Sleep Museum is Robert Anthony from Brooklyn, NY. This track Colors is a real EBM gem!
“These are the colors I have for you.” – Sleep Museum
For more info: sleepmuseum.net
I never thought I would perform in China but this past Saturday night, March 28, 2015 I (The Horrorist) did exactly that. Shanghai holds the record for the most populated city with over 20 million people living there. As the taxi took me from Pudong Airport to Hilton in the city center I got to see how big the city really is. Imagine a city like Newark or Charlotte, North Carolina. Imagine the cluster of tall buildings in each center of those cities. Now imagine about 20 cities that large all clustered together. Put a river in the middle and across the river put some amazing skyscrapers that tower over the cluster of other cities and your getting a close idea of how big Shanghai is.
Americans have a pre-conception (brainwashing?) that all of China is poor, full of military, the food is tainted with chemicals and the cars are made of cardboard. None of that is really true. I saw my share of Ferraris, Bentleys, most cabs were VWs and in a way that the world should follow most people got around by a brand new subway system or fully electric scooters. I had several great meals of organic vegetarian dishes. I was able to use Facebook and Twitter and had no issues going in and out of the country. I’m not saying there may not be oppression or problems but in Shanghai I didn’t see any of it. I went to the Bund area where you walk along the water front at look at the Pearl Tower, World Financial Center and the amazingly tall Shanghai Tower. One thing I found interesting was most of the Chinese tourists were totally focused on those tall modern towers while the classic beautiful old Chinese waterfront buildings and the poor statue of Mao was left quiet. The only complaint about the city itself is the pollution is very noticeable. Some people wear masks as they walk the streets. I noticed a change in my breathing. That’s saying something considering I live in NYC. I read that living in Shanghai is the equivalent to smoking a half a cigarette a day.
Enter the void. I performed in a WWII shelter (the Japanese were doing the bombing). The club is of course called The Shelter and it’s known as THE place to perform in Shanghai. The night was run by 3 expats. Vincent from Paris, Camy from Edinburgh and Ilsa from Moscow. You walk down into the club through a stone tunnel into a stone and steel room (don’t fall and hit your head!). The owner doesn’t allow any lighting during the night. Since I bring my own strobes and 500W lamps I knew I had a nice surprise in store for the regulars of the Void. The club filled up with a mix of Shanghai natives and more ex-pats. I particularly enjoyed playing my more political songs. I didn’t get past me for a minute where I was. Playing “The World will Know Us” in China was a thrill I won’t forget. The reaction on some of the faces was great. It was a mix of surprise, smiles and hell yeah lets dance! The same night in Shangai I heard A Guy Called Gerald and Nigel Richards were also performing. After my set I met a promoter from Beijing. If you’re a DJ or electronic musician don’t be surprised when China calls you too. I know I will be going back. Thanks to everyone who came out and the new friends I made there. Wings over the world! To see the full set of photos: click here
“NYC-based experimental EBM musician The Horrorist comes to Shelter. His brand of pitch black industrial techno, most famously the track “One Night in NYC,” weaves together a playful, creepy overlay of lyrics about the evils of city living with abrasive, danceable beats. For this live set, expect an array of costume changes, crowd interaction and manic energy.” – cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai
Here’s a Nitzer Ebb modular patch so authentic it could easily be from the Belief era. morphiclab303 has some good taste in modules with a Stepper Acid, DrumDokta2, Turing Machine and some Frequency Central stuff all going to work here. Bon & Doug if you read this take notes because this is what we want you to be doing ok?
“stepper acid driving frequency central 100m modules in a nitzer ebb style
great snappy fcuk adsr, drums provided by the dokta2″ – morphiclab303
For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief
A few months ago I was contacted by the band Resistor to do a remix for a song called Breathe. Resistor is an EBM band from Bogota Colombia. Since I had a great time there when I performed there and my friends Delectro, Modernista and Equitant were also doing remixes I said yes. The release is on Black Leather Records which is owned by Victor Lenis aka Cute Heels. Victor is a bit crazy but his music is always great.
I did the remix almost entirely on my now large Eurorack modular. The drums are Tiptop Audio 808s sequenced by a Tiptop Circadian Rhythms. I layered the snare with a Synthesis Technology E355 wavetable LFO. The bassline is a combination of a Microbrute and Synthesis Technology Cloud Generator. There is some sequenced filtering going on with a Toppobrillo Multifilter. The sequenced line that comes in at 2:45 is from an Intellijel Metropolis. The reverb it arrives under is a MakeNoise Erbeverb. I decided to re-sing the vocals. I used a Shure SM7 mic, API 512c micpre and Izotope’s Nectar plug-in. There is some delay at the end on the snares from a Modcan Dual Delay. There are some vocals being manipulated for effect and those were done using a MakeNoise Phonogene. This release breaks the ice for 2015. Expect some good things!
“Label based in Colombia and devoted to Electro, Techno, New Wave and EBM.” – Discogs
Listen to the entire EP here: bandcamp.com/album/breathe
Great new 113bpm track called Sex Telephone by Karel Goldbaum (Warsaw, Poland). I will be playing this one in my upcoming DJ Sets for sure.
“Welcome to an another new face on the label: Cowshed Records’ owner, music producercomposer and film creator Karel Goldbaum from Poland. Sex Telephone is a slow but rough and hard techno track that lives from distortion and overcompression. The both remixes come from END 519 and Mike Creepman. 2 different versions round out this release, one straight 130bpm techno and the other is a more relaxing version.” – 9Volt Records
For more info: beatport.com/release/sex-telephone/1459472
Last Saturday night I went to Long Island City to see Daren Ho perform. For this event he was doing a Eurorack Modular performance. The event which took place next to PS1 at a venue called The Print Shop was also a showcase for Generation Records. Generation was a store and record label in the East Village. Throughout the 80s they released noise artists including most famously Conrad Schnitzler’s work. Conrad who is from Berlin was also a member of Tangerine Dream. I got to meet Ken from Generation and I bought a Generation Unlimited Cassette “No Borders”. I bought 3 cassettes in 2014!
In my opinion live modular performances can be hit or miss. Usually they go on way to long as the artist gets lost in himself usually stuck on one idea for 20 minutes or more. I like a bit of structure in my music. Owning a modular myself I appreciate when I see modular live and the sounds are sculpted in a meaningful way. For example Daren kept his range of sounds very tight. The set was mostly tight pops, delay, and futuristic flanging type of effects. He relied heavily on stereo imaging. The set was all “minor” notes which is my cup of tea. If I had a crystal ball in the 80s and I could see what I would be listening to in the future this would seem about right. I really enjoyed the performance. I should mention Daren is part owner of the store Control and if you catch him there and ask him to demo a module you could get a mini private performance. To see the full set of photos: click here
“Daren Ho is a Brooklyn-based artist with releases on record labels such as NNA Tapes, In Context Music, and Root Strata. His recent release on In Context Music (2014) is a set of 7″ lathe cut records featuring music performed on a modular synthesizer.” – Generations Unlimited
For more info: facebook.com/events/1579183272313209
I am working on my new album so I haven’t had much original music to play for you. Therefore, I decided to knock out a quick Merry Xmas song for you! Just one take using a Korg KR-55, Roland SH2 and Shure SM58. Enjoy!
“Christmas time is here.
It’s time for a little cheer.
All my friends are drug addicts.
All out of luck.
They wont make it through next year.
And no one really cares.
Brooklyn is a toilet.
Your’e swimming in.
No gifts for you this year.
Santa knows where you’ve been.
Christmas time is here.
It’s time for a little cheer.
New York City snow.
Snowing in your nose.
No brain left.
Dancing the night away.
This year was bad.
Next year will be worse
You’ve got nothing left.
You spoiled little loser.
Christmas time is here.
It’s time for a little cheer.
Christmas Eve you’re out.
at the same old boring club.
You’re ugly and your stupid
And everyone hates your guts.
Christmas day the dealers.
won’t come to your house.
Why don’t you just kill yourself?
Why don’t you just die?
Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle all the way.
I hate you. You hate me. I hate you. You hate me.”
For more info: thehorrorist.com
Last Friday night I threw and event in Brooklyn at the Cameo Gallery. I (The Horrorist) performed and I also booked the Belgian EBM band Vomito Negro, pioneering LA Synthpunk band Nervous Gender and local band Love Pig. I also had DJs Andi, Blackwidow and Reade Truth. Lastly, I had a merchandise and vinyl collectable’s table set up and run by Athan Maroulis. Athan was in the bands Executive Slacks, Spahn Ranch and currently Nior. He also worked at Metropolis Records and has the best record booth at the Brooklyn Record Flea each year so he knew what to bring!
While I perform live and DJ myself all the time this is only the 4th event I have ever done myself. The first two were in the early 2000s. One at CBGBs which got a lot of press for being one of the first techno parties at the legendary spot. The other was at a venue called Club Fun in Chinatown. The event at Fun was amazing because all 4 walls were full video screens. The third event was just this summer in Berlin. It was an EBM DJ event called Blitzlicht. The event last week was the biggest and most ambitious I’ve done.
I wanted a small interesting venue with a good stage in Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn now and it’s more interesting these days as far as nightlife than Manhattan. Cameo Gallery was perfect and Jify the owner was easy to work with. The size, stage, sound and backstage all met my needs. They are used to hosting many bands in a night. They had a great sound guy Brendan who helped us set up Vomito’s electronic drum kit, find Euro power adapters (last minute!) and batteries for my cordless mic. They also have a small restaurant attached to the venue and since it was raining it was easy for the bands to grab a bite without getting wet and disappearing. The cherry on top is that Cameo currently has a wonderful art installation on it’s ceiling. It’s a thousand white “spikes” hanging from above the stage and over the crowd. When they light it up either with a moving wave pattern or solid color it’s really over the top.
I’ve known DJ Blackwidow since the 90s. When I met her she was dating a friend of mine Eddie who worked for TVT Records. TVT distributed a techno label I did a few releases for (Mokum) and they also had recently purchased Wax Trax. Blackwidow threw her own events in Brooklyn and when I had a music studio on N. 4th & Berry she did a small goth/EBM event at Teddy’s Bar & Grill on the same block. At the time she asked me if I would DJ but back then I was purely just making music. Year’s later I performed a small show for her in Philadelphia. A friend who throws events here brought her up in conversation as someone to spin for this and it seemed perfect to give back a gig to her. She’s been to Wave Gotik Treffen more than once and dresses the part (let’s just say she looks goth!). I knew she would set the stage for the night esthetically. Incredibly she brought a purple laser with her and set it up! She played two great sets of classic EBM.
Bossa Nova Civic Club is a tiny bar and dancefloor in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It probably is the single reason people even started going to Bushwick for fun and making the area “cool”. It’s a mix of dealers, hipsters and good music. It has an 80s alphabet city bar vibe to it. One night I was there and a guy named Rogelio Ramos was performing live. There was only a few people in the club. He set up right on the dancefloor. A few synths and drum machines right directly on the on the floor. With a strobe light, microphone he sat on his knees and belted out a weird and amazing set. It was kinda like Soft Cell but not. I had to meet him and after a quick chat I discovered he called his music Love Pig. He had another band FBI Warning and with that band member they took the stage at Cameo. They had a Roland Juno-60, Roland SH-101 and MFB Tanzbar drum computer. Who brings such amazing equipment to a live show? Rogelio’s head was wrapped like a terrorist and FBI Warning played and amazing set of melodies and drum sequences. Rogelio belted out some hyper sexual lyrics and swayed back and forth in the same vein. They were amazing and I was so glad to put them in front of a packed crowd.
There is a movie from 1979 called Breaking Away. It’s about a young man in a small mid-west town so obsessed Italian bicycle racing that he speaks and pretends to be Italian. DJ Andi is like that but replace Italian bicycle racing with Belgian New Beat. She knows every record, every producer and practices DJing all day long. Not only is she obsessed with the genre and loves anything Belgian but inside this tiny genre she chooses specifically the New Beat with Egyptian melodies to go on and on about. Therefore, to know her you know the term “Begyptian”. This is all coming from a person who is so young she was listening to Hanson when the New Beat scene was alive in the 80s. She performed two meticulously perfect sets.
It was my turn. I won’t review myself but I will tell you I had so much fun on stage. I’ve made a lot of new friends in NY since I performed last here so it was great to let them see what I actually do. My current show is set up with a Roland TR-8 and Arturia Minibrute controlled by long time friend (and fellow Depeche 101 kid) Jay Serken. I control Ableton and of course vocal duties. The highlight of the show was when Matt Moran (Satronica) came on stage and sang Metal Man with me. I use a 500W light as a “prop” along with video in sync with the sequences. I’ve been working on a new album for a long time now. I feel like I’ve done 2-3 new albums already and have thrown them away. I want the new album to be very “EBM” but as an American it’s not an easy task so lots of finished songs are going into the garbage bin. I was pleased to here cheers after I did a live version of DAF’s Der Mussolini. In fact the main reason for perform it was to test the sounds in the track!
Speaking of EBM let’s talk about the band who performed who helped create the genre! Vomito Negro took the stage around midnight. They had never performed in NYC before. Gin Devo on vocals. Sven Kadanza on electronic drums. I whole heartedly believe we are on the cusp of a lot of new genre specific music that is as good or better than the 80s stuff it tries to be. Vomito Negro has already started that trend. Earlier this year I was listening to a DJ set on Mixcloud and a song played. It sounded familiar yet new. I had to know what it was. After some research I discovered it was a new song from Vomito Negro called Obsession. I couldn’t believe it. Soon I found another new track by Vomito called Enemy of the State. And there it was: A new EBM song as good as or better than any old one. It’s been a long time waiting for something like that. There show was dark. Gin belted out track after track while Sven stood aggressively pounding the kit. They rarely looked at each other. True EBM in NYC.
Let’s re-write history. We need to change the record books. Nervous Gender should be known as large a pioneering band such as Kraftwerk or Throbbing Gristle. They were making and performing with synthesizers synthpunk music starting in 1978! Not only were they first they were wicked. Like most new music I find I found them on Youtube. I was doing my usual playing and clicking and a song came on called Cardinal Newman. Since that day I must have played that song a thousand times. They never once performed live outside of California… until last Friday. This is a true punk band yet they all love all the same pure electronic music as I do. In the hotel they were playing DAF and using Moog iPad synth apps. The band had a member die and one member Michael had a stroke and has to sit on stage during the performance. Yet being around for a while for this band didn’t mean they needed special treatment. In fact their kind demeanors hid that once they got on stage they were there to blow everyone away (and they did). Edward Stapleton’s vocals are truly punk. He’s Irish and was raised in a strict religious school full with god and beatings and oh boy can you hear it. Joe Zinnato on synth and vocals backs up Edwards screams and at one point switched places with Edward as lead singer. Tammy Fraser stood on synth actually reading musical notes on paper! Michael who I afore mentioned sat at a small table controlling the computer. At the soundcheck I joked to a friend that he looked like he was going to do all our accounting. I ate my words because on stage the accountant look turned to full on super villain. Hunched over the table Michael sat with one eye partially closed, a light coming up from below surrounding my three other punk maniacs screaming. Everyone at Cameo was seriously blown away.
To close out the night Reade Truth DJed. Having Reade DJ and end the show brought things full circle for me. Around 1987 my parents got divorced and my mother got a new boyfriend Doug. Every Friday Doug would give me $100 so my brother and I could go record shopping. I never thought about it until recently but now I realize it was to get us out of the house so they could get it on! I guess they did get it on quite a bit because by the time I stopped collecting records around 1992 I had over 5,000. A good portion of those records I bought at Vinylmania, Record Runner, Discorama, St. Mark’s Sounds, Tower and Groove. Reade worked at Groove and recommended a lot of what I bought. His own vinyl collection is around 10,000. He still plays music from back then that I have to run up to the DJ booth to ask what it was. In fact even on Friday I did just that. No one else could have had that last slot of the night.
I will say it was a lot of work. Everyone including myself, Cameo, the bands and hotel gave a discount and worked extra hard to make the event free. The love of music. To see the full set of photos including some press about the show: click here
“Chesler performed as The Horrorist during the December 5th show, delivering a blistering set of pounding, aggro industrial.” – The Brad Lebeau Company Inc
For more info: facebook.com/events/640798396029276
A couple of summers ago I performed in Sweden at the Klubb Kalabalik Festival. At that festival I saw the band Kontravoid perform and met the man behind the music Cam Findlay. At one point Cam was also a member of the band Crystal Castles. Both bands are incredible so when Cam asked me to remix his new project VOTIIV I didn’t hesitate in saying YES! For VOTIIV Cam has teamed up with Kat Duma on vocals. I selected the song Bad Memory to remix.
My method of remixing music is a little different than the way most producers go about things. I like to start from scratch using my own sounds and that’s what I did here. I replaced the drums with an old Korg KR-55 drum machine. To make them pop I layered the kick and snare with some Vengeance samples. For the main arpeggiating synth I used an Arturia Microbrute. The Microbrute, it’s brother and the Analogue Solutions synths are probably the only new synths you can buy that sounds truly vintage. There are two synth pad sounds both coming from a Roland JV-2080. Additional sounds come from a HISS and Roar sample pack. Additional processing came from my API Lunchbox and Eurorack Modular. I can’t wait to hear this in a club. By the way the track is set to FREE download. Enjoy!
“He comes to me in dreams. He tells me how I feel.” – VOTIIV
For more info: votiiv.com
Posters, flyers, online ads are all shooting out around the NYC area! If you are in town this Friday night please join us!
“It’s a sign! The sickest show of the year is THIS FRIDAY!!”
For more info: facebook.com/events/640798396029276