It’s nice when I get to tell one group of friends about another. When I was young, my brother and many of our mates would go to what we knew then to be “industrial dance clubs.” These were fun times, but the music was what I remember most. Stark, brutal, with quasi-militaristic beats, perfect for stomping up a floor with your heavy boots. My old friend Ryant Takai has continued mining in this field, and his latest project, Pyroclastic, continues on that nasty, thudding, beat-heavy tradition. As someone who was working with electronic body music during the late 1980s, it is fair to say that he has been continuing hitting that perfect beat for the past 30 years. If anyone can go 30 more, he can.
This year will be booming for new releases, and this one, in particular, has me very excited (I’m excited about all new music, but this…).
First, about Automat:
Automat are guitarist Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut, amongst others), drummer Achim Färber (Phillip Boa & The Voodooclub, Skip McDonald amongst others) and bassist Georg Zeitblom (known for his solo work and his collaborations with Fred Frith, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, J.G. Thirlwell, Pyrolater, as well as others). Since 2014, the trio has released the three studio albums »Automat,« »Plusminus« and »Ostwest« and collaborated with several central figures from the world of experimental music, amongst them Genesis P. Orridge, Schneider TM and Max Loderbauer. For their album »Modul,« released in 2019 through Compost Records, they have again worked together with Loderbauer and invited Paul St. Hilaire aka Tikiman, Lydia Lunch and Mika Bajinski to contribute vocals for the record.
I don’t think you could have a much more stunning introduction than this. The three of these musicians have so much history in improvisational, post-Industrial music, dub and Darkwave that a book might barely be enough to document.
The beauty of this record is the deep, dark, yet thoroughly relaxed groove. This is crisp, precise, focused groove, not the sort of thing one would find in Lee “Scratch” Perry’s wilder moments. Think more along the lines of Adrian Sherwood. The vocals are nearly magical, hazy, and you still manage not to get too lost in the moment.
Compost Records is known for putting out records that are consistently as close to perfect as you can get. They can be very proud of adding this one to the canon.
I don’t know if today is Flashback Day, but the last three posts have brought some very, very good memories of the period in my life between 1988-1992, when I was absolutely immersed in Electronic Body Music (as well as the alternative music scene of my youth).
Introspect Void are not a band from the late 1980s, but you get the feeling they sat at the feet of the masters, added a cleaner, more crisply-recorded music, but retaining that dark, foreboding vibe that made Frontline Assembly, Front 242, and bands of this stripe so much fun to listen to.
Many thanks to Diana of Standgericht, who sent me some material she’s working on for an upcoming album release. If you have a passion for Electronic Body Music of a more brutal type, this will be worth waiting for.