Having started Elektro Vox on a bored and frustrated afternoon in March, I've come to interview, review, and befriend some incredible artists across the world of Industrial including many an artist who I never thought I'd get the chance to talk to. Now here we are with many an interview under my belt and Elektro Vox's very own music festival coming in March next year. 2019 has been quite the year! In celebration of that I've put together some lists of what I would consider to be the 'best' of 2019. Before I start, this will be as Elektro Vox's mission intends, to be focused on industrial and other similar electronic music styles. If it weren't, Heilung and a few other bits and pieces would be thrown in to the lists. Therefore there will be a special mentions sections for those that don't quite fit the lists or the theme, at the end.
Best live performance: 1. Welle:Erdball (E-Tropolis Festival. Oberhausen, Germany.) I'd only heard a few of their songs prior to the festival and knew they were an eccentric band but I was unprepared. Having caught a few Die Krupps tracks, I headed over to the second stage and joined Mary at the front of what was already an extremely energetic performance. Germans don't tend to dance as much as us Brits do at shows but almost everyone in that crowd was bobbing and jumping away like mad. There were gifts thrown in to the crowd, there were balloons a-plenty released followed by the band giving out fists full of sparklers. It was the most entertained I've ever been by a band who were just beyond comprehension with the silly atmosphere they exude whilst still being professional performers first and foremost.
2. iVardensphere (Beat:Cancer festival 9th November. Slimelight London) So not only did we get to do an insanely hilarious interview with these guys but we were front row to the only European performance of the year. Absolutley mind blowing energy that was a seratonin and dopamine rush from start to finish!
3. Rammstein (Milton Keynes Bowl)
Fire.. Fire.. Some MORE fire, and a damn good rollercoaster of emotion. Full review here
GIFs by Robin lee
4. Jan Doyle Band (Fiddler's elbow)
Nothing quite prepares you for the performance art of Derek Williams. You see him and any performers he happens to be joined by at any given performance, dressed in what you assume to be glam rock clothing and therefore expect as much.. Oh how wrong you are, what follows is both nightmare fuel and entertainment bliss. Full review here
5.Priest (E-Tropolis Festival. Oberhausen, Germany.)
Now it was very close between Priest and Solar fake for this last spot at the same festival as they were both spectacular. Solar Fake made me absolutley fall in love with their music and charisma but Priest, priest took me on a journey I've never been able to describe. No other band sounds like Priest, they are in a world of their own with their euphoric twist on dark synth pop. When their track 'Vaudeville' was pumped through those powerfull Turbinenhalle speakers.. Just wow. (Full E-Tropolis review here)
We were then lucky enough to video interview Priest in their only video interview later on in London:
Best albums: 1. Massive Ego - Church for the Malfunctioned
From the second I heard this album, there was no doubt it would take top place. Massive Ego are true gods of the industrial arena and will soon be on their joint headline tour with Ashbury Heights, in Germany. Full review and interview here.
2. Faderhead - Asteria
Faderhead returns with an emotionally deep and mature album that tugs on all levels of the soul. Faderhead agreed to an interview but he has sadly been too busy to return our questions. This truly is worth a listen, check out 'From his broken bones.'
3. E.S.A Electronic Substance Abuse - That Beast (Meat cut remixes) Although That Beast was released in 2018, the remix album released this year is an amazing mix of talented artists on one release.
4. Promenade Cinema - Living Ghosts Just.. Just do your self a favour and go listen to it. The voices of these two and the emotion behind the tracks are exceptional and have been a true gem to discover this year for myself.
5. Syd 31 - Walk Amongst rebels Nothing is ever quite so powerful to the industrial music scene as post apocalyptic styling and this album is the anarchists cookbook to the coming dystopian apocalypse.
Best Music videos: 1). 3TEETH - Pumped up kicks I was very close to putting their album 'Metawar' in the best albums list but they sure win best video, and not just for pumped up kicks but also for President X. Most websites have already listed President X in their lists and so, pumped up kicks it is for me. The political and real life issues 3TEETH poke at are very real and raw. I have been listening to this song constantly since their epic cover of this track was released.
2. Rammstein - Deutschland
Controversial and thought provoking in it's depiction of German history, Deutschland is going to be one of the all time greatest music videos of our time.
3. Pretty Addicted - Mother On a supremely tight budget and working her absolute heart and soul out to get the release of 'Soul For Sale' finalised, Vicious got some of her crowd funding sponsors together for an enthusiastic middle finger of a video which is delightfully deviant. Interview here
4. Massive Ego - Digital Heroin Also on a very small budget, Massive Ego produced one of the most metaphoric and iconic videos of late addressing very modern day problems.
5. Aesthetic Perfection - Gods and Gold Take a journey in to the reflections of spirit, identity, and beliefs in this masterful video.
Rising stars and ones to watch:
With their shows bringing in ever increasing crowds, Biomechanimal have absolutely stormed the UK industrial scene and the hype for their second album is surreal. Having recently performed their first London headline show, we look forward to seeing them play EVM fest in March.
2. Matt Hart
With the release of Terra '3808' and his great performance at Static Darkness festival, Matt has solidified himself as a true powerhouse in the UK scene. We also look forward to Matt playing EVM fest! Full review of Terra '3803' here
3. Seraphim System.
With multiple releases this year. Seraphim continues to be one of the truly underrated yet most talented of industrial artists. Go listen to his stuff. NOW. There's also quite a few interviews and reviews on our site regarding Seraphim System.
4. Witch of the Vale
With trance like melodies, soul soothing tones, and a heavenly voice to die for, Witch of the Vale are truly ones to keep an eye out for. Featuring on the Beat:Cancer CD (found here) and supporting Linea Aspera on the 11th of January.
5. Dav Dralleon
Dav contacted me about his release of HOLYWRATH a while back for me to review (found here) and so far it is some of the darkest and most strong darkwave / synth music I've heard in a while and this release is packed with mind bending tracks. I truly look forward to his next release.
Although well established in terms of success, a lot of that is down to the release of their album 'From now on I' this year. Auger have truly broken through this year and made a 'household' name for themselves and we are honoured that they will be playing EVM fest. Interview here
Heilung Their performance at the roundhouse in London was nothing short of a spiritual inferno with their healing ritual. The queue to get in stretched for an age and their epic performance hit everyone on a deep level that can never be fully described by those who have not witnessed the ritual in person themselves. This truly spectacular and emotional night caused me to get a tattoo to honour Heilung and what the two performances I have now witnessed, mean to me. Heilung will be lending their musical talent to the second Hellblade game. The first game saw the character Senua struggle with psychosis and other mental health problems as she fought her inner demons and fought the dangers of the viking world.
Vain Machine Vain machine were an artist unknown to me at the time but their performance at Beat:Cancer was exceptional. A charismatic showman with a real flair for entertaining. Their music was thoroughly enjoyable and their dedication to the charity semi colon is one that has a lot of meaning to us all.
Mark Haigh and Peter Sawyer (DJ Kark and PeeWee aka Karkasaurus)
Mark has done incredible things for the goth community, via Beat:Cancer Mark has held industrial together in this country with a damn solid glue and I don't think Elektro Vox would have been possible without his influences and good words put in on my behalf. Such a wonderful and selfless man who we all owe for keeping the music alive. Full interview with him here
Peter is also the man jointly responsible for Cosmic Hard dance and is dedicating the next show to Beat:Cancer. He also made the EVM fest posters, damn nice design work right? Together these guys from Karkasaurus will be playing EVM fest and helping me learn all the ropes a music promoter needs to know. Top guys and from the bottom of my heart, Thank you for everything you guys do!
Mary and Lucy
Mary has helped me film most of the interviews I've had and has been a great friend, always telling me where I've slipped up in facts or made a spelling error. Lucy has joined the team now too helping to film and take pictures. The two of them went to Gary Numan's London performance for me and reviewed the night. To my two Elekto Vox-keteers, thank you so much for your help and support!
Ruinizer Jay ruin closed the doors on Ruinizer this year but not before releasing a last track to be the Elektro Vox theme track as per request. He now runs studio ruin and other great musical projects which you can read about here. Jay produces and remixes tracks for so many artists, he truly has influenced the Gothic scene in the UK and beyond in a way I don't think he realises. Truly a top guy who we hope to see perform again in future, no matter what name he plays under.
Also a big Thank you to Aesthetic Perfection for being my first video interview and putting up with my then amateur mistakes; and a big thank you to God Module for being one of the friendliest interviews I've had and your generosity in the give away competition earlier this year. Finally to Jason Pearson of Syd.31. You have been a real inspiration for a lot of people this year and thank you for plastering Elektro Vox's name in so many of your posts and press releases, your friendship and faith in me is truly appreciated!
Most hyped for in 2020:
Resistanz 2020!!! Need I say any more? The best goth festival the UK has ever seen returns for one last Tanz. With very few tickets left and even more bands to be announced, it's gonna be incredible. Check out an interview with the organiser himself, Leighton, here.
Nine inch Nails N.I.N are rumoured to be releasing a new album and tour next year, lets hope it's true!