I’ve listened to Nitzer Ebb’s first two albums That Total Age and Belief countless times. If I ever want to get revenge on someone in their car blasting hiphop I play the track Let Beauty Loose full volume. It’s exciting to see some very early footage of the band. A few years ago I got to meet the lead singer Douglas a few times. Just as when I met Depeche Mode and Front 242 I purposely kept the talking short because I didn’t want anything to get in the way of how much I love their music. To be a great musician you have to be a great fan first.
“Here you go. I put this video together back in ’84 or thereabouts. It features clips from a couple of their early gigs (parts of which have already been uploaded) along with some library footage I had access to at the time.
This was filmed at “The Hermit Club” in Brentwood Essex, sometime in the early 80s. The fight was caused by someone off camera to the left, disconnecting Bon’s mic. He responded in a fairly reserved way by laying into the aforementioned geeza with an iron bar. Fight (off camera I’m afraid) ensues. You can hear Bon’s sister screaming. She was pregnant at the time and had been pushed to the floor. Happy days. They don’t play Crane anymore. Enjoy Folks.” – pipey1512
Before techno hit the world it was songs like Vomito Negro Raise Your Power that made me turn off the headlights of my 1987 Nissan 300ZX and speed faster than fast through the night. My Sunday Sounds message to you: Stay pissed people. Stay sharp or die.
“Raise Your Power Now. Raise Your Power!” – Vomito Negro
Nothing was better than the underground 80s. Music was way out there lyrically and humans were taming electronic synths and drums in unique ways. I always thought and still feel EBM (Electronic Body Music) was a great genre. The bassline below in these videos are clearly EBM even though they are simply 16th note patterns. It’s the notes and feeling that classifies them.
“This thing can really make some nice EBM basslines!” – sampleandhold
I once also owned every single Front 242 record. I wish they still made song structured songs with Jean Luc DeMeyer on lead vocals. Even still, I am glad for the amazing albums they gave us such as Official Version and Front by Front. I saw them perform at the Palidium in the late 80s. It was awesome.
“Belgian industrial group Front 242 were at the crest of the Electronic Body Music wave, carrying the baton from groups like Throbbing Gristle and Caberet Voltaire, combining their post-punk aesthetic with strong backbeats, slices, samples, and ominous vocals. Their raw sound is married with strong militaristic imagery, chopped-up scenes from television, and even evangelical leanings.” – redbullmusicacademy.com
ReGen is a USA based EBM, Synthpop and Goth magazine. Since last October (2009) they have been putting out a free one hour mix of music. I like to grab it and scan through the audio to pick out a gem here and there. Where’s my black nail polish?
“An hour of the best in industrial, goth, EBM, synthpop and alternative and electronic music, downloadable every Monday provided by ReGen Magazine.” – regenmag.com
Here’s a song I recorded in Berlin and finished in New York. It will be on a next Industrial for the Masses compilation on Out of Line music. Later I will release it with remixes and several other new songs on Things to Come Records.
Here’s a few notes about the production: Sequenced in Ableton Live, Kick Drum is a Jomox MBase01, Bassline is Audiorealism ABL Pro, Melodyne created the vocal Harmonies (with help from my friend Richter), lots of horn and string samples through various hardware distortion pedals (external). It took about 3-4 weeks total to create.
In keeping with a new tradition on Wire to the Ear called “Sunday Sounds” where I post a music playlist each week here’s the next installment: Electronic Body Music. This is my personal favorite music genre. EBM is creative, powerful and mostly electronic music. You can find some sophisticated song arrangements and vocals in a lot of EBM. The genre almost disappeared in the early 90s but it’s back with new blood. Even the old guys are back on the show circuit.
One of the best ways to promote a band on your record label is to create a video interview with them. It really doesn’t take much skill, time or money. In fact, the video above was shot using the video mode on a single point and shoot cheapo camera. I used iMovie08 which uses Core Video so any image adjustments, transitions and titles all happen in real time, no rendering! This makes the entire process actually a lot of fun. Sure the video would be better if I was using a better camera, external mic and some lights but you know what? If I had to lug all that stuff to the club I probably would not have bothered. Showing up and creating something is the most important thing. I actually own quite a lot of video equipment including Final Cut Pro but workflow always wins in my book so I went for the fastest way to the finish line. I mentioned before on this blog I love Creative Commons and here’s why: See the images I cut during the interview? They are all CC licensed so I’m not stealing anyone’s art to create my own.
The style was characterized by hard and often sparse danceable electronic beats, clear undistorted vocals, shouts or growls with reverberation and echo effects, and repetitive sequencer lines. At this time important synthesizers were Korg MS-20, Emulator II, Oberheim Matrix or the Yamaha DX7. Typical EBM rhythms are based on 4/4 beats, mainly with some minor syncopation to suggest a rock music rhythm structure. – wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_body_music
Sven Lauwers and Andy de Decker are great live which is extremely important for an EBM band. Be sure to check out Ionic Vision’s release on Things to Come Records: Beatport, Junodownload, Things to Come Records