Remember about ten years ago when the US *cough* “industrial” scene was full of bands like X Marks The Pedwalk, Gracious Shades, Mentallo & The Fixer and Velvet Acid Christ [watch it mate, I happen to like XMTP and M&tF… ;-) -M.], peddling their bland brand of shallow synth-rawk that never really caught on in Europe, because it wasn’t nearly as danceable as the techno/trance-influenced stuff from the UK, Belgium and Holland, or as sinister as the Germanic and Scandinavian darkwave scenes?
With the huge amounts of music being produced nowadays it’s getting quite difficult to keep up-to-date as well as to separate the wheat from the chaff. That’s where compilations, especially label samplers, come in handy as releases in which bands and labels showcase their (supposedly) best material as bait to try and lure the listener into getting the ‘full product’.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with the associated “post-apocalyptic alien-invasion” computer game imagery and the “Interbreeding” title. The computer game imagery evokes the concept of nerd “power fantasies” and reeks of cheap escapism. What does the title “Interbreeding” mean exactly? Musical or band ‘interbreeding’ is as bad as the real thing. At best the offspring will be retarded, at worst they’ll be sprouting antennae or tentacles instead of arms.
If you don’t open yourself to new influences and new kinds of music, chances are you will stagnate and go stale (not to mention sounding like a moron). Another side-effect of ‘musical interbreeding’ is the creation of clone bands of (supposedly) original bands. Maybe the clones in question can be used to harvest organs and stem cells should something nasty happen to the ‘originals’?
If you yearn for those simpler days with a nostalgic tear, this compilation will be right up your street. It’s as if nothing has changed. This new generation are still lifting names from Blade Runner and samples from Full Metal Jacket. They haven’t even upgraded their Cubase plugins.
The bands and track titles look like they’ve come from a randomised cyber-industrial-wank-terrorism phrase generator: “Bio-Mechanical Degeneration”, “Industrogression”, “Agonoize”, “The Pain Machinery”, “Severe Illusion”. Guys… Friends don’t let friends write songs called “Coaxial Hardware”. When there’s nothing more inspirational to your artistic direction than your TV cable, it’s time to stop and take a look at yourself.
To me, disc one of this double compilation seemed to be the interesting one. Despite the presence of some stereotypical harsh-electro clone bands there are a few projects worthy of mention.
“Blind Faith (remix)” by the Pain Machinery is quite ok, simple and effective loop and percussion work with seemingly random sample collage. Stin Scatzor maintains his characteristic sound in the short “Industrogression”, raw and almost crude but definitely in-your-face (pity about the lyrics). Schattenschlag’s fusion of EBM, techno, darkwave is energetic enough and very well executed; call it dark bumper car electro if you want but “Deine Augen” is one hell of a track. Thirteen Exile’s “Awake or Dead”, with extremely simple lyrics and what seems a hint of metal, is a track of hard-edged spooky and mindless fun. Alaska Highway’s (great name, by the way) poppy-ish track was a surprise here, a song without voice distortion and quite laidback to boot! Implant and Bio-Mechanical Degeneration present trance influenced tracks but the latter mostly succeeds in sounding like Negative Format.
Disc II (19 more tracks of fun!) contains a couple of brief moments of respite in the form of Sturm Cafe, whose stripped-down, upbeat contributions sound exactly like D.A.F. covering Nitzer Ebb songs circa 1985. Whoah, cutting-edge! But nonetheless a cut above most of the instantly forgettable trash on offer here. Type001 have a good intro until the song starts. Mindless Faith would be danceable-to if you were sharking EBM chicks. One of the Cryptids tracks starts with a sample of someone shouting “I am strong! Strong! STRONG!” Strong as in blue Stilton, mate.
Okay, Severe Illusion’s glitchy electro number is cute in a quirky sort of way, and Terrorfakt’s “No Mercy” is pleasingly hard-edged, although most of the current Ant-Zen or Hands rosters would have them for breakfast. The rest isn’t all American-style glamdustrial though, don’t get me wrong; Xiphoid Process and Sin make pretty convincing clones of :wumpscut: and Suicide Commando respectively, because apparently there’s a world shortage of :wumpscut: and Suicide Commando clones, and we need as many more as we can get.
CD, BLC Productions, 2004
— Andrew Clegg & Miguel de Sousa