Los Angeles, Pure Ground—the electronic music duo composed of Jesse Short and Greh Holger (also boss of Chondritic Sound)—are famous for their powerful industrial-ebm music, tinged with dark folk / dark ambient elements.
Now the pair are back with a split-album realized together with Luminance, the solo project of DA, a French artist based in Brussels, who has already quite an extensive discography in the dream-synthpop-darkwave style.
Each band takes one side of the album and with the final track on each side being a collaborative song. and ahead of their Berlin gig tomorrow, Pure Ground are premiering “Last Stand”, one of these 2 collaborative songs on the record.
On the track, Short and Holger created the music while DA —has provided vocals and additional synths. The track combines the industrial, pulsating rhythmic foundation which is typical of Pure Ground, with the eerie, psychedelic feeling of Luminance.
Copies of the split release will be available on tour—-you can also order the vinyl here.
A1 Pure ground – Not listening 04:14
A2 Pure Ground – Framed In Light 05:40
A3 Pure Ground – To Severance 04:14
A4 Pure Ground (w/ Luminance) – Last Stand 05:04
B1 Luminance – Colony 05:04
B2 Luminance – What They See 04:30
B3 Luminance – Great Sinister With Silent Nails 04:13
On May 18th another great edition of Wave Gotik Treffen is scheduled to start—with the German festival celebrating it’s 27th year.
The event which spans from pre-parties on Thursday on the 17th, to the festival’s closing during the early hours of Tuesday 22nd, has been reinvigorated in recent years, becoming more than just the world’s largest festival for goth music.
If you have bought tickets all ready, it is time to get ready your leather jacket, fishnets, eyeliner, and several cans of hairspray. If not, there is still time to book a hotel, and take train, plane, or automobile, and get your butt to Leipzig for the most fun you will have all year.
(If you are looking for a last minute flight from the US, WOW Air has some round trip tickets at around $500)
And in case you have any doubts, here are 7 reasons to get ready for a fantastic Wave Gotik Treffen 2018:
1. Last Year Was Great
Wave Gotik Treffen 2017 was the best festival period of 2017—celebrating its 26th year with a fantastic lineup of bands and subevents, that we once again too much for one person to take in, leaving attendees wishing they had that time turner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
With each year the issue with scheduling gets more and more difficult as a fan and journalist, not to fault the organizers. The problem lies in there being too much of a good thing—as the quality of music curated at the festival has been increasing exponentially, especially since genres and subsections of the goth, industrial, and post-punk have been overlapping more and more in recent years.
In terms of big headliners, Skinny Puppy were the act everyone was eagerly anticipating, returning to the Europe for the first time since 2010. Nivek Ogre looked like some sort of post-apocalyptic messiah, pierced by swords and needles, as he sang like a witch in a set heavy with political undertones (as always!)
At one the Leipzig’s many parks— the day after their stunning collaborative performance, we were able to sit down and the friendship of Amanda Palmer—and her musical hero and friend Edward Ka-spel of The Legendary Pink Dots.
The pair recently released the fantastic surreal dreamscape LP that is I Can Spin A Rainbow, and gave of of the best live performances we had ever seen at WGT.
Sex Gang Children’s set was a return to form for Andy Sex Gang, being the best show many fans had seen in over a decade. The Mission also did not disappoint, living up to their legacy as being of the the most important bands in gothic rock.
Newer post-punk acts certainly dominated the weekend, with Whispering Sons festival debut at the Volkspalast blowing away all those who were able to catch the performance, or fit into the crowded hall.
Soft Kill also had a warm reception, as did Ritual Howls and Desperate Journalist, the later of which who played in the Cantine at the Volkspalast compensated for the dirtier sound of the PA with one of the most raw, passionate, and sincere sets this editor has even seen, gracefully continuing the complicated riff their trademark song “Control” even with a broken string.
Other highlights we enjoyed at the festival were Drab Majesty, Azar Swan, She Past Away, classic post-punk band BFG, and more.
Here is the the full list of Artists our team saw (or tried to see) at Wave Gotik Treffen 2017
Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel
Esben and the Witch
She Past Away
Sex Gang Children
Bloody Dead and Sexy
Whispers In the Shadow
The Agnes Circle
The Devil and the Universe
It is not too late to make your plans to attend 2018’s edition of Wave Gotik Treffen, which occurs the May 18th until May 21st.
Who ever is doing the booking for the festival, we could kiss you! Big headliners announced this year are The Jesus and Mary Chain, whose brother’s Reid still kill it every time they play “April Skies” and “Happy When It Rains”.
For classic British post-punk acts, we recommend ofcourse Mark Burgess’ Chameleonsvox. as well as Modern English.
Three classic French bandsare set to play this year—Norma Loy, Guerre Froide, and Trisomie 21, the latter of which is sure to be extremely popular in everyone’s festival itinerary, as who hasn’t been to a goth clubs where the dj closes his or her set with the cold-wave band’s classic club anthem “The Last Song”.
One of our top picks for this year, and also one of the most exciting exclusives for the festival lineup is a reunion show from classic Belgian post-punk band Siglo XX. The band, formed in 1978, had sound that was strongly influenced by music of Joy Division, Section 25, and Factory records.
Also strongly recommended, on the more punk side of things, is recently reunited punk band Crisis, whose recent gig in Berlin was a dream come true/bucket list concert for many seasoned dj’s, promoters, and music aficionados. This is also the highly political anti-Nazi band whose members would later go on to form Death In June.
If you are fan of Einsturzende Neubauten, and/or Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, we recommended you see Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld’s collaborative performance, which is closer in sound to the works of Coil, and Neubauten’s later output, but none the less extremely beautiful.
If you are looking for something more industrial/ebm, old-school Belgian band Vomito Negro is your number choice, as well as fellow countryman Dirk Iven’s project Dive. Naturally, there is the more mainstream electro industrial of Front Line Assembly, and Nitzer Ebb related EBM project Blackline but if you want something more dark noise, check out Trepaneringsritualen, and if you want something more ebm/techno, pencil in SARIN on things to see.
For the old-school deathrock and batcavers, Frank The Baptist make their return to Wave Gotik Treffen, as well as there being an exclusive reunion show from All Gone Dead. Also check out Sweden’s Then Comes Silence.
For new guitar bands, highly recommended is Autobahn, who have a sound that ranges from leeds gothic rock to shoegaze, and Toronto cold-wave band Traitrs, who at times have an experimental sound like The Cure circa Pornography.
Actors and Suir are also top picks, with the former having an uncannily authentic new-wave sound, and the latter dark and inexplicably good.
Also, let us not forget NYC’s amazing Bootblacks, who are beyond outstanding live. Definitely make an effort to see them, you will not be disappointed.
One of our top picks of course is Second Still, making their Wave Gotik Treffen debut—they were our pick for one of the best post-punk records of 2017, and we are eager to see their raw talent showcased in front of a large European audience.
Now, for those who want more synths, Aeon Rings is one of our picks, as well as the solo debut of Zanias (Keluar, Linea Aspera), and Australia’s Buzz Kull.
We can say already with certainty, that Boy Harsher’s Wave Gotik Treffen debut is going to be a festival highlight, so get there early, or else you will be standing at the entrance with the venue at full capacity while the Jae and Gus kill it with “Pain”.
As of this article’s publishcation, not all bands have been announced for the 2018 lineup, we will update this list as new announcements are made. In the meantime, below is our full list of confirmed artists we recommended you see at this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen:
Aeon Rings (USA)
All Gone Dead (USA) exclusive European reunion show
Ash Code (I)
Black Line (GB/USA)
Boy Harsher (USA)
Buzz Kull (AUS)
Chameleons Vox (GB)
Dead Leaf Echo (USA)
Dive (B) –
Frank The Baptist (USA)
Front Line Assembly (CDN)
Guerre Froide (F)
Japan Suicide (I)
Merciful Nuns (D)
Modern English (GB)
Monica Richards & Anthony Jones (USA)
Mr. Kitty (USA)
Principe Valiente (S)
Readership Hostile (USA) –
Scarlet And The Spooky Spiders (I)
Second Still (USA)
Siglo XX (B) exclusive reunion show
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld (I/D)
The Jesus And Mary Chain (GB)
The KVB (GB)
Then Comes Silence (S)
Trisomie 21 (F)
Vomito Negro (B)
3. The Official Parties are Great This Year
On Friday, May 18th 2018, the 38th anniversary of Ian Curtis’s death, we will be celebrating the art and work of one of the most influential bands of all time at the official WGT 2018 Ceremony – A Tribute to Joy Division party at beautiful Noels Ballroom in Leipzig.
Mark Reeder is the special Guest DJ on this occasion. Mark worked with Joy Division as their Factory Records representative in Berlin, promoted their very first and only gig in Berlin on January 21st 1980 at Kant Kino in Charlottenburg, released fantastic records with his own bands Die Unbekannten and Shark Vegas in the 80s (as well as his still brand-new album “Mauerstadt” just a few months ago), and has most recently been the man behind and in the internationally critically acclaimed “B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979–1989” movie.
Joining forces with Mister Reeder behind the decks will be Leipzig’s own, Knüpfi (Vanity Noire/Schwarzes Leipzig Tanzt) – one of the biggest Joy Division– and New Order enthusiasts there is –, alongside Jakob (Cold Beat Berlin/Judgement Day Festival/Ex-Strobelight Records) and yours truly (Pagan Love Songs/Darkness & Light).
At the event there will be spun a broad variety of Post-Punk, New, Indie, Goth and Classic tunes as well as – of course – lots of Joy Division and related material.
Since this is an official Wave-Gotik-Treffenevent, admission with WGT wristbands is FREE. For those who want to attend, but don’t plan on buying a ticket for the festival, admission WITHOUT a WGT wristband will be 8 Euro at the door.
Additionally, there is the main post-punk party When We Were Youngrunning 3 days during the festival, see the DJ schedule below:
18/05/18 with MadLyn (DE), Rickbats (USA), and Yggdrasil (PT)
19/05/18 with Nina Door (DE), Diego Lima (AR), Cassiel (UK)
20/05/18 Alessio (IT), Schlö (DE), JU Age (DE)
When We Were Young is wristband only!
On Thursday 17.05.2018 19:00 at the WGT Pre Opening Party at the Moritzbastei, our Editor Andi Harriman will be djing, along with Daniel Myer.
Wave Gotik Treffen is not only a gathering of people in black clad clothing, spanning just about all alternative music genres born from post-punk and industrial. WGT is not only a music festival, it is a gathering of friends worldwide who passionately believe in the art, music, and culture produced by a community of misfits who have been the black sheep since their earliest school days.
Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality, at Wave Gotik Treffen diversity and personal freedom are celebrated.
5. Beautiful People From All Over The World
Jonas Fransson from Sweden’s Then Comes Silence and his entourage of fellow Swedes are just one of many groups of festival attendees you will see in Leipzig for Wave Gotik Treffen.
Tinder doesn’t have a filter that lets you swipe left or right those who have similar taste in art, cinema, and music. But with 20,000 people with similar interests in one place, you are bound to find someone attractive you can actually talk to—for a festival hookup at the very least.
Some people met their future life partners at WGT…and some people who have been attending since the festival’s early years attend with their now fully grown progeny
7. Being Goth Is Cool Again And Means More Now than Ever
There is more great music coming out in the post-punk and industrial scenes right now than there has been in the past 2 decades, making the label “goth” something not epithet, or something said with irony, but rather an identification to be proud of, more so now than ever.
And the subculture is more unified now, being less about cliques, with industrial and ebm fans, and batcavers and deathrockers are open to a wider variety of music than the aesthetics of their clothes suggest, while still remaining true to the history behind the fashion and music.
And true goth is fashionable to the mainstream press, but for the first time, it is not a curiosity, but a celebration of the artistic merits of the best music in the world. Music that Wave Gotik Treffen has been celebrating for the past 27 years.
NIN’s industrial music maestro Trent Reznor has also indicated that we can soon expect the final EP to be released in the trilogy that includes December 2016’s Not the Actual Events and last July’s Add Violence.
Reznor broke the news when he spoke to BBC Radio 6 on Thursday, where he had stated that the forthcoming EP should be released before the band hit Europe this June.
On the delay on the third EP’s release Reznor explained:
“We started out with a rigid concept, having not written them all. As we finished Add Violence we found ourselves… it felt too predictable. It felt like we were forcing things. Musically and storytelling-wise. The reason this has been delayed is because it took us a while for—what has become the third EP—to reveal itself to us.”
Tickets for the Royal Albert Hall show go on sale tomorrow (March 16th) at Noon GMT.
William Maybelline is building up the tension before the release of his second solo LP under the guise of Qual.
Following the recent premiere of the album’s gloomy post-industrial and power electronics opening track Black Crown, Maybelline has shared another cut of eight from his upcoming sophomore solo release The Ultimate Climax; this time the caterwauling EBM infused cavort that is How Many Graves?
Watch below glitched out statues careening along to catchy beats in the sinister visuals shot and edited by Maybelline himself.
The Ultimate Climax is set for release on February 28th 2018. Physical copies are limited to 500 units each (LP/CD).
Two amazing Industrial/Techno producers have teamed up on a new Synth-Punk project Aktion Mutante. The duo, comprised of Violet Poison and Inhuman, deliver on their promise ‘80s minimal-wave melancholic vibes’ with new school EBM/ Cyber-Punk noise cuts, creating music to listen to while reading the works of Philip K. Dick,William Gibson, and Richard K. Morgan.
Manos (Unhuman) and Francesco (Violet Poison) met at Berlin Electronic music party Liber Null’s “Duality” event in 2015, where the two artists immediately clicked. Later the pair would head to Italy to record at Francesco’s Studio during the winter of 2016, leading to the completion of a six track mini-LP recorded between Pisa and Berlin.
Listen to 12″ “Aktion Mutante” below, with the closing track featuring the otherworldly talents of Zanias.
Fresh off of their ‘Sibling Lovers’ tour with Kollaps, Berlin industrial noise act OPERANT have announced their upcoming ‘Harnessed To Flesh’ EP due out on local imprint Instruments of Discipline February 12th, 2018.
The intimate five track ep was written by August Skipper and IOD label owner Luna Vassarotti with additional mixing and production by Joey Blush of Blush Response, encapsulates Operant’s live performance which melds power-electronics, industrial techno, and dark ambience.
The new EP is an evolution in soundscapes and textures, that through it’s chaos has strong narrative cohesion evokes a sonic euphoria though several planes of techno, industrial, and noise with abstract and emotive uses of metals, vocals, samples, synths, contact mics, and more beautifully unnerving constructs of sound.
We are sad to learn that groundbreaking pioneer of Industrial music, percussionist, and poet Stefan Joel Weisser aka Z’EV has passed away.
Z’EV had famouslyopened for Bauhaus along with Tuxedomoon during the Godfathers of goth’s first headlining tour, and was heavily influential on industrial music acts such as Test Dept and Einstürzende Neubauten, being one of the first to experiment with sounds from found objects and handmade instruments.
Z’EV had been ill recently, and had taken to crowdfunding to raise money for his medical treatments. sadly however, his death has now been reported on various musician friends and colleagues social media pages.
“Just received word that long time friend Z’EV just died. Cause uncertain at this time, but he had spitting up blood recently. He spent last winter in our guest bedroom pursuant to the train derailment he was airlifted from, because his doctor told him he met get not survive a winter in Chicago. And the man we met at Denver international airport was a shadow of the person I’ve known for over four decades. His spirit was still tough as nails but physically he seemed devastated and had difficulty ascending the stairs to his room. Three and a half months later much of his strength seemed restored; he had survived the winter and the outlook seemed good. We had recently heard from him that he was doing some shows in Mexico and was going to spend this winter in Santa Fe. I’d assumed that even if he would never be 100% again he was at least back on his game. I had convinced him to release a box set of recordings through a German company that would chronicle his entire career and that I would write the perfect liner notes for it. I would say that Z’EV was to the avant garde what Iggy Pop was to rock and roll: total intensity, energy and raw power and he often left the stage in the early eighties cut up and bleeding from the injuries he received from his own instruments. I’d made extensive notes for my text and look forward to promoting the life and career of a man I thought was one of the most under appreciated figures in modern music. A linguist, an ethnic musicologist, a scholar, a mystic; but a man who could distil all this into a performance so intense that it could captivate an audience in a punk rock venue. That was his unique gift. He was one of the most talented people I have ever met. And there has never been any performer akin to him.”–Boyd Rice
Z’EV is featured in the recent documentary Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay along with Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, SPK, Test Dept, NON and more.
Legendary Gothic-industrial project Leæther Strip, the brainchild of Danish musician Claus Larsen has had a prolific output for nearly 3 decades.
After recently performing a fantastic sold out gig in Berlin for the infamous DEATH#DISCOnight hosted by Ian P. Christ and Aufnahme + Wiedergabe’sPhilipp Strobel. Claus is releasing making his next release.
Not one to shy away from collaborations or covers, Claus is issuing another ÆPPRECIATION collection in continuing their homage to his influences with new versions of songs by Fad Gadget, Adam & The Ants, Soft Cell, Dead Or Alive, Coil and more!
Listen and watch the video to Leæther Strip’s fantastic cover of Coil’s The Anal Staircase, culled from their fantastic “Horse Rotorvator”LP, and featured on Claus’ ÆPPRECIATION II collection.
Haunted Horses is an industrial-punk duo project hailing from Seattle, Washington. Their music is thunderous and bizarre experimental sound courtesy of the talents of the duo of Colin Dawson, and Myke Pelly, who conjure up a cascade of noise through the onslaught of guitars and drums.
In support of their new EP “Come” , Haunted Horses have shared the surreal collage of animation that comprises the short promotional video for the track “Into”.
Berlin-based electronic artist Unhumanis premiering today his latest track Absurdity, Privilege Of Men, a disconcerting cacophony of noise accentuated by the graphic cover art on the EP containing the track—Devour Wrath Without Shame—which depicts a visceral demonstration of castration that is indeed not for the faint of heart.
Here is the official description of the EP courtesy of the label Instruments of Discipline:
“Devour Wrath Without Shame sees Unhuman return to his original vision of dystopic noise, a pure, uncut vision of our darkest times, alive nightmares, everything we despise, unwanted and disconcerting, the rotting core of a concrete dimension.”
The song’s premiere heralds an Unhuman dj gig at Berlin Electronic music event Liber Null and Potnia Theron’s Absoluteon Thursday, November 16th, featuring Drew McDowall,Alessandro Adriani, Sekunde, andNullam Rem Natam.
See Full details below.
Thursday 16th of November 2017 at Arena Club One year after their first amalgamation – Liber Null and Potnia Theron have a very special reason to merge their powers again and present a thrilling event.
Drew McDowall | live | COIL / Psychic TV I
Alessandro Adriani I Mannequin (Label + Mailorder) / Jealous God |
Unhuman B2B SekundeI Liber Null Berlin – Fleisch I
Nullam Rem Natam – Action
With great honor Liber Null invites Drew McDowall for a live performance as part of his current european tour. Presenting his new album by building his hypnotising sounds, he will guide the audience through his mystical and esoteric journey reflecting shades of the past. A great impact and huge influence as part of Coil, Drew McDowall will leave his mark in history of Liber Null.
Time to worship.
Alessandro Adriani, owner of Mannequin Records, will open the night with a special experimental set focused between memories and obsessions.
Unhuman – resident and founder of Liber Null together with Sekunde from Fleisch are on closing duties, uniting their darkest sounds. Nullam Rem Natam in search of spirals and serpents, will create and destroy their exegesis of absolute truth.
During the tumultuous 1980’s, Drew McDowall found himself in the ranks of Genesis P-Orridge’s Psychic TV collective and collaborating with the arcane occult duo comprised of former Throbbing Gristle creator Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and the enigmatic John Balance who had been creating esoteric and progressive electronic music under the banner of Coil. It was during these formative collaborations with Coil that McDowall saw himself shift from occasional contributor to austere full-time member. McDowall’s impact on the band’s sound was immediate, and apparent, as the releases transformed from their previous avant-pop signature to a more complex and methodic electronic imprint accompanied by even more abstruse subject matter and abstract formulations than previous years. McDowell was instrumental in the creation of Time Machines, one of the most influential drone works of the last 20 years and would continue honing his compositional skills with Coil until the bands two most lauded albums, “Astral Disaster” and “Music to Play in the Dark” at which point he left the project and his native home to relocate to the United States.
For the last 17 years Drew McDowall has lived in New York City and found a welcoming home in the city’s experimental music community. In 2011, alongside his friend and collaborator, Tres Warren (Psychic Ills), McDowall found himself exploring his passion for meditative drone and abstract sound patterns in their project Compound Eye. He has collaborated with Croatian Amor, Varg, Puce Mary, Marshstepper and many others. Outside of his collaborative duties, McDowall formed an audience as a solo artist, playing countless performances and showcases around New York’s electronic music venues and festivals.
Drew McDowall released his debut solo album entitled “Collapse” on Dais Records in September 2015 and has subsequently toured the United States and Europe.
With Unnatural Channel, released on Dais Records in May 2017, using his signature ambient ebb and flow coupled with patterns of fibrous metallic waveforms and reverberated percussions that have been pulled and spun around the spectrum he continues to dissect subterranean themes and explore how to comprehend and subsequently engage with the contemporary world that emerges from the disintegration of various mental, physical, and emotional terrain.
Unhuman was founded as a noise project in 2012 in Athens with the release of his first tape, entitled Emperor Black on Species Productions and then a split tape with To The Lovers Farewell on Red Venice Records. Delving deeper into radical noise, experimental and industrial music, a whole new world of possibilities opened up to him when he moved to Berlin in 2012. After founding the Lärm-Alarm-Lärm festival, he combined the idea of underground music and more experiential events going onto organize workshops which encompassed experimental & interactive audio/visual performances in a project space called Shift which led to his current project Liber Null Berlin which unifies the freedom of arts in a conceptual event and a record label. With his DJ-project he has performed alongside renowned artists such as Ascion, D Carbone, Eschaton, James Ruskin, Luke Slater, Makaton, Substance aka Dj Pete, Tomohiko Sagae, Truss, Ugandan Methods, Violet Poison. At the moment, Unhuman tours in venues all around Europe and Asia and is a regular act in many of the major Berlin clubs. He was resident Dj in the city of Paris for two years and now days he is resident artist at Constant Value Seoul. He released on labels such as Veleno Viola, Monolith Records, Amok Tapes and Instruments Of Discipline.
Sekunde is a project, based in Berlin, that has been part of the Fleisch collective since its inception.
Playing a mix of Industrial, EBM, post-punk, and synth wave, he blends these genres together seamlessly into his own world suited for dark basements and strobe light funerals.
Born and raised in Roma, Italy and now living in Berlin, Alessandro Adriani is the brain behind Mannequin Records, an outlet that since 2008 has done arguably more than any other to unearth obscure synth wave and industrial music from all over the world. Aside from his work in releasing forgotten gems and up to the minute synth incantations, Alessandro Adriani has also been quietly issuing out his own music for labels like Mannequin, Pinkman and Jealous God. Previously active as Newclear Waves, he developed lately an interest for remixes/edits, including “the rarest disco fruit from the Caribbean-via-Berlin: Mannequin Records’ Alessandro Adriani rolls up a smoking edit of Lata Ramasar’s exulting/exulted proto-house bubbler The Greatest Name That Lives.”
Alessandro is the resident dj and organizer of the bi-monthly Mannequin Records Nacht at Säule/Berghain.
21st Century PUNX Deconstructors, Trouble Making Agitators, DIY noise insurgents & Manufacturers of Dissident Political Wear.
PUNX.UK was formed by a Manchester anarcho punk collective in 2013 as a webzine sharing info on local gigs and bands.
Originally focusing on creating a DIY gig guide for our city we then expanded to cover the whole of the UK scene in 2014.
Since then we've faithfully tried to promote all the events, blogs, websites and sounds of resistance throughout the country and beyond.
In 2016 we partnered with Sabcat Workers Cooperative to produce dissident political wear providing financial support to the activist causes, benefits, unions, bands, and community groups that we work with.