and have to learn how to forgive yourself for them.” Perfect World feels like the sum of all that pain and confusion, but it also feels like the catharsis.
Handwritten love letters. A long conversation with a stranger on the subway. Strolling down the Boulevard gazing up at the autumn leaves. Getting lost. Happy accidents. This is a forgotten time…
a forgotten place. The romance of tangible, human contact, the sentimental notion of not being tied to your phone, to your social media feed, to your avatar. Have we all forgotten how to be human? Have we forgotten the notion of Romance? Or is #romance just another hashtag, another Wikipedia entry, another google search, another Tinder swipe? Nostalghia says it best: “I am bringing romance back into the tangible world. I want the world to fall in love with being human again.”
Nostalghia’s new music is a journey to a time, a sound and a place where human emotion and purity of the heart ruled supreme. Think Ella Fitzgerald, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Elliot Smith, Mazzy Star, Thom Yorke, Fiona Apple and Cigarettes After Sex.
As one critic put it, "Nostalghia has a truly authentic vulnerability that is most rare. I literally found myself weeping in the middle of the venue." She often channels a creative tsunami that leaves her racing to the piano. The only way for her to capture the true essence and honesty of the moment is by recording her scratch ideas into her cell phone.
Just six years ago Nostalghia found herself homeless in California’s North San Fernando Valley. After breaking into a dingy piano room to sleep for the night, her life would change forever. At that time, the untrained siren didn't even know she could sing or play. But, that piano, in that room, in that time would teach her everything she would need to know.
Nostalghia has appeared in and written for hit films and television shows including John Wick, John Wick Chapter 2, How to Get Away With Murder, The Following, the NBA Finals, and Salem. She has toured with some of the biggest names in alternative rock, a few of which include 30 Seconds to Mars, TV on the Radio, AFI, Chino Moreno's Crosses, and Serj Tankien. And she has played at many of the world's greatest music festivals including Austin City Limits, Sound Wave, Riot Fest, Life is Beautiful, Sunset Strip Music Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest, Pemberton Music Festival, and Hudson Project.
Italian drummer and composer, best known as the live drummer of The Soft Moon, Death Index, and as a founding member of many renowned Italian punk bands.